Another health issue

06 January 2021
4 min read

Zoe Fairlamb explains how back pain is on the rise for dentists during the pandemic.

There has been a lot of talk around how our mental health has suffered during Covid-19. But through my work as a back pain specialist and Pilates teacher, I have seen another health issue developing alongside this: low back pain. Back pain is certainly not a new issue for dentists, with one 2015 study published in the BDA finding that up to 50 per cent of dental students experience lower back pain. However, following long periods of sitting during lockdown and then having to adapt to new working conditions, complaints of back pain amongst dentists are on the rise.

Dentistry is a unique profession in that it is simultaneously sedentary and physical. Day-to-day, the job requires long periods of sitting, as well as bending over people and holding awkward positions for long periods of time. To make matters worse, the PPE now required for Covid-19 has made it even more challenging to work comfortably and maintain a good posture. Essentially, being a dentist requires a base level of strength which can seem difficult to maintain when you already work long hours and are busy at home with family.

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