Jump to content

Threw out back, what’s next?

Nurses   (767 Views | 17 Replies)
by Lightning Rose Lightning Rose (New) New

426 Profile Views; 4 Posts

I recently threw out my back (sciatica or herniated disc) and have to see a chiropractor and physical therapy. I’m always in pain at work and am looking at my non-floor options. I am considering a Masters program in nursing informatics or biomedical informatics. Which one should I study and what programs do you recommend? And what job can I do while I go to school with five years of bedside that’s easier on my back? I’ve been told endoscopy, psych NP, insurance, and quality assurance. 

 

Thank you so much! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MunoRN has 10 years experience as a RN and specializes in Critical Care.

3 Followers; 6,610 Posts; 68,358 Profile Views

To "throw out your back" is a generalized term that can refer to any number of things, most of which don't require you to significantly limit your activity level with the proper treatment.  I have a list of issues that generally fall under a "bad back", bad enough that when I "throw it out" I get stuck on the floor on my stomach for anywhere from one to 3 days, with about a week of minimal activity tolerance.  Thanks to physical therapy, I mountain bike, ski, etc without problems, and don't have any issues with direct care nursing as a result of PT.  I would strongly advise against the chiropractor though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

230 Posts; 1,234 Profile Views

I work in an FQHC. It’s all patient education and a lot of phone/paperwork. There is no lifting, and I can get up and walk, stretch, sit as needed. It seems ideal for someone with back issues. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

K+MgSO4 has 12 years experience as a BSN and specializes in Surgical, quality,management.

1 Follower; 1,713 Posts; 22,539 Profile Views

Define the issue.  Throwing your back out is as useful a statement as bellyache, too vague. 

 

See the physio stay the hell away from the chiro.  Get a treatment plan and discuss if you can continue on in your current role once you have done some rehab and have a core strengthening program. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

KatieMI has 6 years experience as a BSN, MSN, RN and specializes in ICU, LTACH, Internal Medicine.

2 Followers; 1 Article; 2,463 Posts; 42,910 Profile Views

Please, if you decide to go back to school or do a big career switch, do this only for what you enjoy doing. After 5 years of bedside you surely have things you just like. Play from there. What you always will go for - teaching (at what level and to whom), procedures, people, no people, clinical work but just without bedside, administrative? Hospital, clinic, public health, community, anything else? What pathologies you love to work with? What kind of patients, or please leave you alone? Where do you live - city, suburban, rural? Would you like working from home? There are tons of opportunities, especially if you have BSN, with or without school, just choose wisely and according to YOUR heart 🙂

P.S. my own back issues practically disappered after switching to very clinical NP practice. I only need to be careful not sitting at the screen by hours charting because my back doesn't like it that much. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

4 Posts; 426 Profile Views

Thank you all so much for the advice. At this point, I don’t know exactly what is wrong with my back, I only had an x-ray which showed a flattened disc (an MRI will be done soon), this is likely pinching a nerve, causing the pain.

Besides PT, I am working on strengthening my core and doing whatever it takes to save my spine. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MunoRN has 10 years experience as a RN and specializes in Critical Care.

3 Followers; 6,610 Posts; 68,358 Profile Views

48 minutes ago, Lightning Rose said:

Thank you all so much for the advice. At this point, I don’t know exactly what is wrong with my back, I only had an x-ray which showed a flattened disc (an MRI will be done soon), this is likely pinching a nerve, causing the pain.

Besides PT, I am working on strengthening my core and doing whatever it takes to save my spine. 

Disc compression on the x-ray is actually a normal part of the aging process, the sciatic nerve issues your having are actually more often caused by a muscular issue with an associated shift, this is fairly easily treatable.  

After multiple PT sessions that focused on what's involved in my job (often moving around large to very large patients) direct nursing is now one of the least problematic things for my back. 

52 minutes ago, Lightning Rose said:

Thank you all so much for the advice. At this point, I don’t know exactly what is wrong with my back, I only had an x-ray which showed a flattened disc (an MRI will be done soon), this is likely pinching a nerve, causing the pain.

Besides PT, I am working on strengthening my core and doing whatever it takes to save my spine. 

And again, don't go anywhere near a chiropractor.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

77 Posts; 793 Profile Views

There are increasingly opportunities for RNs with experience in telemedicine. The role can vary from triage to education/health coaching but it might be worth taking a look, particularly if you are thinking of going back to school.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1,164 Posts; 15,672 Profile Views

I agree with what the other posters have said  about  throwing your back out doesn't necessarily mean your bedside career is done.

Do the  prescribed therapy and see how you are feeling. Your back may flare up from time to time as mine does. Educate yourself about good body mechanics, use all lifting equipment available to you at work.  Each person's back issue is unique but  I'd actually be worse with a sitting job. My back does great with walking, not so good with standing in one spot and terrible  with sitting. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1,193 Posts; 8,026 Profile Views

If you have a herniated disc with nerve compression why on earth would you see a chiropractor?  Stay far away from those quacks.  They’ll end up making it worse.  

Have they started you on steroids?  Have you been taking ibuprofen?  See the spine doc first and see what they say.  Herniated discs are very easily fixed and you can return to previous work duty.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

17 Posts; 568 Profile Views

Have you considered case management?  I went from bedside to case management and love it.  I am still helping patients and using my critical thinking skills and nursing without hands on care.  My job is Mon-Fri 8 - 4:30.  It can be very stressful, but not physically exhausting or taxing to the body.  Just an idea...

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

762 Posts; 9,267 Profile Views

Stay away from chiropractors, they can ruin you.  Stick with modern physiotherapy instead.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
×

This site uses cookies. By using this site, you consent to the placement of these cookies. Read our Privacy, Cookies, and Terms of Service Policies to learn more.