How to get pain relief (without codeine!)

As of the first of February 2018, pharmaceutical opioids such as codeine are no longer available over the counter, but have become prescription-only medication. Though this might distress some people suffering with pain, it has been brought about to combat the significant increase in opioid overdoses in Australia over the last decade. It’s quite alarming that between 2001 and 2012 over 8,547 Australians died as a result of opioid overdoses*, and that over half of these deaths were from pharmaceutical opioids rather than heroin or methadone.

So if you cannot get relief from other over-the-counter pain medications such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, you could seek a prescription from your GP for stronger opioid-based medication,


you could seek drug-free pain relief from your physiotherapist!

Your physiotherapist is the perfect place to start when you are in pain. Physiotherapists are highly trained health professionals equipped with the knowledge and techniques to give you a better understanding of pain, what is driving it, and how to manage it.

Allyson Flanagan | Stafford Physiotherapy Centre | Physio Brisbane NorthWhat happens when I visit my physiotherapist?

Here at Stafford Physiotherapy Centre, a physiotherapist will assess your area of pain through a series of questions and physical testing. We can then help you understand the cause behind your pain and start you on the road to better pain management.

Our treatment plan may involve activity modification and advice; manual techniques for joint mobilisations and soft tissue release; western acupuncture and dry needling; individually tailored exercise programs for the home, gym or Pilates; strapping or bracing for tissue support; and appropriate referrals for holistic management.

For safer ways to prevent, reduce, cope with, and manage your pain today, book online or phone 3857 5815. It’s time to make the change.

This post was written by Allyson Flanagan, Physiotherapist and Clinical Pilates Instructor. 

*Source: Alcohol and Drug Foundation 

Meet Our Team: Megan

Megan is a physiotherapist and Pilates instructor at Stafford Physiotherapy Centre. She has worked with us since 2013, after completing degrees in both Physiotherapy and Human Movement Studies. She’s pretty impressive! 

What motivates you? 
Moving/exercising regularly, being outdoors, trying new activities and seeing results! I love helping people to improve in their movement and feel great, and motivating others to get the most out of their bodies and enjoy an active life.

What’s your favourite 3pm snack? A coffee and Chobani yoghurt or a protein bar.

Megan and Regina Tilyard Physiotherapist Stafford Physiotherapy CentreWhat do you enjoy most about your job? I love being able to assist people to move better and without pain, providing them with the knowledge and tools to keep injury free, and seeing patients find/rediscover a love for exercise, no matter what sort!

What’s your favourite part of the day? I love to exercise in the morning, it makes me feel positive and happy, and a much nicer person for the rest of the day! Plus breakfast and a coffee are the best reward after.

If you weren’t a physio, what would you be? A travel blogger or professional puppy cuddler.

What’s your favourite restaurant/ cafe? Rogue Bar + Bistro in Newstead.

Would you rather dance, or do karaoke? Karaoke in the car to Sia, Hilltop Hoods or Queen. But I’d much rather go for a run to the music!

Read more about Megan here. 

Simple lifestyle changes to improve your health and wellbeing

As January draws to a close, only 11 months remain to achieve your New Year goal of improved health and wellbeing. Traditionally, January and February are when people are most motivated – although sometimes the approach is a little too gung-ho. Improving your health and wellbeing is best approached as the turtle not the hare; making small changes slowly is the best way to prevent injuries, make continuous progress towards your goal, and to form new and lasting habits.

Here are some suggestions for a healthier you:

  • If you sit at a desk during the day, try to get up every 30 minutes. Walk to the kitchen/toilet/printer; maybe even do some squats!
  • Shoulder rolls and gentle neck stretches during the day may help relieve neck and shoulder tension, especially if you use a computer
  • Park your car further from the bus-stop, train station or workplace and walk the extra distance (2 minutes or 20 minutes depending on your fitness)
  • Try to be active on your lunch break rather than sitting – go for a walk,
    go to the gym, do some stretches, stand up to eat
  • Assess your workstation ergonomics – check your elbows are at 90 degrees, the top of your computer screen is at eye level, and your feet are flat on the floor
  • Add some stretching to your day – morning, lunch, evening – whatever time suits you
  • Have a walk-and-talk meeting rather than sitting around a table – you can still take your coffee!
  • Don’t forget to breathe. Take a long, slow breath in through your nose, then out through your mouth. Repeat 4 times.
  • Schedule time to exercise. If it’s a ‘date’, you’ll be less likely to skip it
  • Exercise with a friend or family member
  • Remember that exercise doesn’t have to mean running a marathon. Find what you enjoy doing – boxing, bushwalking, swimming, Pilates, yoga, running, weights, crossfit. There are so many options out there!
  • When eating, take your time. Chew your food and enjoy it.
  • Have that niggly pain assessed and diagnosed; prevention is always better than cure.
  • And finally, don’t forget to put a smile on your dial – it keeps those face muscles strong and you never know who might be watching. ☺

Not sure how to make small and safe changes to your lifestyle? Our dedicated team of physiotherapists can help. We are movement and exercise specialists who want to help you improve your health and wellbeing. We recognise that all our clients have different goals and abilities and are always happy to help.

If you’re unsure about your body’s abilities, how to perform an exercise, or need further lifestyle advice – we are only a phone call away.

This post was written by Lucy Beumer, Sports Physiotherapist and Clinical Pilates Instructor. 

Meet Our Team: Juhi

Juhi Ranjit | physiotherapist at Stafford Physiotherapy Centre | Physio and pilates on brisbane northside

Juhi is a physiotherapist at Stafford Physiotherapy Centre. She has worked with us since 2012, when she joined the team as a receptionist. After completing her studies (with honours!) in 2015 she put her hard work to good use and began working as a physiotherapist.  

What motivates you? 
Being able to help people move better and get back to the things they love!

What’s your favourite 3pm snack? I do love an occasional cheeky Boost chocolate to get me through the afternoon 🙂

What do you enjoy most about your job?Getting to know my patients and the hands-on help we can provide to aid their recovery.

Juhi Ranjit | physiotherapist at Stafford Physiotherapy Centre | Physio and pilates on brisbane northsideWhat’s your favourite part of the day? Morning walks with my dog (the best personal trainer I’ll ever have).

If you weren’t a physio, what would you be? A professional dog-sitter

What’s your favourite restaurant/ cafe? Hatch & Co, Newstead and The Smug Fig, East Brisbane.

Would you rather dance, or do karaoke? I’m known to do both simultaneously, but not very well. I love a good 90’s or 00’s throwback.

Read more about Juhi here. 

Meet Our Team: Sandra

Sandra Day | owner, physiotherapist and pilates instructor at Stafford Physiotherapy CentreSandra established Stafford Physiotherapy Centre in 1988 and, with over 30 years in ‘the biz’, is one of Brisbane’s most experienced physiotherapists. Sandra also takes a number of our Pilates classes and is particularly passionate about treating musculoskeletal problems, sporting injuries and headaches.

Sandra’s philosophy of life involves three things:

1. Have fun
2. Be kind to people
3. During your life, work towards being a healthy old person (and that means exercising regularly, eating well and being positive).


What motivates you? I love caring about people – their health and wellbeing. Helping people be the best they can be. I love the science of physiotherapy, but it is also an art and a passion to learn more. I love trying new sorts of exercise. Over the years, I have done ballet, was a good sprinter, played netball, indoor cricket, squash, and enjoyed aerobics and Step in the 80s, swimming, LeRoc dancing, yoga, Tai chi, Pilates and, lately, Xtend Barre.

What’s your favourite 3pm snack? Fresh raw green beans, banana or raw carrots (Don’t be fooled though; I’m not perfect, especially after 8pm!)

What do you enjoy most about your job? Helping people in pain, working out how to fix musculoskeletal problems by easing pain and helping strengthen the body. Having a laugh with patients and staff. Putting a smile on someone’s face.

What’s your favourite part of the day? Late! After 10pm.

Sandra Day | owner, physiotherapist and pilates instructor at Stafford Physiotherapy CentreIf you weren’t a physio what would you be? Another caring health professional role – maybe speech pathologist or music therapist

What’s your favourite restaurant/café? Pod, Stafford; Little Loco, New Farm; Libertine, Barracks; Sono, Portside; Stokehouse, Southbank, Aria for special occasions. Can you tell I like food? 🙂

Would you rather dance or do karaoke, and to which song? Dance! I love music with a good beat from any era. Some of my favourites are:

  • Twist and Shout – Beatles
  • Rock Lobster – B52s
  • Walk Like an Egyptian – The Bangles
  • Dance Dance – Fallout Boy
  • Can’t Stop – Red Hot Chilli Peppers
  • Old Yellow Bricks, Brianstorm and Teddy Picker – Arctic Monkeys
  • Last Nite and Heart in a Cage – The Strokes
  • Cloud Nine – Baker Boy

Read more about Sandra here.

Meet Our Team: Lucy

Lucy Beumer Physiotherapist at Stafford Physiotherapy Centre Brisbane Northside

Lucy is a physiotherapist and clinical Pilates instructor at Stafford Physiotherapy Centre. With a masters in Sports Physiotherapy, Lucy is passionate about helping her clients achieve their goals – whether it be simply going for a stroll without experiencing pain, or competing in a triathlon! 



What motivates you? I enjoy helping people achieve their goals. Being able to play a small part in a patient’s journey and watching their success and progress is very rewarding.

What’s your favourite 3pm snack? 2 squares of 70% lindt dark chocolate and a cup of lemon and ginger tea – everything in moderation!

Lucy Beumer physiotherapist from Stafford Physiotherapy Centre treating a patientWhat do you enjoy most about your job? Apart from helping people, I love that every day is different and I’m not stuck behind a desk. I get to meet numerous people and treat a wide variety of injuries as well as teach clinical pilates.

What’s your favourite part of the day? The morning – I am a morning person. I prefer to exercise early and start the day in an active way before getting into work.

If you weren’t a physio, what would you be? I would be a teacher or run a café.

Would you rather dance, or do karaoke? Neither. 😊 Can I go to the gym or a yoga class instead?

Read more about Lucy here. 

Setting Realistic New Year’s Resolutions

New year’s resolutions… We’ve all been there and done that!

I want to lose weight. I want to eat better. I want to do park run every Saturday. I want to take up yoga. I want to return to playing soccer.

Did you know 80% of people have given up on their resolution/s by February? By the end of 2018 only 8% will succeed in achieving their new year’s resolutions.

“Setting goals is the first step in making the invisible into the visible” Tony Robbins.

Goal setting is important when setting resolutions and the best goals are ‘SMART’. So, what is a SMART goal?

Lucy Beumer | Physiotherapist at Stafford Physiotherapy treating pilates clientS = Specific

Outline in as much detail as possible what your goal is. Ask yourself the following questions: What do you want to achieve? When do you want to achieve it? How will you achieve it? Who will help you achieve it?

M = Measurable

How will you measure your success in your goal? This can be done in a number of ways, but needs to be relevant to you and your goal: How many kilometres do you want to run? How much weight do you want to lose? How fast do you want to run 5km?

A = Achievable

Is your goal achievable? Consider how you will achieve it? Do you need to consider time and financial constraints? Do you have an old injury that is bothering you and might limit your success?

R = Realistic

Have you been realistic in what you can achieve and how you will achieve it? Do you love chocolate way too much to give it up completely? Are you really going to have the time to exercise every day? Make sure you’re not setting yourself up for failure!

T = Time based

Set a time frame that you would like to complete your goal within. Remember it needs to be achievable and realistic.

So, how can physiotherapists help?

As physiotherapists we can support you in achieving your new year’s resolutions. We are movement and exercise specialists and can help you by:

  • Assisting you in setting SMART goals
  • Providing you with a detailed physical assessment prior to starting an exercise program
  • Planning a tailored exercise program for you including stretching, Pilates, gym and running programs
  • Suggesting injury prevention and recovery strategies
  • Showing you correct form and how to exercise with good technique and safely
  • Communicating with your support team, such as your coach and/or doctor
  • Recommending appropriate footwear, braces and supports

And if things go awry, we can help you tackle any injuries or aches and pains that you get so that you’re able to get back on track as soon as possible. No matter how slow you go, you’re still making more progress than if you were doing nothing!

This post was written by Lucy Beumer, Physiotherapist and Clinical Pilates Instructor at Stafford Physiotherapy Centre. 

Meet Our Team: Ally

Ally is a physiotherapist and clinical Pilates instructor at Stafford Physio. We’ve been lucky to have Ally as part of the team for more than 10 years! Prior to joining us in 2007, Ally worked at a number of hospitals and private practices, both in Australia and aboard.





What motivates you? My kids, my impatience and the satisfaction of doing something myself.

What’s your favourite 3pm snack? dark chocolate

What do you enjoy most about your job? Meeting so many different people and helping them get back to what they enjoy.

What’s your favourite part of the day? the excited squeal and bear hugs from my kids as I walk in the door after work.

If you weren’t a physio what would you be? a dentist

What’s your favourite restaurant/café? Malt

Would you rather dance or do karaoke, and to which song? Dance to 80’s disco!

Read more about Ally here.

Clinical Pilates: the Benefits

Clinical Pilates, when tailored by your physiotherapist, is a system of safe and effective exercises to meet your specific individual needs. It focuses on building strength in the deeper layer of your abdominal muscles, in your deep supportive spinal muscles, and in your hip/pelvic musculature – all of which support/enhance your core strength, balance and stability. Building a strong core foundation will allow your body to function at a higher capacity, improve your posture and reduce the incidence of pain and injury.

Clinical Pilates is also used by elite athletes of all disciplines, including dancers, to improve essential movement patterns and enhance fitness and performance, as well as to assist with injury prevention.

In the last decade, clinical Pilates has been an increasingly popular choice of rehabilitation for any age and ability. With increasing evidence to support its use, let’s take a look at some of the benefits it can provide.

  • Prevents injuryClinical pilates | Brisbane Physio | Stafford Physiotherapy Centre
  • Helps to resolve spinal pain or limb pain
  • Improves core stability and pelvic floor function
  • Improves the quality of movement, agility and flexibility
  • Improves balance reaction times
  • Tones muscles
  • Increases bone density
  • Improves your mobility
 Injury prevention

By exercising your body in a balanced manner, clinical Pilates helps to resolve muscle imbalances that we may have, thereby reducing the risk of injury to the body. With better use of core muscles to stabilise the trunk, our limbs have a more stable platform from which to operate reducing the risk of peripheral injury.

Resolution of spinal and limb pain

A lot of spinal pain stems from our muscles “bracing” or contracting excessively and compressing the structures that are experiencing injury, inflammation and swelling. With better control of muscles around the trunk and pelvis and with more normal activation of muscles around these structures, we can eliminate pain from the spine.

Clinical Pilates is also used to rehabilitate the limbs after injury, helping to tone and strengthen – to reduce or eliminate pain and aid in recovery.

Improved core stability and pelvic floor function

The technique used to engage the core muscles during the movement of clinical Pilates also engages the pelvic floor muscles, which strengthens them. Each exercise repeatedly targets the contraction of specific muscle groups thereby toning the muscles that are engaged in the exercises.

Improved quality of movement, balance, agility and flexibility

There are exercises in clinical Pilates that have different focuses, while still engaging the core muscles. There are dynamic movements to test and train your reflexes that will translate to improved reaction times and assist your balance and agility. Other exercises work specific muscle groups to the end of range thereby improving your flexibility. Finally, by controlling the motion, clinical Pilates can fine-tune the muscles to work together in an optimised pattern.

Clinical pilates | Brisbane Physio | Stafford Physiotherapy Centre | Sandra DayToned muscles and increased bone density

Each exercise is working against the resistance of springs or body weight, thereby stimulating the production of cells to produce more bone in response to the controlled stresses placed on the skeleton.

Improved mobility

Our walking and physical function are determined by our body’s ability to engage our muscles in a specific, refined and efficient manner. When we are reinforcing better muscle recruitment patterns, our body will move more efficiently allowing greater mobility when walking, running, swimming or in any physical activity.

In summary, there are many benefits in the use of clinical Pilates for your body. Contact us for more information.

This post was written by Sophie Halsall-McLennan, the head Physiotherapist at Fresh Start Physiotherapy in Geelong.