Musculoskeletal disorders among a group of Iranian general dental practitioners.J Back Musculoskelet Rehabil. 2015; 28(4):755-9.JB
Dentists have to remain in a fixed position during dental practices for the accuracy required, therefore they are susceptible to musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).
Considering the infrequency of ergonomics studies in general dental practitioners (GDPs), especially in cervical region, this study aimed to reviews MSDs in the neck region among GDPs.
An analytic cross-sectional study was carried out among the GDPs in 2011. A total of 60 dentists (40 males and 20 females) were examined through a combination of questionnaires (concerning their demographic information) such as the Nordic standardized musculoskeletal disorder questionnaire (NMQ) and Body Discomfort Assessment questionnaire (BDA). Each dentist's working posture was assessed using Rapid Upper Limb Assessment (RULA) and deep cervical flexor muscle endurance through a Craniocervical Flexion test (CCFT). Descriptive statistical indexes and Chi-square test were used for statistical analysis, while considering p< 0.05.
The mean dental practice experience was 16.9 ± 5.6 years with average 41.2 ± 13.4 working hours per week. About 45% of dentists took regular exercises weekly. Some 83.3% of these dentists expressed to be suffering from the cervical pain, whereas, 56.7% complained about back pains and 41% shoulder problems. Female dentists were found more at risk of neckache, discomfort and pain in shoulder and hand than males. Greater pain frequency in knee was found in more experienced and older age dentists (P= 0.07). Results from the CCF test showed that the deep cervical flexor muscles endurance increased with regular exercise and decreased with aging.
Many dentists experience the MSDs, especially in cervical region, as a consequence of occupational stresses. Therefore, detecting occupational risk factors, standards of work position, regular exercise and following ergonomic policy are intensely recommended.