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Practice in Motion: Part II - 6 Components of Posture

Course Number: 554

The Six Components of Posture Videos

Video 1. Component 1 - Base of Support.

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Video 2. Component 2 - The Pelvis.

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Video 3. Component 3 - The Lumbar Spine.

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Video 4. Component 4 - Trunk.

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Video 5. Component 5 - Shoulders.

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Video 6. Component 6 - Head and Neck.

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Dental professionals who lack the understanding of proper body mechanics do not have the knowledge to actively participate in protecting themselves from musculoskeletal disorders. While many accept discomfort as part of the profession, early intervention upon realization of symptoms may assist with preventing serious or permanent injury.

Dental professionals at risk for musculoskeletal disorders may experience the following symptoms:

  1. Fatigue, or stiffness in joints

  2. Reduced range of motion (ROM) in the back, neck, or shoulders

  3. Pain in the back, neck, forearms, wrists/hands

  4. Numbness or burning in the legs, arms, or hands

  5. Muscle cramping

  6. Loss of strength

Although these symptoms may not necessarily lead to a musculoskeletal disorder, it is important to recognize them and seek intervention if they persist. Acknowledging that fatigue in any position, whether correct or incorrect, is a precursor to discomfort that can lead to symptoms that may cause pain/injury is important. When fatigued, clinicians should alter their position, move to another quadrant, or take a short break. Awareness of proper body mechanics is key to making informed decisions about sitting and moving to minimize pain and injury.

Table 2 summarizes the protective positions and ranges for each of the six body regions discussed in the videos and can be used as a decision-making guide for posture and positioning.1 Constructed upon the foundational principles underlying alignment, the parameters set in the table aim to minimize load and stress to pain sensitive tissues when sitting. Sitting properly is not intended to be a static event, but fluid movement in the most energy efficient ranges and patterns. In turn, the conservation of energy will minimize fatigue, and in the long run, pain and/or pathology.

Table of summary of protective positions and ranges.

Table 2. Summary of Protective Positions and Ranges.