MUSCULOSKELETAL COMPLAINS AMONG DENTISTS: FOCUS ON CERVICAL SPINE INVOLVEMENT

Cristina Iordache , Ana Maria Fatu, Raluca Ignat , Cristina Pomârleanu, Rodica Chirieac, Codrina Ancuta

ABSTRACT
Musculoskeletal pathology in dentistry settings has multifaceted triggers, including prolonged, either standing or sitting static postures, repetitive movements, vicious positions with excessive bending and rotation with subsequent overloading and overstress of the head, spine, scapula-humeral joint, hand, but also weight bearing joints such as hips and knees. The main objective of our study was to investigate the prevalence of musculoskeletal complains, especially cervical spine involvement, among dentists. We performed a cross-sectional study on 40 gender, age, and years of practice-matched subjects stratified in two groups according to their background profession – dentists in group I, general practitioners (GP) in group II, aiming to identify work-related musculoskeletal issues. A specific questionnaire derived from the Cornell Musculoskeletal Discomfort Questionnaire (CMDQ) was applied in all cases, evaluating the sitting discomfort and working performance; we focused on two main items that reflect the level of comfort or discomfort (item 1) and cervical pain on a visual analogue scale of 0-10 cm (item 2). Working in specific dental environment must complain with ergonomic recommendations, particularly focused on working posture aiming to limit as a feasible extent the overload on lumbar spine and excessive negative influence on cervical segment. Sitting on an ergonomic chair or alternating sitting with standing posture during working day should be promoted in routine dentistry practice. Work-related musculoskeletal complains, with special emphasis on cervical spine pathology, is commonly reported among dentists; both static and dynamic overstress of the vertebral structure are responsible for abnormal biomechanics and subsequent pathology in routine dental professional practice.
Key words: cervical spine, musculoskeletal disease, dental ergonomics, posture

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