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Rehabilitative Ultrasound Imaging (Real Time Ultrasound)

Bodies in Motion Physical Therapy of Falls Church is one of the few physical therapy practices in northern Virginia to utilize the advanced and promising tool of Rehabilitative Ultrasound Imaging. We’re excited by the possibilities this offers our patients for both assessment of muscle dysfunction and treatment.

Ultrasound imaging employs the same safe and tested technology used in such settings as pregnancy monitoring. But it can also serve as a tool to aid rehabilitation in certain kinds of physical therapy, to assist the therapist in helping evaluate the patient’s ability to both contract and relax target muscles appropriately. Extensive research shows that physical therapists can accurately assess muscle activation using Rehabilitative Ultrasound Imaging. This allows for better understanding of what is actually happening with a patient at that very moment, and to progress therapeutic exercises with the knowledge that patients are using the appropriate muscles.

Rehabilitative Ultrasound Imaging also enhances the rehabilitation process by improving a patient’s ability to activate the specific muscles being trained. Employed in this manner, it is a tool used by the patient, with the therapist’s assistance, to train the patient to control muscles through visual biofeedback. Together they observe images of muscles contracting and relaxing in real time. And with appropriate cues from the therapist, the patient can learn to control dysfunctional muscles.

Bodies in Motion Physical Therapists are trained in the use of Rehabilitative Ultrasound Imaging for the observation and treatment of many common musculoskeletal conditions, including:

  • Shoulder pain. Shoulder dysfunction can arise from shoulder instability, shoulder impingement and rotator cuff dysfunction. For these conditions Rehabilitative Ultrasound Imaging allows therapists to observe the infraspinatus, and the biceps muscles.
  • Low back pain. Lower back problems can arise from multiple conditions. For many of these, Rehabilitative Ultrasound Imaging vsn be used to observe the transversus abdominis (deepest abdominal layer), the lumbar mutifidus (deep back muscles), and the pelvic floor muscles.
  • Neck pain. Certain neck conditions will be affected by improper use of the neck muscles. Rehabilitative Ultrasound Imaging observation of the deep neck flexor muscles in action, to aid in therapy.
  • Hip pain. For many types of hip dysfunction Rehabilitative Ultrasound Imaging is used to observe the hip joint, to see if the patient is impinging (pinching) the illiopsoas (hip flexor) muscles with active hip flexion.

Rehabilitative Ultrasound Imaging allows the Physical Therapists at Bodies in Motion to:

  • Obtain independent measurement of muscle use
  • Educate patients on their specific muscle dysfunction
  • Give direct, visual feedback to patients of their own muscle contraction and extension
  • Assess the best training and rehabilitation techniques
  • Monitor progress in rehabilitation to ensure that changes to treatment are made at the optimum times and in the most

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