This week a dentist sent me a message about what the best form of exercise was for them, especially to prevent back and neck problems.
They had already tried improving posture and wearing special glasses called loupes, which magnify what the dentist is seeing, and prevent them from hunching too far forward to look into their patients’ mouths.
Being married to a dentist, having written articles in dental journals for and successfully treated several dentists and their teams since 2006, I naturally felt I had some expertise in this area.
The interesting thing about when a dentist asks me a question like this, is not that I don’t have the answer, but that as healthcare professionals, we fall into the patient trap.
That is where when we are seeking out advice for our own health, we go into a patient mode ourselves.
You see, if a patient of this dentist was to ask them “what’s the best toothbrush or toothpaste?” the response is dependent on a number of factors:
- Do they need soft bristles to reduce any trauma to already weak gums?
- Are they vegan, and therefore looking to avoid certain ingredients in their toothpaste?
In much the same way, there is no one particular exercise in my experience that a dentist must do to prevent back and neck problems.
“Problems”… now I like the way they asked about this. You see, most of the time we are looking for “pain relief” which is way too vague.
WARNING: Unpopular opinion about to be unleashed!
Too often I see adverts for products or articles stating they have found “the cure for back pain”.
Which is utter nonsense! Purely because pain is a result of a condition.
However, two people can have exactly the same back pain, but due to two completely different reasons.
More on this here: How To Get Rid Of Lower Back Pain
What I find most people who ask me about their problems is they are searching for the ONE THING.
SECRET SAUCE: The truth is that it is often a multi-factoral problem.
Here’s a checklist that I work through when a dentist visits me as a patient:
- How many hours a week do they do dental work?
- What type of dentistry do they do most of the time?
- What are they doing with their body for the rest of the week when not performing clinical dental activities? (with there being 168 hours a week, and most dentists spend 40 hours working, there’s a lot of time when the dentist is not doing dentistry)
- Are the loupes they have comfortable? Do they use them? (A surprisingly high number of dentists invest a lot of time searching for the correct loupes, only to then stash them away in the bottom drawer to collect dust)
Not that this is a complete list, but you can see that already, there is a lot more to cover than simply which exercise is going to remove a vague symptom.
The next time you visit your dentist, share this information with them.
They will be hugely grateful that you did.
But more than that, I will be way more grateful to you.
Because I know way too many dentists, who are so passionate about the work they have dedicated their lives to, to have to be forced into early retirement when they had had enough of their PREVENTABLE neck and back problems.
If you, or someone you know would like personalised help from my team and me, click here to schedule a visit. https://avidclinic.co.uk/contact-us/
You will be glad you did!