One way to succeed as a massage therapist is to identify a niche clientele to market to. Dental professionals are one type of client with unique pain problems.

New research looked at the ergonomic factors and the presence of muscular pain in dental students.

Eighty-three students participated. Data collection was obtained by means of a structured questionnaire for ergonomic factors, and the presence of pain was identified palpating the muscles object of the study by a physical therapist, according to an abstract on www.pubmed.gov.

The variables evaluated were:

• presence of pain

• affected muscles

• affected zones

• gender

• postures; and

• work environment

“The adoption of inadequate postures such as exaggerated flexions or cervical torsions could generate a higher frequency of muscular pain in dental students,” the investigators noted. The approximating muscle of the thumb, for example, showed 11 percent frequency of pain.

“Dentists are prone, since the beginning of their clinical practice as students, to lesions of the skeletal muscle system due to the clinical exercise of the profession, being the most common, muscle pain in the back, neck, shoulders and hands,” the investigators continued.

The investigators noted that initiating an occupational health program promoting healthy lifestyles in dental students’ academic environment and their future professional life, at the beginning of their clinical practice in dental school, would benefit dentists.

The research was published in Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology and Oral Surgery.

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