Though hospitals are a place where countless medical issues are solved, many nurses often find that their health declines over their careers.
For example, nurses often suffer from extensive back issues. Here are 6 reasons why.
Staying on Their Feet All Day
The optimal movement pattern for back health involves a healthy mix of laying, sitting, standing, walking, and exercise. Unfortunately, most of a nurses day involves solely standing and walking, with other forms of movements only coming during brief and infrequent breaks. Doing so puts unnatural strain on their back muscles and spines.
Nurses also do a fair amount of lifting. They generally transport two things. The first is medical supplies, which often need to be carried across long distances and up stairs. The second is the heaviest and most precious cargo of all: Patients. While transport specialists do the most intensive lifting, nurses often reposition heavy people and throw out their backs.
The last direct strain that nurses encounter is violent patients. No matter how docile most people are, there will always be some that refuse medical attention. The cause is usually mental health issues. Nurses may have to help hold these people down to give them treatment, and risk a back issue caused by sudden movement.
Now, let’s move on to indirect factors. The first is fatigue, which puts nurses at risk of making mistakes. Those errors might be falling, lifting without proper form, or any other behavior that puts their physical health at risk. Being tired also comprises posture, which is essential in back health. Fatigued people tend to slouch when sitting and standing, and as a result, put strain on their backs.
This factor seems a bit counter-intuitive, given that nurses are in the business of health. Still, almost 54% of them are overweight or obese, which is more than the general population. Excess weight has a variety of adverse outcomes associated with it, but one of them is back pain and frequent injuries.
One thing that surprises people about the human body is the fact that the physical and mental are incredibly interconnected. One area in which this is the case is stress and back pain. Some people even report that stress-reducing activities help more than prescription painkillers, which supports how powerful emotions can be. Unfortunately, nurses have one of the most stressful jobs in the world. They work long hours and in high-pressure situations, making them at risk for chronic back pain.
Nursing is one of the most heroic professions we have in our society. Those that work in it give their best day after day to save lives and keep people healthy. Unfortunately, this population is at risk for medical issues of their own, especially ones relating to the back. If you are a nurse and find that you are experiencing these types of problems, you could be eligible for workers comp benefits. The best way to find out is by speaking with an experienced St. Louis workers compensation lawyer.