[Frequency and manifestations of back pain in the dental profession]

Schweiz Monatsschr Zahnmed. 2008;118(7):610-8.
[Article in German]


Dentists, dental hygienists and dental assistants due to the nature of their work-related physical activity often have to deal with physical stress that will cause actual physical damage. The aim of the current survey was to analyse the frequency of job-related pain and associated impairment. The questionnaire for the cervical and lumbal region of the North American Spine Society was modified and used in the present investigation. Out of 6962 subjects, 2025 returned the questionnaire (response rate 34.5%). Between 20% and 36% of the participants suffered from pain in the cervical and lumbal region and were impaired in their daily activities, particularly during the lifting of objects, while standing or sleeping. Almost 40% of the dentists and 53% of the dental hygienists/dental assistants experienced problems related to perceived pain during or after dental treatments. More than half of the participants had already sought out medical help and/or physiotherapy due to job-related pain. The present data indicate that prophylactic and therapeutically based preventative measures should be encouraged in order to prevent cervical and back pain in this affected occupational group.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Dentistry*
  • Ergonomics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Low Back Pain* / epidemiology
  • Low Back Pain* / prevention & control
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neck Pain* / epidemiology
  • Neck Pain* / prevention & control
  • Occupational Diseases* / epidemiology
  • Occupational Diseases* / prevention & control
  • Prevalence
  • Sickness Impact Profile
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Switzerland / epidemiology