Written by Judith Buckland, MBA, RDCS, FASE

Sonographer Musculoskeletal Disorders

October, is Medical Ultrasound Awareness Month (MUAM), a time when we stop to recognize and celebrate sonographers. Therefore, this week we are bringing attention to sonographer musculoskeletal disease with a focus on pain free scanning. According to SDMS, 90% of clinical sonogaphers experience symptoms of musculoskeletal disorders.

Sonographer Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSD)

First, we need to understand the term ‘sonographer musculoskeletal disorders’. MSD includes injuries caused by repetitive stress as a result of poor ergonomics while scanning. As a result, sonographers may suffer from strains and pain in certain muscles and nerves, caused by the way we sit or stand while scanning our patients.

Here are two resources to help you prevent injuries. First, we suggest you review a past blog article we posted called, Sonographers – The Pain Factor. In this article we provided exercises to prevent and/or alleviate sonographer musculoskeletal disorders. Check out that article and review the 3 simple exercises you can perform in between patients.

In addition, this month we would like to share another excellent free resource with all of our readers –Healthy Sonographer.

Healthy Sonographer

Healthy Sonographer is a website that provides resources and videos including:

  • Where do we hurt?
  • What can we do?
  • Start with prevention
  • Watch and learn best practices
  • How to scan in the magic triangle
  • Daily exercises
  • Accessories
  • Resources – A long list of valuable articles

What is the Magic Triangle?

In short, the magic triangle is the angle you place yourself between your machine and patient. How to achieve this is nicely explained by Healthy Sonographer as follows:

Your body should align similar to driving (look forward, reaching forward to steering wheel and stick shift)

1. Rotate console away from bed to align trackball with elbow and wrist.

2. Float monitor towards patient

sonographer ergonomics


In conclusion, as we recognize sonographers during Medical Ultrasound Awareness Month, we are pleased to share information that aids pain-free scanning. Above all, we want to encourage an awareness of scanning ergonomically correct to avoid sonographer musculoskeletal Disorders.

We love the resources found at HealthSonographers.com and recommend that you checkout their site and watch their video tutorials on correct setup along with exercise videos. Enjoy Medical Ultrasound Awareness Month and scan safely!!

Judith Buckland CardioServ

Judith Buckland, MBA, RDCS, FASE

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Jill Pendergast
I'd like to say DO NOT use a drop down. I have tried that only a couple times, and it puts your arm and shoulder at an odd angle. I feel you risk more fatigue and injury using it. If you just ask the patient to roll back a "smidge" you can get great on axis images while still being able to rest your arm.
thanks for sending me this valuable courses

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