Lower back pain from standing all day

  1. Help! My back hurts from standing all day for a 12 hour shift. When I get to sit for a brief minute or two, it feels good to sit but sometimes if I bend over, my back really hurts. I'm not used to standing for so long. Does it get better as time go? I keep thinking it may be due to bad posture but... I don't know waht to do. Anyone?
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  3. by   tifbur14
    It does take time to get used to standing all day. You may also want to evaluate the type of shoes you wear and determine if they are providing adequate support for you. Many nurses wear hard leather shoes such as dansko's for their support. Hard shoes provide more support than sneakers, which just squish down.
  4. by   Ruby Vee
    invest in good shoes -- dankos or sanitas are expensive, but you can get them at the outlets for outlet prices.

    rotate your shoes. it takes more than 24 hours for the shoe to recover after you wear it all day. have at least two pairs and alternate.

    develop core strength. stretch.

    nsaids help.

    if all else fails, go to an orthopod and ask for a prescription for physical therapy. my pt appointment is in an hour -- i'd better go walk the dog!
  5. by   coast2coast
    make sure you're raising the bed to work on patients! (and putting it back down again ...)
  6. by   klone
    Yep, definitely need better shoes.

    I only wear Danskos. I have no problems with back pain at the end of a 12, unless I've literally not sat for more than 5 minutes the entire shift.
  7. by   hopefulwhoop
    I also experienced some back pain when I first started working M/S about 2 months ago. The culprit for me was not raising the bed when working with my pts. So, yeah, please do elevate the bed when you need to... and like someone said, don't forget to put it back down.
  8. by   erikab987
    Shoes!!! Getting new shoes definitely helped me when standing for a super long time. I actually have 2 bulged lumbar discs and my New Balance and Nike Air Shox work wonders. Also, weight training helps! I know it sounds crazy, but I started core weight training at the advice of my doctor (who I thought was nuts, didn't he know I already have back problems?), and it is a life-saver. I can really feel the difference if I miss a whole week at the gym. Standing is also GOOD for your back, you just have to make your back stronger. Sitting actually puts about 7 times more pressure on your lower spine than standing!
  9. by   canesdukegirl
    I cannot agree with investing in new shoes-I only wear Danskos all the time. Even when I am not at work! I play soccer in mine sometimes too.

    I would also suggest that you wear knee length TED hose while working. It may sound silly, but it really does help to keep your blood flowing nicely and you will be less tired overall. It really does work...try it.

    You will get used to working and standing for 12 hours. I totally get you when you say that you only sit for 5 minutes during the shift. I find that when I sit down, my butt is velcroed to the chair, so I don't sit anymore. I also surprise myself when 1900 rolls around and I am going to the bathroom for the first time since I came to work. Nursing is hard on your body!
  10. by   savnlivzPRN
    Thanks guys this advise helped me too!
  11. by   RNlvn
    Thanks this help me a little. I just need to quit being a cheap-o and buy some.
  12. by   TerpGal02
    I have this problem too and I'm just a student. Make sure you are wearing shoes with good arch support. My problem stems from the fact that I have high arches (thanks dad LOL) and its really hard for me to find good supportive shoes.
  13. by   sharpeimom
    you've been given some great advice so far. this is going to sound silly it's so simple, but my husband's feet were just killing him and it had a very simple solution.

    he teaches and says it's impossible to teach while sitting down. he wears supportive shoes, has worn rx insoles ordered by an orthopedist, did hours of pt, and was improved, but still not much better.

    finally i noticed that when he was just standing there, he stood with his feet pointed away, so they formed a vee shape. he has made an effort to stand with them pointing straight ahead and his feet and back hurt much less.
  14. by   RNJill
    Second pretty much everything that has already been said but would also add that it may really help you to try to work out in some way on your days off...particularly in a way that involves stretching. I use the elliptical, walk, and (most importantly for back/body pain prevention) do yoga at least a few times a week-both "regular" and hot. I never realized until I stopped doing it for a few weeks how much more limber, supple and "happy" it made my body! Even DVDs or podcasts will do the trick if the classes seem too pricey. Hope you get some relief!