We all want the easy solution – a single “thing” we can obtain with minimal effort and maximum results. The reason that mindset doesn’t work is because ergonomics, like body pain and loss of function, is a multifaceted problem with multifaceted solutions. Said differently, buying a single item isn’t THE solution even when it can be PART of the solution the same as a puzzle requires more than one piece to be complete.
In the clinical world of dental we have a naturally awkward workspace. In an effort to keep from being injured we employ techniques and tools to help keep us in neutral posture. Some of those things are saddle stools, loupes with lights, indirect vision and proper patient/operator positioning.
When we fail in those areas and begin the injury process of cellular death, we then turn to treatment like chiropractic and physical therapy – or when the dysfunction is allowed to go too far, surgery! After getting varying degrees of results we go back to doing the exact thing that we did before only to find that the injury returns. This is the definition of insanity in case anyone is wondering…
The solution is to get to the root of the problem (HOW we work) and fix it by using ergonomic strategies that help us to work clinically in neutral posture. But it doesn’t stop there. It’s also making sure that we have a strong foundation for the job we signed up for. Anyone who has leaned over a patient to see/reach a maxillary molar and leaves work exhausted knows full well that we don’t come to the table with adequate musculature without some strengthening. But it doesn’t stop there either! We have to stretch FREQUENTLY and properly. We have to use tools that help us to be efficient while promoting neutral posture. We have to stay hydrated, well rested, and the list goes on.
Taking just 1 piece of the puzzle can get some results but to get results with the greatest chance of career longevity we should utilize as many pieces of the puzzle as possible in the most consistent manner possible.