4 Tips for Dentists: Managing Neck and Back Pain

Back and neck pain are unfortunately very common problems among dentists.

In fact, it’s often said that finding someone who has a long history of practicing dentistry without these types of issues, is very rare.

Some dentists have found the pain to be so unbearable that they’ve had to sell their practice or go through a transition in which their role fundamentally changes to one that is more managerial or administrative.

Here are 4 ways to manage back and neck pain as a dentist.

  1. Choose the right dental chair

Finding the right dental chair is an incredibly important decision. You need to consider the fact that spending hundreds or thousands of hours in your chair has a significant impact on your posture.

This means that ensuring that you do some research and have the right chair – even if it costs a little more – could save you a lot of pain, time, and money spent further down the line on medical treatments.

  1. See a chiropractor or physical therapist regularly

Most people only consider seeing a chiropractor once the pain they are experiencing is unbearable, and only until the immediate sensations go away. The reality, however, is that you should be seeing a chiropractor regularly, particularly if you are spending long hours in an examination chair.

Learning proper posture and work habits can really only go so far, therefore it’s important to have a professional look at your spine frequently. If you aren’t interested in a chiropractor, there are other physical therapies such as pilates, which can go a long way to helping you.

  1. Exercise the right way

Most people consider exercise simply as something that improves your strength or cardiovascular endurance. However, while these are important, for a dentist they are not the first things to consider.

Focus on functional strength, balance, and proper posture. This can be difficult for those who have spent most of their sporting lives engaged in more competitive or aggressive forms of exercise. However, yoga or Pilates are great places to start to reduce, and even eliminate, back and neck pain.

  1. Use a foam roller or stability ball

Self-myofascial stretching is a type of exercise that uses a foam roller or medicine ball, and your own weight, to stretch tendons and release pain. There are dozens of guides online, and it’s important that you use these techniques as a preventative measure, not just to relieve pain once it is already present.

Remember, spinal health is important to your vitality, and as a result, the life of your practice.

If you’re experiencing too much pain to work, or you are simply sluggish and less effective, it can negatively impact the profitability and value of your office.


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