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Dec 2, 2013

Quite literally a pain in the butt

I seriously love my job. Yes of course I have days where my sunny courtyard is much more appealing than the inside of a physio practice, If I didn’t I wouldn’t be normal. The thing I love most; apart from the insanely awesome team I work with, is that no two days are the same. The only common thing? They are all suffering pain.

It’s bizarre how life goes, and this has happened to me several times now. I’ll have someone present with a condition that I haven’t seen for a AGES; suddenly within that week 2-3 more people will walk through the door with the exact same problem. It’s as if it becomes the ‘trending’ injury for that week.. and then I won’t see another one for another few months!!!

I have had one of those months. This months ‘trending’ injury is quite literally a pain in the ass.

Piriformis Syndrome

People with this problem usually come in complaining of ‘sciatica’ that starts deep in their bottom. Just to clear a few things up because people often get this confused, sciatica is not a diagnosis as such; but a set of symptoms. Basically if someone says they have sciatica it means they have pain running down the back and/or outside of their leg. This can originate in the lower back due to a variety of things or it can start deep in buttock area. It’s caused by an irritation of the sciatic nerve at some point along its windy path from the lumbar spine (lower back) to the foot.



Categories Back General Issues Tags piriformis syndrome sciatica leg pain buttock pain muscle spasm massage physiotherapy sciatic nerve pain

Jun 17, 2013

What is Dry Needling

Anyone that has ever received physio treatment from me will know that I love DRY NEEDLING. I love it so much that I have been known to do it on myself on occasions! It is by far the most useful and important technique I have studied since leaving university. Headaches, muscle tears, swollen joints, chronic stubborn tendon problems… in my opinion it works wonders on most conditions that walk through my door.

The hardest part of dry needling is actually convincing people that it will help with their pain and recovery. Some are willing to try anything and everything without the slightest bit of interest as to why or how dry needling works, but many are interested in the theory behind why it works….. Understanding is half the cure right!

What is Dry Needling?

Dry Needling utilises an extremely fine needle similar to that used in traditional Chinese acupuncture. However unlike the Chinese who needle based on ‘meridians’ and ‘flow of chi’ within the body, western dry needling targets over active tight muscles known as trigger points or knots.

Categories Anatomy Series Ankle Athlete Interview Back General Issues Guest Blog - Nutrition Health and Wellbeing Knee Neck Shin Pain Tags Dry Needling Western Acupuncture Pain Muscle spasm trigger points twitch response headaches

Jun 13, 2013

Anatomy Series: Back to Basics - The Lower Back

I deal with ALOT of back pain patients, and I think that a huge part of treating back pain is giving the patient the ability to understand WHY they are in pain. I won't lie the anatomy of the spine is complex and can be difficult to explain in a way that people with no anatomical knowledge will understand.

So I have decided to do a couple of anatomy blogs to try and give readers a basic understanding of the body, how it works like it does, and why it often breaks down and you end up in a consultation with me!

The spine itself is made up of 33 vertebrae that is classed into 5 regions.

  • The cervical region (or your neck) has 7 vertebrae
  • The thoracic region (mid back) has 12 vertebrae
  • The lumbar region (low back) has 5 vertebrae
  • The Sacrum (joints the spine to the pelvis) has 5 vertebrae which are all fused as one
  • The coccyx has 4 small vertebrae all fused together

Often you will hear people say humans have 24 vertebrae which is correct if you count the fused sacrum and coccyx as one vertebrae each.

This anatomy series will focus on the lumbar spine or lower back. One of the most commonly injured and treated problems in our physio practise.

What is the Lower Back?


Categories Anatomy Series Ankle Athlete Interview Back General Issues Guest Blog - Nutrition Health and Wellbeing Knee Neck Shin Pain Tags lower back spine vertebrae facet joint intervetebral disc spinal cord anatomy

Mar 18, 2013

What's the latest on Lauryn Eagle's sports agenda?

I first met Lauryn back at school when we roomed together on a rep hockey trip to lovely bathurst! Loz has an infectious sense of adventure and together I think we caused our coaches a few headaches managing to get ourselves in some pretty silly situations..

I hadn’t seen Loz since my school days but was lucky enough to bump into her recently whilst doing some physio coverage at a rugby 7′s training camp.  Already an Australian professional boxer, waterskiing champion, TV personality, part time model Lauryn is now eyeing off a spot in the National Women’s 7′s Rugby team.

Eastsports Physio chatted with Lauryn a little more about how she stays healthy and happy whilst juggling several sports and a busy social life.


Categories Ankle Athlete Interview Back General Issues Guest Blog - Nutrition Health and Wellbeing Knee Neck Shin Pain Tags Lauryn Eagle boxing waterskiing Women's 7's exercise Lady Luck

Jan 31, 2013

The latest fitness fad.. Have you tried SUP'ing?

In the early 2000s some Hawaiian blokes decided that standing up on their surfboards on flat water with a paddle would be a great way of developing their surfing skills when the surf was flat. 10 years later its emerged as a global phenomenen thats taken to our shores as the latest and greatest fitness fad. Stand up paddleboarding or SUP'ing for short is a great way to add a little zest to your boring, monotonous exercise program, and the what better way to do it than in your bikini on a hot summers day!


Categories Ankle Athlete Interview Back General Issues Knee Neck Shin Pain Tags Standup paddleboarding SUP fitness exercise summer workout

Jun 22, 2012

Solutions to your training excuses.

EastSports Physiotherapy has its first guest blogger! Personal trainer and director of 2brothersfitness, Nick Batger, shares some common excuses for missed training sessions, and why those excuses just don't fly with him... or any personal trainer for that matter!

Summer has come and gone, so to has Autumn and both were wet and miserable. Winter is now here and as a result we have cold mornings and early darkness upon us. Despite the rain, the appeal of a blanket, a warm drink and the TV in winter there should be no excuses for not getting up and burning those calories we so richly enjoy consuming. So here are the 5 common excuses I hear for skipping training, the easy answers to those excuses and some training tips.

1. Excuse: It's too cold!

Answer: Wear some warm clothes and get training! This may be the most common excuse come winter but it is the easiest to answer, if you get your body moving you will heat up and then you'll be complaining your sweating too much!
Exercise: To get that heart rate up quickly jump into 10 push ups, 10 backwards lunges and knee drives on both legs, then work your way down from 10 to 9,8,7....

2. Excuse: I don't have time!

Answer: Make time! All you need is 3 x 10 minute blocks during the day. If you can't find this time, stop working so hard... It’s called work-LIFE balance!
Exercise: Struggling for time? Try these exercises out for size. 45 seconds of mountain climbers, jumping lunges, froggies, squat jumps, burpees. Take a 1 minute break and then repeat. This quick 5 minute burst can all be done in the comfort of your living room.

3. Excuse: I'm not fit enough to start

Answer: There is only one way to get fit and it isn't sitting on the couch! Everyone starts somewhere and the beauty of training is you will see improvements very quickly.
Exercise: Start by jogging for 30 seconds, then walk for 30 seconds. Continue this with an Ipod of your favourite songs blasting in your ears for 20-30 minutes and you've made a pretty good start. Progress to running for 35 seconds and walking for 25 seconds and before you know it you will be running for the full 30 minutes!

4. Excuse: Exercise is too costly!

Answer: Exercise is free! There are parks to run in, beaches to swim at, mountains to hike and so much more that's the beauty of living in Australia!
Get to the park  and kick a footy, go for a walk with a friend and catch up on the week that was or the current TV show engulfing your life. Hit the beach and go for a swim or if it's too cold to jump in, run up those sand hills. The options are endless!

5. Excuse: Exercise hurts

Answer: Maybe in the short-term it hurts but a lack of fitness and exercise will cripple you in the long-term. Sure you'll be sore for a couple of days following the start of new exercises but after 3 - 4 sessions doing the new exercises the delayed pain will be a but a distant memory. (Still not convinced?... check out the blog on DOMS)
Exercise: You can’t avoid the delayed pain, the only way to get rid of it is to allow your body time to adapt to the new exercise regime. Try this one: Begin with 20 squats, 10 lunges each leg, 10 single leg calf raises on each leg, followed by 45 seconds of an invisible chair. Then straight into 20 push ups ( on your knees if needed), 20 bent over rows, 20 shoulder press', 20 bicep curls and 20 tricep extensions. Then repeat 3 times followed by a stretch on all those muscles you worked. If you don't have access to weights improvise with household items such as milk bottles...

If you haven't worked out by now there really isn't any good excuses for missing training.. Don't get caught inside this winter.. Get training!

Categories Ankle Back General Issues Knee Neck

Jun 12, 2012

Common Back Pain Myths.... Busted

Back pain is one of the most common presenting problems that I see on a day to day basis... At some point in our lives 8/10 of us will suffer from an episode of back pain. Despite this statistic we arent exactly well educated when it comes to our backs!!! Here are some common "myths" about how to save our backs...

1.    "I shouldn’t lift heavy objects" : there is slight truth to this comment, repetitive lifting can put undue stress on our lower back and predispose to injury. However this can be avoided if the correct lifting technique is used. Lifting should come from the legs, bend the knees and keep the back straight..... Use your quads and buttocks; they are after all two of the biggest muscles in our bodies!!

2.    " I always sit with good posture so I shouldn't get back pain" while having good posture is important, even a perfect ergonomic setup won't reverse the negative effects that 6-8 hours of sitting can have in our spine. Sitting places stress through our intervertebral discs which are the shock absorbers of the spine. The seated position also puts our hip flexors in the shortened position and encourages our deep abdominals to be lazy, particularly when you slouch ( that's 80% of us by 3pm)

3.    "I do 100 situps a day so my back should be nice and strong" unfor

Unfortunately it takes alot mor ethan 100 situps daily to have a strong spine. Ideally you need a good core stability program. Our core stabilisers are the deepest layer of abdominals consisting of the tranverse abdominus, lumbar multifidus, pelvic floor and diaphragm. These muscles help to provide a corset and give support to the discs and joints of our spine.

4.    " When I have back pain I should lie flat on my back in bed till it goes away" there is no doubt that in an acute episode of back pain that rest is essential. However exercise is the best thing  for speeding up your recovery. You should consult your physiotherapist for appropriate exercises that will be safe for you in the acute phase and as your pain resides these exercises can be progressed and become a long term maintenance program for your back

5.    "Sleeping position doesn't really impact our backs" for all the tummy sleepers our there it's time to ditch this bad habit... The best way to sleep is on your side with a pillow between your knees (the lazy S). This position maintains the natural curves of your spine

6.    "Other health factors don't affect my chance of developing back pain" incorrect there are several health factors that actually increase our chances of suffering from back pain.

  • Smoking: the chemicals in cigarettes actually dehydrate our intervertebral discs and speeds up the process of degeneration. Research indicates that smokers will take 6 months longer to fully recover from disc related back pain.
  • Extra pounds: carrying extra kilos will place excessive on the shock absorbers in our spine and also increase the load through the weight bearing joints causing them to wear out faster
  • Hydration: our intevetebral discs are made up of around 70% water. The amount of water will depend on the amount of load applied through the disc ( this will differ at night - discs tend to rehydrate over night as we sleep) when a disc is dehydrated its mechanical properties are altered significantly and can no longer absorb stress as efficiently

Categories Back Tags Back Pain core stability posture physiotherapy EastSports Physiotherapy