The use of a vertical arm support device to reduce upper extremity muscle firing in sonographers.Work 2012; 42(3):367-71WORK
Work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WRMSD) in sonographers have increased over the past 20 years with shoulder injuries being the most prevalent. Advancing ultrasound technologies have reduced a sonographer's need to move when performing exams and increased prolonged arm abduction, resulting in static work postures and decreased joint perfusion. Work modifications in other industries have demonstrated that reducing arm abduction to 30° reduces muscle firing and fatigue. Although this is the ideal work posture for sonographers, there are many instances in which excessive arm abduction and static postures cannot be avoided. These positions are further complicated by the fact that the scanning arm is also supporting the weight of the ultrasound transducer. This observational case study evaluated the use of a moveable arm support system as a means to provide support for the scanning arm and reduce muscle firing during ultrasound exams in the scanning lab of a university diagnostic ultrasound educational program.