Arm and neck pain in ultrasonographers
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Human factors. - Baltimore, Md, 1958, currens
, p. 238-245
University of Antwerp
Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of upper-body-quadrant pain among ultrasonographers and to evaluate the association between individual ergonomics, musculoskeletal disorders, and occurrence of neck pain. Method: A hundred and ten (N = 110) Belgian and Dutch male and female hospital ultrasonographers were consecutively enrolled in the study. Data on work-related ergonomic and musculoskeletal disorders were collected with an electronic inquiry, including questions regarding ergonomics (position of the screen, high-low table, and ergonomic chair), symptoms (neck pain, upper-limb pain), and work-related factors (consecutive working hours a day, average working hours a week). Results: Subjects with the screen on their left had significantly more neck pain (odds ratio [OR] = 3.6, p = .0286). Depending on the workspace, high-low tables increased the chance of developing neck pain (OR = 12.9, p = .0246). A screen at eye level caused less neck pain (OR = .22, p = .0610). Employees with a fixed working space were less susceptible to arm pain (OR = 0.13, p = .0058). The prevalence of arm pain was significantly higher for the vascular department compared to radiology, urology, and gynecology departments (OR = 9.2, p = .0278). Conclusions: Regarding prevention of upper-limb pain in ultrasonograph, more attention should be paid to the work environment and more specialty to the ultrasound workstation layout. Primary ergonomic prevention could provide a painless work situation for the ultrasonographer. Application: Further research on the ergonomic conditions of ultrasonography is necessary to develop ergonomic solutions in the work environment that will help to alleviate neck and arm pain.