Chronic musculoskeletal pain is also one of the leading causes for dentists to retire prematurely. Dentists have reported increased prevalence rates of chronic neck pain, shoulder pain, carpal tunnel syndrome and back pain. It is vital to avoid these problems from the beginning of our careers to avoid its ill effects later. As dental students, we concentrate on improving on our clinical work. Seldom do we concentrate on our work posture. So how can we do it?
Just like Leslie Knope and Ron Swanson in Parks & Recreation, I can’t imagine why “anybody would ever eat anything besides breakfast food.” According to a recent survey by Kellogg’s, more than 50 percent of adults would like to eat breakfast daily, but only a third take the time to actually do so.
These statistics are baffling, because I couldn’t imagine skipping breakfast. But while I don’t skip breakfast, I have been known to eat breakfast at my desk. That’s a behavior I’m trying to stop.
For many, the holidays bring memories of frosting sugar cookies, spending precious time with family near and far and looking forward to a bright new year. Unfortunately for others, the holidays can look and feel very different. They may spend the season in solitude, or their holiday obligations may bring on unnecessary stress. I know for me, the holidays have been more difficult to celebrate since losing both my mother and father. Those of us who have lost close family members may find if painful to take part in the same holiday traditions once celebrated.
I will always remember learning how to cut a crown preparation for the first time. As I sat in class and looked down at my hands, I wondered if they would ever be skilled and steady enough to refine a margin or achieve the perfect taper. I felt intimidated, but the crushing weight and pressure on my chest did not feel like normal school stress or anxiety. At that exact moment, life was literally throwing me a curve ball (or as I later found out, three).
In our lab session following class, I found myself struggling to catch my breath and felt extreme discomfort in my chest and arms. With the help of faculty members and classmates, I was taken to the emergency room, where I waited for hours with many unanswered questions. My diagnosis finally came: three pulmonary emboli. While it felt reassuring to know exactly what I was facing, I had no idea what a long struggle the recovery would be.
For me, ASDA’s Wellness Initiative came at a perfect time. The introduction of Wellness Challenges happened to coincided with my newfound desire to take better care of myself by eating well and exercising more regularly. I wanted to be as healthy as I could so that I could set a good example for my patients as a dentist.
The June Wellness Challenge encouraged participants to “take on a new physical challenge,” and the opportunity presented itself when I was invited to join two friends for a yoga class. I had always been interested in trying out yoga, so I excitedly joined them for the class, borrowed mat in hand.
We don’t always realize how extensively we use our hands during the day. From writing or eating to lifting groceries or working out, our hands are often our connection to the outside world. A dentist’s livelihood depends on his or her hands, especially whichever hand we consider dominant.