Real-Time Ultrasound: An advanced, quick, pain-free diagnosis technique.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could see how your muscles were contracting as you were doing exercises? Wouldn’t it be great to see what is going on under your skin without waiting ages for tests?

The technique is called Real Time Ultrasound and we  offer this research based technique at  Saanichton Physiotherapy and Sports Clinic.
Real time ultrasound brings assessment and treatment to the next level. Using a diagnostic ultrasound, we can watch your different layers of tissue contract, relax and  look at their muscle contraction timing and size. We can scan for stress fractures, tendon pathologies and ligament tears.
Yes, it’s exactly like visualizing a baby in the womb. Recent advances in this technology allow for versatility and portability.  It’s completely safe, just like the therapeutic ultrasound we use in the clinic everyday.

Common Ultrasound Physiotherapy Conditions

Ultrasound physiotherapy can be used for assessment of soft tissues, progression of healing and any muscle retraining. The most popular conditions that can  be assisted by real time ultrasound include:

1. Lower Back Pain

2. Neck Pain

3. Knee Pain

4. Shoulder Pain

5. Hip Pain

6. Tendonitis (including Calcific)

7. Elbow Pain

8.Muscle Injury/ Strain

9. Foot pain- Plantar Fasciitis

10. Bursitis

11. Ligament sprains


When evaluating musculoskeletal and soft tissue structures, we generally  use a high frequency linear array transducer (7-12 MHz). This probe is useful for showing superficial structures at high resolution and is also best to visualize blood vessels and nerves located near the surface.  Nevertheless, it is entirely possible to use other probes to evaluate deeper structures such as a femur within a large thigh.

One of the advantages of clinician-performed ultrasound is the dynamic nature of exam.   It is often helpful to have patient pinpoint the area of complaint or maximal tenderness to guide the exam.  Furthermore, examination of contralateral normal structures for comparison is helpful.  As with all diagnostic ultrasound, knowing the normal appearance of the sonographic anatomy is essential to assure successful identification of pertinent structures. The anatomical appearance of complex musculoskeletal structures such as the wrist or joints though can be quite challenging.  In these instances it can be helpful to first identify an anatomical point of reference, such as the hyperechoic cortical lines of expected bony structures, and then subsequently identify adjacent tendons, ligaments and muscles.


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