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Back pain

I am a dental hygienist who has been practicing only 4 years, and I have severe back pain. Can you ask if anyone has tried a saddle stool, or any other type of ergonomic-friendly chair that has helped their back?



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Author Note:
I already have loupes with a headlamp that I love .

9 Answers

What might work for one hygienist may not work for another when it comes to chairs. If it is possible to attend a dental convention, trying out many brands to see which works for you is best. Also, remember your ergonomics taught in school! Try to be mindful of how you are sitting and and try to correct the source of the problem otherwise a new chair won’t help. Building core strength, stretching, massage, and regular chiropractic appointments helps too. I also agree that loupes are a big help too!

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Since you stated you have loupes with headlamp a saddle stool may not work unless you can change your working distance in your loupes. The working distance will be greater than a chair. My saddle stool and loupe distance was 17-18″ and in a regular chair it was 13-14″. Big difference when everything goes to a blur out if the working distance.
Posturedontics website has tried different stools and has a review. I love her boom Practicing Dentistry Pain free.

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I have a saddle stool which I love. It takes a little getting used to at first. You can raise it up a big more than a regular chair, so that you are in a “sit-stand” position. Mine foes not have a back or arm rests as they didn’t seem helpful. My back feels great! You must maintain a tripod type stance and bend at the waist, using your core strength. My boss doesn’t like it but he bought it for me and is happy that I like it. He only has to sit on it for a few minutes at a time anyway 🙂 you should be able to ask your dental sales rep about getting one on loan so that you can try it out. Mine was around $800 but like I said, my boss paid for it as my old chair was horrible!

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I feel fortunate to be in my 28th year and just now experience some problems….mostly neck and diaphram (trapesius)…my chair doesn’t seem to matter much (although have never tried a saddle stool)…I find yoga and a foam roller keep me limber and limit too much trouble…dropping Saturdays seems to have made me feel better too 😀 lol but that may just be nice in my mind 🙂

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LOOPS!!!

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Loops are great for maintaining posture. Also a saddle chair is what I use and live it. You can check with your dental rep and they can usually loan one for trial for a couple weeks.

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When I started at my current office 10 years ago, I had been practicing for 27 years and my back/neck were done. All operatories were equipped with Sally Saddle chairs and the minute I sat on one, I fell in love. It just puts the pelvis and spine in a perfect position, and I’ve been comfortable ever since. No problem with loupes even though they were fitted to me while using a standard stool. Pretty sure I would not still be able to practice if I had not switched to my Sally Saddle.

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I stand up for most of the day. It is not regulatory but I’ve always had a rebel streak. Additionally, I find that when I stand I firm up my core and strengthen my posture. I am a yoga enthusiast and I find this has helped me deter the common aches and pains touted by dental hygienists.

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I found Massage and stretching to help my pain tremendously! I also found sitting with my bottom all the way to the back of the chair (traditional operator chair) helped me sit up straighter. I stand for about 30% of the prophies I do now too. Good luck! 🙂

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