Back pain, how to prevent it..working as CNA?

  1. I'm a new CNA and the nursing home I work for is hetic. Constanstly bending and lifting patients. I use to transfer by myself by now I get help. And its still not helping, When I leave my back is always killing me and I don't want back problems at my age. I'm only 22, the other girls transfer by their self and I ask them if their back hurts and they say no and it use to but not anymore.
    How can i transfer more safely? and do you think my back pain is going to be permanent? down the road? have anyone dealt with tihs?
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    About mzsuccess

    Joined: Oct '12; Posts: 355; Likes: 140


  3. by   RunnerRN2015
    Follow proper lifting techniques. Lift with your legs, not your back. When you change the bed, change briefs, do bed baths, etc raise the bed to an appropriate height to make it easier on your back (make sure you lower it when you're done!). If someone is a 2 person transfer, USE 2 PEOPLE. If you don't feel safe lifting someone by yourself, ask for help. Does your facility have mechanical lifts? If so, USE THEM. Being a CNA is a labor-intensive job but there are things you can do to protect your back. Take care of yourself!
  4. by   TurtleCat
    I actually didn't have that much back pain working as a CNA, my trick was using the strength in my arms and legs to lift/turn/move etc. instead of my back, like was emphasized in class. The only downside of that though was instead of my back hurting, my arms and legs hurt instead. I remember after working a double shift (3pm-7am) one time, my arms and legs literally burned with pain from lifting, turning, changing etc. people all night long.

    Also, like the previous poster suggested -- always get help when you need it.
  5. by   MrChicagoRN
    Think before lifting
    Proper lift techniques
    Make sure the bed is correctly positioned for repositioning or car
    Develop strong core strength
    Ask for help
    Use any available lift equipment
  6. by   klhobson
    I deal with this issue every single day that I work. Sometimes you can get someone to help you, other times not depending on staffing that day. I always make sure the bed is up while I'm turning and changing the patient or if the are in a lift recliner, that the chair is all the way up. I use a gait belt all the time to prevent less strain on me and more importantly on the patient. And of course, when all else fail my Aleeve is waiting on me in my purse!
  7. by   i_love_patient_care
    Make sure you're stretching a lot. That really helps me. Are you doing any exercising outside of work? That also helps. For me, doing squats, lifting weights, aerobic exercise. Hot tub at the gym is nice too
  8. by   JDZ344
    Utilize equipment. It sounds like you are not a no-lift facility, though. In that case, body mechanics will help.
  9. by   CrunchRN
    Strengthen your core. try some Jillian DVD work outs to help with this. The core strengthens your back. And always pay attention to good body mechanics.
  10. by   mzsuccess
    Thanks everyone, I'm just on my feet all day, with hardly any break and I have two jobs and on my feet at both and my back hurts alot sometimes and I always hear people saying they have back problems and walk with their back hunched over and it scares me. I don't want to be like that and want to work safe, but like klhobson said, your short of staff and your coworkers don't want to help and you have to do what you have to. Is the pain from being on my feet all day? because when i lift I been my kness and the only dead weight i life is a 95 year old lady that weighs about 65-70 pounds.
  11. by   studentbear
    Please use proper lifting techniques and if you need someone to help, DO NOT do it alone. Even if it has to slow down the whole day because you have to wait for another staff member, it's worth it in the long run to safe your back.
    I ended up with a back injury at 22 and almost two years later, it is still giving me issues sometimes. That is even with extensive chiropractic/massage treatment post-injury through L&I. I had to leave my job at a facility due to my back injury and it put me out of work for awhile.
    Lift properly, use good posture, utilize the other staff, stretch, get decent shoes, and exercise outside of work. Hope your back feels better soon!
  12. by   logue
    Hey mzsucess!

    I have experienced back pain because of my CNA job, and that is because of moments I had poor body mechanics to lift or move in certain ways as I was caring for a patient. To prevent it from happening I am concious of my body mechanics, such as using my legs and not my back when lifting a patient. I check to be sure the bed or wheelchair is at a leveled height to safely transfer the patient coming off and on their equipment. I also use a back brace to remind me about my posture. Also, I call for help when I have a patient that is heavy or stiff or a combination of both which can be risky to move on my own. I hope this helps:-)