Healthcare Workers Are at High Risk for Chronic Lower Back Pain
Among all workers in the U.S., those in the health care professions are highly likely to suffer from low back pain (LBP). Nurses have the highest rates in the profession, with about 50% of those in the U.S. reporting LBP injuries at least once in their careers.
Activities That Cause LBP
Lifting patients causes many of the LBP injuries. Leaning, lifting and twisting movements strain the lower back muscles while nurses are helping patients in and out of bed, dressing them and bathing them. Carrying medical equipment is another source of LBP, as well as falling while moving patients and prolonged sitting or standing.
When a low back injury comes from a single event, it often only causes mild pain at first. However, the extent of the injury becomes more obvious over the next few days as the intensity of the pain increases. Because of the delay, nurses may have difficulty identifying the inciting incident. LBP frequently occurs due to repetitive motions, too, so there may not be a single event to point to.
The injury may affect many of the structures in the spine, including the bones, discs, muscles, ligaments and tendons. Herniated or degenerated discs, strained muscles and torn ligaments are common examples.
If you are a healthcare worker who is experiencing LBP, I invite you to call my office at 978-654-6670 to schedule a free consultation.