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How building muscle helps you practice dentistry pain free

Updated: Feb 14, 2023

Do you feel like your pain is increasing the older you get? You are not alone! See, as we get older, we lose muscle mass. This is called sarcope­nia and while this is universal, it happens at a faster rate for women. Without adequate muscle to support our bones, joints, ligaments, and tendons…we exponentially increase our risk for pain and injury. This is why strength training is so important.

In order to combat pain and injury, we need to build our muscle mass and preserve it. Not the other way around. Keep reading to learn the “why” and the “how” behind building muscle to overcome pain.

What causes pain

If you’ve read any of my previous posts, you’ve heard me talk about muscle imbalances. We ALL have imbalances, but dental professionals tend to have more than the average Joe..or Jane😊

Muscle imbalances pull the frame of the body (the bones) into misalignment, causing pain in the body. When you get home from work and your back hurts or you feel like you can’t turn you head, it is due to a muscle imbalance.

Think about it this way, when you are leaning forward working on a patient, gravity is also pulling you down making your anterior muscles work even harder to become overactive. This leads to your posterior muscles being weak and underactive, thus creating an imbalance.

Without properly addressing and correcting these, your pain will not only continue, but it will worsen. Uh, no thanks! This is why I developed a program to specifically correct these commonly found imbalances amongst dental professionals. CLICK HERE to learn more.

Progressive Overload

Building muscle is a science, it’s actually what fitness professionals refer to as hypertrophy. This means that you can’t walk into a gym and do a few machines or take a group fitness class and expect to build muscle. It doesn’t work like that.

Building muscle requires progressive overload. In other words, your muscles respond to the resistance placed upon them and get stronger to adapt. Say what?

In a strength training program, certain variables like weight, reps, tempo, etc. need to be adjusted to build muscle mass. You can’t just do the same workout over and over…your muscles won’t grow. On the contrary, you can’t do a bunch of different workouts all the time and expect to grow either. Sorry.

Let me elaborate.

A typical strength training scheme consists of the following:

1. Start with compound movements (movements that work multiple muscles at a time)

2. Finish with isolation movements (movements that work a single muscle at a time).

This is not the scheme that dental professionals require. Dental professionals actually require a lot more isolated movements due to the underactive muscles throughout their physiques. This is not always the case; however, this is why it is critical to work with a professional. Ahem, I happen to know a gal!


If you are in pain or feel like your practice is taking a toll on your body more and more, you need to build muscle. While it does require some effort, in doing so, you will correct muscle imbalances and work towards maintaining your body’s proper alignment. Moral of the story: if you want to get rid of pain, you need to strength train.

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