Nursing is a total body workout — no doubt about it. Do your tired muscles a favor and give yourself a solid few minutes to stretch out those kinks after a long shift.
The more flexible and mobile your muscles and joints, the more strength and endurance you’ll have to keep you going and prevent injury.
Stretches should feel good. Remember to go slow, work within your abilities and find modifications that fit your needs. Find instructions that focus on proper alignment to help prevent injury.
Follow this demonstration on Runner’s World’s website for three variations of Figure-4, a stretch that targets the glutes, hips and lower back — all areas that nurses need to pay attention to, especially when lifting and transferring patients.
Happy baby pose
Happy baby is a comforting yoga pose that helps stretch the hips and groin, align the spine and de-stress all at the same time. You can find step-by-step instructions on GaiamTV.com, including cautions for those with problem areas and modification suggestions.
Back stretch series
Cleveland Clinic offers a simple and gentle back stretch series that will help prevent spinal pain, as well as ease existing pain. These would be easy to incorporate into your workday — you can even do them in the bathroom!
Neck stretch series
This neck stretch series from the Mayo Clinic is simple, gentle and fast. Another great routine to incorporate into your workday.
This stretch is a great way to ease stress while stretching your spine and improving flexibility. Detailed instructions from Art of Living, with photographs, help guide you and encourage proper alignment.
Still feeling sore? Read our post “Relaxing bath salts for weary muscles.”