Prevalence of musculoskeletal pain in dental students and associated factors




Dentistry, Musculoskeletal disorders, Occupational health, Students, Pain.


Aim: The objective of this research was to evaluate the prevalence of painful symptoms among dental academics, as well as their associated factors. Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out at a public higher education institution, and the study population (n = 303) included undergraduate students who studied at least one subject that included clinical activities. For data collection, two self-administered questionnaires were delivered to the participants, the first of which consisted of sociodemographic variables, academic life, harmful habits, physical activity practice, and general health. The validated Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire was used to identify musculoskeletal symptoms, the need to seek health resources, and to assess whether the disorders interfered with the work activities of academics. Results: The presence of pain in the past 12 months was observed in 199 participants (82.6%). Several variables, including gender, number of courses performed, physical activity, and general health status, had an association with painful symptoms in at least one area of the body (GA) over the past 12 months. In addition, variable general health was associated with pain symptoms in any area of the body (DG) over the past seven days. Conclusion: There was a high prevalence of musculoskeletal symptoms, especially in the upper limbs, and there were associations between muscular pain and the number of disciplines studied and between muscular pains and the general health of the students.


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Author Biographies

Renata Reis dos Santos, São Paulo State University

Department of Infant and Social Dentistry, Araçatuba School of Dentistry - São Paulo State University – UNESP, Araçatuba, Brazil.

Cléa Adas Saliba Garbin, São Paulo State University

Department of Infant and Social Dentistry, Araçatuba School of Dentistry, São Paulo State University – UNESP, Araçatuba, Brazil.

Julia Arruda Batista, São Paulo State University

Department of Infant and Social Dentistry, Araçatuba School of Dentistry, São Paulo State University – UNESP, Araçatuba, Brazil.

Tânia Adas Saliba, São Paulo State University

Department of Infant and Social Dentistry, Araçatuba School of Dentistry, São Paulo State University – UNESP, Araçatuba, Brazil.

Artênio José Isper Garbin, São Paulo State University

Department of Infant and Social Dentistry, Araçatuba School of Dentistry, São Paulo State University – UNESP, Araçatuba, Brazil.


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How to Cite

Santos RR dos, Garbin CAS, Batista JA, Saliba TA, Garbin AJI. Prevalence of musculoskeletal pain in dental students and associated factors. Braz. J. Oral Sci. [Internet]. 2019 Nov. 18 [cited 2022 Sep. 26];18:e191668. Available from:

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