• Real-Time UltraSound

What is real-time ultrasound?

Ultrasound is a tool commonly used in doctor’s offices and medical clinics to visualize soft tissue (i.e. muscles, tendons, ligament etc.) for a variety of diagnostic purposes. Tiny crystals located in the transducer (head) of the ultrasound machine vibrate creating high-frequency sound waves that travel into the tissue and bounce off deeper structures. When these waves bounce back, they are received by the ultrasound machine and converted into an image. When used in the context of pelvic floor physiotherapy, the therapist utilizes real-time ultrasound to assess the client’s ability to contract the deep core stabilizers, the pelvic floor muscles and the presence and/or extent of diastasis rectus abdominis (DRA). Our state of the art machine also features a large display monitor that allows clients to visualize their muscles contracting in real-time, making it a means by which we can educate clients on how to produce an effective core or pelvic floor contraction.



What are we looking at when using real-time ultrasound during a session?

During your first session, your therapist will examine your ability to contract your deep core stabilizers and assess if you have a tendency to over/under activating certain muscles of the core. They will also examine your pelvic floor contraction by visualizing the bladder and examining for a lift when doing a pelvic floor contraction. If you have concerns, signs or symptoms of diastasis rectus abdominis, they may also examine the rectus abdominis muscle to determine the extent of separation along the midline with core contraction.


Can my pelvic floor therapist give me any information about my fetus or concerns regarding my pelvic organs?

Unfortunately, no. As physiotherapists, commenting on anything visualized on real-time ultrasound other than the contractility of the muscles would be outside of our scope of practice. Please follow up with your GP for any concerns regarding the developing fetus or pelvic organs.


If I have the real-time ultrasound done during my session, do I still require an internal examination to assess my pelvic floor function?

It is important to note that no client is ever obligated to consent to any form of assessment or treatment that they are not comfortable with. That being said, however, the real-time ultrasound only provides us with one perspective of pelvic floor function. The tone of the pelvic floor, the presence of prolapse and aspects of its contractility and strength cannot be thoroughly assessed with ultrasound alone. For this reason, we do highly recommend an internal pelvic exam to obtain a comprehensive assessment of pelvic floor function.


Coast Therapy is an award-winning provider of Massage Therapy & Physiotherapy services to Port Coquitlam, East Vancouver, Port Moody, Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge and Coquitlam residents for over 16 years.

We offer extensive experience in manual therapy and active care for complex sport & injury rehabilitation, prenatal & post-partum care, medical conditions, chronic pain, and general wellness concerns. Our therapists are experts in helping you achieve long-lasting pain relief and functional improvement.