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2 reasons many nurses suffer from chronic pain

On Behalf of | Apr 9, 2024 | Workers' Compensation |

Nurses are the backbone of the medical field, providing compassionate care and tirelessly advocating for their patients. But behind the scenes, many nurses face a hidden struggle – chronic pain. Nurses experience chronic pain at significantly higher rates than the general population.

This can take a toll on their physical and mental well-being, impacting their work and personal lives. If you’re a nurse, it can help to familiarize yourself with the key reasons why nurses are susceptible to chronic pain.

The physical demands of the job

Nursing is a physically demanding profession. Long shifts often involve long periods of standing, lifting heavy patients and performing repetitive motions.

This constant strain can take a toll on the body, leading to musculoskeletal disorders like back pain, neck pain and carpal tunnel syndrome. Nurses spend a significant amount of time performing tasks like:

  • Assisting patients with transfers
  • Administering medications
  • Documenting care

These repetitive motions can put excessive stress on muscles, tendons and nerves, leading to repetitive strain injuries in the wrists, shoulders and back.

Nurses often work long shifts with limited breaks, leading to fatigue and poor posture. Additionally, workstations may not be ergonomically designed. This can further contribute to muscle strain and discomfort.

Limited support and self-care

The fast-paced nature of healthcare settings can leave nurses with little time for self-care. Additionally, the pressure to prioritize patient needs may lead them to ignore or downplay their own pain. This lack of self-care and support can worsen chronic pain.

The healthcare culture often prioritizes putting patients first, sometimes at the expense of the caregiver’s well-being. Nurses may feel pressured to endure pain and discomfort to avoid appearing weak or unreliable.

Chronic pain is a significant issue for nurses, impacting their health, well-being and ability to deliver care. Recognizing the physical, emotional and practical reasons behind this problem is crucial. If you’re a nurse who has been enduring chronic pain, you might want to consider seeking workers’ compensation to more effectively address your struggles.

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