Because how you work…
affects how you live.

80%1 of dentists experience neck and back pain at some point in their career, bearing consequences to their professional and personal life. Take steps to prevent becoming one of them.

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Stop pain from holding you back.

Jacqueline J.A. Bos-Huizer is a physical therapist and ergonomist who lectures (inter)nationally about dental ergonomics and the specific ergonomic aspects of dental specialties such as endodontics and implantology.

Download her free article filled with stats and information about what causes back pain to dental professionals, and how to prevent it from happening to you.

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Neutral working posture

Description of a measure to facilitate a neutral working posture: 

Abstract

Dental professionals worldwide suffer from musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). During their educational training, dental hygiene and dental students already suffer pain and tiredness before starting their professional career. Dental professionals as well as dental students work in awkward body positions. However, being aware of this does not correlate with better ergonomics. Dental professionals experience pain and discomfort as ‘part of the job’ and there is a lack of knowledge of ergonomic requirements when choosing new dental equipment. 

Working from neutral body postures is a preventive measure against MSD. This should be facilitated by the use of dental equipment. [...]

Jacqueline J.A. Bos-Huizer
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Dentist back pain
(and how to beat it).

James Tang

Dr. James Tang is a general practitioner, a corrective exercise specialist and a level 3 personal trainer.

Follow his top tips for reducing the prevalence of muscoloskeletal disorders and dentist back pain.

 

Move regularly

Move regularly

When sitting for long periods of time, muscles adapt to the positions we put them in, leading to imbalances and tissue damage. To minimise the detrimental effects of prolonged sitting, try:

  • Alternating work positions between sitting, standing, and different sides of the patient
  • Taking frequent breaks
  • Avoiding repetitive movements
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Carry out appropriate exercises.

Carry out appropriate exercises.

The longer you sit or stand without changing your posture, the worse this is for your intervertebral discs.

Try strengthening the middle trapezius and rhomboids with excercises such as seated rows, single-arm dumbbell rows, reverse flys and pectoral stretches.

Avoid activities that lead to further tightening of the chest muscles, such as press-ups and chest presses.

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Maintain good posture.

Maintain good posture.

If your posture puts your spine out of its natural alignment, your muscles will naturally adapt.

This leads to muscle imbalances which in turn results in postural dysfunction and neck and back pain.

Allow your natural movements to be supported when performing dental treatments. A well-designed treatment unit and operator stool will aide healthy dentist posture whilst alleviating physical stress.

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Establish comfortable positioning.

Establish comfortable positioning.

Positioning yourself close to the patient you can help maintain a healthy upright posture. Some tricks to do this include:

  • Adjust the treatment unit so the patient is at the appropriate height.
  • Ensure hip line is horizontal.
  • Ensure there are no physical barriers to accessing the patient’s oral cavity.
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Jacqueline J.A. Bos-Huizer

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