Hip, Core and Pelvic Floor muscle Assessment
How often have you gone to a gym or exercise class and been to told to switch on your core? Have you given birth and found that you no longer have the same level of control of your pelvic floor muscles? Do you have hip pain or 'trochanteric bursitis'?
Do you really understand what it means to switch on your core?
Having strong abdominals does not guarantee an effective core in relation to stability of the spine and pelvis. In some cases, an imbalance in the strength of the abdominal wall can be detrimental to the health of the spine. Real-time ultrasound allows your physiotherapist to assess the function of your muscles within the clinic setting during your appointment.
The muscles of the abdominal core are formed in several layers, each with their own purpose and function. Specifically, the deeper layer abdominal muscle (transversus abdominus) plays a pivotal role in creating a scaffold-like system that helps support the spine and pelvis. Using diagnostic ultrasound we can display images of your core that can subsequently improve your ability to accurately initiate an effective core contraction. You get immediate visual feed-back on the screen to show how effectively your muscles contract to protect the spine.
Activation of the deep hip muscles can also be assessed and trained using real-time ultrasound. Common hip conditions such as trochanteric bursitis and gluteal tendinopathies can can attributed to poor function and damage of the gluteal and hip cuff muscles. By imaging these muscles with ultrasound you can learn to create better patterns and cues for activation. You get visual feedback as to the effectiveness of your contraction. This ensures that exercises as part of a hip rehabilitation program are effective.
Pelvic floor (post-natal assessment)
Issues with contraction of the pelvic floor muscles, incontinence and abdominal separation (Diastasis Recti) are common impairments that are seen in the post-natal period following childbirth. Many women are left to deal with pain and impaired function in the months following childbirth which can often go on unchecked for months or years. If you have previously given birth you should seek the advice and recommendations from a physiotherapist who can assess the level of muscle function and control present and, if necessary, refer on to a women's health specialist for further tests.
Being confident in your ability to accurately switch on your core muscles and pelvic floor will allow you to build better lumbar-pelvic stability. It can improve your ability to activate muscles during periods of increased load such as when exercising. It can reduce lower back pain, restore normal muscle function in the post natal period following birth and also decrease symptoms of incontinence.
For further information, book an appointment with one of our physiotherapists.