Myth Busting Osteoarthritis!

2019-07-16Uncategorized No Comments

Myth Busting Osteoarthritis



Our population is definitely not getting any younger and therefore joints are wearing out and getting replaced more and more regularly. Everyone reading this probably knows one person with a knee or hip replacement. 


FIRSTLY… What is osteoarthritis and how do I know if I have it?

Osteoarthritis is a natural wearing process in which the protective cartilage that cushions the ends of your bones wears down over time. This is a by product of years of movement, friction and mechanical pressure over the joint surfaces. People can have osteoarthritis and not even know where as other people can suffer dreadfully with arthritic aches and pains. 


How do I know if I have Osteoarthritis?

  • It can effect all joints but typically the knee, hip and hands are the most common areas.
  • Painful or aching joints.
  • Swelling and tenderness surrounding joints.
  • Palpable heat or inflammation within the joint.
  • Restricted movement or mobility that may be painful. 
  • Clunking or clicking in the joint. 
  • Gradual building pain or loss of function. 







6 Myths surrounding managing arthritis!



  1. Load bearing exercise is ‘bad’ for joint health.
    Load bearing exercise at times have been given bad press  in regards to the management of arthritis. I agree that at times when your symptoms are playing up it can be ill advised. But on the whole  weight bearing strengthening exercises have shown to increase muscle strength, joint and cartilage health. Bone like a muscle will respond to structured gradually loading and get stronger  💪
  2. I should avoid exercise in case I make my Osteoarthritis worse.
    Exercise plays a key role in the management of Osteoarthritis with structured programming targeting muscular strength. Mobility exercises and stretching also form an integral role for good joint health. Weak and stiff joints tend to more symptomatic and painful than mobile and strong joints!
  3. Osteoarthritis should only be managed with anti-inflammatory medications.
    This is a very 2 -dimensional medical approach to managing your Osteoarthritis. There is definitely a time and place for anti-inflammatory medications along the arthritic journey. Using medications to manage a flare up of symptoms is appropriate if in short time frames with clear guidelines. You don’t want to get stuck on the anti-inflammatory train taking them every day to get by – If you’re doing this it may be time to visit the surgeon!
  4. Surgery is the only option to help my symptoms.
    For advanced arthritis that is effecting your quality of life, sleepless nights due to pain are the norm and you’re eating anti-inflammatories like lollies then again you may need to call the surgeon! If you have mild or early stage arthritis surgery is NOT your only option. Physiotherapy plays a vital role in helping improve joint health, muscle strength and joint range of motion. This will not only help in the immediate phase to resolve symptoms but in the unfortunate result of needing surgery your efforts pre-surgery tends to make life post surgery much easier.
  5. Osteoarthritis only effects elderly people.
    Your family history, surgeries in your younger years, traumatic injuries and obesity can all lead to osteoarthritis in younger people.
  6. Running can lead to osteoarthritis.
    There has been numerous studies showing no evidence that running increases the chances of getting osteoarthritis. It’s actually shown it can help lessen the likelihood of OA due to keeping body weight low, regular exercising to strengthen muscles and the impact loading can help create resilience in the cartilage.



Any questions about an injury shoot us a message, give us a call on (02) 4751 9127 or book a session online!

Written by Pat Lincoln


Training for a running event? Find out how MASSAGE can help!

2019-07-09Uncategorized No Comments

Are you preparing for your next Running Event?

City to Surf?

Blackmores Marathon or Half Marathon?

Glenbrook Trail Marathon? 


Do you think massage therapy can help your race prep?

Our massage therapist Brett has run several marathons himself and here is what he has to say regarding sports massage & how it can help preparing for your next running event  🙂 



Running  and massage make good friends. The repetitive nature of running causes an enormous amount of joint compression and muscle fatigues so it’s no wonder your legs feel tight, sluggish and sore the next day.


How can massage help your race preparation? 

  • Address muscle tightness and delayed onset muscle soreness after big training weekends.
  • Improve range of motion to joints, fascia and muscles lessening the risk of injury.
  • Increase circulation and oxygen delivery to working muscles and help with recovery.
  • Addressing upper body movement, trunk rotation and shoulder tightness that can impede running performance.
  • Massage improves the  effectiveness of the circulatory system. This system is responsible for oxygen transfer, nutrient delivery, and waste removal at the cellular level.

When is the best time to get a massage surrounding a running event?

  • 3-5 days either side of an event is optimal for getting a sports massage.
  • This allows for optimal recovery after the event and after the massage prior to the event

What to expect with a sports massage?

  • Sports massage are individualised for different training regimes and different athletes.
  • Your therapist will take a brief history regarding injuries, niggles, training loads and particular areas of tightness.
  • Time can vary between 30 or 60 minutes.
  • Your therapist uses massage to apply pressure and long strokes to target the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue.





Any questions about an injury shoot us a message, give us a call on (02) 4751 9127 or book a session online!

Written by Brett Dwyer  (Massage Therapist at The Physio Depot)

Calf muscle tear! OUCH! Find out how physio can help!

2019-06-06Uncategorized No Comments

Running along and then BANG and your calf is torn?

What to do next?

Well first thing is stop running!

Get home and follow the next few steps!



How to know if you have torn your calf muscle?

  • A snap or pull felt at the time of injury.
  • Pain and weakness in the calf area.
  • Swelling in the area.
  • Bruising.
  • Weakness in the calf when trying to walk, climb stairs or stand.
  • Limping when walking.

What’s a calf muscle and where does it live!

There are two muscles that make up the calf, the gastrocnemius and the soleus.

Both these muscles attach into the achillies tendon that inserts at the heel.




So I have torn my calf….. What now?


  • Applying ice wrapped in a towel for 10 minutes a few times during the day will help to reduce inflammation and reduce pain.



  • Depending how bad the tear is you might need to use some crutches for a few days. It’s always best to get back walking normally as soon as possible, take as much weight as you can through your leg and slowly wean off the crutches.
  • If it’s not to bad and you want to continue with some exercise riding a bike is usually a good place to start as long as its pain free.
  • Prolonged rest does not help. The quicker you get moving the better!


Move + Strengthen

  • MOVE as quickly as you can!
  • When sitting slide your heel forward and back gently, often during the day.
  • Ankle pumps = Moving your foot back and fourth throughout the day.
  • The quicker you begin pain free loading the better.
  • Whether it be a partial tippy toe raise, pushing against a theroband and pointing your toes.


When should I start Physio??

—-> As quick as you can start your rehab the quicker you can return to play


What will the Physio do on the first visit?

–> Assessment your injury
–> Test muscle capacity and diagnose the grade of injury.
–> Educate you on appropriate exercises and form a management plan.
–> Taping to offload the injured calf muscle.
–> Soft tissue treatment around the injured area.


Any questions about an injury shoot us a message, give us a call on (02) 4751 9127 or book a session online!

Written by Georgia King (Physiotherapist at The Physio Depot)

Don’t start your day off on the wrong foot

2019-05-27Uncategorized No Comments

Don’t start the day with heel pain!

Plantar fasciitis has a multitude of ever changing names but the condition itself is characterised by tissue irritation in which the plantar fascia attaches to the heel bone. The plantar fascia is a band of connective tissue attaching from the inside of the heel bone, along the base of the foot into the toes.

The role of the plantar fascia is to help us propel the body forwards by supporting the bones and joints within the foot. If it becomes irritated the heel can become very tender with prolonged standing and walking.

How to know if you have Plantar fasciitis?

  • Heel pain with the first few steps when waking up in the morning.
  • Heel pain after prolonged periods of sitting.
  • Sharp pain on the inside aspect of the heel.
  • Tenderness to touch the inside of the heel.
  • Pain with extended standing or walking.



What you need to know to get better!



– Plantar fascia conditions take a long duration to completely rehabilitate.
– 6-8 weeks generally to settle acute flare up of heel symptoms.
– Anywhere from 3-9 months for a full recovery.


– Intrinsic foot strength is crucial (These are the little muscles that reside in the foot).
– Plantar fascia and calf complex strengthening.
– Graded loading of foot and ankle complex.
– General HEAVY load and LOW rep training in the gym will help.


– Big toe stretches.
– Ball releases under the arch of the foot (avoiding the sore spot).
– Calf stretching.



– What’s happening beyond the foot is important to assess hip and trunk stability.
– Poor control beyond the foot can lead to excessive loading on the foot



RUNNING: Decrease intensity and speed work can make your symptoms
STANDING: Long periods of standing and walking can exacerbate your symptoms.
PROLONGED INACIVITY: Keep moving little and often throughout the day.


Any questions about an injury shoot us a message, give us a call on (02) 4751 9127 or book a session online!

Written by Georgia King (Physiotherapist at The Physio Depot)

What’s that painful lump on my kid’s knee? It’s Osgood Schlatters Disease!

2019-05-01Uncategorized No Comments

Osgood schlatters disease is a knee condition affecting generally growing 12-14 year old children that highly active. It’s typically associated with pain at the front of the knee and a bony prominence can form on the top of the shin bone. The pain is due to inflammation at the growth plate in which the quadricep tendon attaches at the top of the tibia.

When kids are growing the tendon creates extra tension at the insertion which leads to pain and inflammation (See picture below).







  • Growth spurts: A bone grows faster than muscle therefore the muscle cannot maintain optimal length at the attachment point of the tendon. This creates a traction effect in where the tendon joins onto the bone.
  • Training load: This typically ramps up after school holidays and we see an increase in these types of conditions this time of year.
  • Muscle tightness: Tight quadriceps and hip flexors are often contributing factors.
  • Muscle strength imbalance: Poor quadricep strength and gluteal strength can increase the likelihood of suffering from osgood schlatters.
  • Gender: Unfortunately, boys get this more than girls!


  • Point tenderness at top of the tibia.
  • Prominence at top of tibia (Bony knob below knee).
  • Difficulty kneeling or sensitivity to tapping the knee.
  • Pain with running and jumping activities.
  • Dull ache after activity and sport.


Getting the correct diagnosis is key to make sure you’re treating the right condition and there is no involvement with the patellar tendon or knee cap issues.

Once we know what’s going on a combination of all these ideas can help manage your condition:

  • Soft tissue releases to take pressure off the bony prominence!
  • Taping techniques!
  • Anti-inflammatory ideas!
  • Stretching protocols!
  • Strengthening exercises!
  • Ice!

With the start of so many sporting seasons in the winter months that involve hopping, jumping and sprinting it’s a common problem we see in the clinic this time of year!

If you have any questions about your kid’s injury shoot us a message, give us a call on (02) 4751 9127 or book a session online!

Written by Pat Lincoln (Physiotherapist at The Physio Depot)


Upper back feeling tight? Try these 5 quick tips!

2019-04-14Uncategorized No Comments

Sitting by day, stiff by night!


Do you spend a lot of your day sitting at a desk or in the car?
Are you suffering with neck pain?
Do you find your upper back stiff and you just can’t get it to go away?
Struggling to lift that weight overhead?

We understand how annoying that can be!

Here are some tips on how to improve your upper back mobility and reduce your symptoms!


Foam Roller stretch!

Spend a few minutes each night opening the thoracic spine using a foam roller. Simple and effective way for reducing your symptoms. Aim for 2-3 minutes working in a variety of different spots.

Regular work breaks!

When working at a desk try to get up often during the day, go for a walk to the printer, grab yourself a glass of water or go and say hi to a friend! Our body is designed to move and likes to be up and about during the day.

Computer screen height!

Ensure that your computer screen is at the right height so you don’t fall into a hunched position. The top of your screen should be at eye level.


Work stretches in sitting!

Rotate your upper body around pulling with your arms and keep your hips forward. Hold for 10 seconds and complete 3 big breaths aim for 3-4 per side.

Bow and arrow stretch!

Lay on side with top knee resting on foam roller. Rotate upper body around and take a deep breathe, come back to starting position and repeat 15-20 x per side.


Any questions about an injury shoot us a message, give us a call on (02) 4751 9127 or book a session online!

Written by Georgia King (Physiotherapist at The Physio Depot)

Stop that pain in the neck!

2019-04-05Uncategorized No Comments

Are you experiencing regular neck pain that just won’t go away, it’s possible that parts of your daily routine are contributing without you realising!

Here are a few common everyday activities that might be making your neck pain worse!


Your sleeping position

 It’s easy to underestimate the impact your sleeping position has however, spending hours in one position will undoubtedly have an effect on your body. Pillows that are too high or too flat can mean your cervical joints are sitting at the end of their range in too much flexion or extension. Similarly, sleeping on your stomach often means your thoracic spine is locked into extension and your neck is fully rotated. In simpler terms, this means your joints are under more stress than necessary. Ideal sleeping posture allows your spine to maintain it’s natural curve!


Your daily commute

Many of us make sure our work stations are ergonomically set up to reduce stress and strain throughout the day. Few of us take the same consideration when it comes to driving. In fact, the set up of your car can be just as important as your work-desk, particularly if you are driving more than 30 minutes everyday. The correct setup in your car can mean you use less effort to drive and turn your head less often to check traffic. Set up your commuting environment so you’re not looking down at your phone or book for hours each week!


Your downtime

Many of us unwind by watching TV or our laptops at the end of the day. Your position during this time can be something you give little thought to however, looking up to view a screen mounted on a wall or looking down at a small screen or laptop can put pressure on the upper structures of the neck. Take a few minutes to consider what posture you’re sitting in before settling down to binge watch a Netflix series and see if you can either lower the height of your screen or raise it slightly so your neck can be in a more neutral position.



Your exercise routine

 Any activity that requires sustained positions or repetitive neck movements can contribute to neck pain. Cyclists can be stuck in neck extension while looking ahead and breast stroke swimmers can also have excess neck extension. Freestyle swimmers with reduced thoracic or neck rotation can have difficulty achieving rotation when breathing which can cause pain and discomfort over time. Talk to your physio about what you do and how to modify your activities to decrease the stress on your neck!

Any questions about your neck pain shoot us a message or give us a call on (02) 4751 9127.


Noisy Knees? Not as bad as they sound!

2019-03-21Physio Tips No Comments

Noisy knees?

I have been asked frequently recently how to fix creaky knees!

The truth is sometimes you can and sometimes you can’t!

The good thing is that there is no evidence that having crunchy knees is causing any damage to the knee joint!

Although it’s hard to convince yourself that when your knees sound like bubble wrap every time you squat, lunge or go down stairs!


As the knee bends the knee cap slides up and down a groove within the thigh bone. If the relationship between these two parts of the joint lose perfect synergy we get poor movement, this then leads to the joint clicking and crunching.

  • Joint position throughout movements where there is added compression around joint leading to popping or clicking.
  • Tendons flicking across boney prominences as you move through squatting or stairs.
  • ‘Gas bubbles’ within the joint burst as we move through fast or large movements (much like when you crack your knuckles!).
  •  Mild wear and tear within the cartilage surfaces of your knee means there is more friction between the bones and can lead to crunching.


Simple solutions to help quieten the crunch!


  1. Loosen your quad muscles

    Foam rolling or stretching the thigh muscles out is crucial. The tighter the quads become over time the more compressive forces develop around the knee cap. More compression force means the joint mechanics are altered and you get more clicking.


  1. Improve glute strength and control

    Does you knee wobble all over the place when you do a single leg squat?? If this sounds familiar then it’s due to poor hip muscle coordination and strength. Improving this can improve knee control which in return will reduce noisy knees as the knee is not ‘dropping in’ when you do a squat.

  2. Move more & Sit less

    Chronic sitting can lead to quad and hip flexor tightness that builds over time. Over time this starts to wreak havoc with the knee cap as the quads span the hip and knee joint meaning it gets pulled from the both end.

  3. Quadricep strength

    Improving quadricep muscle strength especially VMO  (the inside quadricep muscle) helps stabilise the knee cap within the groove of the thigh bone and can reduce crunching inside the joint.

  4. Knee cap mobility

    Getting stuck into the tissue surrounding the knee cap with a massage ball is important to keep the knee cap gliding smoothly through its groove. This is key for quietening those knees down.


If you need help get in touch here 

Help your low back pain fast!

2019-03-13Physio Tips No Comments

Lower back pain is the pits!

We all know someone that has a ‘bad back’ with constant struggles when it ‘goes out’.

We understand at The Physio Depot how if effects your life and family.

Our Physio’s have treated 100’s of lower back patients back to full function.


5 quick ideas to help your back pain fast!

Keep it moving!
Lower backs don’t like to sit still, keep them walking regularly and avoid lengthy periods of sitting.


Don’t hold your breath!
Breath holding increases muscular spasm and creates unhelpful movement strategies.
Aim for 30 big diaphragmatic (belly breaths) every hour.


Gentle stretches!
Your back will not like aggressive stretches or holding positions for too long. Aim for gentle movements in and out of positions (think flow not hold).


Ice or Heat!
Most of the time with back pain there is a degree of muscular spasm (That horrible cramping feeling when a muscle tightens).This a protective mechanism and is perfectly normal to experience this. We encourage HEAT to help relax this muscle response.


A good nights sleep means a strong pillow game!
Use pillows either between your knees if on your side or under your knees if lying on your back to help reduce the pressure off your back.


If you need help get in touch here 

I have labral tear in my shoulder? What does that mean!

2019-03-06Physio Tips No Comments

Shoulder Labral Tears


What is it?

A ring of flexible, fibrous connective tissue, known as the glenohumeral labrum, surrounds the shoulder joint. This labrum increases the stability of the shoulder while allowing for the required flexibility of one of the bodies’ most sophisticated joints. One well-known muscle of the arm, the biceps, has an attachment directly into the labrum and is a common site of injury. A tear of the labrum can occur in many locations, however the most common is at the point where the biceps tendon attaches to the labrum. Usually, this tear follows a typical pattern and is referred to as a superior labrum tear, anterior to posterior (SLAP tear).


What causes it?

SLAP tears can be caused by trauma such as a fall onto an outstretched hand or a dislocated shoulder. Tears can also develop over time with repeated throwing actions or overhead activities as the labrum is weakened and eventually injured. Traumatic tears are more likely to be symptomatic than tears that develop slowly.


What are the symptoms?

As mentioned, SLAP tears can occur suddenly, through trauma or develop slowly through repeated stress. Often if the injury develops over time, patients can be unaware they have sustained a tear and the injury doesn’t have a significant impact on their pain or function. Preexisting SLAP tears can however, place more tension on the long head of biceps tendon, leading to overuse disorders as a secondary complication.

When the tear occurs through a sudden action or trauma, symptoms can be more marked. Sufferers often notice pain deep in the shoulder joint with overhead shoulder movements, a feeling of weakness, loss of power and/or accuracy with throwing activities. Some people may notice a popping or clicking sensation and occasionally the shoulder may give way. In severe tears, the shoulder might feel unstable and even be at increased risk of dislocation.


How can physiotherapy help?

Your physiotherapist is able to help diagnose a suspected SLAP tear and send you for further imaging if needed. SLAP tears are often graded by severity from I to IV as a way to guide treatment. Physiotherapy is usually recommended as a trial for all tears before considering surgical repair and in many cases can effectively help patients return to their previous activities, symptom-free.

Treatment involves:

  • Gradual strengthening of supporting shoulder muscles.
  • Flexibility of shoulder capsule and surrounding muscles.
  • Graded return to full activity with sports specific condition.

If physiotherapy is unsuccessful, surgical repair with a full rehabilitation program is recommended.

Are you having shoulder pain or issues training due to shoulder pain?

We’d love to hear from you!

Send us a message and we can reach out to see if Physio can help you 🙂