Aim: Musculoskeletal pain (MSP) is a highly prevalent and debilitating disorder among dentists, often leading to early retirement. Poor ergonomics in the dental practice not only causes MSP, but can also lead to postural deviations as a result of an imbalance in muscle function. The aim of this study was to observe the relationship between MSP and vertebral deviations among male dentists in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Materials and methods: A total of 60 male dentists participated in this cross-sectional study. Standardized Nordic questionnaire (SNQ) was used to record MSP and PostureScreen Mobile® (PSM) application was used to observe postural deviations in the vertebral regions, including the neck, shoulders, upper back, lower back, and hips.
Results: About 83% of participants were suffering from MSP, with the lower back as the most commonly reported region (29%). The pain characteristics reported were chronicity (63%) and dullness (72%). As for postural deviations, the most common site recorded was the neck region (72%). The correlation between the regions of deviation and the regions of pain showed that the shoulder region was more significant than other regions.
Conclusion: Musculoskeletal pain and vertebral malalignment are common among practicing dentists, probably because of bad postural habits and lack of awareness. Preventive strategies to minimize the risk of developing these health problems are highly recommended.
Clinical significance: Work-related MSP (WRMSP) is a significant health problem among dentists and may be linked to the later development of vertebral deviations. Posture screen analysis is a quick, yet objective postural and movement screening tool in which findings can quickly be rendered to prospective dentists, so that custom postural and functional exercises may be correctly practiced.
Keywords: Dentists; Musculoskeletal pain; Posture screen Vertebral malalignment..