What is Real Time Ultrasound imaging?


Similar to the scanning of an unborn child, Real Time Ultrasound Imaging (RTUI) enables the patient to view his / her own musculature in a non-evasive and pain free manner.


This allows the patient to gain an understanding of how to activate these muscles, so that longer term strength gains may be made in these key muscle groups.


Rehabilitative Real Time Ultrasound Imaging (RTUI) has emerged as a unique tool for the assessment and rehabilitation of the abdomen with lumbo-pelvic pain and movement restrictions.


This imaging provides:


  • Play by play information to assist the patient’s education about their precise problem.
  • A form of feedback which enables technique to be modified for success.


Chronic Lower Back Pain


Ultrasound is being increasingly used by Physiotherapists as part of the treatment of Chronic Low Back Pain. It constitutes part of an overall program to increase muscle strength and function in the abdominal and lower back region.


In patients with Chronic Low Back Pain:


  • There can often be a weakness and poor control over the Transverse Abdominus muscles (deep abdominals).
  • There can often be weakness or no activation of the Multifidus muscles (stabilizer muscles of the lower spine).
  • There may be evidence of muscle wasting and/or imbalances at the spinal level of injury.


Pain levels can be reduced by:


  • Retraining – teaching the patient how to activate these muscles • Rebuilding – improving the strength and support provided by these muscles.
  • Maintaining – longer term maintenance of strength and functionality for these muscles.


Athletes & Sportspeople


Real Time Ultrasound Imaging:


  • Can fine tune the individuals core control
  • Can assist the deactivation of over-busy superficial power muscles
  • Can enhance efficiency, economy, endurance and form


Real time Ultrasound imaging can show:


  • Muscle Function
  • Muscle Symmetry
  • Muscle Size
  • Muscle Strength Progress


Recent medical research has proven RTUI to be an appropriate and effective teaching method, improving rehabilitation timeframes and allowing the physiotherapist to provide direct proof of the patient’s trunk muscle behaviour.


Quality information = Faster learning




There are no known adverse effects of ultrasound imaging. The ultrasound uses an even smaller percentage of sound wave than other physiotherapy ultrasound equipment.


All Physiotherapists have therapeutic ultrasound licensing as part of their Annual Practicing Certification.


A thorough screening and consent process is required prior to an ultrasound appointment. Ask your physiotherapist if RTUI is an appropriate tool to use in conjunction with your current treatment.


Should any unforeseen abnormality be found while scanning your muscles, you would be informed of this and advised to visit your family physician.




A fee will apply for this specialized service.