I recently travelled to Kauai, HI to celebrate my sister's birthday. It was my first vacation in quite a while and it was amazing!! Pool time, hiking, a helicopter tour, waaaayyy too much food, and of course, the beach.
This vacation was everything I hoped for except for one thing...back pain!! This was the FIRST vacation that I had to worry about my back and I was not a fan. Like, AT ALL. I flew direct from Denver to Kauai which was a 7 hour flight and let me tell you, traveling that long in a tiny airplane seat with low back pain was not fun. I was constantly trying to wiggle around, stretch, and bothered my seat mate more than I care to admit with my frequent need to get up and walk around.
I am not meaning to whine, I simply want to use this experience as a lesson for myself and an example for you. I am 100% convinced this pain is a result of my practicing dental hygiene for the past 13 years in a non-ergonomic way. Although now I work in ergonomics and practice much healthier, the damage I have caused will take quite a while to repair.
As we all know, prevention is key. It is crucial to learn and practice ergonomic principles to keep your body safe and healthy. I wish I would have learned ergonomics a long time ago as I am sure it would have prevented the pain I have now.
I do NOT, I repeat, DO NOT, want to have another vacation when I worry about pain. I also don't want my retirement to be filled with doctor visits, pain, and limited activity. So I will continue to practice healthier, take care of my body, and try to help as many of my fellow dental colleagues practice safer and more ergonomically.
Please take care of your body, it's the only one you've got.