Turning up the Sound on Abdominal Muscle ActionMuscle contractions can be measured using ultrasound. This is one way to see if certain exercises are working specific muscles. In this study physical therapists used ultrasound biofeedback along with abdominal muscle exercises for low back pain (LBP).
Two groups of patients with LBP were included. One group did the standard drawing-in exercise of the abdominal muscles. This exercise is called the abdominal drawing-in maneuver (ADIM). The second group did the same exercises with visual ultrasound feedback. Both groups did the ADIMs in three positions: lying down, sitting up, and on hands and knees.
Ultrasound measures of muscle thickness were done before and after muscle training in both groups. The authors report a two-fold increase in thickness of the transverse abdominal muscles in both groups. The ultrasound biofeedback group didn't have better results.
The authors conclude that ultrasound imaging can be used to measure the thickness of muscles. This imaging shows changes from before to after treatment. It doesn't appear to be needed as a treatment tool to help improve muscle contraction.
Deydre S. Teyhen, PT, PhD, OCS, et al. The Use of Ultrasound Imaging of the Abdominal Drawing-In Maneuver in Subjects with Low Back Pain. In Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy. June 2005. Vol. 35. No. 6. Pp. 346-354.
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