Should you stretch??!! Its not that simple…..

To stretch, or not to stretch.  That is the question…

Ever wondered about stretching pre or post activity? There are so many questions – what type of stretching, how long for, how often and when should you stretch that it all tends to be overlooked.

But does it actually decrease your chance of injury?

Research leans towards the dynamic or moving type stretching– leg swings, arm swings, body twists and functional movement patterns relevant to the sport to then better activate the muscles. For example, leg swings front and back are known to benefit explosive type movements of running or football, whereas arm and back swings will help those in golf or swimming.  It is best done prior to exercise, where it acts to “warm up” our muscles – increasing blood flow and flexibility whilst stimulating our brain to get ready for the activity it’s about to perform.  Generally for an hour of exercise you should dedicate 10-15 mins of dynamic warm up.  This can also include a slow jog, whole body exercises of dynamic stretching and movement patterns as well as coordination skills required for the activity.

The argument for stretching is contentious.  Research is moving away from the static, or still, type of stretching initially, as the muscles and ligaments haven’t had a “warm up.” The body has an inherent mechanism for protection.  It stops us from injuring ourselves by pushing too far into the stretch when it becomes painful and possibly tear.  This is where that dynamic movement comes into play prior to exercise.

Post activity, the cool down is just as important as the warm up.  Here, we are trying to lower the heart rate, cool the body down and start our recovery. Whilst there are some reports that static stretching can help at this stage to prevent muscle soreness, the results are unclear generally.

General static stretching on most days of the week can play a role in increasing overall flexibility.  We can improve this by gradually moving along that border of stretch “good” pain and being careful not to cross that line into “bad” stretch pain category.  Holding for 15-30 seconds and repeating 2-4 times over the day can make us more flexible.  This in turn, can decrease our risk of injury when returning to sport.

So! Warming up with dynamic movement pre activity and post activity performing an appropriate cool down will decrease our risks of injury.  The in between days, static stretching can help increase our overall flexibility so we can remain injury free.

Talk with your Melbourne osteopath at City Osteopathy, in particular Dr Bronwyn La Brooy who has written this great article!

Research starting to show very positive links between cardiac disease, and cognitive decline..

More and more research is starting to show evidence linking heart disease to cognitive decline, causing or relating to dementia and alzheimers disease.


Another reason to eat well, keep healthy, keep exercising.  Don’t forget the importance of staying healthy physically, such as keeping your knees, hips and low back healthy enough to keep on walking, running, swimming.  Talk to your osteopath at city osteopathy. I think we can all forget the importance of that.

A great article…


Rohan finishes the ‘wonderland run’ 37 km of Grampians hell!

Resident crazy man, melbourne osteopath Dr Rohan Armstrong completed the wonderland run in the Grampians a couple of weeks ago as part of his training for the upcoming New York marathon.


Halls Gap to the Pinnacles, over the other side, back up Mt Rosea, past Lake Belfield and then a long, wet slog home.  1300m of ascending, 4 hours of running which is more than an hour longer than his marathon time.  What more to say….WELL DONE!

Botox helps migraines? Read on….

New research suggests that botox injections can help migraines.


The Melbourne osteopaths at City Osteopathy can understand why this would occur.  A large proportion of headache and migraine come from irritation to the scalp and facial muscles, which are significantly supplied via nerves from the upper portion of your neck.  Botox would logically reduce pain firing and irritation to these tissues.  As would seeing your osteopath!  Getting gentle, expert care for your neck from an osteopath should also help migraine, without the need for more invasive treatments, like botox.  What do you think?

Botox can help migraines. Really?

New research suggests that migraines can be helped by injections of botox.

migraine photo

It would seem this could be due to reducing muscular tension and tone in the scalp muscles predominantly.  Our Melbourne osteopaths can understand completely why this would occur.  We would also hope that people seeking out this type of treatment would first seek out more conservative treatment options that may be able to achieve the same results with muscle tension, like seeing an osteopath.  Our osteopaths at City Osteopathy are all completely qualified to help you with migraines which are a complicated and difficult issue, and we will also incorporate dietary advice, exercises, education, risk factors and other tips that can help you improve.  Its less invasive than using botox!


Mike and Shane attending Norman Doidge seminar, bestseller of ‘the brain that changes itself’..

What a great day was had by a couple of our Melbourne osteopaths, Dr Michael Santamaria and Dr Shane Heslop at the Norman Doidge seminar.

shane and mike at doidge seminarHe is an absolutely gifted public speaker with an infectious enthusiasm for how the brain and the neurological system can be changed and influenced by differing specific exercise (s).  A couple of examples were the Parkinsons man who learnt to walk again by conscious thought, who started to THINK about how to walk properly, starting to lift up his leg, flex up his foot and lengthen his stride and another Parkinsons patient who improved his tremor WITHOUT medication by doing woodwork 4-5 times a day!

Tomorrow should be even better!