What is Real-time Ultrasound Imaging?
- Real-Time Ultrasound Imaging (RUSI) is a medical imaging technique that uses the echoes created by high-frequency sound waves to construct an image.
- A hand-held probe is placed on the skin and transmits 1-5 MHz sound waves into the body. When the sound waves hit a boundary between tissues of different densities (i.e./ between fluid and soft tissue, soft tissue and bone) some of the waves get reflected back to the probe. Other waves will continue on until they too reach a boundary that causes them to be reflected. The reflected waves are transmitted from the probe back to the ultrasound machine, and a two-dimensional image is constructed using the speed of sound in tissue and the time for each wave’s return.
Why choose RUSI?
- RUSI minimizes exposure to radiation, as it does not emit any potentially hazardous rays
- RUSI collects images during movement, so muscle activity can be assessed
Why use RUSI?
- OB/GYNs use RUSI to image unborn babies
- Sports physicians and radiologists use RUSI to locate muscle tears and to guide cortisone injections into a particular area
- Physiotherapists use RUSI to view the activity of deep stabilizing muscles
RUSI and Physiotherapy
- The “core” or deep stabilizing muscles include the pelvic floor, transversus abdominus, multifidus, and diaphragm. Weakness in these muscles can often lead to low back pain, sacro-iliac pain, poor pelvic stability and over use syndromes. Research also shows that after a back injury these muscles often are not functioning properly and need specific exercises to reactivate and strengthen them.
- RUSI allows the physiotherapist and the patient to view the activity in these muscles in real time. If the muscles are not activating automatically, RUSI can be used as a form of biofeedback to help the patient learn to selectively reactivate and strengthen these muscles. As the patient learns to use these core muscles, activation will eventually become automatic with movement.
At Sydney Physiotherapy Solutions our highly qualified physiotherapists specialise in the assessment, treatment and prevention of neuromusculoskeletal injuries.
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This handout was prepared by Sydney Physiotherapy Solutions and is intended as a general information service. Please note that the information provided is not intended as a substitute for advice from a registered physician or healthcare professional. If symptoms persist, please consult your doctor.