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Treatment for Nurses with Back Pain

Treatment for Nurses with Back Pain - El Paso Chiropractor
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During a nurse’s routine rounds, it only takes one incorrect move, one improper lift, one sudden twist to unexpectedly suffer a back injury. Back pain is one of the most frequent causes of pain among the general population, where approximately 80 percent of individuals are likely to experience at least one case of acute back pain in their lifetime. In the United States alone, about 25% of the population account to having had a minimum of one day of lower back pain within the past three months. Additionally, lower back pain is the fifth leading cause for individuals to seek medical attention.

However, the prevalence of back complications among nurses or other healthcare workers is even greater. Registered nurses and nursing assistants are among the top six occupations at greater risk for musculoskeletal injury. According to data collected by the American Nurses Association, more than half of nurses report experiencing symptoms of chronic back pain. Furthermore, approximately 12 percent of the nursing workforce reported leaving the profession due to chronic back pain.

In 2004, the ANA launched their Handle with Care campaign in order to increase nursing awareness of back injuries and prevention. Their most substantial recommendation was for nurses and other healthcare workers to utilize patient handling equipment and devices made available in order to decrease the need for nurses to participate in tasks requiring heavy lifting.

When a nurse has experienced a back injury or other complication, many of them turn to analgesics to manage their pain and other symptoms. While various types of medications for pain relief are considered to be essential components for pain treatment, these only temporarily treat the symptoms. Typically, a combination of treatments is necessary to fully restore the individual’s natural condition and relieve their symptoms at the source. Damage or injury to the structures of the spine, such as bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons, nerves, and blood vessels can cause symptoms of pain and discomfort surrounding the spine. Finding a healthcare provider who can assist you in both diagnosing and developing a successful treatment plan for your back pain should be your first course of action. It’s important to remember that nurses and healthcare providers need care as well.

Chiropractic treatment is one of the most common forms of alternative treatment for back complications. A doctor of chiropractic, or DC, will carefully evaluate and diagnose your type of pain to determine the cause of injury or identify any possible aggravated conditions. Spinal misalignments or subluxations are some of the most frequent diagnosis for back pain. Through the use of spinal manipulations, chiropractors apply a gentle force on the area of the injury to carefully re-align the spine and relieve the surrounding tissues of any additional pressure that may have been irritating the structures of the spine. Occasionally, chiropractic treatment will include a series of pre-determined stretches and exercises to enhance the individual’s rehabilitation process by strengthening the back muscles and restoring their flexibility.

Other treatment options for nurses with back complications and the general public alike include heat or ice therapy, acupuncture, TENS or transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, and/or yoga. For those nurses or healthcare workers that have suffered a back injury resulting in impairing symptoms which have made your everyday lifestyle difficult, it’s never too late to seek medical attention, regardless if you’re the primary medical assistant in your line of work.

By Dr. Alex Jimenez



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