Muscles that create normal range of motion are labeled agonists, while antagonists return it to anatomical position. Every human joint is articulated by multiple muscles. Each has antagonistic pairs to allow freedom in movement. This freedom is only as free as the balance is of workload versus rest, in both sides of the joint. This course and its suggested strengthening with equal stretching poses will cover the areas that dental professionals have overuse issues with in treating patients.
Muscles work in opposition and in synchronicity. One muscle does not move alone. The label “agonist” is given to the group that creates the motion, while the “antogonist” returns it back to anatomical position.7 When a muscle is activated, surrounding muscles reply with effort to share the workload, thereby avoiding excessive stress that could lead to injury. When awareness is brought to the surrounding tissues that can be actively engaged, further precaution is taken to protect and prevent injury. It is important to have the knowledge, or more importantly, the awareness and ability to engage opposing muscles groups that seated dental professionals rely on heavily while treating patients. Major, larger muscles that allow for walking, bending, lifting and carrying, are called upon differently in the dental professional body. Static positioning is added over time with the same repetitive movement and soon begin to feel the imbalance. This sets up a cascade of other issues of all surrounding (and even further away) activated body parts in the movement.