Seeing Is Believing

Peak Sports And Spine Centre uses the latest technology to assist recovery from pain and dysfunction or to facilitate performance.

The system allows the physiotherapist to “look” into the muscles inside your body from the outside (non-invasively, of course) while they are working, giving a new dimension to our Brisbane physiotherapy program. Patients are shown a real-time video on screen how the deep muscles are functioning. RTU uses sound waves and does not use any ionising radiation like in X-rays.

What is Real Time Ultrasound (RTU) Imaging?

RTU is essentially the system used by ships at sea and dolphins: sonar. The technology involves the use of an ultrasound transducer, which sends inaudible sound waves through the body, creating an image by bouncing and reflecting to and from the body’s internal organs and tissues. RTU is used as an imaging tool that allows our physiotherapists to create a visualisation on the contractions of the deep core muscles of the trunk. In physiotherapy, these ‘core’ muscles are critical in providing proper support to the pelvis and spinal column.

With RTU, both patient and physiotherapist can look at how efficiently the core muscles contract, with the therapist providing an assessment on what needs to be done for improvement.

How can we help?

  • Visual feedback
  • Better diagnosis and assessment
  • Viewing the stabilising muscles as the contraction occurs provides an accurate assessment of the quality, timing and endurance of the stabilising muscle contraction
  • Real time ultrasound provides important feedback to the patient on how well they are performing their exercises and is a powerful teaching tool


  • More accurate assessment
  • Faster diagnosis
  • Less invasive
  • Provides feedback needed for correction

Who Can Benefit from Real Time Ultrasound (RTU) Imaging?

Individuals with spinal pain that has not subsided after therapy, yoga, Pilates and core muscle training may be experiencing core instability that can only be assessed by RTU imaging. Patients who are unsure on whether or not their deep core muscles are working correctly may find an RTU assessment of great benefit.