What is Ultrasound Imaging?
Ultrasound Imaging is an exciting and innovative tool, which can help in this challenging rehabilitation process. Ultrasound Imaging enables your physiotherapist to gain a more accurate assessment of the deep abdominal and back muscle contractions and facilitate an improved pattern of activation. It also provides real time feedback to the patient who can visualise their muscles working live in action on screen, thereby helping them to learn and master the correct pattern of muscle activation.
The lumbar spine or lower back region is supported by many muscles but principally by the abdominal and back muscle groups. Current research suggests that the deepest layer of these muscles is one of the key providers of support and protection to the spine. When contracting normally, these muscles act like a muscular corset, offering protection to the small spinal joints.
Recent evidence confirms that when the spine is injured and pain is experienced, the muscles that support the spine and pelvis switch off. Scientific studies suggest that even when the pain resolves these vital stability muscles do not switch back on by themselves. Clinical trials have proven that people who specifically re-train these control muscles can accelerate their recovery and significantly reduce the risk of recurring back pain.
Examples of ultrasound images
Transversus abdominis muscle activation
Pelvic floor muscle activation