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More than 70% of nurses experience chronic low back pain

On Behalf of | Feb 8, 2024 | Workers' Compensation |

Nurses face a significant occupational hazard: chronic low back pain. The demanding nature of their work, coupled with long hours and challenging work environments, predisposes them to this debilitating condition.

Understanding the factors contributing to nurses’ susceptibility to chronic low back pain is necessary to address this prevalent issue.

Physical strain from patient care

The physical demands of nursing, such as lifting, transferring and repositioning patients, place considerable strain on the lower back. Nurses often perform these tasks throughout shifts, leading to cumulative stress on the musculoskeletal system. The combination of lifting heavy loads and adopting awkward postures increases the risk of developing chronic low back pain.

Extended hours and fatigue

Nursing shifts can be long and arduous. Many nurses work extended hours without adequate breaks. Prolonged standing, walking and engaging in patient care activities contribute to fatigue. Fatigue, in turn, can compromise musculoskeletal function and predispose nurses to back pain. Fatigue can also diminish nurses’ ability to maintain proper body mechanics. This further increases their vulnerability to injury.

Environmental challenges

The work environment in health care settings presents additional challenges for nurses. Heavy patient loads, understaffing and inadequate equipment can exacerbate the risk of injury. The culture of prioritizing patient care above personal well-being may also discourage nurses from seeking timely intervention for their back pain. This can lead to prolonged suffering and impairment.

The World Health Care Organization reports that as many as 72% of working nurses have chronic low back pain. By prioritizing the health and safety of nurses, health care institutions can mitigate the burden of chronic low back pain and cultivate a healthier, happier workforce. Contact YOUR Workers’ Compensation attorneys for a free, no-obligation consultation. Call 610-892-9300 or reach us online.