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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. 3Fig. 34. Develop good flexibility

    Chairside stretching will help you regain full range of motion and prepare you for strengthening (Fig. 3). Overstretching muscles with active trigger points may cause micro-tearing of muscle, which is why stretching is recommended after trigger point treatment.

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    Since dental professionals are prone to muscle imbalances, it is important to ensure you are targeting the correct muscles with your stretching. Rather than stretching muscles that are already elongated, focus on the muscles that tend to become short, tight and ischemic.

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    Chairside stretching is an important strategy to perform throughout the workday to prevent microtrauma and muscle imbalances, especially for men, who are more prone to musculoskeletal injury due to poorer flexibility than women. Stretching is especially important after prolonged static postures, and even more so if awkward positions were assumed. 

     

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

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