As a dental hygienist, dentist or dental staff member, you put your patient’s comfort first. If a patient has a hard time reclining fully or positioning themselves for a cleaning or exam, you twist and contort to make it work. But this can take a toll on your back and neck.
It’s easy to develop poor posture or hunched shoulders to try to compensate for the pain. These bad habits can lead to lifelong aches, shooting pains and even chronic headaches.
Try these simple adjustments during your next work week:
- Consider taking a weekly yoga class to increase your flexibility and improve mobility
- Ask your practice to invest in ergonomic seating, such as saddle stools, to help align your body while you work
- Be mindful of your posture, even when you aren’t working on a patient
- Schedule a therapeutic massage to ease your pain and stretch your muscles
- Take a minute between each patient to stand up, realign and stretch. Post our “Daily Stretches for Dental Staff” infographic in your treatment area as a reminder.
If you work at a dental office and experience tension or pain from on-the-job tasks, you’re not alone. The California Department of Public Health created a video series about reducing discomfort for dental hygienists. If you’d like to learn more, watch the series and try these tactics in your own practice.