Rehabilitative Ultrasound Imaging (RUSI)

Rehabilitative Ultrasound Imaging (RUSI) is a non-invasive tool that employs the same safe and tested technology used for pregnancy monitoring. This technology dramatically enhances our ability to accurately identify motor control deficits in deep and hard-to-access muscles that are commonly impaired in patients with musculoskeletal problems. Research has shown that RUSI can provide muscle imaging and measurements comparable to MRI in accuracy, but in addition, it also allows for dynamic real-time (video) images to be generated. The ability to objectively visualize these deep muscles during movement allows us to more accurately identify the root cause of your problem and prescribe more specific exercises to help you feel better faster. With the combination of RUSI and manual therapy we are successfully treating many patients that have had long standing symptoms or have failed other treatment regimens.

Low Back Pain, Lower-Extremity Injuries, and RUSI


Extensive research has shown that retraining the deep stabilizing muscles of the spine can significantly reduce the recurrence of low back pain. These muscles become impaired with injury or degenerative changes in the spine and don’t recover automatically, even after the acute episode of back pain resolves. One recent study demonstrated that people who do not retrain their deep stabilizing muscles are 12.4 times more likely to have a recurrence of debilitating low back pain within a 3-year period.

Additionally, in several studies of athletes, there is increasing evidence that disruption in the function of these deep stabilizing muscles may be the cause of tendon, ligament, and muscle injuries in the lower extremities.

Studies have demonstrated that using RUSI to retrain the spinal stabilizers results in greater success than with traditional rehabilitation techniques.

Pelvic Floor Function and RUSI

Incontinence is a common problem that is often accepted as a normal part of aging or having children. Incontinence is not normal, however, and is often caused by disruption in muscle activation patterns in the lumbar and pelvic stabilizing muscles. RUSI offers a comfortable, non-invasive, and helpful biofeedback tool to successfully retrain pelvic floor function by visualizing it through the lower abdomen.

Our therapists have specialized training in the use of RUSI for the assessment and treatment of many common musculoskeletal conditions, including:

  • Low Back Pain
  • Rotator Cuff Issues
  • Neck Pain
  • Hip Pain
  • Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
  • Continence Issues

Rehabilitative Ultrasound Imaging allows Physical Therapists to:

  • Obtain objective measurements of deep-muscle function and soft-tissue health
  • Educate patients on their specific muscle dysfunction
  • Give direct, real time visual feedback to patients, showing their muscle contraction patterns during dynamic tasks
  • Assess and implement the best training and rehabilitation techniques for each individual
  • Monitor progress in rehabilitation to ensure that changes to treatment are made at the optimum times