If misery loves company, then the orthodontist’s office is the place to be as new research indicates that task of putting braces on children’s teeth is painful for the orthodontist as well as the patient.
The study, conducted by Dr. Shrawan Kumar from the University of Alberta, looked at both a practicing orthodontist and orthodontic students to determine what type of work-related strain was being placed on an orthodontist’s neck and back.
Student subjects ranged in age from 27 to 36; the practicing orthodontist in the study was 48 years old. Each subject was videotaped while performing his or her job duties. Tapes were analyzed on a frame-by-frame basis to determine the top-to-bottom compression load, the side-to-side shearing load, and the subject’s exposure time. After analysis, the total duration of daily work was found to be the equivalent of an hour’s continuous load on the spine of 450 kg for men (992 pounds) and 275 kg for women (606 pounds).
“Musculoskeletal disorders of the back and neck among orthodontists, and likely other similar professions, are prevalent, but because they don’t necessarily do heavy lifting or tasks that put an instant load on the back, these disorders have not been investigated,” Dr. Shrawan Kumar, a professor of physical therapy at the University of Alberta, said in a university press statement. “Although the tasks appear to be light and harmless, by virtue of the frequency and duration of their performance, they are rendered hazardous.”
Kumar recommended further research into applying concepts like ergonomics to help improve the work, the equipment and the workplace.
Source: University of Alberta