Introducing our Amazing Pilates Instructors

Hoda – Over the years she has been an active promoter of well-being and healthy life-style and has helped dozens of people in their Pilates journey. Her goal is to inspire, motivate and improve the overall health of her clients.  As a dedicated instructor, she will maintain a keen eye on the finer details encouraging you to reach your fitness and health long-term goals with a holistic approach, whether you want to feel stronger, flexible, pain-free, improve your sports performance, or improve your quality of life.

Clair –  Clair has a particular interest in chronic pain, and strives to be the health professional to break its cycle. For this reason, she is very passionate when it comes to identifying lifestyle factors that are contributing to a client’s condition, and formulating a management plan that addresses these through education, ergonomic advice and rehabilitation.

Nia – Nia is an active person, and a lover of the outdoors, and brings an interest in natural movement and a broad understanding of health to her work.  Driven to provide best care across a wide spectrum of client complaints and lifestyles, Nia adapts an individualized approach and care to each person.   

Bronwyn – Bronwyn has a nutrition and rehabilitation background and has worked with many sporting teams over the last 10 years. She understands the biomechanics of movement, posture and lifestyle on health and wellbeing.  Bronwyn likes to incorporate Pilates into every day, be in balance exercises or challenging coordination as well as flexibility and strength training whilst tailoring specific exercises to each individual.

FLU VACCINE, some info from your Osteopaths…..

FLU vaccine. When should you get it? Why should you get it? Who should get it? How do you get the flu?!
Flu is front and centre at this time of the year. Each year there seems to be more and more strident calls that its going to be the worst flu year, that the strains are hyper virulent.


The flu vaccine is working at its peak in your body about TWO weeks after your vaccination. But the vaccine effects slowly reduce over time unfortunately, in particular it seems after a few months. Peak flu season in Melbourne is July, August and into September. Hence for your own protection, its best to have your vaccine working well in these months. We believe its best then to get your vaccine later than April and probably best in late May.
Those who are younger, or older than 65 yrs, immuno compromised, or in contact with these people should get vaccinated.
People forget how dangerous the flu can be! Its the greatest cause of death for a disease that has a vaccine! Spanish flu, bird flu etc were all communicable diseases. And we get different flu strains every year. Best way to protect yourself is to wash your hands regularly, avoid densely packed space like trains, keep exercising, sleep well. Natural products we have heard great things from patients are Olive Leaf Extract, Vitamin C, and Echinacea. Do they work? We dont know, but our patients believe they do!
Osteopathy may also play an indirect role. Moving fluids, keeping you loose and pain free. Why wouldn’t it!?

Dr Shane Heslop

Melbourne Osteopath

City Osteopathy

Patients beliefs about their Low Back Pain. Dr Matthew Franz, Osteopath, delves deeper into the science behind pain…

LET’S TALK…. People’s beliefs about their back pain and what is actually happening

Dr Matthew Franz, Melbourne Osteoapth @ City Osteopathy

 

In today’s society, lower back pain is often described as a result of issues built up over time with a direct cause. Sometimes this can be the case, however it’s the way we interpret our back pain and the pain science behind it that has recently come into a more prominent view point.

Louis Giffords Mature Organism Model via NOIjam.com

Have I lost you yet?

Well to break things down a little, the word ‘pain science’ can be described as “ The nervous system’s processing of their injury, in conjunction with various psychosocial aspects, determines their pain experience”. (Louw et al., 2011) The way I look at pain science myself, is the way we interpret our own pain. It can be the way we recognise it and then construct it in our mind, which then determines the way our body reacts to it, as seen above.

For example you will notice that every time you have a sore back, you won’t bend down as it tends to hurt. However over time your brain has associated this action with pain and interprets it as harmful to the body. So you don’t perform that movement to the best of your ability, which in turn develops a feedback loop.

It is crazy how many times people describe their back pain as being caused by a slipped disc or weak core. They have been conditioned to think that these are the issues that have caused their back pain. It might play a factor however its the health professionals that influence them into thinking they need constant treatment in order to feel better.

 

I’m bursting the bubble and telling you that back pain is normal thing! It is how we manage your back pain that makes the difference.

What are you trying to get at then?

A systematic literature review of MRI findings on people with spinal related changes in their back WITHOUT SYMPTOMS by Brinjikje, W., Luetmer, P.H., Comstock, B., et al. found that:

  1. The study suggests that imaging findings of degenerative changes, such as disk degeneration, disk signal loss etc are generally part of the normal ageing process rather than pathologic processes requiring intervention.
  2. That >50% of asymptomatic individuals 30–39 years of age have disk degeneration, height loss, or bulging. This suggests that even in young adults, degenerative changes may be incidental and not causally related to presenting symptoms.
  3. The results from this systematic review strongly suggest that when degenerative spine findings are incidentally seen (ie, as part of imaging for an indication other than pain or an incidental disk herniation at a level other than where a patient’s pain localises), these findings should be considered as normal age-related changes rather than pathologic processes.

So what can we do about it?

My advice is to first stop worrying about the pain and look at how we can address it. Look at the the factors that may be affecting it and how can we have control over it. This allows you to gain a better understanding of what is actually going on.

I understand it may hurt and play up from time to time, however the way we view our pain will help toward healing it. This combined with proper management and treatment, staying healthy and stretching are all very important. As osteopaths we can get you to the point of feeling comfortable about your pain and hopefully get you feeling better sooner rather than later!

Dr Matthew Franz Osteopath at City Osteopathy

References

Brinjikji, W., Luetmer, P., Comstock, B., Bresnahan, B., Chen, L., Deyo, R., Halabi, S., Turner, J., Avins, A., James, K., Wald, J., Kallmes, D. and Jarvik, J. (2014). Systematic Literature Review of Imaging Features of Spinal Degeneration in Asymptomatic Populations. American Journal of Neuroradiology, 36(4), pp.811-816.

Louw, A., Diener, I., Butler, D. and Puentedura, E. (2011). The Effect of Neuroscience Education on Pain, Disability, Anxiety, and Stress in Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 92(12), pp.2041-2056.

Whats Dr Bronwyn La Brooy been up to over Summer?!

Dr Bronwyn La Brooy , osteopath, has spent most of January having a well earned holiday, she had a full on 2018 being both busy seeing patients, and managing our Pilates Studio.

She spent some of her time hiking (when it wasn’t 40+ degrees) around some of Victoria’s best trails. The coastal trails of Philip Island, taking in the views of Cape Woolamai, and across the “mainland” around Kilcunda. Some amazing coastline we have! Closely backed up with a week camping in the high country, whilst Rohan was running his trail runs, she was dodging tiger snakes on Mt Buffalo, with well deserved recovery beers from some heart pumping, hair raising moments at the Bright Brewery! Next on the list was Wilson’s Prom, undoubtedly the best beaches we have in Victoria, with some epic hikes and the most clearest waters. Nothing clears the head and de-stresses more than a breath of fresh salty air!

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

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.

Meditation

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.