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    5 steps to a pain-free dental career

    These essential steps can be invaluable to preventing pain and ensuring career longevity.


    Fig. 2Fig. 23. Resolve your trigger points 

    Major trigger points should be resolved before any strengthening exercise is attempted. Painful trigger points are common among dental operators due to poor postures, improper body mechanics, repetitive movement, sustained muscle contraction and mental stress. Unfortunately, trigger points are often overlooked in traditional Western medicine and patients are sent from specialist to specialist with no resolution to their pain.

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    Among dentists, trigger points occur in numerous muscles (Fig. 2). In the operatory, trigger points can develop from improper positioning, poorly adjusted scopes and a myriad of other ergonomic pitfalls, and require special operatory modifications. If allowed to persist untreated, trigger points can cause a myriad of musculoskeletal pain and dysfunctions.

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    It is important to relieve trigger points as soon as possible to restore nutrient flow to the muscle, prevent muscle imbalances and prevent compression on nerves. There are various methods to treat trigger points; however, due to costs, time constraints or convenience, self-treatment is often the most practical and economical consideration.





    Dr. Bethany Valachi, PT, MS, CEAS
    Dr. Bethany Valachi, PT, DPT, MS, CEAS is DPR’s ergonomics editor and author of the book,“Practice Dentistry Pain-Free” and clinical ...


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