07 Dec Experiencing Back Pain in the Medical Profession
After I began working as a Certified Nursing Assistant 10 years ago at the age of 18, I noticed one thing that began happening that I had never experienced before – upper back and neck pain. I have been fortunate that I have never had too much of an issue with lower back pain, as I hear many nurses complaining about. This pain was a nagging issue that I just dealt with and never went to the doctor for.
I was a marathon runner up until age 25 before I began weight lifting for a bikini competition. Each workout day consisted of training different muscle groups, including back, traps, and a posterior chain day. After a few months, I noticed how much stronger I felt, my posture was easier to hold correctly, and I felt much better overall.
I recommend any nurse or medical professional who has issues with back pain to start a resistance training program. Of course, see your doctor first to make sure there are no restrictions and request an X-ray and other necessary measures. I had an X-ray done and fortunately, there was no damage or issues and my spine was lined correctly. I notice that my upper back aches more when working, likely due to stress and being on my feet most of the day. Not only are back exercises important, but strengthening your abdominal and leg muscles will help to support the back as well.
Some of my favorite back exercises to include during my workouts are:
- Assisted Pull-ups or Lat Pulldowns
- Seated Cable Rows
- Dumbbell Rows
- Inverted Bodyweight Rows
- T-bar Rows
- High Cable Pullbacks (with rope attachment)
Other modalities I include are de-stressing interventions, since the more I’m stressed, the more my back aches.
*a bath with Epson salts – light a candle and put some relaxing music on .
* take a relaxing walk outside (I usually do this with my husband and our dogs)
*date night with my hubby.
*playing with my dogs.
*reminding myself at work to take one task at a time.
*virtually anything you love doing!
Lastly, I try to avoid over the counter medications because I do not want to rely on them to treat my pain. NSAIDS, such as Ibuprofen, can be hard on the GI tract and kidneys taken long-term. Some hospitals I’ve worked for frown upon sitting and actually do not have a nurse’s station or chairs because they want us to stay at the bedside every second, even during charting which, in opinion, is a little awkward. Definitely take your breaks, if you get them, and try not to get too worked up during your shift.
XOXO – Bev