How do you take care of your back?

  1. How exactly do you prevent back injuries when you have to lift, push, and pull patients around all day long? Are there any strength exercises specifically for the lower back that can help?
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  2. 21 Comments

  3. by   Dorito
    There are strengthening exercises as well as lumbar braces you can purchase to remind you to keep your back straight and your knees bent. You could probably go online to find back exercises or check with a physical therapist.
  4. by   Jerico
    Strong tummy muscles. Crunches x100 nightly.

    Yoga. Yoga rocks.
  5. by   Jerico
    I am a 5'8" person, strong physically.

    I see nurses 5'3", size 3s, 24 years old, trying to hoist people from stretcher to bed, etc.

    They are nuts! Getting hurt at 24 - that would be terrible!

    You only have ONE back.
    Get help. It isn't worth it.
    I know we get in a hurry, but it just isn't worth hurting your back.

    Am glad to see more guys coming into nursing.

    My back is worth more than $22.00 an hour.
  6. by   Tweety
    I agree. Strong abs. equals strong back.

    Actually strong overall body strength is important. If you have strong arms and strong legs, you don't use your back muscles as much.

    Join a gym and do all the machines, plus those that target the lower back.

    And stretch, especially those hamstrings. Yoga is the best way to gain total body flexibility. There are classes virtually everywhere or dozens of videos to buy, plus lots of good websites.

    Good luck.
  7. by   rogramjet
    Braces are BAD!!!!! They weaken your back. If you don't have to use those muscles you won't. EXERCISE. Strengthen all of the muscles in your body, arms and legs to help lift, back (upper and lower) and abs for stability.

    And get help if you need it. Believe me, people might complain, because that is what they do, but they will complain a lot more if you can't come to work because of your back and they are short staffed.

    Nursing is one of the jobs with the largest number of back injuries, so protect yourself.
  8. by   Hannahr
    Thank you guys so much! I've joined a gym and I plan to take yoga . I total agree that my back is worth way more than an hourly wage. Exercise is THE KEY! gracias.
  9. by   Hannahr
    Thanks for all the advise!I have joined a gym and now I plan to take a yoga class. I totally agree that my back is worth way more than an hourly wage. Exercise is THE KEY!Gracias.
  10. by   Hannahr
    oops:imbar
  11. by   Gompers
    How do I care for my back?

    I work in the NICU!!!! :chuckle


    Seriously, for those not inclined to work with tiny babies, I agree that keeping the abdominal muscles strong and using proper body mechanics are the two most important things to remember when trying to save your back.
  12. by   purseOnalityRN
    I do yoga on a regular basis before work... It keeps your body flexible and your muscles warmed... There are a few videos out there that teach yoga specifically for your back. I work in neuro and boy is it backbreaking work.. Tips:

    * If you can't do it alone - do not attempt it. Always get help even if you aren't sure.

    * Assess your pts strength EVERY time you get them up. They are in the hospital - strength and health always fluctuates.

    * Practice good body mechanics: When doing transfers etc - always keep your limbs close to you and focus on getting your legs to do the primary work. Pretend you are lifting in a bubble that surrounds your body - never let your arms out of that bubble - otherwise your back will be doing the work.

    your back is your career and your life take care of it!!!!
  13. by   MsBruiser
    I have had horrible back trouble. Every day without fail, I do a series of stretching and strengthening exercises - followed by about 100 stomach crunches. Since I have done that - pain has been very manageable and I have not taken a single pill in over 4 months. I got most of my exercises from my chiropractor, which is a shame for him, as they work so well I don't go for too many adjustments any more. Also consider the following:

    a) Find a book at your libarary called "Treat Your Own Back" by Robin McKenzie. He has a PT who revolutionized back treatment with the use of exercise. His exercises are simple, can be done anywhere, and focus on loosening your hamstrings while extending your back.
    b) Keep active - join a gym and keep your body moving. There are not many machines that work on the lower back, but some do - as well as "swiss ball" exercises.
    c) Make good body mechanics part of your daily routine....
  14. by   Cute_CNA
    Quote from rogramjet
    Braces are BAD!!!!! They weaken your back. If you don't have to use those muscles you won't. EXERCISE. Strengthen all of the muscles in your body, arms and legs to help lift, back (upper and lower) and abs for stability.

    And get help if you need it. Believe me, people might complain, because that is what they do, but they will complain a lot more if you can't come to work because of your back and they are short staffed.

    Nursing is one of the jobs with the largest number of back injuries, so protect yourself.
    Braces in and of themselves are NOT BAD. I used to wear a Milwaukee brace.

    What is bad is when people don't exercise when they're not wearing the brace. I wish I had exercised more.

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