Nurses Week: 4 Common Nursing Injuries And Strategies For Prevention You Must Know

A heart for nurses week May10th 2024

Happy Nurses Week! At Houghton Physical Therapy, we deeply appreciate the hard work and physical demands inherent in your profession.

Just as you dedicate your life to caring for others, it’s essential to take steps to protect your own health.

It’s like they say, ‘You gotta put your own oxygen mask on before helping others.’

This blog post is designed to delve deep into the common injuries that nurses face and provide you with advanced strategies for prevention and ongoing relief.

Working Long Hours As A Nurse

Alright, let’s talk about what it’s like being a nurse and pulling those long shifts.

Your body takes a real toll, doesn’t it? I mean, you’re on your feet all day, putting a strain on your ankles, legs, and hips.

Plus, you’re helping patients move around, sometimes supporting their whole weight.

Think about it: Some folks you’re assisting weigh anywhere from 150 to over 200 pounds, and when they’re injured or unwell, they’re really relying on you to carry them, literally.

That’s a heavy load to bear, day in and day out.

Let’s uncover some common nursing injuries.

Understanding Common Injuries In Nursing

Back Strain

Nursing isn’t just demanding; it’s physically taxing. Frequent lifting, bending, and assisting patients can lead to back strain, resulting in chronic pain or acute spinal injuries over time.

To mitigate these risks, mastering proper lifting techniques is crucial.

Techniques such as squatting to lift and keeping loads close to your body can significantly reduce the strain on your back.


For many nurses, long periods of standing and the repetitive motion of bending over beds are part of the daily routine.

These actions can irritate the sciatic nerve, causing pain that radiates from the lower back down through the legs.

Using ergonomic aids such as adjustable beds can lessen the need for bending, while daily core strengthening exercises help support your lower spine.

Plantar Fasciitis

Hours of standing can inflame the plantar fascia, the tissue that spans the bottom of your feet, leading to intense heel pain and stiffness.

Combat this by selecting footwear designed specifically for medical professionals and utilizing custom orthotic inserts for better arch support.

Neck and Shoulder Strain

The high-stress environment of nursing can contribute to significant tension in the neck and shoulders.

This often results in pain and limited mobility.

Implementing stress-reduction techniques such as guided meditation or progressive muscle relaxation during breaks can be incredibly beneficial.

Proactive Strategies for Prevention

Balanced Nutrition

Adopt a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods such as berries, nuts, and green leafy vegetables to help reduce muscle inflammation and support recovery.

Pair these with adequate protein intake to aid in muscle repair and maintain energy levels throughout demanding shifts.

Morning Rituals

Enhance your morning routine with dynamic stretches that activate the muscles you’ll utilize most during your shifts.

Practices such as Pilates or specific yoga poses like the cat-cow or spinal twist can increase spinal flexibility and improve circulation.

Regular Exercise

Incorporate a balanced mix of cardiovascular, strength, and flexibility training into your routine.

Activities like swimming or cycling are less impactful on your back and legs but greatly improve overall endurance and muscle strength.

Annual Physical Therapy Check-ups

Regular visits to a physical therapist are more than just preventative; they optimize your physical capabilities through personalized exercise programs and ergonomic advice tailored to your specific nursing role.

Simple Exercises for Relief

Quick Stretch Breaks

Integrate micro-breaks into your shift for quick stretches like the shoulder shrug or wrist extensions.

These can help prevent repetitive strain injuries, maintain muscle elasticity, and boost circulation.

Ergonomic Awareness

Adopting ergonomic techniques such as adjusting the height of patient beds and utilizing sit-stand stools during procedures can dramatically reduce the risk of workplace injuries.

Regular training sessions on ergonomic best practices are also crucial.

Need More Exercises and Expert Tips? Check Our YouTube!

Hey there, nurses! Feeling a bit tense after a long shift? We’ve got just the thing for you.

Take a minute to check out a couple of videos handpicked by our awesome therapist, Andrew Parrella, DPT.

He’ll show you some easy ways to relieve muscle tension anytime, anywhere.

And guess what? These are just a taste of the many videos we’ve got waiting for you on our YouTube channel.

Best part?

They’re all free for you to use whenever you need a little relief. So go ahead, give ’em a watch, and let’s kick that tension to the curb!

Are you struggling with upper back pain and not sciatica? No problem!

Don’t Believe Us? Listen To Erin’s Story

Erin Feels super great

In honor of Nurses Week, we thank you for all you do!!!

Meet Erin, a hardworking nurse who faced significant challenges due to the physical demands of her profession.

Like many in nursing, Erin was battling intense lower back pain that made her daily tasks nearly unbearable.

Erin came to us with debilitating lower back pain, a common issue for those in the nursing field due to long hours on their feet and frequent patient lifting.

Determined to find relief and improve her quality of life, she engaged in a comprehensive physical therapy program at Houghton PT

We are so happy she feels super and can work without experiencing pain all day.

I came in with lower back pain that was very difficult to do my work as a Nurse.

Over the course of my PT course, I gained a much better understanding of lifting techniques, core strengthening, and gained confidence.

Thank you very much to Houghton Physical Therapy.”

Are you a nurse and want to try our treatment as Erin did, OR do you have a friend who is a nurse you want to see living without pain?

We offer a Free Discovery Visit that allows you to talk to one of our fantastic therapists to determine if PT is right for you. It’s essential to get your annual planning.

Physical Therapy Keeping Nurses Like YOU At Their Best

Sure, you could try Dr. Google for some DIY therapy, but why leave it to chance when you can have a personalized plan designed just for you? That’s where we come in.

Our team of therapists is here to make sure you’re not just feeling okay, but feeling your absolute best. We’ll dive into everything: your health history, how you move, even your hobbies and job demands.

Think of us as body detectives, hunting down any issues and crafting a plan to tackle them head-on.

So skip the guesswork and let’s chat in person. With our medical expertise and passion for helping you thrive, we’ll have you feeling unstoppable in no time! #NursesLightUpTheSky

Download our FREE Back Pain Report and discover the best ways to end back pain.

If you prefer a more personal touch, book an appointment online or  call us at 508-223-2300.

You’re just a step away from a customized plan to help you stay active and enjoy life to the fullest.

Take the first step towards a safer, more enjoyable lifestyle.

More Free Information For Nurses Week

Download our FREE Back Pain Report7 Solid Solutions To End Back Pain

Read Our Blog – 5 Ways Stress Causes Neck and Shoulder Pain You Need To Hear

Want videos on demand? Check Out Our YouTube Channel (Remember to hit subscribe so you don’t miss out on our new videos!)

On social media? Follow us on FacebookInstagram, or LinkedIn