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Sep 14, 2014

Are you 'running into problems'?

Iliotibial band (ITB) Friction syndrome is one of the most common causes of lateral (outside) knee pain that we see, especially in runners. It’s also probably one of the most frustrating problems both for myself and for the patient. It is largely an overuse injury due to the repetitive nature of activities such as running. It often starts out as a little ‘niggle’ however gradually worsens & worsens until it quite literally will stop you in your tracks.


Categories General Issues Knee Tags knee pain ITB running overuse ITB friction syndrome physiotherapy massage exercise

Aug 13, 2014

Dealing with stubborn tendon problems

Treating and managing ‘tendon’ problems one of the most frustrating group of injuries I encounter, mainly because their recovery often has no time frame, it’s never linear, instead they tend to be a 2 steps forward one step back kind of problem. If it’s frustrating for me, I can only imagine how my patients must feel.


The answer isn’t black & white (it never is in medicine). There are however a few anatomical and physiological factors that can help explain why tendon problems can be stubborn as all hell.

I’ll quickly given you a little anatomical insight as to what a tendon actually is, and no a tendon is not a ligament (I do kind of understand why people get this concept confused). Tendons are thin fibrous bands which connect a muscle to a bone. Their function is to transmit forces, essentially providing stability with no real ‘active’ work. Not all tendons function the same. Some are positional purely assisting with controlling the position of the joint (fingers) while some can actually store energy & work as springs to assist with basic movements of the body such as walking.

Tendon dysfunction is usually a result of overuse due to repetitive stress being placed through one particular area of the body. Common sites include the Achilles, the patella tendon, the rotator cuff, tennis elbow & the hamstring tendon.


Categories Exercise & fitness General Issues Health and Wellbeing Tags tendonitis tendinosis physiotherapy inflammation overuse pain running degenerative Eastsports Physiotherapy management rest

Jul 14, 2014

Can high heels damage your feet?

Very excited to have a little guest blog from our friends down at PodMed in Double Bay.  We treat alot of women with foot & lower limb problems…. when discussing aspects of their rehabilitation the wearing of high heels is often a question that comes up… So we asked the podiatrists…. they are at the end of the day experts when it comes to feet!


Categories Ankle Exercise & fitness General Issues Health and Wellbeing Tags feet high heels foot pain podiatry physiotherapy stretching strengthening orthotics

Jun 24, 2014

Have you injured your meniscus?

The knee is of the most commonly injured areas in the body. Generally we see a pretty even spread between acute knee injuries sustained from a traumatic event such as during sport or from a trip or fall; on the other hand we have the overuse knee problems…. the runners that pump out a huge amount of km per week resulting to overload or inflammation of some of the structures in and around the knee.

The meniscus or menisci (we have two in each knee) and one of the internal cartilages within the knee joint that can be prone to injury both acutely and as a result of overuse.

The menisci are moon shaped cartilages that are located in the knee. They are the ‘shock absorbers’ which permit us to undertake such high intensity and high impact activities. (READ FULL BLOG HERE)

Categories General Issues Health and Wellbeing Knee Tags meniscus knee knee pain cartilage physiotherapy injury knee injury eastsports physiotherapy

Jun 3, 2014

Shoulder Impingement Syndrome

It’s got many names…. rotator cuff tendinitis, swimmers shoulder, throwers shoulder, subacromial impingement or subacromial bursitis. These are all smart, intelligent sounding names for pain that occurs deep in the anterolateral shoulder (anterior meaning front & lateral meaning side… so to the front and side)

Lets do a little anatomy recap: The shoulder is a ball and socket joint; likened to a golf ball on a golf tee. The humerus or upper arm bone sits against a small socket called the glenoid. It’s an inherently unstable joint which is why we are able to perform all the weird & wacky movements with our arms.

The rotator cuff are a group of 4 muscles: supraspinatus, infraspinatus, subscapularis and teres minor. Their role? to depress the head of the humerus essentially assisting the joint capsule and shoulder ligaments to hold it snug in its socket.


Categories shoulder Exercise & fitness Health and Wellbeing Tags shoulder pain rotator cuff impingement tendonitis shoulder physiotherapy strengthening stretching massage dry needling

Are you hypermobile?

As physiotherapists we spend ALOT of time working with people who have stiff joints, tight muscles, reduced movement….. All of these things present as a lack of mobility, which is, in most cases, resulting in pain (hence why they are sitting in my waiting room).

BUT sometimes we forget about the other side of the coin….. The hypermobile ones, those that have TOO much movement, their joints have more range than required, their muscles are too flexible.

This is actually a problem that exists far more commonly than one may think, often it is asymptomatic & people won’t even be aware that their body is a little more like an elastic band than their best friends, BUT in some cases joint hypermobility syndrome can cause pain.

Joint hypermobility is usually inherited; if your mum is super super flexible, chances you will be too. There is nothing you can do to change it or prevent it, unfortunately its due to a gene representation in the connective tissue (the glue that holds our bodies together) causing it to become more pliable& more stretchy allowing for excessive movement at certain joints.

People with hypermobile joints have a higher incidence of dislocation and sprains of involved joints. The hypermobility tends to decrease with age as we naturally become less flexible.


Categories Exercise & fitness General Issues Health and Wellbeing Tags hypermobile flexibility movement strengthening stretching physiotherapy

Feb 10, 2014

Don't be 'hamstrung' by hamstring injury

The rugby season is rapidly approaching… training is back in full swing… the club is finally showing a few signs of life again; felt a little like a ghost town during the off-season… and the best part? (Insert sarcasm here) I trade sunny Saturday afternoon’s lazing poolside for sweaty footballers, strapping tape and deep heat.

In most professional sports these days a lot of time and money is invested into ‘injury prevention programs’. Players are screened individually with data used to create personalised gym programs  tailored to suit each athletes specific strength and mobility needs…. All this in attempt to try and keep players on the field week in week out.

A big focus in all codes of rugby and also football (or soccer as I like to call it) has been preventing hamstring strains and tears. Easily one of the most common injuries that can sideline players for weeks and furthermore when correct rehabilitation doesn’t take place the chance of re-occurrence can further delay return to play.

To develop an effective ‘prevention’ program we need to address the reasons why hamstrings seem to be so vulnerable to injury.


Categories Exercise & fitness General Issues Tags hamstring hamstring strain hamstring tear massage strengthening pre season training gym dry needling physiotherapy

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

Sep 29, 2013

The road to becoming an Iron Man

Imagine the fittest person you know… and by fit I don’t just mean your mate who can run 20km with ease or your boyfriend who squats 100kg.. Now multiply that by 10 and you have Adam Becker. I’m not kidding this guy is on another level of fit. Mentally and physically he is the fittest person I know.

A few weeks ago he asked me if I wanted to do a running session with him. I considered it until I found out it was 100 x 100m efforts on the clock. The other option was 28 x 1km efforts. I’m not sure which is worse all I know was that there was no way I was attempting either session with this crazy kid!

I first met Adam when he playing footy down at East’s Rugby. He is now the manager of Parc Ftness, a small boutique gym chain in Bellevue Hill and Rose Bay, a personal trainer, Cranbrook rowing coach and IRON MAN.

I caught up with him following his first Iron Man in Japan a few weeks ago… (where he came 2nd in his age group I might add) to chat about his training scheduale and how he came to be the fittest human in the eastern suburbs.




Categories Athlete Interview General Issues Tags Iron Man training exercise running cycling triathlon Adam Becker East's Rugby Parc Fitness physiotherapy EastSports physiotehrapy

Sep 2, 2013

Why stress can be a real pain in the neck.

Sydney can, at times, be a very overwhelming place to live. Don’t get me wrong I LOVE this city and quite frankly I probably would choose it over any other place in the world especially to live my current lifestyle.

I like the hustle and bustle, the chaos, the crowds; but there are a lot of people I know who just don’t cope with the fast paced society many of us thrive on. Interestingly it’s these same people who seem to suffer ALOT with stress related problems.

The most common presentation that we get that’s driven by stress is neck / upper back pain quite often associated with headaches. So called ‘tension’ headaches are a combination of physical and emotional stress resulting in tight overactive muscles through the neck and shoulder region. This dull ache precipitates behind the eyes and feels like a tight band around the forehead can turn what you were hoping to be a productive days work into a nightmare where you literally can’t sit still and have concentration levels of a 5 year old.



Categories General Issues Health and Wellbeing Tags stress headache muscle tension neck pain pain physiotherapy massage

Aug 4, 2013


This is a true story…… the other day I had a 22 year old male client come in for treatment to his sore knee. We chatted about his injury (sustained playing ruby) and I was going through all the typical tests to ensure all the ligaments and cartilages were ok. He then turned to me, and I would say he genuinely looked scared (remember he is 22) and said “is it arthritis?”. Luckily I know this particular patient quite well do he didn’t take too much offense when I laughed a little at his question.


What is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis (OA) is degeneration or wear and tear of the joint surfaces, specifically the articular cartilage (cartilage that lines all our joint surfaces acting as a shock absorber) and subchondral bone (first layer of bone which sits directly below the cartilage). OA most commonly affects the hands, feet and spine and large weight bearing joints such as the hips and knees. (FULL BLOG HERE)


Categories General Issues Tags osteoarthritis arthritis physiotherapy degeneration joint replacement

Apr 7, 2013

EastSports Physio now offering Shock Wave Therapy

Is chronic tendonitis plaguing you? Pain stopping you from exercising or playing sport?
Have you tried EVERYTHING possible?

What about Extra Corporeal Shock Wave Therapy?

EastSports Physiotherapy are now using Shock Wave Therapy to treat a range of chronic tendinopathies such as Achillies tendonitis, tennis elbow, plantar fasciitis and patella tendonitis.

Tendonitis is a notoriously difficult problem to treat, with some cases taking 6-9 months or longer to resolve. This is because in such cases we are not dealing with pure inflammation but rather the tendon has undergone degenerative changes resulting in cell damage and small microtears within the tendon.

We understand this can be a hugely frustrating process for our patients who just want to be pain free and able to get back to their exercise routine. Shock Wave Therapy is a treatment  method that is growing in popularity and research is showing it can assist with speeding up the recovery process from these ever stubborn conditions!


Categories General Issues Tags Shockwave Therapy tendonitis tendinosis tennis elbow achilles tendonitis pain relief physiotherapy

Mar 12, 2013

Do 'special physio creams' work?

We are constantly sent samples and sachets of the latest special ‘healing’ creams. Most of them promise a natural solution to relieve muscle and joint aches and pains.. but do these often overpriced creams actually work?  and is there any science behind them whatsoever?


Categories General Issues Tags physiotherapy muscle pains ache massage herbal medecine arnica fisciocrem

Oct 16, 2012

Heat vs Ice. When to use what

One of the most common question patients ask me on a day to day basis is should I use Ice or heat for this injury? I can understand why this can be confusing considering the amount of conflicting information we are given about when to use what. So I’m out to set the record straight.. pay attention because using the wrong treatment on the wrong injury can sometimes just make matters worse! (READ MORE)

Categories General Issues Tags heat ice acute injury chronic pain back pain physiotherapy

Oct 7, 2012

A natural shot of adrenalin

Thanks to my job I spend a good 9 months of the year living, breathing and thinking rugby union. In the last 8 weeks however I’ve most definitely ‘jumped on the bandwagon’ and become an overnight AFL fan. One thing that always amazes me about not only football, but every sport, especially in finals and do or die matches is the athletes. Natural adrenalin, mental toughness and physical prowess allows them to go above and beyond what is normally possible for the human body. READ MORE

Categories General Issues Tags AFL PCL Posterior cruciate ligament physiotherapy Adam Goodes Sydney Swans

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