Lower back and neck pain among dentistry students: a cross-sectional study in dentistry students in Northern Greece
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Dentistry students and dentists comprise a unique group of professionals, whose everyday professional activity requires long hours of standing and working in a position considered unhealthy for the lower back and neck. Our aim was to explore the factors involved in the appearance of low back and neck pain in dentistry students as well as the impact of the pain on the students’ professional and everyday activities.
Materials and methods
A questionnaire was given to all dentistry students of the 4th and 5th year of our university. The questionnaire included 43 questions regarding demographic data, history (spinal injury, other comorbidities), daily activities (exercise, smoking, alcohol and caffeine consumption, use of cell phone), professional activities (length and type of dental work), pattern and intensity of pain, and personal pain evaluation. A statistical analysis of the gathered data was performed.
All students having suffered a spinal trauma or indicating any other comorbidity that could cause severe pain of the spine were excluded from the study. Fifty-five students (21 male, 34 female) were included. Our data showed that increased alcohol consumption and prolonged use of cell phone were connected to increased levels of pain. The students reported that the most frequent onset of pain was 1 h after starting to work in a standing position, while the majority believed that their working habits were involved in the appearance and the intensity of neck and low-back pain.
Our findings indicate that among dentistry students appears to be a causative relationship between their professional activities and the experienced spinal pain. These findings may be useful in a possible future restructuring of the educational program in dental schools, as well as in improving the ergonomics of dentistry working units.
KeywordsLower back pain Neck pain Dentistry students
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
Authors Efthimios Samoladas, Christina Barmpagianni, Dimitrios V. Papadopoulos, and Ioannis D. Gelalis declare that they have no conflict of interest.