Avoiding Back Pain for Healthcare Workers

Back pain affects millions of people around the world every day. Some people are more susceptible to it than others. Healthcare workers and the many senior citizens they work with frequently experience back problems, and don’t always know how to alleviate it. However, relief is possible for many by making a few simple lifestyle changes.

Relieving Back Pain

Adding a few changes to your daily routine can help relieve back discomfort, such as…
• Maintaining normal activity
• Non-stressful aerobic exercise
• Posture improving exercises
• Back-supporting chairs
• Application of cold and heat
• Relaxation

Many people in pain tend to want to curl up in bed, but this can be a bad thing for a person suffering from back pain. Extended time in bed can allow the muscles in the back and spine to weaken, causing even more pain. Getting up and doing some easy, day-to-day activities can greatly aid your recovery from back aches and pains.

Participating in non-stressful aerobic exercise can also help. Walking, swimming and light exercises designed for the back strengthen weak muscles and stretch tight ones, providing relief.

Few people realize that their posture might be causing their back pain. There are various posture improving exercises and techniques that, when consistently used, can cut the pain of a backache and prevent it from returning.

When experiencing pain, it is important to ensure that your chair is helping to relieve that discomfort and not contributing to it. Sometimes just the addition of a small pillow behind the small of your back can provide instant relief. Also, sitting for long periods of time can aggravate back pain, so taking frequent breaks to stand and walk a little can keep you comfortable.

The judicious application of heat and cold is proven to alleviate back pain. During a backache, you can place ice packs wrapped in a towel directly on the back for 5 to 10 minutes. This may be repeated as needed, although ice should never be applied for more than 20 minutes at a time. If back pain continues, a heat pad or a warm bath can soothe tense muscles, easing the pain.

One final way to find relief from pain is to relax. It sounds too simple to be true, but much back pain is brought on or aggravated by stress. A warm bath, a light read or a favorite show can take your mind off the pain and allow stress to melt away.

Avoiding Back Injuries

Once a backache has gone away, preventing another one becomes a high priority. To do so you can…
• Continue aerobic exercises
• Practice good posture
• Learn how to lift properly
• Wear appropriate footwear

Aerobic exercises, including walking and swimming, are important to keep back muscles toned, strengthening them against further pain. These exercises are not only good for your back and body, but also lift the spirits and ease stress.

Maintaining good posture can ward off a backache before it starts, and is so easy to do.

Learning proper lifting techniques, especially for healthcare workers, is possibly the most important thing you can do for your back. With practice, lifting properly becomes second nature and provides long-lasting relief from back troubles.

Good, supportive shoes are also a must if you want to avoid problems with your back, even more so for people who are on their feet all day, as are many healthcare workers.

Back injuries are a common occurrence, but it doesn’t have to be one for you. Following these few simple tips can free you from back pain and allow you to enjoy life.

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