New resources for musculoskeletal health

Published 06/06/2023

The British Society of Echocardiography (BSE) is delighted to launch new resources for its members, aimed at reducing the risk of injury and improving mobility.

The easy to follow videos feature simple stretching exercises, which can be used at the beginning and end of each working day. The videos are also supported by a poster for display in echo departments to act as a regular prompt.

We recognise echocardiographers face unique challenges due to the physical nature of their job. Preparing for and recovering from a day of scanning will help to reduce the risk of injury and make for a longer, happier career. Regular stretching is proven to reduce risk of injury, improve mobility and alleviate stiffness and pain. Even 5 minutes a day can make a difference.

The significant impact of physical injury in the echo workforce was highlighted in the BSE’s most recent survey. We were therefore delighted to be introduced to Ms Amy Laithwaite, Director of The Stretch Experience, by our friends at the British Congenital Cardiac Association (BCCA). Having attended echo clinics and observed the nature of the role, Amy compiled a simple programme of stretches aimed at reducing your risk of injury and improving mobility during the working day and far beyond.

Amy commented: "The physical nature of echocardiography means that a sustainable career requires diligent and consistent self-care. We hope that these simple to follow videos, produced by The Stretch Experience and the BSE, will allow staff to implement stretching with confidence; performing scans requires strength of body and mind. Stretching can help to condition and prepare the body, and with practice can begin to serve as a moment of mindfulness on a busy day. Self-care must be prioritised and considered a tool right alongside the echo equipment!"

Ms Jo Sopala, Chief Executive of the Society said, "In a recent workforce survey, the most common issue was occupational injury with 41 respondents reporting either musculoskeletal issues or repetitive strain injury because of their work, often from the pressure of constant scanning without a break. Some respondents had either reduced their hours or considered retiring as a result of this. A lack of support from employers was also an issue both from unrealistic expectations of the number of scans in a given time and providing sufficient rest time or appropriate physiotherapy.

"That led to our decision to make these video resources freely available to our members. You only have one body - let’s take care of it!"

The videos and poster with clear instructions on how to do the stretching exercises are available at the link below.

Access the resources