Updated: Jun 6
So far, we've only shared diagnostic imaging using musculoskeletal (MSK) ultrasound to show actual injuries from patients coming into our clinic. But we can also use the imaging for injury prevention as well. According to this study from Sara Condino, as tissue moves closer to injury, it sometimes loses its' "sliding surface" mechanism between other layers of tissue. Basically, the layers can become "stuck" together before straining or tearing. Check out the video below.
Notice how the arrows show layers of tissue moving in opposite directions? This is good! This is a dynamic image we took of the lateral head of gastrocnemius (calf) muscle. The gastroc is seen moving freely, superficial to the underlying soleus muscle. This tells us that the "tightness" this athlete was experiencing in his calf is very likely nothing to worry about and should be treated with stretching and myofascial release while he continues to train.
For us, this is another extremely valuable use of MSK ultrasound! We can monitor the current "state of the tissue" and watch closely for changes that may indicate we're getting close to an injury.
Dr. Kyle Bowling is a sports chiropractor based in Louisville, Ky. His practice is one of few sports injury clinics in Louisville to offer musculoskeletal (MSK) ultrasound. Reach out anytime with questions!