Many dental hygienists work in pain or know others suffering from musculoskeletal disorders, known as MSDs. Tendonitis, tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, and other MSDs are injuries caused by wear and tear to the tendons, nerves, muscles, and joints.
Symptoms of MSDs include pain, aching, burning, stiffness, swelling, redness, and limited range of joint motion. If the cause is ignored, occasional pain can turn into chronic pain, which does not get better with rest or over-the-counter pain medicine. Dental hygienists and their employers can prevent MSDs by paying attention to ergonomics. This means taking simple and practical steps to design or arrange the workplace for safe and efficient work.