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. Please note that InnerStrength of Bayside does not have a Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist.


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!

Take a breath


Most of us busy people do not breathe well or correctly. The stresses of life usually take over our thoughts and minds, often manifesting into physical changes in our bodies that can progress to real problems and ailments.  People tend to ‘hold their stress’ in different parts of their bodies and, when stressed, could suffer from a chronic sore neck, headaches, back pain, gastrointestinal dysfunction, or poor sleep patterns.

In general, breathing exercises are a great way to meditate, calm one’s nervous system and reduce the physical effects that stress can have on your body. Breathing techniques have been used in the oldest form of exercise, yoga, for centuries, to cleanse, heal and awaken oneself.  Respiratory exercises are also the first exercises given by a physiotherapist post-surgery, or to anyone who presents in hospital for a long-duration stay. This is because breathing correctly is important and not everyone knows how to do it.

In stressful situations, and in most everyday situations, most people would like to stay calm, increase their awareness and be able to act, rather than ‘run away’ or ‘freeze’. In order to do this we ideally want to increase the oxygen levels in our blood so we are more alert, lower our heart rate so we can focus, and relax our nervous system so we can act.  Try the following exercise and see if you can feel the immediate positive effect:

  • Sit in a comfortable position in a chair or on the floor, bottom, back and feet supported.
  • Place your hands on your lower ribs, relax your neck and shoulders and close your eyes.
  • Take a breath in for 4 seconds, feeling that you are filling your lower ribs (lungs) with air.  Hold for 4 seconds and release the air for another 4 seconds. Repeat this 3 times.
  • If you have some more time, repeat the above with 6 and then 8 second inhalations, holds and exhalations. Note how relaxed you feel after these 9 breaths in and out.

You can’t always control the world around you, but you can always control the way you react to it. Happy holidays and remember to breathe!


Beth Sackville (Physiotherapist)

Exercise – in balance

When people think of ‘doing exercise’, we all may have a different perception of what that is.  To some, it may mean going for a jog along the seashore, for others it may mean sitting for an hour’s meditation.  In this world where everyone is always busy, we are also looking to balance the elements of our lives.  So too do we need balance within each particular aspect of our lives.  Exercise therefore becomes a multitude of activities, in order to get the right balance in self-maintenance of our good mental and physical health.

Cardiorespiratory exercise is important for maintaining the health and fitness of our hearts and lungs, which are also muscles.  Doing ‘cardio’ 3-4 times a week for 30-60 minutes will help to strengthen these muscles, as well as the large mobility muscles of our limbs and turnover the oxygen in our bloodstream more effectively (because we will breathe deeply and the heart will pump faster).  This could include a walk, jog, run, bike ride, swim or dancing.

Strength training, such as weight training at the gym or Pilates, aims to strengthen our big mover muscles, such as out thighs, as well as the smaller stability muscles that help us balance, walk erect and move our joints smoothly.  Without this type of exercise we can suffer instability of joints, back pain and poor postures. It is recommended to participate in strength training exercises 2 or more times a week.

Meditation, yoga and Tai Chi are all great examples of exercise for your mind that can also stimulate your parasympathetic nervous system. By training your mind and body to relax, you can improve your concentration skills, sleep better, and become more alert and mindful during your day.

Recommendations by WHO (World Health Organisation):

  • Children (5-17 y.o) – minimum 60 minutes of vigorous physical activity daily. Strength training exercise 3 or more times a week.
  • Adults (18-64 y.o) – minimum 150 minutes (up to 300 minutes) moderate physical activity or minimum 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity (or combination) during the week. Strength training exercise 2 or more times a week.
  • Adults (over 65 y.o) – as above adults. Add balance retraining 3 or more days a week if mobility poor and prevent falls).
  • To gain benefit of cardiorespiratory exercise, all activity should be performed in bouts of at least 10 minutes duration.

Here at InnerStrength of Bayside, our Physiotherapists are experts in developing a personalised rehabilitation program to help you achieve your goals. Our clinic also offers Clinical Pilates, High Intensity (HIIT) Pilates and Mums and Bubs Pilates. The American Heart Association advises that 2 x 30 minutes HIIT is equivalent to achieving 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week!

For more information please call us on 8555 4099 or CLICK HERE to Book Online.

Written by Beth Sackville, Physiotherapist.

We are hiring a new Physio – Apply now!!

At InnerStrength of Bayside, we are a premier physiotherapy clinic with state of the art facilities and a large service offering. We specialise in Clinical Pilates, cancer rehabilitation, joint mobilisation, massage, dry needling and exercise rehabilitation. Our friendly staff remains committed to providing clients and the wider community with industry-leading physiotherapy services.

About the Role 

We have an exciting opportunity for a junior or experienced Physiotherapist to join our team and take ownership of an existing caseload. Commencing in November 2018 and working on a full-time or part-time basis, the role will involve supporting our busy schedule of over 45 Pilates classes, including Clinical, High Intensity (HIIT) and Mums & Bubs

Duties Include: 

  • Running Clinical Pilates classes
  • Hands-on manual techniques, writing and implementing rehabilitation programs
  • Clear and concise record keeping
  • Managing and building your own caseload
  • Build relationships to promote our services to the surrounding community, GP’s, schools and specialists

Skills & Experiences 

  • Fully Registered AHPRA Physiotherapist
  • Clinical Pilates experience/training highly regarded
  • Genuine interest in musculoskeletal clients
  • Dry needling training is desirable
  • A passion to deliver exceptional results that achieve optional physical health, not just clinical recovery

Benefits & Culture 

Great Working Environment – Enjoy working alongside a group of fun, like-minded individuals who share a passion for physiotherapy

Advance Your Career – Great opportunity to progress and develop within our industry-leading clinic

Fantastic Earning Potential – Great salary package + super + leave & bonus earnings

Flexible Arrangements – We accommodate our team’s lifestyles by arranging optional working hours


To apply, please email your CV to physio@innerstrengthbayside.com.au or call Shasta on 8555 4099.


Pain at the front of your knee? – Patellofemoral/anterior knee pain

Pain at the front of the knee is often caused by your Patellofemoral Joint, which is the joint between your knee cap and the end of your thigh bone at the knee. This pain is referred to as Patellofemoral Pain and is caused by stress in the tissues in and around the joint. This tissue stress can be caused by factors such as your knee alignment, strength, or triggers that change the load at the knee, such as an increase in training level or even trauma and illness.

Activities which may increase Patellofemoral knee pain include:

  • Stepping up or down off a step, particularly a large step
  • A deep squats or lunges
  • An activity which causes an increase in load when your knee is bent

Studies show that people with Patellofemoral Pain tend to move differently at the hip, knee and ankle when they squat, land from a jump and run. A Physiotherapist can assess for these changes and provide you with a suitable rehabilitation program.

Treatment for patellofemoral pain may include:

  • Reducing your activity levels so that you are not overloading your knee – It is important to keep as active as you can, without causing more stress to your knee
  • Taping or bracing to help reduce the load going through your knee and minimise pain
  • Hands on techniques to help better align your knee cap (tight tissues on the outside of the knee may be pulling it more off to that side)
  • A tailored strengthening program, which focuses on the quadriceps and gluteal muscles. Visual and verbal feedback is crucial when performing these exercises, so ask your Physiotherapist what cues you should use, such as feedback from a full length mirror.

If you have pain in your knee, it is likely that you would benefit from being assessed by one of our Physiotherapists. Call us on 8555 4099 or click here to book online.

Luci Minogue (Physiotherapist)

What is lymphedema?

The role of our lymphatic system is a most important one, of cleaning our bodies and supporting our immune system.  It consists of tiny, delicate lymphatic vessels that carry the lymph, or non-blood fluids of our body, towards the lymph nodes that essentially help to filter, reabsorb or excrete the water and rubbish flowing through our bodies.

Lymphedema is a condition that effects the flow of fluids, or lymph, through the lymphatic vessels in your body.  A small percentage of people are genetically predisposed to lymphedema, but it is most predominantly acquired as a result of a physical trauma to an area of the body, such as blunt trauma, surgery, radiation or burns.

Up to 20% of post-breast cancer surgeries can result in a lymphatic arm.  Warning signs for lymphatic disturbance in the arm could simply be a tingling or numb sensation. More worrisome symptoms could be heaviness in the limb, mild swelling, redness, skin thickening, weeping skin, poor nail health.  If you are worried that you are developing lymphedema, you should see your doctor for a referral to a lymphatic physiotherapist for assessment.

Beth Sackville (Physiotherapist and Lymphedema Therapist)

We know exercise is good for us, but how much should we actually do?


It is a well-known fact that exercise is good for us, no matter our age, health status or fitness. Regular physical activity is linked to a decreased risk of multiple health conditions including cancers, heart disease and stroke, but how much do we actually need to do?

Photo by Jonathan Colon

Referencing the Australian Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines for Adults (aged 18-64 years) from the Australia Government’s Department of Health, it is recommended that optimally we should:

  • Be active on most, preferably all, days every week
  • Be doing muscle strengthening activities on at least 2 days each week (such as Pilates or weights training)
  • Each week accumulate either:
    • 2.5 – 5 hours of moderate intensity physical activity
    • 1.25 – 2.5 hours of vigorous intensity physical activity, or
    • An equivalent of both

Moderate intensity physical activity is at a level that causes some shortness of breath, but you can still talk comfortably. Examples of moderate intensity physical activity include brisk walking, gardening, housework and domestic chores, slow cycling, and water aerobics.

Vigorous intensity physical activity is at a level that causes more shortness of breath that makes talking difficult between deep breaths. Examples of vigorous intensity physical activity include running, swimming laps, tennis, faster cycling, skipping, hill walking or walking with a heavy pack.


The above recommendations are the optimal amount of exercise that an adult aged 18-64 years old should be doing per week (there are slightly different guidelines for people aged 65 and over). It is important to note that if you are currently below this recommendation, or not doing any physical activity, that you should gradually build up to the desired amount of exercise. It is also recommended that the amount of time spent in prolonged sitting be minimised, and to break up long periods of sitting with other positions such as walking.

At the end of the day, doing some physical activity is better than none, so just start!


If you need guidance on how to become more physically active, book in for a consultation with one of our Physiotherapists by calling us on 8555 4099 or click here to book online.


Meg Doyle (Physiotherapist)

Chronic Pain: Should Exercise Be Pain-free? By Meg Doyle

Do you have pain from an old injury that has just never completely gone away?
Do you find that your pain stops you from doing things in daily life?
Do you avoid certain movements due to being worried it will aggravate your pain?


What if I told you that doing movements that are slightly painful could actually reduce your pain levels?



Pain persisting longer than three months is considered to be chronic pain and is something that affects 1 in 5 Australians. It is a complex condition affecting a person’s emotional and social wellbeing, coupled commonly with fears of movement and increases in pain.

 Activity levels are significantly lower in those with chronic pain, with an increased fear of movement associated with the least amount of regular exercise. Insufficient levels of physical activity are the fourth leading cause of preventable deaths (heart disease, strokes, diabetes and cancers) annually world wide.


So, if you’re in pain and afraid of movement, how can you exercise and optimise your health in a way that you know is safe and beneficial for you?


Recent evidence has emerged stating that there are significant benefits exercising into pain over pain-free exercises for reducing chronic pain in patients. Why? Firstly, it addresses your fears of both movement and increases in pain, allowing you to increase your activity levels. It can also facilitate your body’s release of natural pain killers… who knew you could do that?!

An important thing to know is that pain is a warning signal sent by the brain, not your body, and it doesn’t necessarily mean that injury has occurred.

Let’s say you have avoided bending forwards for the past few years because you’re worried it will give you pain. If one day you attempt to bend forwards, there are pressure, stretch and movement direction signals being sent by your body to the brain saying “hey, we haven’t experienced this in a long time … is this okay?”. Your brain then may send a pain signal in an attempt to keep you safe, despite no injury occurring. If this movement is repeated in a safe and controlled way, eventually your brain will become accustomed to it and the level of pain will decrease.

So next time you’re moving and you feel a mild amount of pain, consider if it is a movement that you are fearful of, or avoid. If it is, persist within your limits and give your brain a chance to adapt.

If you suffer from chronic pain and would like to be guided through a safe exercise program with one of our Physiotherapists, please contact us on 8555 4099 or BOOK ONLINE.



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