Real time ultrasound

Core stability assessment and Real Time Ultrasound

Core stability has now become the catch cry of Physiotherapists, Pilate’s instructors and personal trainers.

What is core stability and how does it help you to maintain your body, improve your performance and reduce potential injuries?

As part of our Peak Performance method we have developed a variety of assessment techniques and rehabilitation exercises based on the latest research. As part of our ongoing commitment to provide the most up-to-date and comprehensive service for our patients we have a real-time ultrasound machine onsite. This technology has been used in the clinic for many years and the Physiotherapy staff are fully trained in its use and function.

Physiotherapy had been particularly prominent in researching and developing specific assessment and exercise programs to treat and provide self-management from those estimated 80 to 90% of the population that will experience significant lower back pain at some stage in their life.

Your core muscles are like a flexible corset that stabilises and controls the movement of your body. The amazing thing about your deep core muscles is that they still allow movement with control. There are three layers of muscle which need to be activated from the deepest layer to the outer layer. Assessing and retraining the deep muscle layers requires specific knowledge.

The advantage of using Real-Time Ultrasound is that both the patient and the Physiotherapist are able to see whether the deepest layer of the core is being switched on accurately as you do the exercise. The image shown on the right is typical of the picture of the three layers. By learning to accurately switch on the deepest layer and then retraining any loss of control allows a more accurate and efficient rehabilitation of your core.

The Real-Time Ultrasound is also used to assess the function of the deep muscles in the lower back (the multidus muscles). Recent research has implicated the deep muscles in chronic back pain. By imaging and assessing these deep muscles and then retraining, gives the patient more information about the position of the spine, and acts to protect the spine from excessive forces.

In addition, we examine the effect of chronic compensation due to injuries, for example your back, hip, knee or ankle on your core muscles. Often as a result of walking and moving incorrectly your core muscles either stop working or are substituted for by other muscles. Activating incorrect muscles causes further muscle imbalances and slows or causes re-occurrence of the injury and pain.

Also we will  assess your core as part of your rehabilitation either pre-and post-surgery to make sure that you are able to reactivate and control your core muscles to assist in the returning to full activity sooner.

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