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VOLUME 22 , ISSUE 8 ( August, 2021 ) > List of Articles


Cervical and Lumbar Pain among Dental Interns in Saudi Arabia: A National Cross-sectional Study

Keywords : Dental students, Lower back pain, Musculoskeletal disorders, Neck pain

Citation Information : Cervical and Lumbar Pain among Dental Interns in Saudi Arabia: A National Cross-sectional Study. J Contemp Dent Pract 2021; 22 (8):860-866.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10024-3160

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 09-11-2021

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2021; The Author(s).


Background: Previous evidence indicated that musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are highly prevalent among dentists. However, limited data are available on the prevalence and predictors for cervical and lumbar pain, the two most common subtypes of MSDs reported internationally. Aim and objective: The aim and objective of this nationwide cross-sectional study was to assess the prevalence and predictors of cervical and lumbar pain among dental interns in Saudi Arabia. Materials and methods: Data were collected using an online survey that was distributed to dental interns who graduated during the 2018–2019 academic year from all dental schools in Saudi Arabia. The survey included questions related to sociodemographic characteristics, symptoms of MSDs, and ergonomic preventive practices. Bivariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were performed to assess several predictors of cervical and lumbar pain among our sample population. Results: Of the 1,552 eligible interns, 889 (57%) completed the survey (mean age: 24.8 years, 55% female), with 65% enrolled at public universities. The overall prevalence of cervical pain was 41%, and the corresponding prevalence for lumbar pain was 32%. Female participants had significantly higher odds of reporting cervical pain [odds ratio (OR): 2.02, p <0.001]. Participants who typically avoid excessive bending and twisting were significantly less likely to report cervical pain and lumbar pain (OR: 0.51, p <0.001, and 0.46, p <0.0001, respectively). Conclusion: Cervical pain and lumbar pain are highly prevalent among Saudi dental interns. Female sex was identified as a potential risk factor for cervical pain, and avoiding bending and twisting during dental work was identified as a protective factor for cervical and lumbar pain. Clinical significance: Our results indicate that cervical and lumbar pain represent relevant health issues for dental students. Our data add further support to the notion that dental schools should consider enhancing training on dental ergonomics, enabling healthier careers for future dentists in Saudi Arabia.

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