Spending much of their workday in a static, awkward working position, dentists are at high risk for neck and back pain. A repeated sitting posture of leaning toward patients, along with the careful movements and sustained positions of arms and hands during examination and treatment, can strain the lower back and weaken the muscles that are needed for stabilization.
The prevalence of back pain and job-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) among dentists has been well-documented in numerous studies over the years. And it is an issue that goes beyond the dental professional’s well-being and level of discomfort—chronic back pain and MSDs can impact the productivity of your practice, and often leads to an early retirement.
While there is no getting around the need to position oneself over a patient’s oral cavity, there are many actions that can be taken to avoid the muscular imbalance that leads to such problems. One such advantage is in the type of stool a dentist uses throughout the day, and an increasingly popular choice is the saddle seat, thanks to research pointing to a positive impact on the musculoskeletal system.
The benefits of a saddle stool include:
•Better posture as the vertebrae discs align naturally, resulting in immediate improved posture with less spinal muscle degeneration.
•Tension relief in the shoulder and neck area due to the improved positioning of the thoracic and cervical spine.
•Deeper breathing occurs due to the stretching of the torso allowing for better circulation, resulting in less fatigue.
•Improved mobility and reach is easily achieved as the legs are free to “scoot” around the operatory, while remaining seated.
Brewer, a company that has spent decades coming up with innovative seating solutions to help healthcare workers in the fight against MSDs, has patented Split-Saddle-Seat technology to optimize and enhance posture, improve comfort, and strengthen core muscles.
Brewer’s line of ergonomic stools now includes the 135DSS Dynamic Split-Saddle Stool. The unique split-saddle seat offers a 360° tilt that makes movement easier and more natural, and allows core muscles to become active in supporting the spine. In addition to strengthening spine stability muscles and pelvic and leg muscles, the seat is designed to improve circulation, as there is no edge to press against your upper legs. The veins and arteries that carry blood to and from legs are in the most open position for improved circulation.
To learn more about Brewer’s patented Split-Saddle-Seat technology, click here.