Texting. Why its a pain in the neck!

Many of the passengers are thumbing furiously while bent forward looking down.

Of course, this is a position we assume regularly. What we are not made for is holding fixed positions over time. The longer it’s held, the more the brain thinks we want this to be our new ‘normal’ neck position, the more it will want to hold it there, longer it will make those muscles and paradoxically, also weaker.
While writing this I’ve seen a few stretch their neck as those poor muscles get longer and weaker, attempting to stop that brain container falling forward.
I’m on a short 30 minute trip, and these folk have held the neck flexion unwavered for 15 minutes, and I’m sure some of them will still be in that position until disembarking at central station.
It’s a accumulative affect, the more often it’s held in this position for long periods of time, the worse it will become. This will commonly leading to neck pain, shoulder pain, headaches, and more painful areas as the body starts to compensate for this new normal.
My advice is to not use the phone too low down, not with your hand resting on your lap for example, try to hold it up in front of you so you can lift your chin up, avoid sustained periods of over 5 minutes with the neck bent forward, and Or maybe listen to podcasts with headphones instead.

Neck pain and texting.  Its obvious!

That’s enough writing, my neck is starting to hurt, I’ll have to make a booking with my osteopath!

Dr Simon Duncan Osteopath

City Osteopathy

Sleep, Health, Osteopathy

Sleeping your way to better health

Sleep, Health.

How much sleep do you get? For young adults 7-9 hours each night is recommended for and 7-8 hours for adults 65 years or older. Prioritising sleep is essential for overall physical and mental wellbeing. As we sleep our body has time to heal and repair our organs in order to reduce diseases occurring in the body, strengthen our immune system and maintain a healthy balance of hormones to keep us functioning at full capacity throughout the day. We all know the feeling of waking up feeling physically strong and ready for the day after a great sleep! But have you considered what happens to your brain when you sleep? The brain controls emotions, learning capacity, memories, attention, behaviour and many more vital functions we take for granted. All of these processes reset and adapt from the previous day as we sleep to ensure efficient cognitive processing for the coming day. Despite all these tangible benefits of sleep we often prioritise less important tasks over going to bed! Watching TV, phone use and laptop use are habits we chose to help ‘wind down’ before bed however these activities actually increase our cognitive alertness and delay sleep.


Social media use before bed can reduce quality of sleep, shorten sleep duration and lengthen the time it takes to fall asleep. Spending time on your phone before bed can disrupt your natural sleep rhythm which controls our sleep- wake cycle meaning it harder to fall asleep and wake up early.  Flow on effects for the next day occur including impairing cognitive functioning, poor mental health and daytime fatigue. Inadequate sleep can impact learning capacity, memory, decision making and critical thinking. Consider if ten minutes of scrolling on your phone is worth the impact on your mental health, performance at work and productivity for the next day.

How to improve your sleep hygiene:

  • Ban phones and laptops from the bedroom
  • Limit caffeine to a morning beverage (caffeine can last in the body for up to 9 hours!)
  • Limit alcohol leading up to bedtime
  • Daily exercise and time in nature
  • Sleep in a dark, cool room
  • Go to bed and wake at similar times each day
  • Limit social media use throughout the day, especially at night
  • Try some gentle stretches before bed to wind down (check out City Osteopathy’s youtube channel for some ideas!)


Morin, C.M. (2011). Chapter 79 – Psychological and Behavioral Treatments for Insomnia I: Approaches and Efficacy. Principles and Practice of Sleep Medicine (Fifth Edition). 866-883


Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Military Nutrition Research. Caffeine for the Sustainment of Mental Task Performance: Formulations for Military Operations. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2001. 2, Pharmacology of Caffeine. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK223808/

Scott, H., Biello, S. M., & Woods, H.C. (2019).Identifying drivers for bedtime social media use despite sleep costs: The adolescent perspective. Sleep Health. 5(6): 539-545.


Vedaa, O., Erevik, E.K., Hysing, M.,Hayley, A. C., & Sivertsen, B. (2019). Insomnia, sleep duration and academic performance: a national survey of Norwegian college and university students. Sleep Medicine: X. 1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2590142719300059

Dr Sarah Cust – Osteopath

City Osteopathy

Rowing – our resident expert, Dr Sarah Cust Osteopath discusses her love of rowing.

Rowing is a physically and mentally demanding sport where precision and teamwork is essential to succeed. Dr Sarah Cust at City Osteopathy has endured almost 10 years of early mornings and long hours of training but doesn’t see any reason to stop. Magical sunrises, peaceful mornings cruising down the Yarra river and being one with the boat are only topped by enjoying this all with eight of your best mates. She has progressed from a novice taking part in learn to row at school to becoming a coach herself at Loreto Mandeville Hall where she now implements the land-based strength and conditioning program for all rowers in the program. Sarah incorporates her knowledge of the demands of rowing and the functional impact on the body to ensure all rowers are performing at their best all season round.

Sarah is our Melbourne Osteopath who specialises in rowing. She enjoys helping rowers recover from injuries faster and stronger than ever before with a holistic approach looking at rowing technique in the boat, rehabilitation exercises and strength in the gym. Seeing her rowers back on the water racing again is something Sarah finds extremely rewarding. This season will mark a decade of Sarah competing at Head of the School Girls regatta which is the biggest female regatta in the southern hemisphere taking place on the Barwon river every March. You will catch her cycling alongside the Barwon river with as many crews as possible cheering them on to victory!

Come visit Sarah for some advice on how to optimise your rowing skill, or prevent/manage any rowing injuries you may have encountered.

Dr Lyndon Clarke-osteopath, its party time over Christmas, plus building sand castles on the beach…… ?


Dr Lyndon Clarke had a great Christmas as these photos can attest to!  NO mention what he was doing here, but we are sure it was a lotta fun!!



A short pause from Osteopathy life at City Osteopathy allowed Lyndon to spend Christmas his with his family and extended family, playing finska and croquet on Sandy Point Beach.. We just so happened to stumble upon a sand castle competition! Also, very fortunate to spend new years with his best pals, camping and working at a music festival ‘Beyond the Valley’ with Tibbs and Bones clothing store :D live music and friends, can’t go wrong..



Dr Mike Santamaria’s LONG LONG summer break comes to an end!

Around the Bay in a…


If there’s one thing patients associate with Mike Santamaria, it’s that he’s always riding his bike…
Hmm, actually patients never ever think that. But in cycling parlance, Mike completed one of Victoria’s biggest day bike rides…
In a fortnight…
And in a car.
Mike Santamaria and family jumped in the car  after watching a relatively subdued opening day of the Boxing Day Test. He headed down to Torquay for a few nights with Simi’s family. And then New Year’s Eve saw him jump back in the car and onto the ferry from Queenscliff to Sorrento and onto Blairgowrie for the remaining 8 days.
The weather can be so hit and miss at this time of year, but Mike got some cracking beach days which he took full advantage of down at Sullivan’s Bay. Quite possibly the greatest beach in the world…
He’s feeling very recharged and excited for his SEVENTEENTH YEAR at City Osteopathy!!

Dr Dan Castellano catches a shark! Great photo mate!

Our resident Catalan, Dr Daniel Castellano had an enjoyable break off over Christmas and the new year. I got to celebrate my first xmas in my new house with partner Holly which was very exciting. The day itself was filled with family from both sides and the usual over indulging of turkey, pork, ham and pavolva!

My best mate and I wanted to start our own fitness tradition on Boxing Day, which was to run one hundred 100 metre sprints in 100 minutes. (100 x 100s in 100 mins)
The idea is to run 100 metres at the start of every minute – so if you run it in 20 seconds you get a 40 second break, 30 seconds a 30 second break and so on.
It was just an idea to run off all the Christmas food and alcohol however, it actually came to fruition. The repeated efforts started off quite easily however after about 30 it started to become more difficult. No surprises that the last 15 efforts were physically the hardest.

After we completed the grueling run, we went to the Boxing day test to watch Australia take on New Zealand.  This Melbourne Osteopath knows how to relax!

The day after Boxing Day my partner Holly and I drove down to Rye to camp down on the foreshore, which is an annual tradition her family has done since she was a kid. There were plenty of games of beach cricket played with her family as well as some fishing and boating adventures. Below is a photo of one of my catches which was a Port Jackson shark, which was kindly let back into the ocean after the photo.