Event Title

ANALYSIS OF BODY MECHANICS DURING OPTOMETRIC EYE EXAMINATIONS: ARE OPTOMETRISTS AT RISK?

Location

Atrium

Start Date

14-2-2014 12:00 AM

Description

Objective. Purpose of the present study was to evaluate presence of forward head posture as a factor in the production of pain for optometrists during eye examinations. Background. During a typical eye wellness exam, an optometrist assumes various atypical and challenging postures for up to 30 minutes at a time. These postures frequently result in work related discomfort and/or injury usually manifesting in the neck, shoulders, and back. Methods. Seven licensed optometrists employed by the Midwestern University Eye Institute participated in the study. Three procedures were initially determined as contributory to head and neck discomfort: phoropter exam, slitlamp exam, and binocular indirect ophthalmoscopy (BIO). Subjects were first affixed with fluorescent markers on the external auditory meatus and the acromion process. These landmarks were used to identify the extent of forward head posture in degrees. Photographs were then obtained on each subject and analyzed via the Postural Analysis System Software (PASS) developed at Hardin-Simmons University. Subjects' postures were compared to a reference head position of 0 degrees as described by Kendall. Results. Mean resting posture was 15.5 ± 8.3 degrees from zero (2 subjects were not assessed for resting head posture). Other results are as follow: phoropter - 34.4 ± 17.4 degrees, slit-lamp - 20.9 ± 9.1degrees, and BIO - 25.1 ± 14.5 degrees. Conclusion. These results appear to confirm that optometrists assume a forward head posture during a typical eye exam. This forward head posture can lead to narrowing of the intervertebral foramina, abnormal compression of the zygapophyseal joints, and can lead to capital extensor muscles becoming ischemic given the sustained isometric contraction. Given these physical mechanisms, it follows forward head position can lead to work-related pain and discomfort. Grants. N/A

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Feb 14th, 12:00 AM

ANALYSIS OF BODY MECHANICS DURING OPTOMETRIC EYE EXAMINATIONS: ARE OPTOMETRISTS AT RISK?

Atrium

Objective. Purpose of the present study was to evaluate presence of forward head posture as a factor in the production of pain for optometrists during eye examinations. Background. During a typical eye wellness exam, an optometrist assumes various atypical and challenging postures for up to 30 minutes at a time. These postures frequently result in work related discomfort and/or injury usually manifesting in the neck, shoulders, and back. Methods. Seven licensed optometrists employed by the Midwestern University Eye Institute participated in the study. Three procedures were initially determined as contributory to head and neck discomfort: phoropter exam, slitlamp exam, and binocular indirect ophthalmoscopy (BIO). Subjects were first affixed with fluorescent markers on the external auditory meatus and the acromion process. These landmarks were used to identify the extent of forward head posture in degrees. Photographs were then obtained on each subject and analyzed via the Postural Analysis System Software (PASS) developed at Hardin-Simmons University. Subjects' postures were compared to a reference head position of 0 degrees as described by Kendall. Results. Mean resting posture was 15.5 ± 8.3 degrees from zero (2 subjects were not assessed for resting head posture). Other results are as follow: phoropter - 34.4 ± 17.4 degrees, slit-lamp - 20.9 ± 9.1degrees, and BIO - 25.1 ± 14.5 degrees. Conclusion. These results appear to confirm that optometrists assume a forward head posture during a typical eye exam. This forward head posture can lead to narrowing of the intervertebral foramina, abnormal compression of the zygapophyseal joints, and can lead to capital extensor muscles becoming ischemic given the sustained isometric contraction. Given these physical mechanisms, it follows forward head position can lead to work-related pain and discomfort. Grants. N/A