Most doctors stick their necks out to help their patients, but this practice is far from a healthy idea in the eye care practice.
In a study by the American Academy of Ophthalmology and in similar studies conducted in the U.K. nearly 73% of eye doctors reported pain in the neck, back or both.
Your slit lamp, the major culprit, as it is usually positioned on the exam table, requires you to lean toward the instrument, and extend the neck out of alignment with the spine. This repetitive motion can happen 40 to 60 times a day in an average practice.
Over time, this posture causes serious neck and back problems that can lead to excessive pain, surgery or early retirement. A few simple precautions can help.
Move the Slit Lamp
To alleviate the strain, modify the slit lamp table to move closer to the you than to the patient. While the patient may be uncomfortable for a few minutes each year, the doctor can do the exam with less pain day after day.
Although the waiting room may be full of patients, spend the extra few seconds to properly position the patient to eliminate unnecessary craning or hunching.
Several times a day, take a few minutes and do neck and back stretches. See the Mayo Clinic videos for easy stretches you can do anywhere.
Give Your Slit Lamp an Adjustment
Manufacturers also offer some pain-saving solutions. Haag-Streit makes an inclined adaptor, available on our website, for the BQ 900 slit lamp that raises the viewing angle by 20º and allows the doctor to keep his head in a fatigue-free position.
Marco’s adjustable attachment for the GS slit lamp also helps align the doctor’s neck for a more pain free exam.
We’ll be happy to take a look at your situation and make recommendations that may improve the ergonomics in your office and help you reduce workplace pain. Call us 800-255-5929.