Physiotherapists in Women’s Health and Continence use Realtime Ultrasound Imaging as a biofeedback rather than a diagnostic tool.  It is not available everywhere and certainly not an essential part of practice. It can be helpful so that the patient can visualise the movement when either activating or trying to release the pelvic floor.

For the patient:
It can be motivating when you feel that you are not achieving very much movement
You can see the structures in the pelvis that you are trying to target with your efforts
It improves awareness of the pelvic floor muscles  as you see their direction of movement
You can see the bladder and the bowel
You can see whether the bladder is empty when you think that it should be
You can see when an organ is prolapsed exactly how much it prolapses
You can practice the timing of your muscle contraction e.g. with coughing
You can see whether the muscle actually relaxes when you think that it does
You can see following the manual interventions of a physiotherapist whether the movement in the pelvic floor has changed /improved

Video Examples

See the two videos below showing the change of quality of pelvic floor muscle contraction before and after a manual therapy intervention session. The direction of contraction can be seen where the muscles contract from the back towards the front up into the neck of the bladder. The difference is that the direction of contraction is improved lifting into the neck of the bladder. The quality of release is also improved appearing a little less sluggish.

Pelvic floor before

Pelvic floor after