The nursing profession can be very demanding. There are significant physical and emotional stresses that nurses can experience. This article will discuss the physical problems that can arise with the occupation of nursing and how care from a chiropractor can be of help.
Nurses who work in a hospital setting can experience physical exertions that can cause harmful effects to their health. A nurse is required to be on his or her feet for long hours. It is not unusual for a nurse to work 10 to 12 hour shifts several days in a row. The occupation also may require lifting, sliding, pushing and pulling heavy patients while they are in bed, in a wheelchair or on an operating table.
This can lead to stresses and strains to the lower back, neck and upper back, shoulders and hips. Injury can occur suddenly from one trauma or can accumulate over time from micro-traumas. Many nurses try to ignore their pain and work through it. Psychologically, nurses have a desire to help others while ignoring their own health.
Whatever the cause of the injury and complaint a physical solution and care from a chiropractor can generally be of help to a physical problem. Chiropractors focus on helping patients who have lower back pain, neck pain, shoulder and hip pain and headaches.
Usually these conditions are caused by misalignments and improper motion of the bones of the spine. A chiropractor will initially meet with the nurse to discuss information about the problem. A doctor of chiropractic can gain valuable details about the specific type of work performed. This can help determine exactly what caused the condition in the first place.
Next a chiropractor will perform a physical examination. He will gently feel or palpate the injured area to assess muscle spasm, swelling and spinal alignment. If there is a loss of range of motion of the spine or extremity joint that will be noted. Neurologically, the exam will show if there is a loss of strength or feeling in an area. Orthopedic tests can reveal if there is a spinal disc problem such as a protrusion or bulge.
Many times, imaging such as x-rays or MRIs are already available or can be performed to give further insight as to the exact nature of the condition.
Once the chiropractor has determined where the problem is and what is causing it he can develop a plan to help treat the problem. Chiropractors are experts at treating injuries to the spine and to the extremities.
Many nurses who have developed physical ailments due to their line of work have been helped by chiropractors. In addition, many nurses see chiropractors on an ongoing basis for maintenance care to avoid experiencing an injury and to enjoy a long healthy career.
UPMC Health Plan has coverage for chiropractic care in Pittsburgh. Dr James Schofield has helped many nurses with neck and back pain.