Lower Back Pain in Nurses: Causes, Treatment, and Prevention

Lower Back Pain in Nurses: Causes, Treatment, and Prevention

Nurses are at a high risk of developing low back pain (LBP) due to the physical demands of their job. LBP is a common problem in the general population, but it is even more prevalent among nurses. A study published in the journal Pain found that the lifetime prevalence of LBP among nurses is 90%, and the recurrence rate is over 70%.

Causes of LBP in Nurses:

  • Repetitive movements: Nurses often perform repetitive movements, such as lifting and transferring patients, bending over to reach patients, and standing for long periods of time. These movements can put a strain on the back muscles and ligaments, leading to pain and injury.
  • Heavy lifting: Nurses often have to lift heavy patients and equipment. This can put a lot of stress on the back, especially if the lifting is done incorrectly.
  • Awkward postures: Nurses often have to work in awkward postures, such as reaching for objects on high shelves or bending over to bathe patients. These postures can put strain on the back muscles and ligaments.
  • Vibration: Nurses who work in certain areas, such as operating rooms or intensive care units, may be exposed to vibration from medical equipment. This vibration can travel through the body and irritate the back muscles and ligaments.
  • Stress: Nurses often work in stressful environments. Stress can lead to muscle tension, which can trigger or worsen LBP.

Treatment for LBP in Nurses:

Treatment for LBP in nurses depends on the severity of the pain and the underlying cause. In most cases, LBP can be treated with self-care measures, such as rest, ice, heat, and over-the-counter pain relievers. If self-care measures are not effective, or if the pain is severe, a doctor may prescribe physical therapy, medication, or other treatments.

Prevention of LBP in Nurses:

  • Use proper lifting techniques: When lifting heavy objects, nurses should bend at the knees and keep their back straight. They should also avoid twisting their backs while lifting.
  • Maintain good posture: Nurses should try to maintain good posture throughout the day. This means keeping their back straight and their shoulders relaxed.
  • Take breaks: Nurses should take breaks throughout the day to stretch and move around. This will help to prevent muscle fatigue and tension.
  • Exercise regularly: Exercise can help to strengthen the back muscles and improve flexibility. Nurses should aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week.
  • Manage stress: Nurses can manage stress by using relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing and meditation. They can also get enough sleep and eat a healthy diet.

At Green Scrubs, we believe looking good and feeling good go hand in hand. Providing awesome surgical hats may be our passion but keeping this community of healthcare heroes safe is our inspiration. We will continue to offer news and tips in the hope that they give some clarity and guidance.

Sep 27th 2023 Green Scrubs

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