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01 Jul 2008 | Australasian Dental Practice

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Prevent pain and extend your career

Did you know that one third of dentists who retire early are forced to do so, due to a musculoskeletal disorder? In fact, 2 out of 3 dental professionals experience work related pain that can easily progress to an injury or early retirement. Dental professionals are prone to unique muscle imbalances and microtrauma, which require special intervention and exercise, which is why generic wellness systems often fail when aimed at dental professionals.


In her groundbreaking new book, "Practice Dentistry Pain free: Evidence-based Strategies to Prevent Pain and Extend Your Career", Bethany Valachi has taken the problem of work related pain in dentistry and distilled it into the basic 'whys' and 'hows' that are imperative to effective injury prevention and treatment. Solidly backed with over 300 scientific references, this comprehensive wellness guide raises the bar in the industry - bridging the gap between occupational pain and dental ergonomics by offering effective, evidence based interventions.

Specially developed for dentists and hygienists, the book is written in a user friendly format, with over 100 illustrations. Special chapters on low back, neck, shoulder and hand pain explain how the most common pain syndromes develop in dentistry, and target specific prevention and treatment strategies. Two chapters delve extensively into ergonomic equipment selection - how adjustment and usage impacts your musculoskeletal health. The exercise chapter highlights which types of exercise can improve or worsen dental professional's health.

A helpful 'Resources' section at the end of the book, provides readers with additional ergonomic resources and contact information, including products, specific models, and much more that the author has found valuable in her consultations. Also included are bonus chapters for the dental assistant and front office.

Not in pain? This book is especially useful for students, faculty, new graduates, those building new office or purchasing new equipment, to avoid costly investment in the wrong equipment that can adversely impact their health. Moreover, it is one of the best investments you can make in your health to ensure optimal musculoskeletal health and your career longevity.

Bethany Valachi is a physical therapist, certified ergonomic assessment specialist and dental ergonomic consultant who has provided ergonomic consultations to dental practices across the USA for over 10 years. She is clinical instructor of ergonomics at OHSU School of Dentistry in Portland, OR and lectures internationally.

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