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Back pain prevalence, intensity and associated factors in French dentists: a national study among 1004 professionals



Back pains are the most frequent musculoskeletal disorders among dentists, exposed to many work-related risk factors. We aimed to assess the prevalence and intensity of back pains as well as the impact of some work behaviors among a large sample of dentists.

Materials and methods

Data from 1004 French dentists were collected via an Internet questionnaire. Neck, upper back and lower back pains prevalence, intensity (0–10 scale) and consequences on work were studied, as well as sex, age, years of practice, working position, type of seat, stretching on work days.


Dentists were 77.9% to report chronic back pains, with intensity from 3.9 to 4.3 according to location. Women reported more frequent and intense pains than men in neck and upper back (OR 1.5). Age and years of practice were associated with more intense pains (OR up to 3.9), dentists alternating standing and sitting positions reported more frequent and more intense pains in upper and lower back (OR up to 1.5) than those with a fixed position, be it sitting or standing.


Prevalence and intensity of back pain are important among dentists and increase greatly over working life. Preventive methods such as ergonomics exist and awareness should be raised among dentists and dental student.

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Correspondence to Gabriel Fernandez de Grado.

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Fernandez de Grado, G., Denni, J., Musset, AM. et al. Back pain prevalence, intensity and associated factors in French dentists: a national study among 1004 professionals. Eur Spine J 28, 2510–2516 (2019).

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  • Musculoskeletal disorders
  • Dentistry
  • Occupational health
  • Ergonomics