The impact of musculoskeletal disorders on the dental hygienist

Dental hygiene is a profession that requires countless intricate skills. Studies show that a high percentage of clinicians have musculoskeletal pain even before entering the workforce.

Dental hygiene is a profession that requires countless intricate skills. Studies show that a high percentage of clinicians have musculoskeletal pain even before entering the workforce. Pain involving the back, neck, shoulders, hand, and wrist are among the most common musculoskeletal injuries in clinical dental professionals. Chiropractic care, therapeutic massage, stress relief strategies, exercise, weight control, breath control, and proper ergonomic equipment are among the top recommended treatment protocols for prevention and/or recovery and reversal of musculoskeletal disorders.

Educational objectives

Upon completion of this course, the dental hygienist should be able to:

1. Assess the need for ergonomic training through dental programs and continuing education courses

2. Identify the most effective preventive techniques to prevent work-related injuries in dentistry

3. Recognize musculoskeletal disorders commonly affecting practicing hygienists

4. Discuss recovery and/or reverse effects of dental-related musculoskeletal injuries

About the Authors

RENEE LIPE, MSED, RDH, is an assistant instructor in the dental hygiene program at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Her teaching responsibilities include orientation to dental hygiene, ergonomics training, multicultural studies, instrumentation, assessment clinics, radiology labs, sophomore and junior advanced periodontics clinics, and management at off-site student internships. She has more than 20 years of experience in clinical dental hygiene and management of a public health clinic. Lipe is a member of the American Dental Education Association.

STACEY MCKINNEY, MSED, PHDH, RDH, is an assistant professor and program director in the dental hygiene program at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Her teaching responsibilities focus on preventive oral care, teaching methodologies, and advanced periodontics. She has more than 10 years of clinical dental hygiene experience in community-based and general practice. McKinney is a member of the American Dental Hygienists’ Association, Illinois Public Health Association, and American Dental Education Association.

Quick Access Code: 22133
Image credit: 1454581782 © yucelyilmaz |

Not Enrolled

Course Includes

  • 1 Lesson
  • 1 Test
  • Course Certificate
  • CE credit(s): 3

    Course Type: Written

    Published Date: August 2023

    This continuing education (CE) activity was developed by Endeavor Business Media with no commercial support.

    This course was written for dentists, dental hygienists, and dental assistants, from novice to skilled.

    Educational methods: This course is a self-instructional journal and web activity.

    Provider disclosure: Endeavor Business Media neither has a leadership position nor a commercial interest in any products or services discussed or shared in this educational activity. No manufacturer or third party had any input in the development of the course content.

    Requirements for successful completion: To obtain 3 CE credits for this educational activity, you must pay the required fee, review the material, complete the course evaluation, and obtain an exam score of 70% or higher.

    CE planner disclosure: Laura Winfield, Endeavor Business Media dental group CE coordinator, neither has a leadership nor commercial interest with the products or services discussed in this educational activity. Ms. Winfield can be reached at

    Educational disclaimer: Completing a single continuing education course does not provide enough information to result in the participant being an expert in the field related to the course topic. It is a combination of many educational courses and clinical experience that allows the participant to develop skills and expertise.

    Image authenticity statement: The images in this educational activity have not been altered.

    Scientific integrity statement: Information shared in this CE course is developed from clinical research and represents the most current information available from evidence-based dentistry.

    Known benefits and limitations of the data: The information presented in this educational activity is derived from the data and information contained in the reference section.

    Registration: The cost of this CE course is $39.00 for 3 CE credits.

    Cancellation and refund policy: Any participant who is not 100% satisfied with this course can request a full refund by contacting Endeavor Business Media in writing.

    Provider information:

    Dental Board of California: Provider RP5933. Course registration number CA code: 03-5933-22133. Expires July 2026. “This course meets the Dental Board of California’s requirements for 3 units of continuing education.”


    Endeavor Business Media is a nationally approved PACE program provider for FAGD/MAGD credit.
    Approval does not imply acceptance by any regulatory authority or AGD endorsement.
    11/1/2022 to 10/31/2024.
    Provider ID# 320452
    AGD code: 770


    Endeavor Business Media is designated as an approved Provider by the American Academy of Dental Hygiene, Inc. #AADHPNW (January 1, 2022–December 31, 2024). Approval does not imply acceptance by a state or provincial Board of Dentistry. Licensee should maintain this document in the event of an audit. AADH code:


    Endeavor Business Media is an ADA CERP–recognized provider.

    ADA CERP is a service of the American Dental Association to assist dental professionals in identifying quality providers of dental continuing education. ADA CERP does not approve or endorse individual courses or instructors, nor does it imply acceptance of credit hours by boards of dentistry.

    Concerns or complaints about a CE provider may be directed to the provider or to CERP at



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