Surgeons are routinely subject to mental and physical stress throughout the course of their work in the operating room. Consistent mental and physical fatigue can shorten a surgeon's career and affect patient safety and personal relationships. Simple stretching, with OR-Stretch, can be a practical, effective means to reduce pain, enhance performance and increase mental focus without extending operative time.
A recent study of attending surgeons from four medical centers volunteering to incorporate microbreaks with exercises into their surgical day reported improvement or no change in their mental focus and physical performance. Discomfort in the shoulders was significantly reduced, while distractions and flow impact was minimal. When surveyed, most of the surgeons wanted to incorporate the microbreaks with exercises into their OR routine. Intraoperative microbreaks, using OR-Stretch, with exercises is an easy way to mitigate work-related musculoskeletal fatigue, pain and injury.
How to Stretch
When surgeons have a break between surgeries, these stretches can aid recovery from the effects of long procedures.
- Sitting stretches
- Standing stretches
- Stretches between surgeries
Perform these routines using:
For safe and effective stretches:
- Perform the activities slowly, avoiding rapid or forceful movements.
- Keep breathing relaxed throughout all activities.
- If any activity causes discomfort, stop performing the activity.
The OR-Stretch app alleviates the physical discomfort surgery imposes, helping to reduce the musculoskeletal issues that can shorten surgeons' careers.
The OR-Stretch app guides surgeons through exercises on the spot and includes a reminder for stretching. To use OR-Stretch, simply log in to the web app using an email address; a password is not required. You will be asked to complete a brief demographic survey after logging in the first time. You will be sent periodic emails to help Mayo Clinic improve OR-Stretch.