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Transverse muscle biofeedback for the evolution of research

Updated: Jul 24, 2023

You probably know this, but the transversus abdominis muscle plays a crucial role in maintaining lumbar and pelvic stability, as well as preventing musculoskeletal disorders. How do we know all this ? Well, like most of our knowledge in the medical field: through scientific literature, clinical research and empiricism (experience). But the road to knowledge of the transverse muscle has not been so easy...

If there's at least one thing we know for sure about the transversus abdominis, it's that it's the deepest of the abdominal muscles. And it's precisely because of its deep location, and the difficulty of assessing it, that our understanding of this muscle and its function has long been limited. Until now, only ultrasound has been able to assess this muscle. A method which, despite its effectiveness, had certain research limitations. If you've seen what an echograph looks like, you're probably aware of the limitations we're talking about. Indeed, this method requires specialized (and imposing) equipment and specific skills to be used correctly. What's more, ultrasound assessment relies mainly on static measurements, not allowing visualization of the transversus abdominis muscle in motion or when performing specific exercises. This is one of the main reasons why our knowledge of this muscle's activation and dynamic function has been limited in a wide variety of clinical contexts.

The Deep-EMG® for more complete researches

But that's all history now. With the arrival of Blueback Physio, endless new possibilities are opening up for researchers and healthcare professionals.

And we're here to introduce you to them!

This quantitative approach reinforces the scientific rigor of studies and enables more precise comparison between the results of different research projects.

This will provide a unique opportunity to observe muscle contraction patterns of the transversus abdominis, its coordination with other muscles, and variations between individuals and between different pathologies. These observations can be used to generate new research hypotheses and explore specific aspects of the role of the transversus muscle in different clinical contexts.

For example, Deep-EMG® can be used to explore the role and activation patterns of the transversus abdominis associated with different clinical applications. We're thinking, of course, of post-partum rehabilitation or low-back pain, where the role of the transversus is no longer questioned. Researchers can now affirm, complete and quantify what has already been mentioned in the scientific literature. In other words, they will be able to put figures on the difference in results obtained between rehabilitation with the integration of the transversus abdominis and rehabilitation without the work of this muscle.

That's exactly what we've started to do with our first clinical trial on the benefits of biofeedback of the transverse muscle in the treatment of chronic low back pain. A clinical trial which confirmed the importance of deep muscle work in this type of rehabilitation, but also of the biofeedback method, which improved the efficiency and speed of work on this muscle. So, in addition to increasing our knowledge of the transverse abdominis, Blueback Physio can also improve the effectiveness of the care provided by healthcare professionals.

More data to improve care efficiency?

This objective data is not just for researchers and their work. Quantifying the engagement of the transversus abdominis muscle also comes in handy for all our rehabilitation pros. Thanks to these figures, they can precisely adjust the intensity, duration and progression of exercise difficulty, thus maximizing their patients' sessions. As we say at Blueback, "to adapt is to optimize! "

Physiotherapists equipped with transverse biofeedback can also self-train for these rehabilitations. Yes, we did say self-training. In other words, as sessions and patients progress, this deep muscle work will become simpler for the physiotherapist, who will have accumulated a wealth of information on activation of the transversus abdominis in different patients with different pathologies. All his instructions can be validated (or not) by the signal emitted by biofeedback, enabling him at each session to validate his beliefs, or create new ones, always based on objective data.

These new data will enable us to improve the effectiveness of our treatments, and at the same time, to drive research forward. This quantitative approach reinforces the scientific rigor of studies, and enables more precise comparison between the results of different research projects.

Blueback is all about research, scientific rigor and evolution!

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