Codrina ANCUTA, Cristina IORDACHE, Mihai Țurcan, Norina FORNA
WORK-RELATED SHOULDER PATHOLOGY IN DENTISTRY
It is widely recognized that anatomic and functional integrity of the shoulder is critical for a highest performance during routine practice in different health-care professionals, particularly in dentistry. The main aim of this survey was to highlight the morbidity of musculoskeletal shoulder pathology and to demonstrate the role of physical therapy in the prevention and treatment of shoulder disorders among dentists. 30 dentists aged between 35 and 60, with a minimum of 10 years of experience in the medical field and at least 6 working hours per day, were selected for the study and classified in two groups: group A, consisting of 15 dentists performing a complex (general, specific) physical therapy program for the upper limb, and group B, 10 women and 5 men, who were not allowed to participate in the specific kinetic program. All the subjects were evaluated based on a protocol comprising the following variables: pain in the shoulder (character, location, intensity, radiation), joint mobility on flexion/extension/abduction/ adduction/rotation (internal, external), working position (standing, sitting), X-rays of the shoulder, physical therapy exercises on a daily basis (yes/no). The final follow-up was done at 12 months, when the same protocol was applied.
Both the upper limb and the spine are the most affected regions among dentists due vicious positions, repetitive movements, prolonged isometric muscle contraction and vibrations, typically related to routine professional activities. After the first 6 months, but also at the end of our survey, we demonstrated significant improvement of pain in subjects who were enrolled in the kinetic program; moreover, joint mobility was also better (maintained throughout the maximal range of motion) in dentists performing physical therapy daily.
An individualized kinetic program, typically designed for the shoulder, but including the upper arm joints, revealed the importance of physical therapy in the management of work-related musculoskeletal shoulder pathology