Tips to maintain back health as a nurse
As of 2019, there are over 56,000* enrolled nurses, registered nurses and nurse practitioners in New Zealand, yet for this crucial element of our healthcare workforce back pain and muscle fatigue are a common issue. Nursing is a physically demanding job, performing manual handling tasks like moving patients, lifting and a lot of the time spent on your feet.
Here are our helpful tips to prevent any further strain and help maintain your back health as a nurse.
Footwear - Good shoes provide you with a supportive base that helps the spine and body remain in alignment. Nursing shifts can be long so a comfortable shoe that makes moving around and fits well is crucial. Brands such as Crocs and Birkenstock have ranges specifically designed for healthcare workers that have arch support designed to lessen the pressure put on the joints.
Stretching - Before, during and after your shift it is essential to stretch! Being flexible is a good preventative measure to help combat the prolonged back pain from being on your feet throughout your shift.
Keep Active - It’s important to keep your core strong, the more stability you have in your core the easier it is to move freely and without pain or tension. Particularly when standing for long periods of time, your core helps transfer the pressure away from the lower back and prevents it from feeling fatigued.
Sleep - Getting enough sleep plays a significant part in preparing your body for a new day of handling heavy spinal loads. A common cause of overexertion is sleep deprivation. For all our tips on getting a good night sleep check out our blog here.