How to stay active in winter

The temperature is dropping, you’re eating more hearty, carby food and you need loads of layers to stay warm… Winter is sometimes the hardest time to get motivated to stay active, particularly if you’re an early morning, outdoors kind of exerciser! We asked our physios what their favourite way to keep moving is through the cooler months.

Sandra

Winter is a great time to walk! There are no excuses as it’s not too hot (and in Brisbane I think we could say not too cold too!) and it is a quick way to warm up if you are cold. Don’t forget you can drive to a more scenic place (in the mountains or by the water) or a flatter area if you live near hills and your knees or back hurt on slopes. If you want more of a challenge, drive to somewhere that includes hills or stairs. Of course, you can also walk in shopping centres if you feel vulnerable (to falling or dogs) when outside, or if it’s windy or rainy. Go by yourself or grab a buddy (for extra incentive) or a group. Add a nice sit and chat at the end as an enticement!

Sandra walking her lovely lab, Suzie.
Megan

Running is a great way to warm up. The temperatures are cooler which means faster times and you don’t have to start at 5am to avoid the heat and humidity of summer. Parkrun can be a great motivation for free timed 5km runs at 7am every Saturday all over Brisbane (and around the world). There are also many fun runs held at this time of year, including Jetty2Jetty and Bridge2Brisbane.

Ally

I second running. There is nothing better than cooler temps for a nice brisk run. My other favourite winter activity is hockey. Team sport a great motivation to get out of the house and catch up with friends whilst exercising. It’s hard to bail in favour of staying snuggled up on the couch if it means letting your team down!

Lucy

Yoga is my favourite winter exercise. It can be done at home, at a studio or outside if you prefer and the weather permits. There are many local studios and online apps to help get you started. Classes range from easy to hard depending on how hard you want to work but, either way, you’re guaranteed to warm up! I also enjoy the mindfulness aspect of this form of exercise.

And of course…

We couldn’t forget Pilates-inspired exercises as another great way to warm up throughout winter. You can exercise indoors with our highly trained physiotherapists and keep strong ready for spring, or get working on that summer bikini bod! Join one of our Physiotherapy Exercise Sessions, or contact us for private Pilates classes.

New Year, New You: Pilates + Dietitian Packages

Health, fitness and body shape are amongst the most common topics for new years resolutions. Most people have a goal to make positive change in one or more of these areas! This year, we’ve decided to put together some packages to help you do just that!

Our New Year, New You packages offer a strong foundation to kick off 2019 with a bang while learning sustainable exercise and diet habits with the help of our qualified team.

NEW PILATES PATIENTS PACKAGE

Lucy Beumer | Physiotherapist at Stafford Physiotherapy treating pilates clientThis package is designed for new Pilates patients. It doesn’t matter whether you have never done Pilates before, or if you’ve done loads of Pilates at other studios; we create an individualised program for you, incorporating an appropriate level of challenge and the best exercises to help you meet your goals. This package includes:

  • Initial private Pilates consultation + musculoskeletal assessment
  • Private Pilates follow up session
  • Private consultation with accredited practicing dietitian
  • 4 Pilates classes within a 4 week period (check our timetable here)

$450 (valued at $557)

Any existing physiotherapy patients will receive an additional 15% off

 

EXISTING PILATES PATIENTS PACKAGE

Clinical pilates | Brisbane Physio | Stafford Physiotherapy Centre | Sandra DayThis package is designed for patients who have done Pilates with us previously and would like to return. Perhaps you got busy, were on a budget or decided to try another type of exercise; there’s no judgement here and we’d love to see you back in the studio! This package includes:

  • Private Pilates reassessment
  • Private consultation with accredited practicing dietitian
  • 10 Pilates classes within a 12 week period (check our timetable here)

$500 (valued at $605)

 

DETAILS

Initial private Pilates consultation

In this one-on-one appointment we assess your body, including any existing or previous injuries. Before your next appointment we use this information to develop your personalised Pilates program, ensuring that it is safe and that it addresses your needs for maximum benefit.

Private Pilates follow up session / reassessment

In this one-on-one session you learn your tailored Pilates program and how to use the Pilates equipment included in your program.

Private consultation with accredited practicing dietitian

Your one-on-one consultation with our consulting dietitian Regina Tilyard will involve:

  • Discussing your current dietary patterns, and other factors that relate to nutrition and health (e.g. other health conditions or health goals, budget, work, lifestyle factors, stressors or barriers).
  • Setting realistic nutrition goals related to what you want to achieve and how you want to achieve it. These can be focused on the scales, or may simply involve feeling healthier and less lethargic, increased confidence, or incorporating new foods/recipes for yourself and your family.

You’ll go home with:

  • Specific dietary strategies, such as introducing new foods or recipes, swapping foods or finding alternatives, and/or developing techniques to address any emotional eating or food cravings.
  • Tailored and personal dietary education to increase your knowledge of food and nutrition, including written resources and tools.
Pilates classes

After learning your customised Pilates program in your private Pilates session, you’re ready to join our small group Pilates classes. Our classes are fully-supervised by a Pilates-trained physiotherapist, with a maximum of three other people who are all doing their own Pilates program.

 

If you’re ready to book, or have any questions, please call us on 3857 5815.

 

Terms and Conditions

Full payment is required at the time of your first appointment, which must be before 28 February 2019. Pilates classes must be completed within 4 weeks (New Patients Package) or 10 weeks (Existing Pilates Patients Package). If a refund is requested, any used portion of the package will be charged at full price, with the balance being returned. Appointments subject to availability; early bookings recommended to secure your preferred date and time. 

 

12 days of Christmas gift ideas

…Gifts for a fit, healthy and pain free 2019

The countdown to Christmas is most certainly on but, if you’re like us, you’re still scrambling to finish the Christmas shopping. We’ve pulled together a list of perhaps unexpected, but very useful, gift ideas that we have available at Stafford Physio. We’ve got a number of budget-friendly options suited to secret Santa gifts too!

 

Day 1: Wheat bags and stick on heat patches

Using heat is one of the best ways to relax tight muscles, reduce joint stiffness and improve flexibility! Applying heat promotes healing by increasing blood flow to an area, and reduces pain by soothing sensory pain receptors and blocking pain signals to the brain. Our microwaveable wheat bags come in a great range of colours and sizes for neck (rectangle), back (square) and shoulders (wrap over shoulders and cover upper back). Heat in the microwave for a couple of minutes (depending on your microwave strength) and mould to your sore area for 10-15 minutes for instant relief. Our physiotherapists commonly recommend using heat for sore necks, stiff backs and relieving tight muscles. A great gift idea for mum or nanna, any students or hard-working relatives!

Sizes available: Neck $25; Back $39; Shoulders $58

Sitting in the car for long holiday trips? Try one of our stick on our heat patches for longer lasting heat ($2.50, single use)

Day 2: Rock tape

Need an idea for that hard to buy sibling, tennis-mad uncle or injury-prone dad?

Rock tape is a type of kinesiology tape, or elastic strapping tape, that has the ability to stretch lengthways. We often use this tape within our physiotherapy treatments to provide joint and muscle support, encourage normal and full range of movement, and improve flow of fluid or swelling, which is great for all types of injuries! Rock tape is comfortable to wear, allows you to move freely and lasts up to 5 days. It comes in a great range of colours and sizes, so you can match your team uniform or Christmas day outfit!

Drop in to purchase a roll ($22) and ask one of our physiotherapists about how to apply safely.

Day 3: Theraband

Gift your love ones the ability to be strong for Christmas! Theraband is a type of resistance band used for strengthening a wide range of muscle groups, and can be used for general exercise, post injury and rehabilitation, sport specific and Pilates type exercises. We stock a range of colours which vary in resistance, so drop in and ask one of our physiotherapists which colour would be appropriate for you or your secret Santa’s goals. We can also give you some exercises to go with it!

Resistance difficulty ranges from yellow (lightest) to red, green, blue and black (most difficult).

$5 per meter, or purchase a pack with each colour for $20

Day 4: Spikey balls and pocket physios

Can you think of someone who is always tight? Loves to exercise? This is the gift for them!

Spikey balls and pocket physios are perfect tools for doing self-massage or trigger point release, which is a great way to relieve pain from tight, sore muscles. Trigger point release involves applying a sustained pressure to, or gently rolling over a tight band or “knot” within a muscle. This helps to reduce pain, improve flexibility, and increase blood flow to the muscle. This can be very effective for a wide range of muscle groups, including hamstrings, gluteal muscles, shoulder, lower back and calves. At Stafford Physio we have exercise sheets to guide you with getting the most effective and safe use out of your spikey ball or pocket physio.

At just $10 for a range of sizes and colours, this is the perfect stocking filler!

Day 5: Pad pods

Is there someone in your family who is always on their phone, ipad, kindle or has their head in a book? Gift them the gift of good posture (and a pain free neck!) this Christmas, with one of our Padpods.

A Padpod is a pyramid-shaped beanbag designed to hold your phone or ipad while you are operating it, which helps to keep the screen at a comfortable angle. This effectively improves the user’s posture and alignment, reducing incidence of neck pain and injury. Padpods can be used in a range of positions, whether sitting on your lap, lying in bed, or placed on a table or desk, which means they can be used anywhere too! Perfect for work or home, or those with longer car or plane trips planned over the holidays. The Padpod holds all devices, including your phone, ipad, cookbook or novel, making it great for all ages. In a range of great colours (hence reducing fights over whose belongs to who) come in and grab one for yourself, and your loved ones.

Padpods are $29

Day 6: Pilates socks

Does someone in your family love Pilates? They will love you for gifting them a pair of our fabulous Pilates grip socks!

We currently have a great range of sizes and designs, ranging from animal print to stripes and spots as well as neutral colours, in sizes small, medium and large. These socks have non-slip grip which is perfect for safe exercise on our equipment, or any exercise where you are in bare feet, even for floor mopping days! Plus you can never have too many pairs (to match all of your active wear outfits, of course!).

Drop in and pick up a pair or two for $17 each

Day 7: Foam rollers

Need a gift for someone that loves to run, ride, swim, gym or, well, exercise in general really?! We guarantee they will appreciate the gift of a foam roller!

An essential piece of home workout and cool down equipment, foam rollers are basically foam cylinders that can be used to slowly roll over a particular muscle group or area, such as the calves, quadriceps, gluteal muscles, or upper back. This is a great way to perform self-myofascial release (or give yourself a deep tissue massage), which breaks up scar tissue or adhesions between muscle and fascial layers. After a big run or training session at the gym, this helps to speed up recovery and reduces risk of injury. In addition, foam rollers are great tools for mobilising your upper back, stretching your chest, as well as a huge range of core strengthening and stability exercises. Pop in and see our physiotherapists for some examples of exercises and to pick up one for you and one for a mate!

We currently have a range of colours and sizes in stock: Short $20; Long $45

Day 8: Chi balls

Chi balls are soft, inflatable balls used in many of our Pilates and rehabilitation-based exercises. The small 15cm balls are infused with an aromatherapy fragrance corresponding to its colour. Using a chi ball is a great way to challenge your core muscle strength and control, improve mobility and provide spinal support, all with a range of exercises. Great little stocking fillers, your physiotherapist is happy to give exercises for any specific injuries or gentle general exercises you can incorporate into your home program.

Chi balls come in a range of colours and have instructions and tools for inflating, $20 each  

Day 9: Pilates program 10 packs

Is someone in your family a regular attendee at our Pilates classes or has always wanted to get started? Or are you looking for the perfect way to improve movement, increase strength, start exercising safely and just feel better? If so, one of our Pilates 10 packs is the ideal gift for a loved one, or a great hint to drop to your loved ones!

Stafford Physiotherapy Centre has been offering clinical Pilates for the past 7 years, with all of our physiotherapists trained in both Pilates assessment and teaching. We run small group 60 minute classes (maximum of 4 participants) 3-5 times a day from early morning (7am), mid-morning/afternoon, and evening classes, as well as Saturday mornings. We do an ensure an initial assessment and follow up one-on-one appointments prior to joining the classes, which allows us to assess any injuries, imbalances in muscle strength and flexibility, joint mobility, balance and core strength, as well as teach you how to effectively engage your core muscles. From this information we prescribe each person an individual program which we go through with you in the follow up session, and is then performed in a group class when you feel comfortable. The majority of the program involves exercising using a range of equipment, including our reformers, trapeze table, wunda chair, ladder barrel as well as smaller apparatus like swiss balls and foam rollers, with each participant in the class doing their own prescribed program. Click here for more information on Pilates.

We tailor your individual Pilates program to all ages, levels of fitness, injuries and areas of tightness or acute to chronic pain, and would love to chat to you about your exercise and health goals!

Pilates program 10 packs are currently $380 for existing patients, or $450 for patients new to the practice.

Initial assessment is $140 and follow up session $135.

Most private health funds will cover our Pilates appointments and group sessions.

Day 10: Anti-flamme massage cream

One of our most loved, long standing products is the anti-flamme cream. This cream has natural arnica oil with anti-inflammatory properties useful for massaging most muscle aches and pains. We often use anti-flamme within our treatments as it smells of lovely peppermint oil, and is a great consistency to massage with. Great for general joint aches and tight muscles on a daily basis or for specific sports injuries.

Priced at $20 for 90g tub, or $35 for 450g tub for true anti-flamme fans, this gift will be very well received!

Day 11: Flex-Ice packs

The freezer essential for all families, weekend warriors, elite athletes, and just Queenslanders in general is our flex-ice pack! Available in 2 sizes, these gel ice packs are easily mouldable and the best way to treat any acute pain or swollen area.

Applying ice (cryotherapy) works by reducing blood flow to an area, which is a great way to reduce swelling and inflammation and relieve nasty pain. Perfect to apply for any ankle sprains, swollen knees or after an acute muscle tear, we recommend wrapping the ice pack in a wet cloth/pillow case, and applying with the area elevated above the level of the heart if possible for 10-15minutes. Also useful to help cool down in 30degree+ Queensland weather!

Drop in to ask our physiotherapists any specific questions and grab one to take home today!

Small Flex-Ice $10; Large $16

Day 12: Lumbar rolls

If you are travelling anywhere this Christmas, your lower back will thank you for the support of a lumbar roll! The most popular is our D-shaped lumbar rolls which have Velcro straps, meaning they can be fastened nicely to your desk chair as well as are portable for car and plane trips. The rolls work by fitting in the small of your lower back, or lumbar curve, supporting the muscles in this area and also propping you up into sitting in a neutral spinal posture. If you have a sore lower back or history of back pain or injury, we recommend you try one of these for any longer duration sitting. And remember that breaking up your journeys (in particular breaking up your sitting time), in addition to stretching and gentle exercise will almost always be a great help, ensuring you are ready for that backyard cricket match Christmas day!

D-roll shaped lumbar support $22

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

Why we have decided not to become ‘Preferred Providers’

We occasionally get asked whether we are a ‘Preferred Provider’ of the various health funds. We have chosen not to participate in these programs because we don’t agree that they enable health fund members to get the best level of care.You will still receive a health fund rebate when you visit Stafford Physiotherapy and Pilates; it may just be a lesser amount than if you were to visit a ‘Preferred Provider’.

This position is supported by the Australian Physiotherapy Association. You can read more on that at the bottom of this article.

Firstly, it’s important to understand what a‘Preferred Provider’ or ‘Members’Choice’ provider actually is…

Some private health funds have established ‘Preferred Provider’ or ‘Members’ Choice’ programs, however the true meaning of these terms is commonly misconstrued.A practice or provider can simply nominate themselves to join these programs with the health funds. In most situations they just have to agree to some non-negotiable terms including significantly reducing their fees; there is no screening process that assesses providers based on experience, qualifications or quality of care. The terms ‘Preferred Provider’ and ‘Members’ Choice’ may imply that you’ll receive a higher standard of treatment, however this is not the case and, in fact, it could actually be the opposite! Some physiotherapists provide shorter consultations in order to be able to offer the fees stipulated by the health fund, however shorter consultations may not be effective at efficiently assisting and addressing your needs.

Allyson Flanagan | Stafford Physiotherapy Centre | Physio Brisbane North“But I get a larger rebate when I visit a Preferred Provider!”

This is correct; oftentimes a health fund will pay a larger rebate when you visit a Preferred Provider, BUT keep in mind that your total benefit amount is the same regardless. This means that you may use up your annual limit more quickly and potentially before you have had enough treatment.

Why choose us to care for you and your family?

We understand that people have budgets and visiting a ‘Preferred Supplier’ for treatment is certainly better than not getting treatment for your pain or injury! You may receive a lesser rebate from your health fund when you visit us, however we offer experienced physiotherapists who regularly do further study and continuing education. With us, you are receiving quality, comprehensive care and this is something that we will not compromise on. We have committed to a high standard and have experienced physiotherapists treating our patients and mentoring our younger physiotherapists when needed.

What is the Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) position?

The APA is concerned that contractual arrangements between Australian physiotherapy clinics and private health insurers create an imbalance of power. The APA is of the opinion that:

  • the current competition laws do not serve the interests of consumers of privately insured ancillary health services as preferred provider schemes discourage competition and restrict consumer choice of health services;
  • Section 46 of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (CCA) prohibits a corporation with a substantial degree of power in a market from taking advantage of that power for one or more prohibited anti-competitive purposes. The APA submits that preferred provider schemes encourage a misuse of market power, as demonstrated by BUPA’s market saturation in South Australia;
  • existing unfair and unconscionable conduct provisions of the CCA should be strengthened to provide a more efficient and equitable basis upon which the forces of competition can operate; and
  • the experience of small businesses is that most small physiotherapy practices are reluctant to engage the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) for fear of damaging their relationship with private health funds.

We hope this information has assisted your decision making process and to better understand why we are not involved in private health fund ‘Preferred Provider’ or ‘Members’ Choice’ schemes.

 

Please feel free to contact us if you have more questions. Click here to view our pricing for physiotherapy and Pilates.

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.