FIX YOUR POSTURE, FIX YOUR PAIN Posture awareness workshop for Dentists, Dental Surgeons and Dental Hygienists.

Take a simple, do-it-yourself approach to resolving some of the postural problems that lead to neck pain, back pain and hand wrist forearm problems for dentists and dental hygienists.

Dentists suffer from the same occupational issues that plague surgeons, musicians, artists, manual therapists, skateboarders, surfers, golfers and tennis players.

The nature of the work you do requires that the body adopts a certain position to best complete that work. In dentistry your accuracy and precision and control matter a lot to you and your patient. Being accurate and precise to the tune of a few millimeters here or there makes the difference between a satisfactory result and an unacceptable result.

The first step in correcting occupationally-induced posturally-perpetuated  pain and function problems is to become aware of what causes them.  Acknowledging the causes is the first step.

Causes include approaching the same task in exactly the same way every single time you do it.

A postural deviation you’re very familiar with is bending forwards in spinal flexion and then rotating to one side or the other depending on which  hand you use for stabilizing and which hand you use for working.  When you make this kind of move are you aware of what your head and neck are having to do so that you can see exactly what it is that you are doing?  Have you noticed if you are keeping your wrist in neutral as much as you can or is it frequently in extension, flexion, ulnar deviation, radial deviation?

There are many things you can do to counteract these postural necessities? Take breaks when possible. The better you are at your work the busier you will be. The busiest dentists tend to take the least amount of breaks. Areas of the body that shorten include the biggest muscle of the shoulder, the Pectoralis Major.  It will have a tendency to become stronger, shorter, less elastic, develop a shorter resting length, and limit the mobility of your upper arm and therefore your hand and wrist.  One first step in becoming aware of this is to notice what your upper arm is doing for you:  its rotation, flexion, extension, adduction and abduction allows you to position your hand wrist and forearm precisely where you want it.

One of the things that directly affects the mobility, flexibility and health of your lower back is the condition of your  abdominal musculature.  In most cases your Rectus Abdominis, which reaches from your lower front rib cage/diaphragm to your pubic bone, becomes generally shorter, creating the classic “tucked-in-shirt-syndrome’. It becomes even shorter on the side to which you bend to do your work. Associated muscles, such as the obliques that help fill the space between the hips and the ribs become shortened on one side and lengthened on the other. Over a period of hours, days, months, years and decades this issue becomes a real and direct threat to the spine.  It results in rotation, flexion and compression of the lumbar thoracic and cervical spine. This can lead to stiffness and inflexibility and in some cases disk compressions, spinal dysfunction and associated pain problems.

This workshop identifies what you’re doing and, and how to counteract what you’re doing on a daily basis so that you do not develop the postural deviations that are damaging to your body.  If you already have these problems, this workshop will teach you how to identify them and counteract them starting at once.

You will leave this hands-on, do-it-yourself workshop knowing how to minimize the effects of what’s required of you in your work.  You will also learn how to identify on yourself the things that are causing you trouble and how to take care of those problems in the future.