Killer Jobs: 10 Painful Professions

Does your job pain you?

No matter how much you love your job, there always will be days of strain and headaches. But for some, work brings daily aches and pains that can develop into something worse. In some professions, people suffer the hurt -- but keep going back every day.

For many, the problem is that they don't feel they have the skills necessary to get another job. And even if they can develop new skills, "they're not interested in retraining because they have to start from the beginning again. It's a much lower-paying job," said Mitchell Freedman, director of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the Rothman Institute at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia.

"The instance of chronic pain goes up with job dissatisfaction, a feeling of helplessness about your job," Freedman said.

"And you can't get out of the job because it's either do that or not work. You'll do the best you can until finally, your body breaks down," he said.

For some, the pain comes just from sitting in the same position all day, such as police officers on patrol or heavy-truck operators. For others, it comes from repeated motions, such as a blogger typing at the keyboard for hours straight and straining to look at the computer monitor. And for some, the pain can come from both -- such as musicians, who have to sit and play for hours on end.

Some occupations may have more obvious risks, but for a Hollywood stuntman, the need to stay in shape may help the pain go away sooner.

Here are 10 jobs where physical aches can be a regular part of the daily grind.

To Serve and Protect

Patrol Officer Michael Best loves a thrill.

"When you pull a car over, your heart can go from resting to a 1,000 beats a second. At every encounter, you don't know what to expect," Best said. "This is what I've wanted to do since I was 4 years old."

Now, 20 years older, Best has earned his spot on the Weymouth Police Department in Massachusetts. Along with routine car stops and a few arrests in the last year, he also has been on foot chases and multiple hostile situations.

But his life is not like the games of cops and robbers or Matchbox cop car chase he played as a kid.

"The physical and emotional stress takes a toll," Best said.

Best has been injured three times on duty after only one year on the force. "That's more than I've ever been injured in my life," he said. One of his major injuries was having his hand hit by a passing car while directing traffic.

Besides nonroutine physical injuries, everyday stresses cause pain for several officers.

"Long durations in the car and pivoting their lower back to get in and out of the car takes a toll on their back," said John Gentile, chairman of the Board of Governors with the American Chiropractic Association.

Although Best is only a year into his career, he already sees a massage therapist for his neck and back pain. He also notices the physical effects on officers who have been with the department for a while -- a sign to him of what may be to come.

"Joint pain and years of pain from injuries catch up with them after a while," Best said.

As for the emotional toll, several studies have shown police officers have the second-highest suicide rate among any occupation -- and the divorce rate of officers is three times the national average.

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