Dr. Kasturi Mukherjee, Dr. Debarshi Jana, Dr. Somnath Gangopadhyay


Background: Orthodontics is a dental profession is highly rewarding but not without consequences. Orthodontists are exposed to number of occupational hazards of which the most common is musculoskeletal disorder (MSD). The study is to determine the prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders i.e  pain in different anatomic locations among Indian orthodontists .

Methods :A cross sectional survey was conducted . 150 orthodontists aged between (31 – 60)  years  were  the sampling frame. A structured, close – ended questionnaire had been developed , modifying the Standardized Nordic Questionnaire. Dental Workstation Observation Check List, was developed specifically for the study purpose by modifying the Ergonomics Recommendations for Dental Programs from Indian Health Service to determine the work posture of the orthodontists. Rapid upper limb assessment was also done to determine the risk zone of the professional.

Results: Orthodontists reported a high prevalence of various types of work-related musculoskeletal symptoms and most of them perceived symptoms from the lower back, neck and shoulders. The present study revealed that maximum orthodontists felt pain occasionally in the region of upper back (86.7%) followed by neck and low back (53.3% each) then comes the shoulder pain which consists of 46.7% occasionally. Maximum pain felt (often) in the region of low back which consists of 26.7%.

Conclusion:   Various socio-demographic and clinical variables contributed to the develop musculoskeletal disorders among orthodontists.  The present study reveals low back pain, followed by neck and shoulder pain are common complaint of the orthodontists. It is also important to be aware of the warning signs of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) and to seek medical intervention as early as possible. Regular exercises, frequent breaks, correct posture can increase efficiency and prolong the professional careers.


Orthodontists, Musculoskeletal disorders, Questionnaire study, Work station evaluation

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