Osteopathy can help manage your reflux


GORD (Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease) is the medical term used to describe reflux and heart burn. It’s an excessive production of stomach acid that can creep up and irritate the Oesophageal lining, producing a distinct burning sensation in the chest and throat. It’s very common, 80% of the population will suffer from it at some point in their life; so if not yourself chances are there are people you know who may suffer from this irritating illness.

What causes GORD?

The most common cause of GORD is due to the weakening of a ring of muscle called the Lower Oesophageal Spincter (LOS). The LOS is located between the stomach and Oesophagus and its primary roles are to relax to allow food into the stomach; and to contract when no food is passing through, this incases in the stomach acid within the stomach. When the LOS is weakened it allows stomach acid and/ or food to back track up the oesophagus causing inflammation and damage. 

Common causes of LOS weakening include:

  • Being Obese and/ or overweight
  • Fatty foods due to prolonged acid requirement to digest
  • Substances that relax the LOS; such as tobacco, alcohol, caffeine and chocolate
  • Pregnancy due to hormones that relax the LOS and compression of the stomach in later stages
  • A hiatus hernia, this is a portion of your stomach that pushes up through your diaphragm creating a pocket of unused stomach
  • Helicobactor Pylori, a bacteria that causes stomach ulcers
  • People who suffer from stress

How is GORD treated?

GORD is usually very treatable once the cause is diagnosed. Your General Practitioner may order a series of blood tests, breath tests and scopes to diagnose your cause. Depending on the cause the solution could be as simple as a change in diet, cessation of smoking and weight loss. More complicated reasons may require medication and surgical intervention.

How can Osteopathy assist management?

In conjunction with your doctor’s recommendations Osteopathic manual therapy can help release any postural tension that can be contributing to compression of the stomach and surrounding soft tissue structures.  This could mean loosening off your diaphragm muscle, loosening off  both the upper abdominal muscles and intercostal muscles, and improving function and movement of your thoracic spine.  We can also give advice on natural remedies that may help this issue, give you exercises, evaluate your breathing technique and improve this and discuss your diet.

At City Osteopathy our Osteopaths Melbourne use safe and effective techniques that can help decrease the severity of your symptoms. We can give you advice about ways to manage your posture and stress to help relieve digestive issues. Book in with our informative Osteopaths today!


Dr Stephanie Norton-Smith

Migraine Headache Relief And Prevention

image oa a beautiful woman has headache and injuryMigraine headache relief is sought by thousands of people who have been suffering from  long term headaches, especially when the condition becomes so severe and intense that one can experience symptoms like an unbearable pounding in the temples, vice like tension and pin point searing pain.

It is therefore important to know the symptoms of both headaches and migraines to get proper treatment and intervention. This will stop these head-splitting conditions from causing more discomfort to you.

The Different Types of Headache

Various types of pain as well as neurological disorders typically accompany migraine attacks. The symptoms range from nausea to speech disturbances along with other unpleasant sensations.  The good news is that there is no shortage of headache treatment centres in Melbourne. Some clinics even specialise and focus on specific types of headaches. For instance, cluster headache specialists are professionals who diagnose, treat, and prevent cluster headaches among Melbourne patients.

Aside from familiarising yourself with natural migraine headache relief solutions, it is important to identify common triggers that cause migraine attacks.  For instance eliminating or reducing stress, discovering food and chemical triggers and postural issues are some of the simplest and natural ways of migraine headache relief.

Migraine Headache Relief or Prevention?

Many people with migraine and headaches experience an aura before the attack.  This means that they experience blind spots,  flashes of light and a tingling feeling in one arm or leg, among others.  While considering migraine headache relief or prevention it is important to take note of these types of symptoms.  This will allow you to minimise their frequency because by identifying triggers you can avoid migraine attacks.

Migraine headache relief can thankfully involve the use of common sense and a desire to live a healthy lifestyle.  Keep in mind that as you exercise and begin eating healthy food, you not only become healthier but you can boost your immune system and the body’s ability to fight diseases.  Migraine headache relief therefore should be a combination of practical and alternative remedies. If your headache or migraine attacks persist, we highly encourage you to consult with a migraine specialist in Melbourne. They can provide different headache treatments and medications to alleviate these symptoms so you can lead a better quality of life.


To know more about effective headache and migraine solutions, click here. For enquiries or to schedule an appointment, you may reach us on 03 9663 5450 today.

Gold Coast Marathon, Rohan and team killed it!

Our resident running osteopath Rohan Armstrong, took a crew of 5 to the GCM on JUNE 30.
In it’s 40th year, this event was a sell out when 7,600 competitors took the start line for the 42.2 km journey.
Marathons are all about the last 10kms, as that is known as when the real race starts.
In hot, humid conditions, the Melbourne crew were tested coming from much cooler training conditions, but with a solid preparation and race plan in hand, they stuck to their paces and strategies and all managed to finish with PBs over the distance and Rohan managed another sub 3 hour result.  A Job well done on a great day when many pulled out, or lay cramped on the sidelines including many of the pacers, there were some big highlights and PBs from some of Australia’s best athletes such as Jess Trengove.

From here, Rohan and his crew look ahead to the Melbourne marathon in just over 12 weeks.
All the best, and if you’re looking for some running coaching guidance or technical advice don’t hesitate to getting touch with Rohan.

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT); Fast Effective Exercise for Busy People

Exercise is important, we all know that; but some find the monotony of non structured gym memberships gruelling and time consuming. Research has shown that short bursts of heart rate increases over a 30 minute period increases your fat burning metabolism amongst other health benefits.  Our resident Melbourne Osteopath, Dr Stephanie Norton-Smith explains…


What is High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)?

HIIT is structured around periods of unsustainable high intensity cardio activities such as sprinting; followed by recovery periods and/or low cardio intensity activities such as jogging or weight lighting. The peak in heart rate triggers your body to deplete energy stores in the muscles triggering fat metabolism for energy, then lowering the heart rate keeps the body in a fat burning state.   


What are the benefits of HIIT?

  • Weight loss: HIIT encourages fat metabolism during and two hours post exercise making it very effective and time efficient
  • It can increase Muscle growth: There are studies that suggest that incorporating weights into HIIT regimes will increase muscle growth than just doing weights alone.
  • HIIT can increase your oxygen levels: Studies have compared short bursts of 20 minutes of HIIT training with 40 minutes of steady cycling; the results showed the oxygen consumption increase of both cohorts were almost identical.
  • It decreases blood pressure and heart rate: HIIT has shown an effective decrease in blood pressure and heart in obese/ overweight individuals who suffer from pre-existing high blood pressure.
  • It reduces blood sugar levels: HIIT has been found to effectively regulate blood sugar levels due to it nature of depleting muscle glycogen stores and metabolising fat. It also decreases insulin resistance lowering your risk of type two diabetes.

      Example of a simple do it at home HIIT program


Dr Stephanie Norton-Smith

City Osteopathy

3 Health Benefits of Manuka Honey

Now that winter is upon us, we love a good dollop of one of natures wonder products. And why not use Manuka honey, its got a great taste and is generally speaking more in its natural form when we buy it. But try to buy honey in its ‘raw’ state, ie it has not been pasteurized if you can, as its closer to its natural state and has not been superheated, which destroys many of the enzymes that give Manuka its anti microbial properties. Also remember Manuka honey comes in differing strengths regards its health benefits. Look for a higher UMF score, indicating a more potent honey.

1. Honey has been approved by the FDA in America to aid wound healing. Need we say any more! It may also help diabetic ulcers.

2. Studies have shown it can help oral health, via its antimicrobial action. This is great as it can help with periodontal disease which incredibly has been linked with heart disease.

3. Soothe a sore throat. What a great option in winter! Again, this works via its antiviral and anti microbial actions, and has been shown to reduce streptococcus bacteria. This was seen via a study on cancer patients taking Chemo. So enjoy winter, and eat some of the worlds wonder foods like we will at City Osteopathy, guilt free!

Bilateral arm pain, numbness that wont go away? T4 Syndrome is more common than you think.

Where is T4?

The spine is made up of three sections; seven cervical vertebrae in the neck, twelve thoracic vertebrae in the mid back and five lumbar vertebrae in the lower back.

T4 is the fourth thoracic vertebra in the midback.


What is the significance of T4?

Location! Location! Location! T4 is situated right in between the shoulder blades, many muscles attach to it, making it a crucial landmark of tension in the back. It also plays a big role in the tension held in the autonomic nervous system. The sympathetic (fight or flight) nervous system’s control centres (ganglia) lie along the rib attachments of the thoracic spine. The sympathetic network interacts with the nervous supply that effects the heart, abdominal organs, skin, muscles and tissues of the upper/ mid body and the head.

What are the symptoms of T4 Syndrome?

Symptoms include:

  • Numbness in either one or both hands (usually all five fingers)
  • Numbness in the forearm
  • Coldness in the hands and arms
  • Hand clumsiness
  • Heaviness in the upper limb
  • Hands may feel or be swollen
  • Pain in Hands with or without upper back/ neck pain
  • Pain between the shoulder blades

T4 syndrome is often missed or misdiagnosed resulting in incorrect treatment; leaving sufferers with reoccurring symptoms.

Who does T4 Syndrome affect?

Any occupation or hobby that has prolonged stooping, working on computers, bending forward and looking down can predispose you to T4 syndrome. A study showed the prevalence is high in electricians, surgeons, assembly line workers and office workers.

What can City Osteopathy do for you?

Osteopathy is very beneficial for T4 syndrome. Our Melbourne osteopaths offer a variety of safe, effective and therapeutic manual techniques that will provide you with relief. We can assess your posture to ensure that the root of the causative problem is addressed and resolved. Book in with our amazing team of Osteopaths today!


Dr Stephanie Norton-Smith (Osteopath)

City Osteopathy


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