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What is real time ultrasound (RTUS)?
Real time ultrasound is an imaging technique, using high frequency sound waves, which
allows accurate assessment of the activation and function of the deep stabilising
muscles of the hip, back and pelvis. These muscles are often referred to as “core”
muscles and research has shown that following your first episode of back or pelvic pain,
even after the pain has subsided, these muscles may not return to normal activation,
predisposing you to recurrent episodes of pain. By imaging these muscles, it can assist
providing visual feedback during muscle retraining to get the right muscle contracting
in the right way.
What is involved?
RTUS imaging is a painless and non-invasive procedure. Your appointment will include:
•A comprehensive subjective examination relating to your current functional
level, previous injury history, and goals for treatment.
•RTUS assessment of the resting state and pattern of activation of all relevant
core muscle groups, determined from the subjective examination.
•An explanation of what you are seeing on screen
•Provision of a specialised exercise program carried out during the session with
biofeedback from RTUS imaging to ensure you are carrying out the exercises
•Clear details of the expected prognosis, time-frames, and a plan for treatment.
Implementation of an exercise based management program, depending on your injury,
may include some or all of the following:
o Soft tissue, massage, other hands on techniques
o Individual or group based Pilates program
o Movement re-education
o Home or self-management strategies
o Exercise prescription
o Referral to a medical practitioner
Who can benefit?
RTUS imaging is suitable for patients of all ages who may have any of the following:
• Abdominal or pelvic muscle weakness
• Recurrent back or pelvic symptoms
• Pre and post-natal care
• Incontinence issues
• Pre and post-spinal surgery
• Injury screening
• Performance improvement for athletes
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