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Determining Risk Factors for Musculoskeletal Disorders

Workplace musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are the most common cause of limited or lost work time. According to the United States Bureau of Labor and Statistics, approximately 30% of work-related injuries are attributed to MSDs. As dental hygienists are at high risk of MSDs—impacting both career longevity and satisfaction—developing a foundation in evidence-based ergonomic principles is imperative.

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Ergonomics is the study of people at work with the goal of preventing MSDs and soft tissue damage produced by acute or chronic exposure to problematic posture, force, repetitive motion, and vibration.

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Research also suggests dental hygienists experience two times to three times more MSDs than dental assistants, and significantly higher rates of MSDs than dentists.

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Which of the following is an example of biomechanical stressors in dental hygiene?

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Biomechanical risk factors are unrelated to clinical care patterns among dental hygienists.

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The increased muscle load experienced by dental hygienists who go without a break between patients raises the risk of neck and shoulder MSDs.

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Which of the following interventions is used to decrease occupational MSD risk factors?

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Research indicates practicing dental hygienists and students may benefit from incorporating yoga into their daily routine.

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Determining Risk Factors for Musculoskeletal Disorders
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This information is from the article An Inside Look at Musculoskeletal Disorders Among Dental Hygienists by Shannon C. Thomason, CDA, RDH, MSDH, Jessica Suedbeck, RDH, MSDH, and Susan Lynn Tolle, BSDH, MS . To read the article, click here.

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