The process of Real Time Ultrasound Imaging (RTUI) is very similar to the ultrasound process women undergo during pregnancy, and that many people go through for medical diagnoses. RTUI involves transmitting of sound waves through the body. These sound waves are reflected off the internal body structures and organs resulting in an image of different muscles within the body that can be displayed on a screen for your instant viewing. The process is simple and painless and will simply feel like the normal ultrasound you may already have experienced with your physiotherapist for treatment (minus the warmth). Physiotherapists use real time ultrasound to view important muscles that support and stabilize your spinal column. These muscles work together to form a muscular cylinder of stability around your pelvis and lower back in particular. This muscular cylinder provides the support you need to function from day to day, and to cope with the enormous forces and movements that are placed through the spine during our daily lives. Unfortunately pain and injury damages this internal muscle support system and these critical muscles do not naturally return to their previous functional and supportive levels, even after the pain has completely disappeared. This is why people with a history of back injury will either suffer chronic pain, or frequent recurrences of their pain. Very specific retraining of these muscles is the only way to ensure that your internal muscle support system has returned to its optimal functional levels.
These “core” stabilizing muscles are very deep muscles that attach beneath other larger and more superficial muscles. It is therefore very difficult to train these muscles accurately by verbal instruction and “touch”, as there are so many other muscles in the immediate area. RTUI will give you a moving image of the affected muscles as you attempt to contract them. Through the ultrasound, the patient can receive important feedback for correct activation of these muscles to ensure that you are actually training the muscles that need to be trained and not compensating through nearby muscles. During your ultrasound session, you will actually be able to watch the inner muscles contracting, and leave the session sure in the knowledge that you are exercising effectively and efficiently.
Real Time Ultrasound is available at both East Bentleigh and Parkdale clinics. Your Physiotherapist will decide whether it is beneficial to view your core muscles in the management of your pain or prior to starting a strengthening program such as Clinical Pilates.