Overview: Despite the availability of highly sophisticated dental equipment, several ergonomic risk factors such as repetitive tasks and non-neutral physical postures do contribute greatly to work-related musculoskeletal disorders in dental surgeons. The current study was carried out to analyze the correlation between ergonomic risk factors and work-related musculoskeletal disorders in terms of perception of pain and stiffness experienced by dental surgeons.
Materials and Methods: One hundred and thirty dental surgeons with one year of work experience and having moderate to severe pain on the Numeric Pain Rating Scale were asked to participate in the pre-test. Both male and female dental surgeons were equally distributed and they were in the age group of 20-35 years. After explaining the purpose of the study, an informed written consent was obtained from the participants on voluntary basis. After a six week ergonomic awareness training program, the correlation between ergonomic risk factors and work-related musculoskeletal disorders were analyzed using structured questionnaire, Musculoskeletal Disorder Rating Scale and Dental Workstation Observation Checklist.
Results: A significant positive correlation was observed in the post-test between (i) physical energy demands (r=0.285, p=0.001), other musculoskeletal demands (r=0.578, p < 0.001) and intensity of pain. (ii) Other musculoskeletal demands(r = 0.404, p < 0.001) and frequency of stiffness.
Conclusion: Work-related musculoskeletal disorders resulting from various ergonomic risk factors in clinical dentistry can be mitigated by application of ergonomic awareness training program.
Pain, Stiffness, Physical energy demands, Environment, Manual material handling, other musculoskeletal demands.