Neck pain? Low back pain? Maybe your upper back is the cause!

The upper back is comprised of 12 vertebrae connected with 12 rib pairs which form the thoracic cage (i.e. upper back area). This area is often underestimated in treating other areas such as the neck and low back pain.









The reasons why the thoracic cage is important to look at are because it is:

  • An area through which forces travel from the legs and arms
  • A key area of muscles attachment – neck, low back, shoulder and pelvis
  • An area closely related to the core muscles and internal organs

Some patients experience symptoms such as low back, hip, neck or shoulder pain in which the primary driver cause can be:

  • Non-optimal movement in the ribs
  • Joint stiffness in the thoracic spine resulting in excessive mobility in the lower back
  • Muscles stiffness or strain in this area causing upper back and/or referred pain

If you are an office worker or perhaps do a lot of physical work, you may experience ongoing symptoms that could benefit from further assessment.


Talk to a Physiotherapist about your condition early to get effective treatment! Click here to book an assessment online with us, or call us on 8555 4099.


Also see our video below on some easy thoracic stretches you can do at home!

What is the difference between doing Group Physio-led Exercise Pre or Post Natally at InnerStrength of Bayside?

For pregnant and post natal women, exercising is one of the important tools to help you through your pre and post natal period. There are a number of benefits of Individual and Group Physio Movement Based Exercise sessions (formally known as Clinical Pilates) during this time, including strengthening core, pelvic floor, assisting with your post-natal recovery and enhancing mental health.

Pre-natal Group Physiotherapy

During your pregnancy, you can join one of our Group Physiotherapy Exercise sessions after a Physiotherapy Assessment. These group sessions include up to 4 people and are under the guidance of a qualified Physiotherapist. These individualised sessions use a combination of reformers, mat exercises and other Pilates style equipment to optimise your individualised program. Our Physiotherapists are experienced with working with pregnant women and can easily modify some exercises or provide alternatives to ensure your comfort.

Anyone can benefit from these Group Physiotherapy Exercise sessions, however for pregnant women, it can make a big difference in your new journey and your post-natal recovery will be therefore much easier.

Click here for more information on our Group Physiotherapy sessions.

Post-natal Group Physiotherapy & Mum and Bub Sessions

The post-natal session is a bit different from your pre-natal session. At Innerstrength of Bayside, we provide two options for Post Natal group Physiotherapy sessions.

A popular choice is our group Mums and Bub sessions, suitable from 6 weeks after birth. This way you can exercise with your baby in a fun and relaxed environment with other mums. To ensure that you are ready to exercise, you will have an individual assessment with one of our Physiotherapists. This class is tailored only to post-natal women who would like to engage in an exercise regime while recovering from pregnancy and socialising with other mums.

Benefits of our Mums & Bubs sessions include:
• A great way to bond with baby
• Exercise in a safe way while building up your core and pelvic floor strength
• Promote good posture for breastfeeding
• Enhance weight loss and increase body tone
• Reduce stress and risk of post-natal depression

Another option post-natally or once your baby starts crawling, is to join a Group Physiotherapy Exercise session as described in the pre-natal section above. These 45 minute sessions use Pilates style equipment and are suitable at 6 weeks following the birth after having an Assessment and can be a great time for you to focus on yourself.

If you have any more questions or would like to book in for an Assessment, please contact InnerStrength of Bayside on 8555 4099 or book online.

Osteoarthritis? Surgery is no longer the doctor’s first choice.


I recently had the incredible experience of watching an orthopaedic surgeon perform a total knee replacement on a patient who had osteoarthritis. I was amazed at the concentration and precision of his work, and would definitely have trust in putting my closest family members in his care. There is no doubt that performing surgery of any kind requires immense skill, concentration and the utmost patient-centred care, and I am so grateful to have been the presence of just that!

But, it is important to know that surgery isn’t the first treatment you need to turn to if you have osteoarthritis.

It has been commonplace for many years now that total joint replacements have been considered the best option for overcoming osteoarthritis of the hip and knee, but despite the amazing surgeons we have here in Australia, surgery is accompanied with many risks. Although surgery is an appropriate option for some, new evidence is emerging that something else is the same, if not more effective than surgery for hip and knee osteoarthritis – exercise!

The Guideline for the Management of Hip and Knee Osteoarthritis was released this year (2018) by the Royal Australia College of General Practitioners and it has strong recommendations for land-based exercise for both hip and knee osteoarthritis, as well as weight-management strategies.

Joint replacement surgery was only recommended for severe, end-stage osteoarthritis, when all conservative options have failed. It is also recommended that those who are planning on having joint replacement surgery engage in as much strengthening and physical activity as possible in the lead up to surgery and afterwards.


“So, what does this mean if I’m currently living with knee or hip osteoarthritis?”


Movement is the best thing for you, no matter how mild or severe your condition! It allows for the increase and maintenance of muscle strength and joint range of motion, has benefits for mental health, and can have additional improvements such as weight-loss, lowering blood pressure or reducing severity of diabetes.

Having an exercise program tailored to you is a must as everyone with osteoarthritis has different strengths, challenges and goals so we want to make sure we’re working on all of the right things for you so that you have the best possible outcomes.

As Physiotherapists we have extensive training in osteoarthritis treatment through exercise and other modalities, as well as being experienced in prehab and rehab for joint replacement surgery. We also provide you with information and teach you how to manage your condition so that you have an active role in your rehabilitation and treatment. This is all about you!

If you or someone you know has osteoarthritis of the hip, knee or anywhere else in the body, call us on 8555 4099 or click here to book an appointment online so that we can start you on your journey towards better function!

Written by Meg Doyle (Physiotherapist)

Do you love running but are suffering from its injuries?

Are you a runner with a musculoskeletal injury that can stop you from doing that enjoyable form of exercise? If yes, this article may be relevant for you!

Running is an amazing sport that many people enjoy doing these days. Whether you are running for health, fitness or training, inside the gym or outside in nature, we all know that besides it being relatively inexpensive and convenient, it can hugely build up a person’s strength and have positive psychological benefits.

However, many runners experience musculoskeletal injuries that keep them away from their running shoes. Here I’ve put together a short list of the most common overuse running injuries that you may have.


  1. Patella Femoral Syndrome

Also called  “runner’s knee”, this is the most common running injury that presents to Physiotherapy practices.

Symptoms may include:

  • Pain in the inner portion of the knee during running or after running
  • Pain with sitting for a long time
  • Pain when going down steps or downhill
  • Mainly aggravated with the knee in a bent position


  1. Iliotibial Band Syndrome

An overuse injury in runners is ITB syndrome. It is caused by repeated trauma rather than a one-time incident. Pain mainly presents on the outer side of the knee where the iliotibial band inserts.


  1. Plantar Fasciitis/ Fasciopathy

A common foot complaint in the running world is plantar fasciopathy which involves pain in the heel or middle of the foot. Pain is normally well-localised and often experienced first thing in the morning.

Although often not serious, continuing to run with this condition can cause more complications and additional damage to the tissues involved.


  1. Tibial Stress Syndrome/Shin Splints

This is a repetitive-stress injury to the shin area, mainly in the inner part of the shin. Patients commonly complain of a diffuse pain along the middle of lower leg, especially at the beginning of running. Training history may expose that a runner with this conditions has done too much running, or run too fast, in a short period of time.


Physiotherapy can help you rehabilitate as well as prevent these injuries. We are trained to keep you running and so that you can get the most benefit out of it. Click here to book online or call us today on 8555 4099 to book in for a consultation.


Written by Linh Nguyen (Physiotherapist)


As you may be aware, in 2018, the Federal Government announced its plans to make certain natural therapies ineligible for private health insurance rebates. Among these was Pilates. The Government’s original position was that Pilates would not be rebatable, regardless of who delivers it or how it is delivered.

As you can imagine, there was a big outcry within the Physiotherapy profession. Clinical Pilates instructed by a Physiotherapist is a fantastic way to rehabilitate as well as prevent injury. Exercise is medicine. The Australian Physiotherapy Association negotiated with the government and this position was reached:

“The Department considers that an insurer may lawfully pay benefits if a physiotherapist, providing services to a patient within the accepted scope of clinical practice, uses exercises or techniques drawn from Pilates as part of that patient’s treatment as long as the exercises or techniques are within the accepted scope of clinical practice.
However, if a physiotherapist (or any other health professional) conducts a Pilates session – either advertised or promoted as such, or a session where the only service provided is Pilates exercises – then benefits cannot lawfully be paid.”

This means that as long as a patient receives an Individualised Assessment prior to starting Pilates style exercises, there is regular follow up and that treatment notes are taken, you are still able to claim.

At InnerStrength of Bayside we have always performed individualised Clinical Pilates Assessments and taken treatment notes each time you attend a Clinical Pilates session. The only change our regular clients who attend classes will notice is that we now require all regular Pilates clients to attend an individual 1:1 session with one of our Physiotherapists, if you have not done so in the last 6 months. This will ensure we are complying with the new requirements and instructing you with the most relevant exercise program and that you are reaching your goals.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us on 8555 4099 or via email:

For more information on the Private Health Insurance reform for Clinical Pilates please visit

Book your assessment online or call 8555 4099 if you have not had one in the last 6 months.

Balance training for cancer patients

A deterioration of balance is extremely common for cancer patients, which may be as a result of treatment. Poor balance can lead to falls and fractures, which can have serious consequences. Poor balance can easily be helped with a good exercise program.

Chemotherapy causes a decline in muscle mass, which means that a person may not have the leg strength to prevent tripping and falling.

Chemotherapy can also cause peripheral neuropathy, which means that a person may not be able to feel their fingers or feet and you may also experience tingling. This may stay with a person for a few weeks or for years after their treatment has stopped. Peripheral neuropathy can double your risk of falls.


Tips to reduce your risk of falls during exercise

  • Work on your leg strength. This will help your standing balance and will help you to correct yourself when you start to lose balance.
  • If walking on a treadmill, always use the handles for support.
  • Use a recumbent bike for both cardiovascular and strength.
  • Ask your Physiotherapist to prescribe standing exercises, which are more functional to your everyday life. Make sure you use a chair or table for support whilst performing standing exercises.
  • Wear good supportive footwear.
  • If you experience fatigue, pick a time of day when you know you have the most energy to exercise.


When to start exercising

The sooner the better to improve your quality of life!

Exercise is beneficial during all stages of your treatment. Exercising prior to surgery or treatment means that you will go into it stronger. Exercise has been shown to be beneficial during treatment to help the treatment work more effectively, reduce the amount of muscle mass lost and also help manage your fatigue. It is also greatly beneficial after you have finished treatment to continue to increase your strength back to your baseline, and address other things such as decreased balance.

Please note that you need to make sure you get medical clearance from your medical team before commencing exercise.

InnerStrength of Bayside Physiotherapist Luci Minogue is a provider of the Pinc and Steel Cancer Rehabilitation programs. Call us now on 8555 4099 or click here to book online to start your cancer rehabilitation and wellness strengthening program!


Written by Luci Minogue (Physiotherapist)

What do you mean, my shoulder is frozen?

What is frozen shoulder?

Frozen shoulder, or adhesive capsulitis, is a condition characterised by an initially painful, then progressively stiff shoulder, often with significant night pain. The

condition comes on slowly, has no known cause, and is more common in middle aged women.

I have moved this paragraph up: It is important to know that whilst many people will regain their mobility and function after a period of time, unfortunately, not everyone will, even with Physiotherapy or medical intervention.

It is the belief of many that there is nothing that can be done about frozen shoulders. They are quite often described as being a self-limiting condition and one that will resolve independently in its own time. The problem with the belief that there is nothing you can do about a frozen shoulder is that it may lead people to believe that they will make a full recovery with no intervention and therefore delay or not seek out treatment at all.

It is believed that this information has become such common knowledge to the public due to the frequent reference of what are called ‘secondary sources’ of information. In health care, primary sources of information predominantly refer to research journal articles that report original findings. Secondary sources are an interpretation of a primary source of information, which is less reliable.

So, if we’re mostly seeing information from these less reliable, secondary sources, what do the primary sources have to say about frozen shoulders and what can or cannot be done about them?

Primary sources suggest that treatments to improve shoulder mobility are most effective in the early stages (first 5-12 months), suggesting that delayed treatment may lead to poorer outcomes.

So, what treatment options do I have?

Physiotherapists will provide you with a home exercise program consisting of appropriate mobility and stretching exercises specific to your shoulder. Frozen shoulders are all unique, and you as an individual will have different goals and daily tasks that are meaningful to you so it is important that the program is tailored.

Cortisone injections are also often recommended to manage inflammation in the early stages of frozen shoulder, with the aim to reduce pain and the eventual formation of adhesions in your shoulder. Cortisone injections combined with a home exercise program have been shown to provide short-term pain relief and improved function compared with only exercises. It is therefore important to see your Physiotherapist and let them know how your home program is progressing and to see whether any medical intervention is required for further relief.

Your Physiotherapist can also give you advice and educate you on what a frozen shoulder is and how you can expect it to progress.

If you or someone you know has a shoulder concern, call us on 8555 4099 or click here to book an appointment online.


Meg Doyle, Physiotherapist

I think I have sprained my ankle…… what do I do?!

Ankle sprains are an extremely common presentation to an emergency department and it is not uncommon for someone to sprain the same ankle more than once. A sprained ankle occurs when you roll your ankle either inwards or outwards and overstretch the ligaments on the side of the ankle. This causes pain and often swelling and bruising.


When should I get an X-ray?

  • If you are unable to bear any weight on the ankle.
  • If it is very tender on the bony tip on the side of the ankle that you have injured.


What should I do immediately after the injury?

You should follow the RICER rules of any acute injury for the first 48 to 72 hours.

R = Rest. Stop the activity that you were doing. Continue to walk on it if you can do so with minimal discomfort.

I = Ice. Put an ice pack or frozen peas on the injured area for 20 minutes every 2 hours for the first 48 to 72 hours

C = Compression. Use a bandage or a tight sock to provide compression.

E = Elevation. Lie the foot on a pillow above the level of your heart to encourage blood flow back to your heart to reduce the swelling.

R = Referral. Book an appointment with one of our Physiotherapists for further assessment and a personalised rehabilitation program to get you back to activity as soon as possible and to help prevent reoccurrence.


To book an appointment call us on 8555 4099 or click here to book online.


Written by Luci Minogue (Physiotherapist)

Leakage Is Nothing to Laugh About

There are many reasons why a person may experience urinary or bowel leakage on a regular basis. It could be due to a surgery, a certain illness or condition, after pregnancy, excessive loading as seen in elite athletes, or for no real reason at all. But leakage, despite what many may think, is not normal and is not something that you need to live with! How?! – Read on to find out more …


What are the pelvic floor muscles?

The pelvic floor muscles are the muscles located at the bottom of your pelvis and form the base of your “core” (that’s right, its not only your abs!). These muscles are responsible for controlling and supporting the organs that lie within the pelvis – namely organs relating to urination, reproduction, and evacuation (poop!). It important to remember that both MEN and WOMEN have a pelvic floor.

  • The people most at risk of having a problem with this area are:
  • Women who are pregnant or postnatal (no matter whether its 6 months or 50 years since giving birth!)
  • Women who are no longer going through menopause (postmenopausal)
  • Anyone who has undergone gynaecological surgery, for example a prostatectomy in men, or a hysterectomy in women
  • Elite athletes


How do you know if you have problem?

Here are some common symptoms:

  • Accidental leakage of urine or bowels, for example when coughing or laughing
  • Not being able to hold for very long when you need to go to the bathroom (urgency)
  • Unable to completely empty your bladder or bowel
  • Waking up multiple times in the night to use the bathroom


How to activate your pelvic floor

A very common treatment for pelvic floor muscle weakness is to do exercises that involve contracting those muscles, but how do you know how to find them? A proper pelvic floor contraction should have a feeling of something lifting when you contract and a distinct sense of ‘letting go’ when relaxing. It is important you keep breathing and don’t brace your tummy muscles. Here are some visualisation prompts that can assist you in learning how to activate your pelvic floor:

  • Try to stop imaginary urine from passing
  • Try to stop imaginary wind from passing
  • For men, try to get a sense of the muscles that raise your testicles
  • For women, imagine squeezing something sitting within your vagina


How to exercise your pelvic floor

So, you’ve got a sense of where your pelvic floor muscles are now? Now to turn that awareness into an exercise regime that can be practiced regularly to see if you see any improvement in your symptoms. Try the following in a lying position at first:

  • Maintain a contraction for a maximum of 8 seconds (build your way up to this duration if you are unable to at first)
  • Rest for 10-20 seconds to allow your muscles to recover from that maximum effort
  • Repeat this cycle 8-12 times – contract phase and relaxation phase
  • Repeat this 2-3 times daily
  • Progress from lying to standing when you can do the above comfortably in lying


Tips for toileting

Here are some other things to remember when toileting if you are experiencing symptoms of pelvic floor weakness:

  • When you’re on the toilet, try get your knees slightly higher than your hips by going up on your toes or using a footstool
  • Lean forwards with your hands resting on your thighs and try to get your spine straight
  • Do not strain or hold your breath – give your body time
  • Visualising your waist widening as you empty your bowels can also help!


When to seek help

So, when should you seek professional help from a pelvic floor physiotherapist?

  • If you are experiencing feelings of vaginal heaviness
  • If you have pain in the bladder/bowel
  • If you have difficulty emptying your bladder/bowel
  • If you are experiencing severe leakage that does not resolve with basic pelvic floor exercises are described above


The symptoms of pelvic floor weakness can be embarrassing and uncomfortable, but it is important to know that there is help available to you and you can see improvements or even resolution of your problem! If you are unsure and would like to discuss your symptoms with one our Physiotherapists, please call us on 8555 4099 or Book Online. Please note that InnerStrength of Bayside does not have a Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist, however we are able to help identify if you have a weakness, provide you some advice and refer you on as necessary.


Written by Meg Doyle (Physiotherapist)

Keeping Active over Christmas

Here are some tips and friendly reminders about staying active, that you can take into this Christmas season:

  • Remember that you lose your strength and flexibility faster than you gain it, so its important to stay active!
  • Get outside and play with the kids to work off all the Christmas treats!
  • When you’re going to an event park further away and walk the extra distance
  • If you can’t make your regular Pilates or gym class, be okay with attending a different one! Try not to take an ‘all or nothing’ approach and embrace an inconsistent schedule
  • Get out early to avoid the heat and get your exercise done for the day
  • Get your family involved and be active together – Christmas lunch in the park anyone?
  • Prioritise your hydration. There are some of us that tend to drink a bit more alcohol around this time of year. That, combined with the summer heat, is leading you towards dehydration which depletes your body of electrolytes. This will make you crave sugar and salty foods (the naughty things!) and not feel like exercising so best to make water a top priority!

No time to get out and do something? Click here for a basic Pilates exercise program that can be done at home with no equipment needed!

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