Real Time Ultrasound

 RTUS of the bladder and the effect of an optimal pelvic floor contraction (pic 2) in comparison to butt gripping/ overusing the back part of the pelvic foor (3)

The physiotherapists at Sydney Spine and Pelvis Physiotherapy use Real Time Ultrasound (RTUS) imaging to assess and treat the way your deep muscles fire for low back and pelvic stability, hip function, and thoracic control.

Your “core” lumbopelvic core muscles, specifically transversus abdominis, deep multifidus, and pelvic floor muscles are meant to activate very gently every time you move, and without you really noticing that they are turning on. If you have low back or pelvic girdle pain, urinary stress incontinence or you’ve been pregnant and given birth these muscles often stop functioning properly. Research has also shown that even when your pain goes away, these deep stabilising core muscles may not return to normal activation, and this predisposes you to have recurrent episodes of back or pelvic pain. It is therefore important to know if these muscles are working properly.

We can use RTUS imaging in our clinic to see if you can ‘contract your core’ and if you are actually getting the right muscles to do what you want them to do – that is, that you can get them contract when you want them too, and without other muscles overworking.. Many patients find that being able to see their muscles work as they look at the ultrasound screen makes a big difference to ‘finding their core’ . Being able activate your core in a normal fashion is the first step in core retraining, before we move on to being able to maintain core control through more functional exercises or sports activities


We also use RTUS to help us image your gluteal muscles when there is hip pain or hip pathology, post hip labral repair surgery, or previous signs of gluteal muscle weakness.

Remember - training your control of muscle activation comes before strengthening; get your pattern of activation right first and then reinforce the pattern; ultrasound imaging can speed up your learning curve.