Rock Climbing w Dr Nia May, Osteopath

Dr Nia May is our resident rock climbing expert at City Osteopathy.  Do you have low back pain, shoulder pain, neck pain related to rock climbing, abseiling or bouldering?  Come speak to Nia, she is a wealth of knowledge.

Here is a little insight into what she did over summer….

Last weekend I went up to Mount Macedon to check out the rock climbing and hikes there.  It’s a surprisingly short drive to be out of Melbourne and into this beautiful area, and it did not disappoint!  Australia has some amazing rock, much of it difficult to get to, and it was refreshing to find a good number of people enjoying the climbing, walking, and general picnicking, in a spot so close to home.
We parked up in Camel’s Hump and walked the short track to the cliffs.  Unfortunately, we were too busy climbing to take photos of climbing, but once we got to the top we got this lovely shot of the view.  Fresh air and green views are always a good way to spend the weekend!


Pregnancy & Exercise by Dr Nia May, Melbourne Osteopath at City Osteopathy

Here at City Osteopathy we see many women seeking osteopathic treatment during pregnancy and in the post-natal period.  As well as offering manual osteopathic treatment we seek to provide advice and guidance on supporting physical health during this time of great changes.  One question that often comes up for women we treat is – am I still able to exercise whilst I’m pregnant?


The guidelines are clear that, for the healthy woman, exercise is safe and beneficial.  It offers numerous health benefits for both mother and unborn child, and there is minimal risk associated with physical activity.

So, what are the benefits of exercise?

The benefits of exercise stated by Sports Medicine Australia in their 2016 guidelines are:

  • Improved cardiovascular function and physical fitness
  • Decreased risk of pregnancy related complications such as pregnancy-induced hypertension and pre-eclampsia.
  • Reduced back and pelvic pain
  • Reduced fatigue, stress, anxiety and depression
  • Decrease in excessive gestational weight gain and post-partum weight retention.
  • Fewer delivery complications in women who are active during pregnancy
  • Prevention and management of urinary incontinence.

How should I exercise?

When giving advice to all people at all stages of life about their lifestyle, symptoms, and physical activity, there are always individual considerations to take account of.  This is no different for women during pregnancy, and when there are medical or obstetric complications general exercise may not be recommended.  It is always a good idea to discuss this with your healthcare professional and/or antenatal care provider.

For a healthy woman during an uncomplicated pregnancy, regular moderate intensity exercise is recommended, including both aerobic and light to moderate muscle strengthening components.  This ‘muscle strengthening’ component includes pelvic floor exercises, which in themselves are an important part of maintaining long term health after pregnancy.

This is a time to continue or moderately improve activity levels, gradually progressing activity if pre-pregnancy exercise levels have been low and to select appropriate forms of activity.  Walking, swimming, and modified Pilates are all safe options, though it is not recommended to continue activities with a high risk of falling, or trauma, and supine positions (laying on your back) past the beginning of pregnancy.

Remember that every activity counts and exercise should be spread throughout the week.  Hydration, calorific intake, and maintaining a safe body temperature are all important to consider.  You should listen to your body and adapt your activity, modifying your exercise routine as is appropriate for you.


What is ‘moderate intensity exercise’?

As complicated as it sounds, ‘moderate intensity exercise’ is that which makes you breathe faster, whilst still being able to hold a conversation.  Some people use the guidance that you should exercise so that you can ‘talk but not sing’ indicating that your breathing rate should increase a little, but within safe limits.


Pregnancy is a great time to adopt (or continue!) a healthy lifestyle, knowing that you are doing the best for your own physical, mental and emotional health as well as for that of your coming child.  Pain and dysfunction can influence your ability to move and undertake activity, and it is very common for women during pregnancy to experience new onsets of back pain, headaches, pelvic pain, and other associated symptoms.  Our osteopaths can give you advice and safe osteopathic treatment to support your comfort and health during pregnancy.

Dr Nia May – Osteopath


References –

Sports Medicine Australia

Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists

American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists

APPI pilates – modified pilates for ante- and post-natal period

The Benefits of Seeking Services from Osteopaths in Melbourne

image of an osteopath doing manipulative neck and head massage on female patient

There are many treatment options that are available to successfully recover from an injury or simply to alleviate pain and discomfort from daily activities. Techniques such as physical rehabilitation and chiropractic medicine are commonplace, however not everyone will experience relief from them. Osteopathy is an emerging alternative manual medicine practice that is gaining popularity due to efficacy in providing enhanced well-being to its patients.

If you’ve been looking far and wide for a modern, effective treatment strategy for those aches and pains, you should seriously consider visiting a skilled osteopath in Melbourne City.

Here are some pointers about osteopathic medicine that you should know:

  • Osteopathy takes a holistic treatment approach  

Most forms of traditional treatment symptoms focus on specific problems, whereas osteopathy stresses the relationship between all organ systems of the body. For instance, osteopathy emphasizes the connection between muscles, bones, and joints to overall functioning.

Doctors of osteopathy evaluate a variety of problems, but do not concentrate on treating one area of the body only. Osteopathy goes beyond only treating the musculoskeletal system, but looks into problems of interrelated organ systems and how they can cause referred pain to your musculoskeletal system, too.

  • Lows-stress treatment that can deliver instant relief

Unlike traditional rehabilitative treatments that involve deep tissue pressure, osteopathy can deliver a lighter approach of treating problematic areas. Osteopathy mainly revolves around rendering light, manual manipulation to treat problems such as sports-related injuries, recurrent strains, and also various forms of headaches.

  • Osteopathy can help enhance immune system functioning

Apart from effectively treating musculoskeletal disorders, osteopathic medical therapy may improve lymph flow and generalised fluid movement which can help improve general wellbeing.

Osteopathy is an alternative manual medical approach that is proven to deliver results. It delivers effective treatments that can reduce dependence on harmful medications such as strong painkillers , whilst ensuring fast recovery and improvement of the body as a whole.


If you want to learn more about osteopathy or if you wish to schedule an appointment with an expert osteopath in Melbourne, call us on 03 9663 5450 today.

What to Expect on your Visit to a Melbourne Osteopathy Clinic

image of an Osteopathic belly massage

Is your mobility limited? Are you suffering from chronic aches and pains? Do you have posture problems? If you answer YES to all, or at least YES to one of these problems, visiting a Melbourne osteopathy clinic should be at the top of your healthcare list.

What is osteopathy?

According to the World Health Organization, osteopathy is a traditional system of medicine that utilises manual therapy and subtle, hands-on treatment techniques to asses, evaluate, and treat the body. Doctors of osteopathy uses palpation on patients to diagnose conditions and to render treatment using a wide array of manual therapies. The manual treatments are designed to help the body in self-healing and to alleviate all sorts of aches and pains, posture problems and the likes.

What does an osteopath do?

An osteopath believes in a holistic treatment approach rather than focus on specific problems in certain areas of the skin. They explore the relationship of the musculoskeletal system to other organ systems and provide a treatment that will benefit the entire body.

Their knowledge and experience includes biomechanics or how different parts of the musculoskeletal works and how it affects connected organ systems.

Some of the most common conditions that osteopathic doctors can help with are as follows:

  • Different types of headache inc migraines
  • Lower back and neck pain
  • Arthritis and generalised joint problems
  • Sports-related injuries
  • Muscle strains
  • Chest tightness and breathing restrictions related to asthma and allergies.
  • Sciatica
  • Posture problems

If you wish to learn about the manual treatment systems that you can obtain from a Melbourne osteopathy clinic, click here. To schedule an appointment, you may also contact us on 03 9663 5450 today.

Finding your happy place!

LET’S TALK:    Finding your ‘happy place’

Often in todays’ society we struggle to find the right balance in our stressful lives. Where it be finding the right work balance to even getting on top of our mental health. This can be often influenced by our lifestyle behaviours where it be negative behaviours such as stress, poor sleep to positive behaviours such as exercise and healthy eating. A recent study of the roles of negative and positive lifestyle behaviours found compelling evidence exists of the role of negative lifestyle behaviours on the incidence of chronic pain.These negative lifestyles behaviours can often be influence the way we feel and effect our ability to get become healthier.1 As such it a way to tackle these behaviours is helped by finding our happy place.

“So what are you on about?”

In order to influence these behaviours, we need to find that place. It needs to be something where you can dedicate yourself the time to switch off from what you are doing, focus all your energy on yourself and allowing yourself the time to think and be yourself with no expectations. Block out a 10-30 minutes from your weekly schedule to allow your body to recover, allows your nervous system to switch off and allow you body to focus on itself. The biggest thing is being comfortable to relax and be aware of your own body and how you feel.

Another pivotal part of this process is sometimes working on or influencing those behaviours and tried to replicate those positive lifestyles behaviours. Here are some studies that look to give you an insight into the benefits of doing these activities and how they can lead you to that ‘happy place’.

Exercise and the effects of decreasing stress

A met-analyses of data was collected involving all the studies of stress and exercise and it was found that  Exercise significantly decreased anxiety symptoms more than control conditions, with a moderate effect size. 2 As you know the benefits of exercise affecting stress and anxiety is high, exercise also plays a big role in allowing us to focus on our body and find that happy place through the hormones that are released in our body when we exercise.


A meta-analysis of 42 RCT studies of the effects of mediation found that over 8 weeks that the meditation programs had moderate evidence of improved anxiety, depression and pain.3 This shows that mediation like exercise has similar effect of allowing to affect some of those negative behaviours and play a major role in finding our happy place.

Listening to music

Even though there not as strong studies to showcase the effects of listening to music and pain. A recent study of patients with fibromyalgia, a condition where there are strong amounts of pain was found that that music listening increased perceived control over pain, especially when the music was positive in valence and when it was listened to for the reason of ‘relaxation’.4 This study illustrates the positive effects that using an activity like this and placing yourself in the happy place can influence these lifestyle behaviours.

My Perspective:

From the picture above this is one many places where I can switch off. For myself it is during these runs that I can focus on my thoughts, my own body and be aware of my week and what has been going on around me. It enables to refocus on what is important and be aware of how my body is and most importantly, how my mind is.

Written by Dr Matthew Franz Osteopath at City Osteopathy

  1. Dean E, Söderlund A. What is the role of lifestyle behaviour change associated with non-communicable disease risk in managing musculoskeletal health conditions with special reference to chronic pain?. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders. 2015;16(1):85 – 87.
  2. Goyal M, Singh S, Sibinga E, Gould N, Rowland-Seymour A, Sharma R et al. Meditation Programs for Psychological Stress and Well-being: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Deutsche Zeitschrift für Akupunktur. 2014;57(3):26-27.
  3. Linnemann A, Kappert M, Fischer S, Doerr J, Strahler J, Nater U. The effects of music listening on pain and stress in the daily life of patients with fibromyalgia syndrome. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. 2015;9(2).
  4. Stubbs B, Vancampfort D, Rosenbaum S, Firth J, Cosco T, Veronese N et al. An examination of the anxiolytic effects of exercise for people with anxiety and stress-related disorders: A meta-analysis. Psychiatry Research. 2017;249:102-108.

What to Expect from Back Pain Treatment Near Me? Here are some Treatment Modalities to Alleviate Lower Back Pain

image of an Upset mature middle aged woman feels back pain

The human body has an inherent ability of healing itself when given the right amount of time for recovery and medical attention, too. In the case of lower back pain, a strategic combination of natural pain relief with tried-and-tested medical procedures are perceived to be the best way to alleviate back pain, or even treat this condition altogether.

What is the best treatment for lower back pain?

An increasingly method to treat lower back pain as well as other signs and symptoms connected to this condition is by osteopathic manipulative therapy. This type of treatment modality focuses on manual therapy to correct any issues of the musculoskeletal system.

Osteopathic doctors are back pain specialists that make use of the right amount of pressure, movements, manipulation and exercise routines to deliver relief and correction to both muscles and the skeletal regions inflicted with pain.

A powerful back pain therapy can combine osteopathic treatment strategies with traditional medicine modalities, such as drug prescriptions and other conventional back pain treatments.

When should you go to the doctor for back pain?

When lower back pain persists despite ongoing osteopathic manipulative therapy, your osteopath will likely suggest you may need to consult with your doctor. He or she can then order additional diagnostic procedures to identify any issues that may have been left out during initial diagnosis and recommend other treatment options.


If you wish to learn more about osteopathy or if you want to find back pain relief centre near you, do not hesitate to call us on 03 9663 5450.