Is heel pain getting the better of you.. Lets talk about plantar fasciitis!

2022-05-20Physio Tips No Comments

Plantar Fasciitis.


What is plantar fasciitis?


Plantar fascia pain is associated with pain at the inside aspect of the heel. The plantar fascia is a thick fibrous band attaching our heel to our toes. They do a tonne of work for us in help us stabilise our feet, propel our bodies forward and support our body weight in standing. When we ask to much of this guy it can become very painful, weakened and very cranky. Due to the plantar fascia having a poor blood supply and simply being the back bone of all our daily movement, it is no surprise heeling time frames for this condition extend well beyond peoples expectations.



What causes Plantar fasciitis?

  • Sudden increase or changes to training load.
  • Poor footwear choice coupled with increasing walking or standing loads.
  • Foot and ankle weakness** Read this again** Foot and Ankle Weakness!
  • Restricted movement of ankle. 
  • Restricted movement of the big toe or toes.
  • Changes in body composition or weight gain.
  • Diabetics.
  • Age: 40-60 year olds cop this one the most.
  • Foot shape and congenital issues.

What does it feel like? 

  • Sharp pain around the heel: Generally worse in the morning or after periods of activity/standing.
  • Feels more sensitive walking on hard floors bare-feet.
  • Tight feeling under the arch of the foot when walking or stretching.
  • Dull achey pain at the end of the day once pressure is off the foot.


 How do you fix plantar fasciitis?

  • FIND OUT THE CAUSE: Foot mechanics, foot weakness, footwear, aggravating activities etc
  • START WITH OFFLOADING THE PLANTAR FASCIA: Our preference is a period of low dye taping for up to 2 weeks.
  • START STRENGTHENING  THE PLANTAR FASCIA ASAP: Our preference is using a fasciitis fighter or a rolled towel.


There are no magic exercises for this condition.

Do the basics well and be consistent for a several months and you will be rewarded with pain free heels 🙂


Any questions about an  injury shoot us an email or give us a call on (02) 4751 9127

Need an appointment –> BOOK HERE! 

Written by Pat Lincoln


How do you fix swimmers shoulder?

2022-04-06Physio Tips No Comments

Swimmers shoulder


What is swimmers shoulder?

“Swimmer’s shoulder” is an umbrella term for shoulder pain / injuries that relate to the swimming population. Due to the complexity of the shoulder anatomy, many factors relating to the swimming stroke can contribute to the presence of pain.

Most grumpy shoulders among swimmers start from irritation of the shoulder bursa or the rotator cuff tendons, however think of this as only the symptom, we need to find the reason WHY these structures have become overloaded, and fix that!


What causes shoulder pain? 

Swimming involves a high amount of repetitive and powerful overhead movements (particularly freestyle, backstroke and butterfly), and with around 4,000 strokes roughly for most practice sessions, it makes sense that our shoulders might be the first thing niggle.

The most common culprits:

  • Sudden increase or changes to training load
  • Poor swimming technique or motor patterns 
  • Poor shoulder blade control (this is a big one) —> If the arm is moving / rotating the shoulder blade must move well to allow the ball and socket of the joint to work together
  • Poor shoulder strength and stability (rotator cuff and pulling muscles)
  • Decreased shoulder rotation or overhead movement 


How long does it take to go away?

  • Get niggles assessed quickly! The longer a grumpy shoulder is pushed through, the longer it will take to fix, and the more compensations will change your technique.
  • Clinically it can take up to 4-6 weeks for an initial improvement of inflammatory symptoms.
  • Full recovery will take up to 12-16 weeks


 How do you fix swimmer’s shoulder?


1. Initially you need to settle down the initial inflammation using a variety of methods.

  • Training modification and cross-training: During this phase it’s still important we keep you swimming, we can do this by swapping painful strokes for variations such as breastroke or kick-board  work initially as we build things back up.
  • Massage & release work
  • Taping to assist with pain, awareness and shoulder mechanics during swimming 

2. Exercise is key to a long term solution! 

There are no magic exercises for all swimmers, and every swimmers shoulder will be treated differently depending on those contributing factors and unique training demands. 

  • Organising shoulder blade mechanics during stroke patterns
  • Mobility exercises targeting shoulder rotation and overhead positions
  • Gradual overload of the pulling muscle system and shoulder stability 
  • Designing a shoulder friendly gym or home program to follow to keep things happy and improve swimming performance!


Any questions about an  injury shoot us an email or give us a call on (02) 4751 9127

Need an appointment –> BOOK HERE! 

Written by Kieran Fercher


Sever’s Disease – Why do growing kids get sore feet!

2022-02-22Physio Tips No Comments

Sever’s Disease


What is Severs?

Sever’s disease is classified as an apophyitis effecting the achilles insertion at the heel. It is an inflammation of the  growth plate causing heel pain in children between 9-13 years old. Generally boys are more susceptible than girls and more active kids tend to suffer. The good thing about severs it correlates with periods of rapid growth in young children and the condition is self limiting meaning it will not ‘worsen’ over time.

What causes Sever’s Disease:

  • Rapid growth spurt or puberty.
  • Change of footwear: Eg. Starting soccer season wearing new boots.
  • Calf muscle weakness.
  • Calf muscle tightness: As bones grow slightly slower than muscle we will see periods of excessive muscle tightness during a growth spurt.
  • Frequency and intensity of physical exercise and activity.

Common signs and symptoms:

  • Pain following or during physical activity especially running or jumping sports.
  • Stiffness first thing in the morning or after activity.
  • Limping after sport.
  • Point tenderness on heel/calcaneal bone.
  • Tendency to tip toe.
  • Heel feels better in footwear with a little heel.


Kids complaining about heel pain is super common and we have lots of tricks to keep them moving and involved in there sport. It’s something that will go away with time as the growth spurt finishes.


Got a question about an injury, shoot us a message or book a session online here.

Written by Patrick Lincoln



Managing Grumpy Old Osteoarthritic Knees.

2021-10-13Physio Tips No Comments

Osteoarthritic Knee Pain


What is knee Osteoarthritis

Knee OA (osteoarthritis) is a ‘wear and tear’ within the knee joint. Over a long period of time the knee joint starts a degenerative process in which the cushioning in the knee joint is reduced. It impacts the cartilage at the end of either bones causing increase friction within the joint.

OA is common in a variety of joints most typically knees and hips due to the high weight bearing loads of these joints. Osteoarthritis varies in types, pain levels and disability levels between people but typically effects people over the age of 45.



Common clinical symptoms include:

  • Pain on the inside of the knee joint (but can effect the outer or front of the knee).
  • Pain with weight bearing exercises: Walking, running, jumping or hiking.
  • Night pain after exercise or activity.
  • Tenderness on palpation.
  • Crepitus or cracking within the joint.
  • Knee swelling or effusion post/during activity.
  • Restricted knee joint movement: Difficulty straightening or bending the knee.
  • Total Knee Replacement Surgery: If you’re eating anti-inflammatories like lollies, have major difficulty sleeping, limping constantly and activities of daily life are becoming effected then a surgical opinion is warranted.
  • Knee arthroscopy: A more basic “clean-out” of the knee joint, generally used if there is issues with the meniscal tissue with minimal osteoarthritis.
  • Knee bracing is sometime used to prolong knee joint function when surgery cannot be performed.

Having Osteoarthritic knees is not a death sentence and there is a plethora of opportunities to improve your pain, function and quality of life through the help of your local Physio.


Got a question about an injury, shoot us a message or book a session online here.

Written by Patrick Lincoln



How to fix tennis elbow!

2021-07-15Physio Tips No Comments


What is tennis elbow? (It’s not just for tennis players)

The condition commonly called tennis elbow has many other names such as lateral epicondylagia, lateral elbow pain , lateral epicondilitis etc.

It describes an issue with the tendons located on the outside of your elbow. The tendons attach the muscles that extend your wrist and fingers to the bone on the outer elbow. You use these muscles when you grip, lift or carry something.

Tendon pain occurs when they are overloaded with repetitive activities and is unable to cope with the workload. This results in changes to the cells and matrix of the tendon and this can cause pain, loss of strength and stiffness in the tendon.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms include:

– Dull aching pain on the side of the elbow after activity
– Tends to warm up a little with activity
– Tenderness on the side of the elbow

Pain or loss of strength with activities such as:

– holding a cup
– opening a door handle or
– gripping the bar at the gym


The aim of physiotherapy is to get you back to doing the things you love so your treatment we make sure your treatment is specific to your goals.

Got a question about an injury, shoot us a message or book a session online here.


Written by Brianna Downward


Calf injuries in runners!

2021-07-02Physio Tips No Comments

Running related calf injuries!


Dreaded calf (or baby cow) muscle strains are a common running injury, and often leave you going crazy with the next running event getting closer and closer! Greater than 50% of running power is generated from the calf muscles, so it’s understandable that the calf can be a potential site of muscular injury for a runner.


Types of calf injuries: 


The calf is made up of 2 main muscles – the Gastrocnemius and Soleus. It’s important to understand which part of the calf is injured when designing a rehab plan and preventing recurrences.

  1. Soleus strain – In most cases, runners don‘t feel a sudden twinge – but feel a tightening sensation in the calf that develops slowly during a run. This type of strain often involves injury to the soleus muscle and may occur with fatigue, overtraining or a change in running surface / hills. The Soleus muscle works harder during distance running and where the knee is in a bent position.

  2. Gastrocnemius strain – These trigger sudden onset of pain in the region of the calf, often caused by faster intervals, sprinting, or high-speed tempo runs. The gastroc muscle crosses over the knee joint and works harder where the knee is in a straight position, and explosive sprinting/jumping activities.


What causes calf strains when running?


  • Getting too keen! We’ve all been there, and we know how exciting training for your next event can be. Quickly Increasing training loads, speed or hill work most often overloads the calf.
  • Poor strength and endurance of the calf!
    Clinically I like to see all runners be able to complete 25 single leg calf raises repetitions with good form, and arbitrarily use the following assessment criteria:
    < 15 reps (poor)

    15-30reps (satisfactory)
    > 30reps (good)
  • Change in footwear – A change in heel to toe drop/angle with your shoes will change the amount of stretch and load on the calf muscle.
  • Hip/knee weakness: Your glutes and quads work with your calf to push you forward. If muscle groups higher up the kinetic chain aren’t doing they’re job it’s going to increase load on the calf. 
  • Running technique – A conscious change in running technique to mid-forefoot running


Can I still run with a calf strain?


Continuing to train in some form is important for a speedy recovery, whether it is a light running/walking program or cross-training program to keep you moving!

Severity of muscle strain can be assesed by your physio and will determine recovery timelines and structure of rehab. 

  • Grade 1: 1-2 weeks to return to some running
  • Grade 2: 2 weeks+ to return to some running
  • Grade 3: 3-6 weeks to return to some running
  • Grade 4: 3 months+ to return to some running

How do you treat a calf strain?


Accurate diagnosis of the type of calf injury, and early appropriate treatment can significantly affect duration of your recovery. 

Phase 1: Acute treatment is aimed at limiting pain and limiting further muscle damage.

  • No stretching
  • Ice and compression to limit muscle bleeding 
  • Normal walking pattern: Heel wedges or a crutch are often helpful in the first couple of days
  • Early calf loading exercises

Phase 2: Aimed at re-building calf load tolerance 

  • Progress calf strengthening exercises targeting both muscles!
  • Hip strength exercises

Phase 3: Building a resilient calf and a safe return to running 🙂

  • Plyometric and calf endurance exercises 
  • Return to running program!

If you have any questions shoot us a message or book an appointment online!

Any questions about an  injury shoot us a message, give us a call on (02) 4751 9127

or book a session online here.

Written by Kieran Fercher 


5 tips to help your shoulder pain get better.. fast!

2021-05-21Physio Tips No Comments


The Physio Depot’s 5 Top tips for managing shoulder pain!


Let’s face it shoulder pain is the worst. Not being able to get dressed without making loud grunting noises, difficulty reaching the top cupboard to get the wine glasses and spending weeks doing painful bench press in the gym hoping it will get better.


Shoulder pain affects EVERYONE – No matter gender, age, activity levels, sporty people or sedentary people.


shoulder physio blue mountains

Typically there is a trigger for that painful shoulder it could vary from an accident or fall, a change in activity load, a big day in the garden or lots smaller repetitive stress on the shoulder.


The Depot’s top tips for managing a painful shoulder!


1. Avoid pushing & pressing exercises at the gym!

  • Bench press and shoulder press are the two most aggravating exercises for a painful shoulder.
  • Substitute these for bench press off the floor and work on those shoulders below shoulder height (think: bent over lateral raise!)

2. Rest does not help shoulders get better!

  • Shoulders are not very good at getting better by themselves. The majority of shoulder stability arises from the muscles surrounding the shoulder girdle, prolonged rest weakens this system and in return your shoulder may worsen over time not improve.
  • If we don’t fix the parts of your shoulder which help it move optimally then the painful cycle will start all over again.

3. Pulling exercises ONLY!

  • Work that upper back and postural muscles by adding more pulling work at the gym. (Think seated row, lat pull down etc).
  • We love exercises that promote healthy shoulder blade conditioning and movement. The shoulder generally does not hurt with these movements, we can keep you in the gym and you’re on your way to improving your shoulder pain for good.

4. Don’t forget thoracic mobility!

  • Limitations in thoracic mobility especially thoracic extension (arching your upper back backwards) will have huge effects on shoulder movement and function.
  • General postures, thoracic stiffness and tight muscles at the front can lead to ongoing shoulder issues.
  • So… sit up straight, get those back muscles working and pec muscles stretched out.

5. It’s a marathon not a sprint – Shoulders take time to rehabilitate!

  • Most painful shoulders should improve with treatment over a 3-6 week period. Full shoulder rehabilitation generally takes 12 weeks with ongoing exercises for long term management.
  • Remember pain free shoulders are generally robust and strong shoulders.
  • Shoulders sacrifice stability for large amounts mobility. All that mobility needs to be controlled by a very smooth series of coordinated muscle firing for it to perform optimally, when a shoulder gets injured this system malfunctions and it takes specific exercises to restore it.


If you have any questions shoot us a message or book an appointment online!

Any questions about an  injury shoot us a message, give us a call on (02) 4751 9127

or book a session online here.

Written by Patrick Lincoln


Ankle Syndesmosis Injuries

2021-04-08Physio Tips No Comments

Ankle Syndesmosis Injuries 


The ‘high ankle sprain’ AKA ‘Syndesmosis injuries’ 

Everyone has known someone to ‘roll’ their ankle. Generally this is a twisting motion of the foot and damages the structures to the outer ankle, known as the lateral ligament complex. Ankle injuries involving excessive external rotation and/or dorsiflexion (toes up to shin and ankle twisting inwards) can disrupt the syndesmosis complex (pictured below). The syndesmosis is a fibrous tissue joining the shin bone with the fibular its primary role is to aid stability around the distal part of the ankle, as well as providing shock absorption when we run and jump. The syndesmosis is made up of 4 ligaments and is fundamental for good ankle function.






Tell tale signs you have a syndesmosis injury not a ‘lateral ligament’ injury!

It’s important you do not miss or confuse a syndesmosis injury with a normal ankle sprain. Early rehabilitation differs greatly and can lead to chronic issues if not managed appropriately.

The key things to remember if questioning a syndesmosis:

  1. The mechanism of injury: Hyper-dorsiflexion or forceful external rotation.
  2. The swelling pattern is above the ankle joint not laterally and below.
  3. Pain increases with walking or weight-bearing that can be reduced by squeezing the lower leg bones together.
  4. Pain increases with dorsiflexion, but can be eased with compression of the tibia and fibular junction


Got a question about an injury, shoot us a message or book a session online here.


Written by Patrick Lincoln



Shoulder Dislocations Made Simple.

2021-02-10Physio Tips No Comments

Shoulder Dislocations Made Simple .


What is a shoulder dislocation?

A shoulder dislocation is when the top of our arm bone slips out of the cup like socket that contains our shoulder joint. Unfortunately, our shoulders are built for mobility not stability making it a very common injury.

How does a shoulder dislocate happen?

Shoulders can dislocate in a number of positions. Most commonly the shoulder pops out in a forward direction due to a force on the shoulder with our shoulder out to the side and above shoulder height or a blunt force to the back of the shoulder. Occasionally shoulders will dislocate backwards, this can happen due to a fall on an elbow or onto your hands in front of the body causing the arm bone to move backwards through the joint.

How painful is a dislocated shoulder and what should I do immediately afterwards?

Dislocated shoulders are generally very painful at the time. You will feel an immense pain, muscular spasm and inability to move the arm. The good news, once your shoulder is relocated the initial pain calms down instantaneously. The following 1-2 weeks your shoulder will be quite tender and may need the use of a sling.

How long does it take to recover?

General timeframes very depending on the type of dislocation and the mechanism of injury.

A rough time period of 6-12 weeks for return of normal function is a good starting point. More traumatic dislocations which cause extensive damage to the structural integrity of the shoulder can take upwards of 3 months for full recovery.

Is my shoulder going to permanently damaged after a dislocation?

Following a dislocation your rehabilitation is extremely important. Once the shoulder is dislocated you damage the structures that hold your shoulder in place on a day to day basis. In order for you to return to sport, overhead activity or gym training it’s imperative you follow a strict rehabilitation plan. Unfortunately the re-occurrence rate is quite high, especially in the adolescent patient group. In summary, your shoulder is not permanently damaged but you have to work hard strengthening and stabilising the muscles surrounding the shoulder.

How can Physio help?

  • Restore shoulder range of motion.
  • Immobilisation strategies to settle the shoulder down in first 10 days.
  • Guided rehabilitation program to strengthen shoulder stabilisers.
  • Return to sport/activity guidelines and testing.

Do I need surgery?

A first time dislocation does not generally need surgery unless you have a traumatic/unstable fracture. After your first dislocation you will generally start a rehabilitation program with your Physio over a 12 week period.

If you make dislocating your shoulder a habit despite your best efforts of Physio and exercise. Then you may be on your way to the surgeon to get your shoulder stabilised with an operation.

What does the first 6 weeks of Physio look like after a dislocation?

    10-14 days of using a sling to support the injured arm. This is useful for pain, but also stops the shoulder popping out again in the first 5-7 days.
    Start muscle activation in supporting muscles at the back of the shoulder.
    Begin light resistance training focusing on shoulder stabilisers, trunk muscles and rotator cuff.
    With your shoulders supported start weight bearing shoulder exercises.
    Build strength in zones above head and focus on stability exercises.
    -Build functional exercise program targeting demands of your sport.


Got a question about an injury, shoot us a message or book a session online here.


Written by Patrick Lincoln



5 Tips for runners to avoid a trip to the Physio!

2021-01-12Physio Tips, Uncategorized No Comments

5 tips for runners to avoid another visit to the Physio!


Runners accumulate an amazing amount of distance over a 12-month period. The gradual load this has on joints, ligaments, muscles and bones can inevitably lead to injuries. A whopping 82% of all runners will get injured throughout their running career.


Our goal at The Physio Depot is to give you strategies and training tips that educate you on how to lower your risk of injury, therefore keeping you running all year round. We all know what runners are like when they don’t run… If you don’t know what I mean, ask your friends or partners (Yes, we are talking about you Mr/Mrs Grouchy!).

Here are our 5 top tips for a happy and injury free running season in 2021!


  1. Slow & steady wins the race:

    Build your training kilometres up slowly. We often see people jumping up to 40-60km per week after only training for 4-6 months and they wonder why their body is hating it.
  2. Strength wins over stretching:

    Most runners gravitate to stretching or foam rolling for managing their injuries. What we see is a neglect of strength work when runners are pain free. Our view is that strength training should be a consistent theme throughout the whole training year. All running injuries are treated with an element of strengthening exercises, so why not do it before an injury occurs.

  3. Footwear that suits your feet:

    Not all feet and shoes are created equal. The main message here is that you need to purchase the right shoe for your foot. Not everyone has to be running in a whizz bang zero-drop shoe! People have different foot shapes, which may require different levels of support. Think about this:- Does the shoe match your foot?
    A flat weak foot may need more support than a strong foot with a higher arch.

    Is the toe box to small?
    The area where your toes sit provide all the shock absorption for your running. If your toes can’t spread, you are increasing the ground reaction forces throughout the whole body chain.

    What is the ‘drop’ of the shoe?
    The drop of the shoe is the amount of change in height from the heel to the toe in the sole of the shoe. Think of it as the ‘heel’ of the running shoe. This height change effects the amount of load transmitted through the foot, calf and lower limb. Typically a ‘Zero’ drop versus ‘10mm’ drop will increase the amount of calf/lower limb strength needed to tolerate your training load.

    Talk to a professional and seek good advice from people that run themselves
    We love the guys at Blue Mountains Running Co. in Glenbrook. Click HERE to visit website 

  4. Recovery, Hydration & Nutrition:

    Everyone knows the power of sleep. New research suggests if you’re getting less than 7 hours sleep per night, you’re putting yourself at risk of injury. So.. put the phone down, turn off Netflix and get some sleep!Adequate nutrition and hydration is imperative for good performance, lowering injury risk and aiding in tissue recovery. This is especially important for bone health and reducing stress related injuries.


  1. 80:20 – Training variability and terrain:

    Training variability is important, but can lead to injury. The 80:20 rule means that 80% of your total training time should be completed at an easy to moderate effort, 20% should be completed at a more intense level. Runners often fall into the trap of running the easy runs too fast, adding hills repeats and sprints to their training sessions. This causes the pendulum to swing and all of a sudden 60-70% of their training is now in the hard intensity zone, thus increasing their injury risk.



Got a question about an injury, shoot us a message or book a session online here.


Written by Patrick Lincoln