Real time ultrasound
Real time ultrasound for back pain
Real time ultrasound (RTUS) offers a physiotherapist the ability to help you visually learn to contract your deep abdominal muscles and pelvic floor. These muscles are important, as they help support the spine as it moves. These muscles act like shock absorbers in cars, and can therefore take pressure off the spine. Clients with back pain often lose the ability to use these muscles effectively.
When learning how to use these muscles to stabilise the spine, they are often over-contracted. This can cause more rigidity on the spine, as well as downwards pressure on the pelvic floor, resulting in a counteractive effect. RTUS offers the sensitivity to allow you to learn how to activate these muscles in co-ordination, and at the right intensity
In chronic lower back pain sufferers, it’s particularly important to build the endurance and co-ordination of these muscles. Once you learn how to use the abdominal, back and pelvic floor-stabilising muscles at the right activation intensity, it’s easier to learn how to recruit these muscles whilst doing functional movements such as lifting.
We also incorporate the Pilates method to integrate these activation series, and help develop basic back, abdominal and spinal strength. Once endurance is developed in these areas, it’s then incorporated into functional lifting and squats, pushing and pulling.
RTUS after childbirth
Following the birthing experience, women often find it hard to activate their abdominal and pelvic floor muscles. This predisposes them to developing back pain and incontinence in future. Here the visual feedback achieved using RTUS allows women to see the activation of these important muscle groups, despite the fact that they can barely feel them moving or activating.