Causes for Low Back Pain Among Nurses Skip to main content

🔴 Rated Top El Paso Doctor & Specialist by ✔️ RateMD* | Years 2014,2015,2016,2017,2018,2019

Chiropractic Podcast

Causes for Low Back Pain Among Nurses

Causes for Low Back Pain Among Nurses
For Questions Call/Text Dr. Jimenez Personally @ 915-540-8444 or Contact Us @ 915-850-0900

Nurses are considered to be the most crucial component in the delivery of primary care within any public or private healthcare setting. Throughout this environment, regardless of the availability of several types of lifting equipment, the nurse’s role will generally include manually lifting or assisting in movement of patients as a major portion of regular healthcare activities, such as bed to chair transfer or mobilizing.
blog picture of lady grabbing back with possible disc herniation or bulge
Share Free Ebook

However, the nurse’s constant participation in these type of tasks frequently leads to a considerable increase of back complications, back injury, or back pain in comparison with other occupational groups. In fact, nurses and other healthcare workers are considered to show the highest prevalence of lower back pain and back problems needing medical or hospital intervention among the high risk groups for occupational low back pain. Registered nurses rank seventh while nursing aides and orderlies are the highest ranked among all occupations for back injuries associated with work absences.

A study conducted in an acute care facility in Hong Kong to determine the occurrence of back pain in nurses reported that 80.9% of the participating individuals suffered from some form of back pain throughout their careers with one third of them experiencing back pain at least once a month. The study also concluded that the contributing factors for back injuries among those nurses were caused from lifting and transferring patients, where stooping was recognized at the most common factor contributing to back complications. Most diagnosed cases of back pain were reported on orthopedic wards, closely followed by elderly or geriatric nursing. According to the study, back pain as a result of standing for extended periods of time was not considered significant.

Another study conducted to determine the impact of back pain in nurses concluded that depression is associated with chronic low back pain and other symptoms which could exhibit as low morale and lower job performance among nurses. Additionally, the study also showed that two thirds of the nurse sample population suffered from back pain more than twice a year.

The physical size, build, and gender of the nurse were considered to be contributing factors to the occurrence of back complications in the study, especially where lifting assistance, either mechanical or by support staff, was not needed. Other determined factors that could possibly lead to an increased risk of developing back complications in nurses included, exposure to great amounts of physical loading on the back from lifting tasks, poor posture or abnormal twisting of the torso during mobilization tasks, improper lifting techniques, insufficient back pain prevention training or education, and physiological characteristics or psychosocial factors in nurses. The results of one cross sectional study while evaluating back complications in nurses demonstrated statistically that back pain was twice as high in female nurses (68%), than in male nurses.

Nursing qualifications are ultimately essential in healthcare settings where nursing assistants have shown a heightened risk of developing back pain as compared to registered nurses. Evidence indicates that experience or length of service in nursing may also be a contributing factor, with studies concluding that younger nurses are at greatest risk of developing low back pain. Although lumbar back pain in nurses is frequently diagnosed, it is not yet clear over what period a nurse may experience lower back complications. A study conducted in Western Australia sought to identify the relationship between age and occupational exposure on the prevalence of low back pain in both nursing students and graduates.

Ultimately, the study demonstrated that the increase in the occupational exposure from student to working nurse was the primary cause of the heightened chance for nurses developing low back complications.

By Dr. Alex Jimenez

Testimonies & Case Studies

Today's Chiropractic

Trending: Back Pain Insights

Location Near You


Legal Disclaimers & Scope Of Practice

General Disclaimer

The information herein is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified health care professional. Our information scope is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, sensitive health issues, functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to contact us. Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN* email: phone: 915-850-0900 Licensed in: Texas & New Mexico*