Dentist are at high risk of neck and back problems due to the limited work area, faulty ergonomic and impaired vision associated with the oral cavity. Increased risk of musculoskeletal disorders among dentist is associated with psychological stress, treating patients with high concentration and precision. Studied found back, neck shoulder, or arm pain present in up to 81% of dental professionals. The purpose of the study was to survey the health status among dentists in Chennai regarding the prevalence of pain and disability and effects of active muscle training and ergonomic education on pain and disability.
Aim: To find out prevalence of neck pain and the effectiveness of active neck muscle training and ergonomic education to relieve neck pain among dental professionals.
Methodology: Study was conducted in 2 phases. Phase 1 Survey study conducted on a sample of 100 Dentist in Chennai. A total of 100 dentist practicing in Chennai was given a validated questionnaire focused on MSDs. Subjects with musculoskeletal neck pain, who met the inclusion criteria based on phase 1 study were give active neck muscle training and ergonomic education in a group. A pre-test pain NPRS and NDI was taken from dentist. The participants were taught active neck muscle training and ergonomic education for 2 weeks under supervision. After two weeks of treatment assessment was taken to investigate the effect of active muscle training and ergonomic education on pain and disability among dentist. Post-test NPRS and functional outcome was taken and documented for statistical analysis.
Outcome Measures: Numerical pain rating scale (NPRS) for neck pain, The Neck Pain Disability Index (NDI) was used to measure the disability.
Statistical Analysis: Statistical analysis was done to identify the difference between pre and post-test measurements by paired t test analysis.
Results: For the outcome measures NPRS and NDI, paired t-test analysis showed significant statistical difference (p<0.05) between pre and post-test measurements.
Conclusion: It was recognized that limited ergonomics in the work environment of the dental professionals results in MSDs and the neck pain prevalence is high. Two week of active neck strength training and ergonomic education has seemed to enhance musculoskeletal neck pain and disability.