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Injury Prevention

Thursday, 02 March 2017 13:25

Acute Wry Neck

in Injury Prevention

Have you ever woken up with an inexplicably stiff and painful neck that will only turn to one side? You might have been suffering from acute wry neck, a painful condition following a typical pattern of symptoms. In the clinic, wry neck is classified as one of two different types – Facet or Discogenic wry neck. These have similar presentations, yet are caused by slightly different things and require different treatment.

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Should you stretch before a run?


Your sports teacher, personal trainer, physio and probably even your mum have told you that you need to stretch; but let's be honest, how often do you skip it and launch straight into a run?

If this is you, don't beat yourself up. Melbourne-based sports physiotherapist and director of PhysioTrain, Andrew Hoare, says stretching is a hotly debated topic.

stretching prevents injury and benefits running," says Hoare. "Many studies suggest that stretching as most people think of it – holding a mildly uncomfortable position for at least 30 seconds – is actually detrimental to performance for some sports."

Static versus dynamic stretching

The most common form of stretching, and the type that gets the most criticism, is known as static stretching and examples include a seated forward bend or standing calf stretch. Hoare says, "From my experience, runners don't get much benefit from performing static stretches like toe touches before a run."

The alternative is dynamic stretching, which comprises controlled movements, such as leg and arm swings or high knee lifts, which slowly bring the muscles close to their range of motion limit without exceeding it.

Think of it not so much as stretching, but as warming up.

Andrew Hoare

Quite a stretch

The case for stretching as a means for injury prevention comes from the long-held theory that a muscle that's been lengthened by stretching is more supple, decreasing stress to surrounding tendons, ligaments and muscles, and protecting them from the repeated stresses of activity. Yet research detailed in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that there wasn't any evidence to suggest that static stretching was effective in preventing lower limb injuries in joggers. Furthermore, research from the University of Tampa found that pre-run stretching caused an eight per cent drop in performance in a one-mile uphill run.

Prepare your body

Hoare says despite evidence suggesting that stretching could be overrated, runners still need to spend time preparing their body for the rigours of running – and dynamic exercises are the way to go.

"If you want to get your body ready to run, prevent injury and boost your performance, then think of it not so much as stretching, but as warming up," says Hoare.

"You need to transition your body from lying in bed for eight hours or sitting for 10 hours to running.

"Runners should perform dynamic exercises that activate the muscles they need to use when running, get the joints moving through their required range of motion and increase body temperature."

If you have a tight hamstring or calf, Hoare says the time to try and change that is not the five minutes before you start jogging.

"Ideally you want to get your muscles, ligaments and tendons ready to run, but if there's a part of your body that's stiff, then this is something you will need to work on over time. That's when performing traditional static stretches after running will be more effective, as well as stretching on your rest days."

Pre-run dynamic exercises

Even if you're running late for your group run or you're pinched for time, Hoare recommends spending a few minutes warming up the hip flexors, hamstrings, lower back, glutes and groin muscles with the following dynamic exercises. Remember to start slowly, focusing on form. Use small movements for the first few reps and increase the range of motion as you go.

1. Leg swings

Leg swings back and forward.

A lot of runners have poor hip mobility, especially those that sit for long periods of time for work. Front and back leg swings are a great way to get the hip-flexors and hamstrings moving, while across-body leg swings stretch out the muscles in the groin and glutes.

Support yourself on a wall or a post with one hand and face straight ahead. Swing one leg forward and back or side to side like a pendulum, keeping your posture tall and your core engaged. Try not to swing your leg aggressively at first; instead, lightly start to swing it and gradually increase your range of motion. As you get blood flow to the muscles, you will feel yourself loosen up. Do 20 swings for each leg.

2. Walking lunges

Walking Lunge.

Step forward using a long stride, keeping the front knee over or just behind your toes. Lower your body by dropping your back knee toward the ground. Maintain an upright posture and keep your abdominal muscles tight. If you find walking lunges difficult, do 20 squats instead.

3. Walking high knees

Walking High Knee.

Stand tall with arms at your side and feet shoulder-width apart. Take two long strides and on the third raise your left knee up toward your chest as high as you can. Step forward as you lower your leg back down. Repeat with the right knee, alternating back and forth while walking.

Post-run static stretches

The following static stretching exercises should form part of your cool-down program to increase flexibility and target muscles that are prone to tightness from running. Hoare says you should hold each stretch for a minimum of 30 seconds. If you're having trouble holding the stretch for more than this, just repeat it a couple of times. To build flexibility over time you need to be spending up to 1-2 minutes on each stretch.

1. Hip-flexor stretch

Hip-flexor stretch.

Kneel on your right knee, with toes down, and place your left foot flat on the floor in front of you, knee bent and aligned with the ankle. Place hands on left thigh. Press hips forward until you feel tension in the front of your right thigh. Hold for at least 30 seconds, then switch sides.

2. Hamstring towel stretch

Towel hamstring stretch.

Loop a towel around your foot so that you are holding both ends of the towel. Slowly pull on the ends of the towel and use it to lift your leg into the air. Keep your knee straight. The leg without the towel should remain flat on the ground. Bring your leg up until a stretch is felt behind your thigh. You may also feel a stretch behind your lower leg in your calf, which is normal. Slowly release the stretch. If you don't have one handy, you can use a strap or even your belt.

3. Glute pretzel stretch

Pretzel glute stretch version 1.

Lie on your back and bend both knees. Cross one leg over the other so your foot is on the opposite knee. Bring both knees towards your chest and gently pull the uncrossed leg towards you until you feel a stretch in your buttock.

Friday, 07 August 2015 17:45

National Tradies Health Month

in Injury Prevention

Did you know that August is Tradie's National Health month as declared by the Australian Physiotherapy Association.

In Australia 10 Tradies get seriously injured at work every day. Nearly a quarter of all tradies experience back pain, muscle stress and strain from lifting equipment or slips, trips, and falls when handling materials. After 6 months off work, 18% of injured workers sought access to mental health services and after a year off work, 30% of injured workers had sought treatment for mental health. 

We want to help reduce that. Don't ignore the pain, see a physio.

Please click on for more information


We are now pleased to offer Pre-Pointe and Dance Screening Assessments conducted by physiotherapist Bridy White. Bridy has worked with the Australian Ballet Company since 2009. This has given her exposure to injury management at the highest level of ballet. Bridy has a background in dance herself, and is passionate about injury prevention, management, and optimising performance in dancers of all abilities. For any questions or to make an appointment for Dance Screening Assessments or Pre-Pointe assessments with Bridy call 9744 5066 and let our recepion staff know that you would like to book in for this particular assessment.

dance screening

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Friday, 30 January 2015 12:58

Computer Posture

in Injury Prevention

Technically, the perfect computer posture is when you’re long and tall through the neck, with your shoulder blades gently retracted and your ears in line with your shoulders.

According to Marcus Dripps, Australian Physiotherapy Association president, “Desktop computers with the keyboard separated from the screen are really nice because they provide a neutral position of your body,”

“However, as soon as you tie to keyboard to the screen like with a laptop, you’re basically forcing your eyes and hands to be in a similar position, which places demands on both.”

Basically, expect to end up looking like something out of the The Hunchback of Notre Dame if you don't take care of your posture.

Find out more ways to protect yourself from tech injuries via The New Daily

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Wednesday, 22 October 2014 15:07

Pain Responses

in Injury Prevention

Do you have a Superior Pain Response?

Did you know that we all respond differently to pain? A recent study involving a sample of healthy, pain-free participants who were exposed to a painful stimulus found that some individuals responded adaptively to the pain stimulus while others responded in a non-adaptive or non-helpful way. It was observed that the pain adaptive individuals had a superior ability to inhibit pain compared to their counterparts. Interestingly the way an individual responds to pain can dramatically influence their road to recovery.

Please refer to the following link for more detail regarding how people respond to pain in very different

Amalan Sriskandarajah
APA Muscoloskeletal Physiotherapist

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Friday, 25 March 2011 10:55

The Lycra Set

in Injury Prevention

Cycling has grown in popularity over the last few years and “The Lycra Set” is now much more visible on our roads and bike paths.Cycling is an excellent low impact sport that has many health benefits not only on our musculo-skeletal system but also on our cardiovascular and nervous systems.

Unfortunately cyclists are not exempt from injuries and injuries related to technique, correct bike set up, overuse, poor core strength and impact are all too common.

Impact injuries which result in fractures, head injuries and death are catastrophic and fortunately not that common.

Thursday, 04 February 2010 09:38

Tips For Gardening Safely

in Injury Prevention

Begin your gardening session with a few exercises to warm up the muscles and joints you will be using. This helps prevent injury and reduces soreness at the end of the day.

Make sure the area in which you are working is free of obstacles such as gardening tools. This helps prevent slips and falls.

Vary your activities so that you are not in the one position for more than 30 minutes at a time.

When doing tasks at ground level, like weeding or planting, kneel rather than bend from the waist. Where possible, keep one hand on the ground for support as you lean forward.

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Thursday, 10 December 2009 08:59

Cricket Injuries

in Injury Prevention

With the cricket season now in full swing, injuries are already making their way through our doors.

Some of the more common injuries incurred by cricketers are simple muscle strains or joint sprains. Hamstring and calf muscles are often “pulled” when taking off for a quick single or going for a catch in the outfield. These acute injuries must be managed in the first 48 hours with, Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation (R.I.C.E.). Once the acute management has commenced the injuries should be assessed by a professional qualified to assess and treat sports injuries, these include a Sports Medicine doctor or a physiotherapist.

Early assessment and appropriate treatment planning will reduce the risk of a simple injury blowing out to become a complicated chronic injury.

The more complex injuries are those that come on slowly over time, these could include injuries such as shoulder rotator cuff injuries, stress fractures in the low back and shin splints.

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Tuesday, 18 August 2009 12:40

Kids In Sport

in Injury Prevention

Exercise is a vital part of life for all people, including children. Exercise is essential for growth, health, and general wellbeing in kids. Participation in sport is an excellent way of providing exercise and it is becoming more important for our children every day.

A common reason for not participating in sport is the fear of a child sustaining an injury. While there is a risk of injury in most sports, this risk is far outweighed by the benefits of activity. Not playing any sport can have far worse consequences for a child.

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The sports world is fine tuning their approach to stretching. There is no doubt that stretching remains an important part of a sportsperson’s daily regime. However, the stretches need to be safe and appropriate, because many people injure themselves as a result of an incorrect stretching technique. The most common type of stretch is the static hold, which is sustained for at least 30 seconds. Recent research has shown that static stretching results in a reduction in strength of that muscle for up to 2 hours. Not only would this reduce the muscle’s performance, but also predispose you to injury. Therefore, this type of stretching should not be preformed during a game or just prior to any activity which required powerful contraction of that muscle.