Taking a deeper and more specific look: The use of real time ultrasound for abdominal-pelvic rehab

Taking a Deeper and More Specific Look: The Use of Real Time Ultrasound for Abdominal-Pelvic Rehab

We are so excited to offer the use of real time ultrasound (RTUS) imaging as an adjunct to our clinical and manual tests for abdominal-pelvic physiotherapy. It is the same type of ultrasound that physicians use to look at a baby in utero. It is used to identify potential issues in organs or inflammation in a tendon. However, we will be able to do it in house and with a focus on abdominal-pelvic health concerns.

The RTUS provides us and our patients a non-invasive way to take a deeper and more specific look into what is happening with both the connective and muscular tissues of the abdomen and pelvic floor. It also provides biofeedback on muscular activation, relaxation, coordination, and pressure dynamics to enhance recovery.
We were introduced to RTUS 5-6 years ago while on course with Diane Lee. DIane is an innovative and veteran Canadian Physiotherapist, now mentor to us both. We have taken courses over the years to gain more understanding and insight into its use and impact on patient recovery and outcomes.

Clinical experience shows RTUS to be very helpful for those complaining of diastasis rectus abdominus (DRA), pelvic organ prolapse, core dysfunction, pelvic girdle pain and more. Especially for those patients whom have plateaued in their progress, continue to have intermittent symptoms or are trying to decide if surgery is warranted after months and sometimes years of training.

It is not a magic bullet, but does provide us very specific information which can give a clearer picture and understanding of your anatomy and mechanics, foresee the benefits of a more tailored treatment plan, provide realistic expectations of recovery, and support an educated referral as warranted.

Static image of the right side of the abdominal wall. From top to bottom, we dive deeper seeing the external then internal oblique muscles and then the deepest, transversus abdominus. This is a slightly lateral view so we don’t see the rectus abdominus.

In the below video, we can note the external, internal obliques and transverse abdominus (TA) initially as in the above picture. Then with a curl up/ “crunch” we see the TA slide laterally (an optimal strategy), although my internal oblique should not be working so hard (not getting as thick as it does). Once I come back to resting position, I then do an isolated transverse abdominus activation which again results in the lateral sliding of the TA and tensioning of the connective tissue closer to the surface (upper part of the screen).

If you are seeking Physiotherapy that is focused on an abdominal or pelvic concern or dysfunction and would like to ensure you are able to be assessed with RTUS, should it be indicated, please contact us directly to ensure the proper paperwork is completed.

If you are a referring healthcare provider, such as a physician or midwife, please see more specific information here.

Andrea Plitz Physiotherapist

Co Written by Andrea Plitz, Physiotherapist and Yoga Teacher. Andrea has a clinical focus in women’s health including applied pelvic health, complex orthopedics and concussion rehab. She currently lives and works in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Lisa Flanders Physiotherapist

Co Written by Lisa Flanders, Physiotherapist. Lisa has a clinical focus on women’s health including pre and postnatal, gender diverse and applied pelvic health and high performance athletes. She currently lives and works in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Disclaimer – Everything shared is for informative purposes only. It is not intended for assessment, diagnosis or treatment purposes. If you feel there needs to be further investigation, please seek out a qualified health care professional for a proper assessment.