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Prevalence of musculoskeletal pain of the neck, upper extremities and lower back among dental practitioners working in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: a cross-sectional study
  1. Omar A Al-Mohrej1,
  2. Nouf S AlShaalan2,
  3. Waad M Al-Bani2,
  4. Emad M Masuadi3,
  5. Hind S Almodaimegh4
  1. 1College of Medicine, King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  2. 2College of Dentistry, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  3. 3Research Unit, Medical Education Department, College of Medicine, King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  4. 4College of Pharmacy, King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Hind S Almodaimegh; modaimeghh{at}


Objectives Studies have shown that dentists have a higher incidence of work-related musculoskeletal (MSK) pain than those in other occupations. The risk factors contributing to MSK pain among Saudi dentists has not been fully studied so this study aims to estimate the prevalence of MSK pain and investigate its associated risk factors among dentists in Saudi Arabia.

Setting and participants A cross-sectional survey was carried out in the capital city Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, using random cluster sampling. 224 surveys were distributed among dentists with a 91.1% response rate (101 women and 103 men).

Outcomes The prevalence of MSK pain and its associated risk factors were investigated.

Results 184 (90.2%) respondents reported having MSK pain. Lower back pain was the most commonly reported MSK pain (68.1%). Gender and age were reported to be predictors for at least one type of MSK pain. Older age was associated with lower back pain (OR 1.23; 95% CI 1.00 to 1.50) and women had double the risk of shoulder pain (OR 2.52; 95% CI 1.12 to 5.68). In addition, lower back pain was related to the time the dentist spent with patients (OR 0.28; 95% CI 0.14 to 0.54), while shoulder pain (OR 1.03; 95% CI 1.00 to 1.06) and lower back pain (OR 1.06; 95% CI 1.03 to 1.10) were significantly related to years of experience.

Conclusions MSK pain is common among older and female Saudi dentists. Research on the impact of exercise and the ergonomics of the workplace on the intensity of MSK pain and the timing of its onset is required.

  • musculoskeletal symptoms
  • work-related
  • risk factors
  • dental setting
  • dental ergonomics

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