The nurse with a patient complaining of back pain should screen the individual or treatment and therapeutic approach. Back pain, especially in the elderly or the very young, can be a red flag for more extreme disorders or more involved and complicated medical problems. Nurses studying the symptoms of back pain disorders and related conditions should review the list of symptoms and therapies. There is a tendency to medicate back pain, which can shield the patient from being diagnosed with more complex attention to the patient’s more overall health. Smoking and depression, for example, have been linked with diagnosis of back pain.
A nurse’s advice is the first line of defense when back pain strikes or rears up. A nurse should be fiercely protective of any patient complaining of unusual amounts of back pain, especially when they seem to have no basis in normal causes. Backaches after pregnancy and fibromyalgia, for example, would be considered expected. But a nurse will be able to single out over time that a patient has experienced serve back pain during some phases of their condition, and less or none in other stages of their admission. Nurses should be careful to fit the bed positioning to suit the best rest position for that particular patient‘s size and height.
A patient will rely (consciously or unconsciously) on the nurse’s ability to relate this occurrence of symptoms with the physician or other nurses. The nursing staff can plot from the chart when and under what stress the patient reports the most pain. The nurse can review notes from other nurses concerning the most serious incidents of back pain in a patient and analyze the cause. Does the pain result from exercise or inaction? Too much bed rest or not enough in the right position? Too many hours straining over a hot laptop, and not enough restful sleep in a bed meant for the purpose?
A change in bathing habits or a change in the weather could activate arthritis nerves, escalating back pain for a patient who previously only generally complained of it. Turning a mattress or finding a different sort of pillow may be ease the neck tension that cause the surprise of back pain for a patient. The patient may be so used to their particular daily habits in sitting or standing, sleeping and resting, that they have not noticed that these may have damaged best posture or their sleep rhythm. Even temporary daily adjustment to a poorly formed car seat could cause problems over time.
The usual amounts of back pain every adult processes can be due to stress, weight gain in the abdomen, rare syndromes, and poor sitting postures. But unusual pain experienced when the patient is sitting down or lying down can be cause for concern. The spinal cord and related nerves, and the pelvic bones and the sternum area, all come into play. Neck tension and postural neck pain can become the cause of tensed nerve in the lower back, often related to motion in the bed during sleep hours. Nurses should survey the patient upon waking about how their neck and back feels.
Patients with back pain should embrace alternate technologies as well as a consult with e specialty physician. Some habits can be cured, such as reading in bed and poor posture. Homeopathic alternatives for pain treatment have enjoyed a resurgence lately. Such patients should be monitored and the intervention be written for nursing prompts for better posture or “lights out” for less reading in bed, for example. Movement and grooming should be evaluated for best posture and less strain on lower back positioning for long periods of time. Nurses should be particularly attentive to fall/injury risks for back pain sufferers, such as dressing, transitioning from bed to standing without support, and in-bed movement without a rail.
Reflexology, meditation, and acupuncture can give significant relief for back pain sufferers, and many HMOs and insurance types cover these regimens. And massage can often do wonder for back pain victims. Thoracic exercise, lumbar spine exercise, Pilates, and Yoga can contribute to better overall back health. But the conventional medical approach still matters. Surgery and injections may be necessary, depending on the level of the condition. A hybrid approach can work well.
A general physician or custodial doctor may refer the back pain patient for an X-ray, MRI or CT scan. A bone scan or discography may be necessary to evaluate the cause of the back pain. The general physician may refer the patient to a specialty physician. Several physicians may need to be seen before the right one grasps the needs of a specific patient. The pain doctor or chiropractor may direct the patient to multiple modalities, such as stress management, physical therapy, holistic directions, as well as improved posture while sleeping, a better mattress and better neck rest from incorrect arrangement of pillows. And an evaluation of the patient’s coverage can allow for further options.
A nurse should be concerned with an over-reliance on medications to solve these pain problems. Chronic pain can be a condition too often medicated for, and not analyzed enough. Too often, many patients are impressed with commercialized depictions of pain-free lives in pharmaceutical advertisements. A nurse may have to parse these ideals down to simple English for a patient eager to accept the pill path of pain treatment. The dispute over NSAID therapy, more widely advertised drugs, and clinical trial results marches on.
Persons with back pain should be encouraged to try non-pharmaceutical approaches like yoga for strengthening the back, stretching, environment, or focused breathing. The level of attachment a patient has to their back pain can affect their willingness to employ various methods to lessen it or get rid of it entirely. Lifting the tent flap of back pain can reveal unpleasant truths a patient may be unwilling or unable to deal with. Bridging the gap between current pain symptoms and a pattern of anti-pain practices should be the care plan goal of many patient dealing with such issues.
Back pain is also a symptom of tense nerves, chronic stress, and harmful relationships. A watchful nurse can plot a record of just when the patient complains of back pain symptoms and analyze what occurred that might have prompted spasms or a cramped lower back. During times of medical issues and their tendency to create unrelated crises, the relatives and friends of a patient can create havoc with their emotions and concerns “dumped” on the patient. A nurse should observe when a certain phone caller or visitor makes the patient distraught.
Of course, energy vampires suck the energy from an empathic patient who does not have a filter to stop the onslaught of verbal disputes and arguments that occur when medical planning and family conflicts persist. Too often, a nurse will see the patient giving attention to a person who will deflate the and overload them with complaints and problems.
A person suffering from back pain must have a strategy to eliminate harmful inputs that worsen their symptoms. The intervention in the care plan will indicate to a nurse what steps they are authorized to take, such as moving abusive family members on and providing hints for coping.
Student nurses should know that duodenum ulcers, kidney problems, osteoporosis, and inappropriate headrests can cause back pain. Lifestyle choices such as a heavy shoulder bag or handbag, heavy lifting or stooping, or overstuffed pillows can disturb delicate rhythms in spinal function and rest. The causes of back pain and the conditions resulting in untreated back pain should be a regular course of study and a basis for materials review.