Rehabilitative ultrasound imaging of the abdominal muscles

J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2007 Aug;37(8):450-66. doi: 10.2519/jospt.2007.2558.


Rehabilitative ultrasound imaging (RUSI) of the abdominal muscles is increasingly being used in the management of conditions involving musculoskeletal dysfunctions associated with the abdominal muscles, including certain types of low back and pelvic pain. This commentary provides an overview of current concepts and evidence related to RUSI of the abdominal musculature, including issues addressing the potential role of ultrasound imaging in the assessment and training of these muscles. Both quantitative and qualitative aspects associated with clinical and research applications are considered, as are the possible limitations related to the interpretation of measurements made with RUSI. Research to date has utilized a range of methodological approaches, including different transducer placements and imaging techniques. The pros and cons of the various methods are discussed, and guidelines for future investigations are presented. Potential implications and opportunities for clinical use of RUSI to enhance evidence-based practice are outlined, as are suggestions for future research to further clarify the possible role of RUSI in the evaluation and treatment of abdominal muscular morphology and function.

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Muscles / diagnostic imaging*
  • Abdominal Muscles / physiology
  • Biofeedback, Psychology
  • Humans
  • Rehabilitation*
  • Ultrasonography / methods
  • United States