3 Stretches All Sonographers Should Do

Have you ever thought about how you stand? Or how you hold a transducer? Or how you position yourself over your patient? Incorrect positioning in any form could increase your risk of pain and injury. Here are three easy exercises sonographers can do—even on the job—to reduce anterior pelvic tilt.

  1. 90/90 Hip Flexor Stretch
    On a mat, kneel down with the front leg up, with the knee at 90 degrees, the back leg is on the ground, but also bent at 90 degrees.  Make sure to tightening up the Hip flexorabdominal area. Then move your hips forward, maintaining shoulders back. You are looking for a stretch in front of the hip.You will feel the stretch in the front of your hip and the thigh. You are looking for a light stretch. You are not trying to rip the muscle apart. Hold that for about 20 to 30 seconds twice on each side, first the right leg, then the left. Alternate back and forth for the two sets.
  1. Side Lying Quad Stretch
    Lying on your side, reach back and grab the foot of the top leg with the same arm as the leg you are bending (i.e., right hand grabs right foot). As you grab the foot, bring the heel towards the butt. The key here is not to just pull the heel to the butt, but bring the thigh back a little bit in order to intensify the stretch in the front of the thigh and the front of the hip.stretch 2Think: Hold for 20 seconds as a light stretch and do it twice on each side alternating. Right leg first, then roll to the other side and do the left leg. Repeat.
  1. Deep Squat Stretch
    Stand up tall with a wider stance than shoulder width. From that position, squat down with hips below the knees. In the bottom position, place the elbows between the squatknees and then push the knees out with the elbows. You are looking for a stretch in the inner thigh and hips.This position and pressure will end up changing the position in the lower back and in the pelvis from an anterior tilt to a posterior tilt.  Doing just like the other stretches: 20- to 30-second hold, twice.

No matter what your occupation, a certain level of stretching and regular exercise will help reduce your risk of injury. This is especially true for sonographers. Please consult your physician (even if you are one) before beginning an exercise program.

What stretches do you do? How do you improve your posture? Comment below or let us know on Twitter: @AIUM_Ultrasound.

Doug Wuebben BA, AS, RDCS (Adult and Pediatric) is a registered echocardiographer and also a consultant, national presenter, and author of e-books in the areas of ergonomics, exercise and pain, and injury correction for sonographers.

Mark Roozen M.ed, CSCS*D, NSCA-CPT, FNSCA, is a strength and performance coach and also the owner and president of Performance Edge Training Systems (PETS).

4 thoughts on “3 Stretches All Sonographers Should Do

  1. Pingback: The Best of the Scan, 5 Years in the Making | The Scan

  2. Thanks for pointing out that sonographers should take care of their body positioning to avoid the risk of pain and injury. I’m interested in a career in sonography, so I’ve been doing some research online about what the job would be like. The stretches you shared here will be really helpful if I end up in that career, so thanks for sharing!

  3. My thanks to Peter Magnsuon for giving us the opportunity to be included in this blog. My colleague Rozy and I are excited to provide more pain/injury correction and prevention for sonographers on this forum. You can access more of our education on AuntMinnie.com, http://www.coachrozy.com, livepainfree4u@gmail.com. The ‘movement’ training that we provide is incredible and although requires some effort and dedication, really works. Saw some comments on the AIUM’s Facebook page. Why would there be a post for lower body stretches and exercises when sonographers suffer from mainly upper body issues (Neck, shoulders, back etc..) I like to relate our philosophy this way. When Rozy was training players in the NFL, he had a quarterback that had shoulder pain with his throwing arm. Rozy worked with this player on his shoulder for a couple of weeks to no avail. Rozy finally stepped back and noticed that this fella was not walking properly. When questioned, the player said that he had taken a hit on the hip in the game, and his hip was not right. His hip had rotated forward. Rozy fixed the hip rotation issue, and the pain in his shoulder went away. The problem was not the shoulder, the problem was the hip. Fix the hip, fix the shoulder. Sometimes the obvious, is not the root of the problem. That is why we include lower body training in an industry where upper body issues manifest. Again, more blog info coming. Would love to hear your thoughts and comments. Doug Wuebben