Exercise intervention for a musculoskeletal disorder in an oral health student: a case report

N Z Dent J. 2013 Mar;109(1):12-6.


Objectives: to describe and evaluate the effect of an exercise self-management programme for an oral health student who was suffering from a musculoskeletal disorder which had developed in the clinical environment during the course of training.

Design: Single participant case report.

Setting: The University of Otago Faculty of Dentistry and School of Physiotherapy.

Methods: The participant was a 21-year-old female student, enrolled in the University of Otago Bachelor of Oral Health (BOH) course, who was suffering back and neck pain which had developed during her training. A series of chairside stretches, regular home-based stretches, aerobic conditioning and postural strengthening exercises was prescribed. Pain and function was assessed using standardised questionnaires at the commencement of the exercise programme, and again at 6 weeks and 13 weeks.

Results: The participant demonstrated an improvement in her outcome questionnaires exceeding the MCID scores after 13 weeks.

Conclusions: This case report provides a basis for highlighting the importance of measuring and monitoring MSD in a student learning oral health skills; it supports the findings of previous studies showing that an exercise intervention has some benefit for MSD in oral health students.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Exercise Therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Low Back Pain / etiology
  • Low Back Pain / therapy
  • Musculoskeletal Pain / etiology
  • Musculoskeletal Pain / therapy*
  • Neck Pain / etiology
  • Neck Pain / therapy
  • Occupational Diseases / etiology
  • Occupational Diseases / therapy*
  • Self Care
  • Students, Dental*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult