pain chart

Musculoskeletal pain, particularly in the back and neck regions, is an all too common occurrence for dentists operators. The prolonged positioning that is required to complete most dental procedures forces operators into positions that can cause pain over time.

At some point in the careers of dentists and hygienists:

  1. 75% will report symptoms of neck pain
  2. 70% will suffer from wrist and hand pain
  3. 60% will have significant back pain

These symptoms can shorten careers, force dentists to accept fewer patients and cause significant discomfort throughout the work day. They are legitimate concerns that every dental provider must face, which is why it is important to take the following precautions to help prolong your career and reduce pain:

Stretch Often

It’s easy to forget to stretch throughout the work day, especially when patient load is significant and notes are piling up. But stretching often will keep your muscles loose and flexible.

Try stretching before work, after work and in between patients as often as you can.

Find out which stretches are best for dental providers.


Like stretching, there are many exercises you can do that have been proven to reduce pain. Studies have found that regular regimen of exercise reduced neck and shoulder pain in patients and prevented musculoskeletal issues.

Pain and soreness are often the result of muscle weakness, so strengthen the muscles around and within the area to help reduce pain.

Position Patients Properly

The most effective and time-efficient way to reduce pain is to properly position your patients and yourself during treatment. The way you position your patients can drastically reduce the chances of prolonged musculoskeletal problems.

A simple repositioning of the patient’s head will allow you to maintain a more ergonomic posture and give you greater access to the patient’s teeth. Rather than relying on prolonged (and often awkward) static positions, you will be able to work more comfortably and reduce pain in your neck, back, shoulders, elbows and wrists.

Proper Positioning with Dental Chair Accessories

Our dental chair accessories allow dental providers to position patients so that they can maintain an ergonomic posture while they work. They are the perfect solution to operator pain and patient discomfort.

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