Newsflash: Bad Hair Cuts Linked to Neck Pain

Newsflash! Bad Hair Cuts Linked to Neck Pain – seriously?! Well, according to a recent study, a trip to your hairdresser can ruin your day by placing abnormal strain on your neck. Abnormal strain on your neck can lead to problems such as neck pain, headaches, dizziness and even stroke.

Having your neck extended for long periods, without adequate support, such as when someone is shampooing your hair, can be enough to set off a  neck problem. These problems can be avoided if care is taken. Below I have listed four ways you can avoid abnormal strain on your neck when you  visit the hairdresser:

1. If you have had neck problems in the past, let your hairdresser know that you can’t have your neck extended backwards for too long;

2. Use a rolled up towel to support the curve of your neck;

3. Before you visit your hairdresser, warm up your neck and do some neck stretching exercises to free up your joints and muscles so they can accommodate more strain;

4. Have your neck assessed and treated by a physiotherapist so that mobility and normal function can be restored.

Remember, a neck problem can cause a variety of symptoms such as pain, headache, dizziness, nausea and tiredness. As you grow older your neck  stiffens up and is more susceptible to stresses and strains. If you have had a previous neck injury, such as a whiplash strain, you may be more  likely to experience neck problems as you grow older.

In in doubt, speak to your physiotherapist. To find out more visit us at Joslin Physiotherapy and Nutrition or call today on (03) 9912 2000.



The 5 Main Risk Factors That Cause Heel Pain

Heel Pain is a common problem that can produce much discomfort in your daily life. Many people are unaware of the causes and risk factors that contribute to heel pain and are therefore unsure how to treat this issue properly. If you have pain in your heel or under the arch of your foot then it will likely be caused by plantar fasciitis, inflammation of the fibrous band of tissue (fascia) that connects the base of your toes with your heel bone (calcaneus). Read on to find out the five main risk factors that contribute to the cause of heel pain and how you can eliminate them.

The symptom associated with heel pain frequently includes feeling the pain once you take a few steps when you first get out of bed in the morning. This is because the most common presentation of planter fasciitis is pain in the heel, which radiates to the inside of the sole of your foot. The good news is that after a few minutes, once the foot is warmed up the pain may ease. Prolonged periods of standing on your feet may cause the pain to recur throughout the day.

The five main risk factors that contribute to the causes of heel pain are:

  1. Being overweight
  2. Being female
  3. Having a job that involves prolonged standing or walking on hard surfaces
  4. Having flat feet or a extremely high foot arch
  5. Abnormal foot biomechanics while walking.

In order to effectively manage plantar fasciitis and minimise or eliminate the causes of heel pain, your physiotherapist can do the following:

  • Reduce the inflammation and pain in your foot through various methods such as icing, ultrasound and electrotherapy
  • Analyse your foot biomechanics while walking and suggest exercises to strengthen weak muscles in your foot or insoles to support the arch of your foot
  • Prescribe plantar fascia stretches if needed, which is required to restore correct foot posture and walking biomechanics
  • Treat any stiff joints in your foot or ankle that can also affect the alignment or movement of your foot
  • Tape your foot which supports the arch of your foot and can relieve the strain on your plantar fascia
  • Advise you on the appropriate amount and type of physical activity to perform and what to avoid to reduce the severity of symptoms until your plantar fascia is appropriately treated.

Most importantly, without adequate rest and treatment the problem may become chronic. In addition to the above, you can also take the following simple steps to help speed up your recovery and prevent its recurrence:

  • Follow your physiotherapists guidelines regarding stretching of your plantar fascia and surrounding muscles, particularly before and after exercise
  • Wear supportive and well-fitting footwear if standing up for long periods or when exercising
  • Manage your weight by contacting a health professional for a healthy weight control plan.

If you are looking for a reliable and trusted physiotherapist, with the added bonus of having competitive prices, along with offering nutrition advice from a trusted dietitian, then visit Joslin Physiotherapy and Nutrition to start your physiotherapy treatment today. Phone (03) 9912 2000 now or Email us.

8 Ways to Reduce Back Pain When Gardening

Summer is a beautiful time to spend outdoors, particularly in the garden. When the weather is mild enough, it is good to spend your hours being active around the house and garden. What you need to be careful of is that all this activity can lead to an increase in back problems and back neck pain.

If you are a keen gardener, it is important to take measures to look after your back. Read on to find out the 8 ways to reduce back pain when gardening.

1. Warming Up

Stretching and warming up shouldn’t just be saved for a workout at the gym. A day in the garden is just a valid workout for you as is going for a run, so therefore you need to prepare your muscles and joints for the work ahead to help prevent injury.

2. Get Fit

Having good muscle tone and general fitness is always a good idea. This is especially so if you have back problems. Good flexibility, endurance and muscle tone will help keep your back healthy.

3. Bending

Prolonged or repeated bending overloads the spine. Try to perform activities between waist and chest level, so that you don’t work with a bent spine. An example of this is placing pots on a bench to do the re-potting, rather than having the pots on the ground, or in a low position, making it awkward for you and contributing to back pain.

4. Lifting

Lifting can also overload the spine. Do not attempt to lift heavy objects on your own. Use a lifting device, like a trolley, where possible. If you do lift, try to keep your back straight, your bottom pushed out, and use your legs to do the work. Avoid jerking and lift slowly, in a controlled manner. Learn to pull your belly button in slightly, while you lift, to help stabilise your spine.

5. Sitting

Do not perform any sudden or heavy lifting after you have been sitting for prolonged periods. For example, lifting a bag of mulch out of the boot after a long car trip can put your back at risk. Similarly, prolonged sitting after heavy work can cause problems. Lie down to rest or to watch TV after a session in the garden, rather than sitting down.

6. Carrying

Try to use a wheel barrow or a trolley to carry pots, bags etc from one point to another. Avoid carrying heavy or awkward objects on your own. Carrying an overload your spine and may cause damage and back pain.

7. Using a Back brace

If you have chronic or recurrent back problems or back pain, it may be worth considering wearing a back brace whilst gardening. A back brace will give you support and it will also remind you to maintain good posture.

8. Visit your Physiotherapist for a check up

Lastly, visiting your physiotherapist for a check up will help determine whether you have adequate flexibility and muscle control. Improving this will help keep your spine healthy.

Remember physiotherapists are experts in dealing with back pain. If you do have trouble, see your physiotherapist without delay. Visit us at Joslin Physiotherapy and Nutrition or call today on (03) 9912 2000.

The Truth About Lower Back Pain

When it comes to core stability, researchers have discovered the real truth about lower back pain. This frustrating and often debilitating pain, is caused by poor muscle control in and around the spine.  This can lead to movement between vertebrae (causing instability) and result in lower back pain.

Physiotherapist can determine whether lower back pain sufferers have poor muscle control in the important stabilising muscles around the spine.

Physiotherapists have now developed exercises which are exercise specific to target the muscles that stabilise the spine and help relieve lower back pain.  After patients have completed a few sessions of these specific exercises, the physiotherapist can re-test the control of the muscles in and around the spine to ensure improvements have been made.  Improved function and reduced pain are signs that the treatment is and will be effective for lower back pain.

Once a patient has learnt how to activate these stabilising (core stability) muscles during simple exercise the physiotherapist has demonstrated, the patient can then use these techniques during more complex activity, such as work and sport which can help keep improving the stabilising back muscles and reduce lower back pain.

If you are looking for a reliable and trusted physiotherapist, with the added bonus of receiving competitive prices, then visit Joslin Physiotherapy and Nutrition to start your physiotherapy treatment today. Phone (03) 9912 2000 now or Email us.

Do You Need to See Your Physio?

As a local physiotherapist in Footscray, I often meet people who are unsure whether they actually need to see their physio. The simple answer to this is, if you have a chronic or recurrent problem, such as back pain, neck pain, headaches or arthritis then a regular “tune up” may help you enjoy your life more.  Most of these problems mentioned respond very well to a course of physiotherapy. In conjunction, seeing your physio will usually give you self treatment exercises to help you improve your problem and maintain this improvement.

Unfortunately, spinal problems and arthritic pain can recur and can make your life miserable. If this is the case with you, or your loved one, then regular maintenance treatment with your physio should be considered.

What does this involve? You will need to see your physio for a few sessions from time to time. This will keep your joints mobile, to release tight muscles and to update your self treatment exercises, so that they are giving you maximum benefit. A regular session, for example, every 4 – 8 weeks can help you feeling good and stop you continually having acute episodes of pain. It is also more cost effective than having extensive treatment to overcome an acute episode of pain

If you think you need to see your physio or just simply want to book in for a “tune up”, then call us on (03) 9912 2000 or book an appointment today with Joslin Physiotherapy and Nutrition.

Manipulative Physiotherapist Footscray

Yesterday I was driving and saw a sign out the front of a shop in big, bold letters saying ‘Manipulative Physiotherapist’. The sign made me laugh and of course ponder that probably the only time you would want a manipulative person in your life is when you go and see your physiotherapist. I have been working in physiotherapy Footscray for years. Having recently moved to Joslin Physiotherapy and Nutrition in West Footscray, it is nice to maintain a similar customer base and also get referrals…. even if I am manipulative – lol.

The funny thing about physiotherapy is that you don’t really want your clients to keep coming back as that is evidence that you are not doing your job properly – no matter how much you manipulate the situation (sorry, I couldn’t resist). However, injuries and pain management can take a while to conquer and for your body to get back to its normal function, so once you find a physiotherapist it is advisable to stick to the full course of treatment recommended. Also, regular maintenance and check up’s are important in physiotherapy, just as it is vital to go see your doctor for blood tests etc.

This week, I am reposting a couple of really nice testimonials that I shared with you a few months ago. If you are thinking of referring others to physiotherapy Footscray, then find out what others have to say about it…

“I have never posted a review before and don’t believe or trust florid gushing reviews. Nathan listened, comprehended, accurately located and treated my condition and relieved my pain. I highly recommend him. 4 stars (5 is a cure) }”

Rgds, Col

“Nathan has been treating me before and after shoulder surgery. He answers any questions or concerns in a down to earth manner. He is very professional, easy to talk to, friendly and you can have a laugh with him”

Barb P, West Footscray

For a trusted and reliable physiotherapist, visit Joslin Physiotherapy and Nutrition. Located Barkly Street, West Footscray, you can phone now to book your next appointment on (03) 9912 2000 and ask for me, Nathan.

Top 3 Benefits of Hydrotherapy

You may have heard all the recent buzz about Hydrotherapy, which is now also known as Aquatic Physiotherapy. What you may not know though is that it is one of the world’s oldest forms of healing. In fact, for centuries, people have used water exercises to help recover from injury, manage arthritis and improve fitness. Today’s hydrotherapy approach uses modern physiotherapy techniques combined with physics and exercise physiology to provide a safe, scientifically based treatment for conditions such as; lower back pain, back neck pain, arthritis and stroke and rehabilitation following orthopaedic surgery. Hydrotherapy is great for the treatment of sports injuries and is equally as effective in the elderly to promote movement, balance and fitness. Read on to find out the top three benefits of hydrotherapy

Speak to your physiotherapist today about the benefits of hydrotherapy

Speak to your physiotherapist today about the benefits of hydrotherapy



Hydrotherapy works through a simple process; the pool water heats to a warm 35° which stimulates blood flow, soothes aching joints and relaxes  tight muscle groups. Exercising in water is effective because the buoyancy of the water supports the body’s weight, thus allowing exercise to be  carried out with minimal pressure on the joints.  The water virtually eliminates impact allowing users to perform some exercises that they cannot  perform on land, whilst providing resistance to strengthen muscles.

There are many benefits of hydrotherapy,

  1. Hydrotherapy enables you to perform activities that you may be unable to do on dry land. The water provides resistance to your movements and this helps improve your muscles without straining your body. The water supports you, so that you can move without putting your full weight through your joints. Because the water provides buoyancy; you may be able to lift and move an injured body part, that is too weak or damaged to move on dry land;
  2. Hydrotherapy after injury, is beneficial in helping regain strength and mobility without over-stressing the injury site, or if you have arthritis. It is also particularly useful after joint surgery or fracture’s and especially if you cannot fully weight-bear on your leg(s) because of injury, weakness or pain;
  3. Recovery after sport or physical activity may involve hydrotherapy sessions and is also great if you want to improve your fitness in general. People who have multiple sclerosis or other neurological problems also benefit from hydrotherapy, especially those people who cannot lift their arms or legs against gravity.

The best thing is that almost everybody can do hydrotherapy. It may involve carrying out exercises in a pool under the direct supervision of a physiotherapist. It can involve having your physiotherapist design a program for you to carry out independently in your own pool, or at a local public facility. You may be able to do some hydrotherapy exercises in the sea. Some hydrotherapy exercises can be done in your bath or spa. There may be limitations on your ability to do hydrotherapy if you are incontinent; if you have an open wound; if you have tinea or some other skin problem; if you require excessive help getting in and out of the water or carrying out your exercises or if you are scared of water.

If you would like to look into hydrotherapy, speak to your physiotherapist at Joslin Clinic. More often than not, hydrotherapy will compliment the usual work your physiotherapist may be doing to help your injured body. Visit Joslin Physiotherapy or call us today on (03) 9912 2000.

Our experienced team of physiotherapists will devise a tailor made program to suit your changing needs and supervise your progression. To make a booking or contact us click HERE.




How Physiotherapy Can Help Treat Your Shoulder Pain

Shoulder pain is a common annoyance, particularly as we use them so much, for day to day physical work and activities. There are a number of reasons why your shoulder can become painful. These include; disease, injury, overuse, wear and tear and pre-existing structural problems. Fortunately, physiotherapy can help you overcome a shoulder injury or recover after shoulder surgery. If you have shoulder pain, then it is important to see your physiotherapist for a quick recovery. In this blog I will detail some of the common problems associated with shoulders and how your physiotherapist can help treat your shoulder pain or injury.

Shoulder Dislocation and Unstable Shoulders:

Shoulder dislocation and unstable shoulders occur when the humerus (arm bone) pops out of its socket, applying pressure to the shoulder joint.  The most common occurrence of this injury is during a fall or collision.  Some people are more prone to this injury, as their shoulder joints dislocate much easier than other individuals with little force applied.  Once dislocation is reduced (which depends on the length of time for each individual, some requiring more effort than others), it is highly recommended that you see your physiotherapist to help with the recovery process.  This involves settling the inflammation and strengthening the muscles around the area to ensure the best chance of this injury not reoccurring again. An unstable shoulder (too much movement within the shoulder joint) can lead to further shoulder pain and injury, but with strengthening exercises, pain can be reduced and function returned.

AC Joint Injury and Shoulder Pain:
This is the joint that connects the collar bone (clavicle) to the shoulder.  Strains and disruption are the common forms of injury.  Depending on the degree of damage, an operation may be required to repair the joint, followed by physiotherapy.  Arthritis can also affect the AC joint, normally caused by previous injury or overuse.  Onset is normally later on in life.  With physiotherapy treatment, this can restore pain free movement in most arthritic joints.

Rotator Cuff Problems:
The small deep stabilising muscles of the shoulder can become painful due to injury as well as wear and tear.  Physiotherapy is required to rehabilitate the shoulder, and strengthen the rotator cuff muscles. A cortisone injection may also be required to reduce inflammation.  If symptoms persist, surgery can be performed to repair the damaged rotator cuff tendons and/or to exercise bony spurs and other tissues which could cause pinching and damage of the tendons.

Neck Problems Can Cause Shoulder Pain: 
Neck pain can travel down into your shoulders.  Your physiotherapist will be able to assess you to see whether your neck is contributing to your shoulder pain in any way.  Physiotherapy treatment on your neck could therefore reduce your shoulder pain.


Broken bones can occur during trauma to the shoulder.  Fractures either need to be reduced (bones put back into alignment) or pinned and wired to help them heal back into the correct position.  Physiotherapy should commence as soon as possible, in order to reduce stiffness, regain function and help prevent the chance of complications.

Labral Tears:
Cartilage making up part of the shoulder joint socket is called the labrum.  Cartilage tears occurring in the labrum are caused from injury, overuse and wear and tear (e.g. with swimming, tennis, repetitive work) which may dispose you to this injury.  Surgery can repair damaged cartilage and physiotherapy is required to rehabilitate your shoulder.

Frozen Shoulders:
Sometimes a shoulder can stiffen up after injury or surgery, and for no apparent reason.  Having physiotherapy after injury or surgery reduces and prevents a frozen shoulder occurring.  Once frozen shoulder has occurred, it can take up to 12 months, or even more to regain full function.

Shoulder Arthritis:
Like all joints in the human body, shoulders can become arthritic due to wear and tear and disease (e.g. Rheumatoid arthritis).  Physiotherapy can help manage ongoing and recurrent arthritic symptoms.
If you are suffering from shoulder pain and shoulder problems, it is high recommended you see your physiotherapist as soon as possible.  As they will be able to assess and treat your problem ensuring a quicker recovery.

If you are looking for a reliable and trusted physiotherapist, with the added bonus of offering competitive prices, including the Hicaps facility, then visit Joslin Clinic Physiotherapy and Nutrition to start your physiotherapy treatment today. Phone (03) 9912 2000 now or Email us.

Shoulder Pain can be diagnosed by your physiotherapist


Ask Your Physiotherapist about Pain and Injury Management

As a physiotherapist I get asked many questions on a daily basis that range from all types of pain and injury management. This blog post answers many of the questions you or someone you know may have been wanting to ask. If you want to ask your physiotherapist about pain and injury management, then feel free to write a question in the comments section below and I will do my best to respond as soon as I can.

Q. My mother fractured her wrist. The plaster has just come off. When should she start physio?

A. It is strongly advisable to start physiotherapy straight away. Your mother needs to get the wrist moving and to regain strength as soon as possible so that she can get back to normal activity. Leaving physiotherapy for too long may lead to ongoing pain, weakness and stiffness in the wrist and hand.

Q.I get a lot of shin pain since I started running. How can I overcome this?

A. Shin problems like this can occur due to a combination of factors. They include overuse, poor foot wear and poor recovery. They can also be due to tightness or weakness in the surrounding muscles, like the calf. Poor foot mechanics, such as pronating rear feet, can also be involved. The good news is that your physiotherapist can help greatly.

Q. I get recurrent chest pain. My doctor said it was “musculoskeletal”. Can physiotherapy help?

A. As long as your doctor is sure that your chest pain is not due to heart, lung or other serious problems, then it is worth consulting a physiotherapist. In many instances, chest pain can be due to problems in the mid back (thoracic spine). Tightness, poor posture, and overuse (e.g. playing too much golf), can also contribute.

Q. Is heat an effective way of relieving pain?

A. A recent study (Spine, 2002), has indicated that heat may offer better pain relief than over the counter medication for lower back pain. In the study, subjects wore a low level heat wrap for 8 hours a day and this gave better pain relief than medication. Heat relaxes spasms, improves blood flow and works as a counter-irritant in an injured part.

Q. I have an arthritic knee and my specialist said to see my physiotherapist for exercises. What will this involve?

A. There are many different exercises that might help an arthritic knee. The main focus of exercises for the knee is to strengthen the muscles at the front of your thigh. These muscles (the quadriceps) support and stabilise the knee. Recent research has indicated that thigh strengthening exercises lead to improvements in levels of pain and disability in people with arthritic knees.

As you can see your physiotherapist can help all of these problems. Your local physio will typically use hands-on type treatment, but you will often need to do exercises to stretch and strengthen your local muscles and soft tissue.

If you or anyone you know is experiencing these kinds of problems or would like some advice, then visit a trusted and reliable physiotherapist at Joslin Physiotherapy and Nutrition or call today to book your appointment on (03) 9912 2000.



5 Common Questions I Get Asked as a Physio

As a physio I get asked many questions on a daily basis that range from all types of pain and injury management. In this blog, I am going to answer five common questions I get asked as a physio. If you have a question you want answered, feel free to leave one in the comments section below and I will do my best to respond as soon as I can.

Q. I suffer from back pain. What should I do?

A. This one is an easy question to answer. Quite simply, you need to have your back problem assessed by a physio ASAP. Treatments such as manual therapy (to free up stiff and painful spine joints), mobilizing exercises and exercises aimed at strengthening your core muscles can help a lot of back problems. Medications such as pain killers, and anti-inflammatory can be useful but don’t actually fix the problem. It is important not to rely on these passive measures, rather take control by consulting your physiotherapist.

Q.Why should I see a physio? What can they do for me?

A. Physiotherapists are university trained health professionals. They use a range of treatment modalities to help you overcome pain and injury. This may include joint manipulation, exercise, postural advice, electrical therapy, dry needling, taping, splints and braces, to name just a few. A good physio will involve you in the process, so you can attain a better, quicker outcome for your problem.

Q. I tore a muscle in my leg. My doctor didn’t really say what I should do. Should I see a physio?

A. Physio will usually help you get back to your normal activity as soon as possible. Torn muscles need to be properly rehabilitated to avoid slow recovery and repeated tears. The body heals itself by laying down scar tissue and very often scar tissue can form badly, leading to ongoing problems and further injury. Massage, stretching and strengthening can all help avoid this. A gradual return to activity can also help avoid re-tears. Physios’ are experts in treating soft tissue injuries like muscle strains, so contact your physio straight away.

Q. I suffer from headaches. Can treatment to my neck help?

A. Many headaches are due to problems in the upper neck. Physio can help restore pain free function in your neck and show you exercises and other ways of looking after your neck in the future.

Q. I sit at a desk all day and consequently my neck gets all stiff and sore. Will exercises help?

A. Neck strengthening exercises can definitely help you overcome chronic or recurrent neck pain. These exercises need to be tailored to your specific needs. Seeing a physio to set you up with a program is definitely worth considering. Hands-on treatments, such as joint mobilisation and even manipulation can also help.

As you can see physiotherapy can tend to help all of these problems. Your local physio will typically use hands-on type treatment, but you will often need to do exercises to stretch and strengthen your local muscles and soft tissue.

If you or anyone you know is experiencing these kinds of problems or would like some advice, then visit a trusted and reliable physio at Joslin Physiotherapy and Nutrition or call today to book your appointment on (03) 9912 2000.