Research has shown that as therapists and trainers, just our basic observation alone f the action of the vital muscles of “the core” can be unreliable. To effectively and accurately assess whether or not these key muscles are in fact turned on at all, partially on, or as is the case just as often, TOO tuned on and overactive, we now have the capability to view them with Real Time Ultrasound Imaging.
This is crucial information for us to have, given that muscle imbalances of these deep abdominal and spinal muscles cause a wide range of spine, pelvic and hip issues with implications for the ribcage, breathing mechanisms and neck also.
With our commitment to spine rehab at Trimetrics, it is essential for us to know that our patients are training effectively so that they get the functional results they need to return without pain to sports, work, parenting etc
We are excited to use RTUS for both evaluation and biofeedback : for a patient who has had episodes of pain and weakness being able to see and cue your own muscles in real time is a huge help to activating them and moving on to the next stage of rehabilitation.
This is one good example of the RTUS role at Trimetrics :
A recent study on patients who have suffered repeat episodes of back pain show that the multifidus muscle (a major strength muscle of the spine) shows a measurable loss of 30 % if its bulk after the FIRST episode of back pain.
The big shock is that IT DOES NOT COME BACK TO NORMAL AUTOMATICALLY ….unless specifically re trained.
With such a marked one sided muscle weakness, it stands to reason that there is a much higher likelihood of a person being predisposed to repeated episodes of debilitating back pain, cumulative weakness, disc, sacroiliac, hip, knee and ankle breakdown.
We will measure this muscle routinely with RTUS for any loss of bulk with our back pain patients to gauge the % loss and track its recovery to ensure full recovery from wasting (atrophy) and strength. RTUS will allow us to strategically intervene to actively prevent future episodes of emotionally expensive and disabling pain, costly time off work and the general de-conditioning that we know accompanies repeated back and neck pain.
We will use the images to show the patient the precise weak muscles and watch them strengthen as we cue to activate them with much greater precision than just with instructions alone.
We will specifically target all new patients referred for not just for back pain but also pelvic pain, post surgical spine surgery, postnatal, and post pelvic floor repairs.
We will also assess existing patients who we feel could benefit from an even more informed tailored exercise approach. The technology allows us to image the muscles at rest and in action, not just in a treatment room but also on the Pilates equipment and floor.
Kirsten Stålberg and I received certification in RTUS by Jackie Whittaker B.SCPT, FCAMT, CGIMS , CAFCI ,PhD candidate. We are excited to be offering this service to our patients just as soon as our new equipment arrives in approx 4 weeks. We will be using Esaote MyLab 5 which offers the highest resolution images currently available.
RTUS will be a normal component of the physiotherapy service we offer at Trimetrics.
For more information and wonderful images please visit Jackie Whittaker’s most comprehensive site visit www.rtuspt.com