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Are you over 50 years old and suffering with chronic knee pain?

Are you over 50 years old and suffering with chronic knee pain?

Sign up to participate in the IMPACT (Internet Mediated Physiotherapy And pain Coping skills Training) Study.

The IMPACT trial is evaluating different treatments, delivered over the internet, that aim to reduce pain and improve function. This includes online educational handouts, an exercise program delivered by a physiotherapist via Skype and an online pain coping skills training. Cathy Derham, of Clifton Hill Physiotherapy, is one of the therapists trained in delivering the online intervention that combines Pain Coping Skills Training and physiotherapy-guided exercise.

Who can participate?

We are looking for people 50 years and over with persistent knee pain. As this study is being conducted over the internet, you could be living anywhere in Australia, metro or rural, as long as you have a reliable broadband internet connection at home. 
Persistent knee pain in people over 50 is most likely due to underlying knee osteoarthritis and you may, or may not, have been told you have this condition. That is fine as you are able to participate in the study if you:

  • Are aged 50 years or over.
  • Have had pain in your knee for more than 3 months and for most days of the past month.
  • Are able to commit approximately 6 months to the study and willing to do regular home exercises and pain coping skills training practice online if allocated to this group.
  • Have an active e-mail account and home broadband access to the internet.
  • Are not currently receiving physical treatment for your knee.
  • Do not have systemic arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Are not on a waiting list for knee surgery or joint replacement surgery, or have had a joint replacement on your painful side.

To register your interest in participating in this study go to the following link:

This study has approval by the University Ethics Committee, HREC No. 1339459.2,
and is being run by the Centre for Health, Exercise and Sports Medicine, Department of Physiotherapy, School of Health Sciences, The University of Melbourne.

About Cathy Derham: B Physio (Hons) M Physio (Sports Physio)

Cathy is an experienced musculoskeletal Physiotherapist with a Masters in
Sports Physiotherapy. She has worked with multiple professional sporting
teams and Olympic teams and is a Clinical Pilates instructor.


What’s the Thorax? And why is it more important than you think?

Your thorax consists of the vertebrae in the middle of your back and the ribs attached to them, along with all the accompanying ligaments, muscles, joints, and internal organs. It is traditionally considered a ‘stable’ structure with little room for movement, and rarely considered as a source of pain.

Recent studies have shown however, that thoracic pain is common, with up to 55% of working adults experiencing thoracic pain in any year. Importantly, it is also a predictor of lower back pain.

Your thorax is an important structure, the bones and ligaments protecting vital internal organs underneath. But it’s also where we get most of the rotation of our trunk. So if you like running, golf, swimming, walking, tennis, football, or almost any physical activity, you need good function in your thorax.

The nerves from our thorax supply the abdominal muscles; these muscles protect our lower back and abdominal organs. If our thorax is not moving well, it’s possible that this may affect the muscles supporting our lower back.

Dysfunction of the thorax can also lead to feelings of shortness of breath, nausea, and many other sensations. While these symptoms should always be assessed by a medical professional, if thorough testing is negative the effect of the biomechanics of your ribs may be an important next step.

The great news is the Thoracic Ring Approach provides a method of assessing and managing thoracic pain, uniquely and holistically considering all the structures of the thorax and their interplay.

Clifton Hill Physiotherapy team member Caitlin Farmer is an industry recognised musculoskeletal physiotherapist who is skilled in the Thoracic Ring Approach series in Australia.

If you’re experiencing thoracic pain please Clifton Hill Physiotherapy on 94861918 for an assessment.


Welcome back Cathy Derham

We are excited to welcome Cathy Derham back to CHP from maternity leave. Cathy has been an important part of CHP from our very early days and has a wealth of physiotherapy experience.

Cathy completed her Bachelor of Physiotherapy with Honors in 2001 and Masters of Sports Physiotherapy in 2008.  She has extensive experience in treating patients with sporting injuries, musculoskeletal conditions, and following orthopaedic procedures. Cathy has provided Physiotherapy coverage at sporting events including the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004, Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in 2006, and Winter Olympics in Vancouver in 2010.  She has also been the Physiotherapist for Netball and Hockey State Level Teams, and has particular interests in a range of other sports including Alpine Disciplines (World Cup Series 2012), Running, Triathlons, Football Codes and Gymnastics.  Cathy is a also a Clinical Pilates instructor having successfully completed her certification training in Rehabilitation Pilates with Polestar Pilates.

Cathy will be available on Mondays and Thursdays and is looking forward to combining working at CHP with looking after the beautiful Sierra.



CHP staff attend ‘Be Active’ Conference in Canberra

Clifton Hill Physiotherapy staff have recently been to Canberra – attending the Australian Conference of Science and Medicine in Sport 2014 Conference -‘Be Active’. Josh did a great job presenting the results of his research investigating the reliability of ViMove Sensor technology for use with the Asklings H-test. Thanks to all the Fitzroy Football Club players who were involved with this project.



Pelvic Pain at Clifton Hill Physiotherapy Melbourne – Welcome Kiera Hannigan

Pelvic pain is our passion at CHP and we are very excited to welcome Kiera Hannigan to our team. Kiera is a colleague and friend of Jens and comes with the perfect mix of experience and skills to help treat this challenging but treatable pain condition.

Kiera has worked in numerous tertiary hospitals, private practice and aged care settings, and currently also works at across all areas of Women’s Health at The Mercy Hospital for Women.  Kiera is available on Wednesdays.


Treating Headaches at Clifton Hill Physiotherapy

Headache Professional Development with Ken Niere at Clifton Hill Physiotherapy


Clifton Hill Physiotherapists have just enjoyed an entertaining and informative Professional Development evening that was led by renowned Physiotherapist and headache expert, Ken Niere.

Ken is a Fellow of the Australian College of Physiotherapists and has over 25 years of clinical experience with a special interest in headaches and (cervical) neck disorders. He is a Senior Lecture at La Trobe University.

Ken discussed in detail the pathophysiology and management of different types of headaches: Cervicogenic headaches; Tension Type Headaches and Migraines.Ken also discussed the scientific evidence backing Physiotherapy involvement in headache management and led us in a practical session, including a review of strengthening specific muscles of the neck (the deep neck flexors) and shoulders.

Physiotherapists are able to comprehensively assess the different types of headaches and tailor treatment and rehabilitation to improve and prevent recurrence of headaches.


If you suffer with headaches and have an enquiry call us on 9486 1918 or make an appointment for a comprehensive assessment and management plan.


Niere K (2009): Central Nervous System Processing in Cervicogenic Headache.

In Selvaratnam et al , Headache, Orofacial Pain and Bruxism.

Churchill Livingstone Elsevier Edinburgh



IS IT TIME TO TAKE A STAND? Standing desks- the way of the future. (Smart ergonomics from Clifton Hill Physiotherapy)


  • Get up from your desk every hour!
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator!
  • Take regular breaks when driving!


Sound familiar? You don’t need a professional to tell you too much sitting is bad for you, but do you have any idea why?

With the eternal quest to combat obesity, a new body of research into the physiology of inactivity is emerging. It has been calculated that, on average, an office worker sits for 5hrs and 41 minutes/day. In a valiant effort to offset this, many of us spend an hour a day at the gym. Unfortunately, new evidence is suggesting that this mentality “makes scarcely more sense than the notion that you could counter a pack-a-day smoking habit by jogging,” as * James Vlahos puts it in the New York Times.

This may seem dramatic, but there is now good evidence to suggest that sitting may in fact be a pathology in its very own right. Sitting is one of the least passive activities we can perform, burning less energy than chewing gum or stirring a cup of coffee. Standing, on the other hand, burns on average 50 more calories/hour than sitting.

From a physiological point of view there are numerous disadvantages of sitting:

  • The overall electrical activity in muscles significantly decreases leading to a number of harmful metabolic effects.
  • The calorie-burning rate per minute is up to 1/3 less than when moving around.
  • The effectiveness of insulin uptake of glucose in the bloodstream drops within just 24hrs of inactivity leading to a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
  • There is decreased activity of enzymes responsible for breaking down lipids and triglycerides, leading to a decrease in good cholesterol (HDL) and an increased risk of obesity.
  • There is also research suggesting a link between increased risk of cardiovascular disease directly related to prolonged periods of inactivity and ultimately, higher rates of mortality in those who live a more sedentary lifestyle- despite diet and regular exercise.

 So what does this mean for you?

With a new push towards attitude change, standing desks are becoming less of an eccentric health fad and more of a commonality in the workplace. Experts recommend this as the easiest way to incorporate small regular movements throughout the day, not only reducing the risk of musculoskeletal conditions, but also ultimately decreasing risks of obesity, cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes.

It is hoped that this will be the future of occupational health and safety. In the meantime, consider small changes; like altering your computer height to be able to stand for periods, walking to speak with a colleague rather than emailing, taking the stairs and spending as much of day as possible moving, perhaps even try dancing at your desk whilst you work?

Most importantly the message form us at Clifton Hill Physiotherapy is ‘Take a stand and keep moving!’

Alison Harding

Bachelor Physiotherapy


(Alison completed her Bachelor of physiotherapy at the University of Melbourne in 2009. Since graduating she has travelled and worked extensively through the UK and Australia. Alison has experience working with football/netball teams and dancers in both injury prevention and management and has a keen interest in helping people of all levels to achieve their maximum function.She uses a combined musculoskeletal, exercise prescription and clinical Pilates approach in her treatment. She also has an interest in vestibular and neurological rehabilitation and is currently broadening her experience in this area)

‘Is sitting a lethal activity?’  The New York Times, April 2011, James Vlahos



Busy Autumn at CHP

At Clifton Hill Physiotherapy we value Best Practice and we are very committed to our ongoing education, research and teaching. We have all been very busy since the start of the year upgrading our skills and attending Professional Development events.

Many of our Practitioners have been busy sharing their skills and knowledge. Our Physios have attended a range of in services refining their skills using the Vi Move for assessment, training and monitoring of Musculoskeletal, spinal and sporting conditions. Nevine and Paul attended a full day course. A number of us enjoyed an informative and enjoyable evening with the surgeons from Melbourne Hip and Knee Group, discussing the science and complexities of ACL Rehabilitation.

Jen has just finished tutoring on the Post Graduate course in Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy at Melbourne University and assisting on a Pelvic Pain Conference with international speaker Dr Beth Shelley. Brendon has been busy on a 3 week intensive at the Florey Institute as part of his PhD looking at pain management in Stroke.

Sal is busy lecturing on musculoskeletal and sports conditions to third year Doctor of Physio students and has just completed a new book chapter on Knee Pain for the new edition of Grieves Modern Manual Therapy.

CHP was delighted to host and attend Mobilisation of The Nervous System in April with Michel Coppieters. Michel is Professor in Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy at VU University in Amsterdam and has undertaken extensive research looking at Pain and Neurodynamics. He was able to present the course whilst in Australia as keynote speaker for the Australian Pain Society conference. 


Remedial Massage for cyclists at Clifton Hill Physiotherapy with Lisa Jackson

Clifton Hill Physiotherapy’s remedial massage therapist, Lisa Jackson, has a special interest in cycling having competed as both a track and road cyclist. She has also competed as a triathlete at both national and international levels.


Lisa knows that cycling is a particularly physically demanding sport that often involves the athlete spending many hours in the saddle followed by very short recovery periods. It is also an extremely repetitive sport and may require the athlete to adopt an aerodynamic position which in itself can place significant demands on the body. Consequently many cyclists suffer overuse injuries that can range from muscle fatigue to damaged muscle tissue.


Overuse injuries in cyclists can commonly be contributed to one or more of the following:

1/Poor posture on the bike (often due to poor posture off the bike, incorrect bike set up and/or lack of core strength): When in the saddle cyclists tend to be in a forward flexed position, a position that can place constant strain on the lower back. A flexed lumbar spine may also mean that the cyclist is unable to utilise everything in the hip complex the way it is meant to be utilised and this too can lead to various imbalances and injuries. The neck and upper back may be bent over causing tightness in these muscles along with tightness in the chest muscles. The repetitive nature of cycling may also place stresses on the wrists, shoulders, hips and knees.


2/Lack of core strength: training tends to be just riding which is great for strengthening the legs but does little to strengthen the core muscles (abdominals, obliques, lats and muscles around the spine). It is these muscles that help a cyclist maintain a strong posture throughout their ride, provide a stable platform for the hips, thighs and knees to work from and help minimise discomfort and injury in the back.


3/Incorrect bike set up: this can mean poor cycling technique and the inability to activate key muscles groups. This can lead to both acute and chronic pain and injuries as well as decreased cycling performance.


Regular remedial massage can play a significant role in managing and preventing overuse injuries in cyclists as well as improving cycling performance.


Postural observations and the correction of poor posture are both significant parts of a remedial massage treatment plan particularly where pain and/or injury is involved. Lisa can identify any musculoskeletal imbalances that may exist and can identify any noticeable strengths and weaknesses (including core strength). They can also make observations regarding possible neuromuscular holding patterns caused by poor posture on the bike and use techniques such as PNF stretching to change/correct these patterns. Through hands on treatment Lisa can also bring an awareness to the areas of the body that are not functioning or responding as efficiently as possible.


Combining the above information with a sound understanding of the nature of the injury or dysfunction, Lisa can devise a treatment and/or management plan for the cyclist accordingly, or make the appropriate referral to another healthcare professional if deemed necessary.


Lisa Jackson

Dip Rem Massage

B Eng (Hons)


Lisa is a qualified Sports and Remedial Massage Therapist with many years of experience and is a member of the Australian Association of Massage Therapists (AAMT).

Lisa has competed as an athlete at both a national and international level and understands the stresses the body is put under while training for and competing in elite sport.

As a mother of two active young boys Lisa also understands the demands and pressures placed on the body in performing everyday tasks, and understands that massage isn’t just for elite athletes.





Would you like to improve your core muscle strength, endurance, posture and flexibility?

Clifton Hill Physiotherapy is excited to offer group Pilates matwork classes on Tuesday evenings from 630-730pm and individual pilates assessments by appointment.

We are also taking expressions of interest for Pilates matwork classes on Tuesday evenings from 530pm-630pm.

Pilates is a body conditioning program founded in the early 20th century by Joseph H. Pilates, a physical culturalist from Germany .  Pilates is practiced by millions of people around the world and it is part of the training programs for many sports teams including The Australian and American Rules Football teams, the New York City School of Ballet and the Australian National Rugby Team to name a few.

Pilates promotes strength development and endurance of core muscles, scapula stabilizers, and pelvic muscles while enhancing flexibility and correct posture, improving mind-body awareness and general well being.

Modern Pilates matwork exercises have been shown to improve abdominal and lower back muscular strength, abdominal muscular endurance and trunk flexibility.



If you are interested in obtaining more information about Pilates at Clifton Hill Physiotherapy, please contact us to see Julianne Pegler at Clifton Hill Physiotherapy on 9486 1918 for a Pilates assessment or make an enquiry



“To achieve the highest accomplishments within the scope of our capabilities in all walks of life we must constantly strive to acquire strong, healthy bodies and develop our minds to the limits of our ability.”  Joseph H. Pilates


“Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness.”  Joseph H. Pilates


Julianne Pegler

Bachelor of Physiotherapy

Post Grad Cert Paediatric Orthopaedic Physiotherapy

Level 1 & 2 Dance Medicine Australia Pilates

Currently studying Certificate in Polestar Pilates

Student Member of Pilates Alliance Australia

Member of APA


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New Patients Welcome

Professional care
and service every visit

We Can Help

  • Sports injuries
  • Back and neck pain
  • Complex knee pain
  • Womens and mens health
  • Paediatrics
  • Neurology
  • Chronic pain /persistent pelvic pain
  • Headaches
  • Vertigo
  • Manipulative

About chp

Clifton Hill Physiotherapy is an innovative physiotherapy prac- tice offering comprehensive services by experienced and highly-qualified physiothera- pists.

Contact us

111 Queens Parade
Clifton HIll 3068
View map of location

Tel: 9486 1918
Fax: 9486 5650