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An Important Report on Pelvic Pain


From Clifton Hill Physiotherapy

The $6 Billion Woman and the $600 Million Girl’ – Pelvic Pain Report

Pelvic pain, while common, is often a hidden burden to the lives of many women. With emerging national and international knowledge about pain and the heavy toll it poses on individuals and society, it is timely that this report ‘The $6 Billion Woman and the $600 Million Girl’ raises pelvic pain to public attention as an important health issue. This call for action is overdue in a much neglected area of health and healthcare impacting the lives of so many women and girls in our community.”

Dr. Christine Bennett


Adequately addressing Pelvic Pain is an issue very close to us at Clifton Hill Physiotherapy. The Australian Government has made a commitment to Australian women to ensure a sustainable, high quality health system, which is responsive to all women now and in the future with a clear focus on illness prevention and health promotion as part of the National Women’s Health policy.

The Pelvic Pain Report highlights addressing pelvic pain must be a cornerstone of that commitment.

Kiera Hannigan and Jennifer Langford (Pelvic Physiotherapists at Clifton Hill Physiotherapy) share a strong passion for empowering women and men with pelvic pain with knowledge and strategies to overcome the burden of pelvic pain and live a fulfilling life.

Along with providing appropriate treatment with a compassionate and understanding approach, Kiera and Jen have a particular interest in a biopsychosocial approach to pain management, educating patients in the current concepts of pain science so that they understand their pain and how to manage it.


To read The Pelvic Pain Report click here


Kiera Hannigan

B Physio (Hons)

Post Grad Cert(Pelvic Floor Rehab)

Clinical Pilates Instructor


Kiera has worked in numerous tertiary hospitals, private practice and aged care settings, and currently also works across all areas of Women’s Health at The Mercy Hospital for Women. Call 9486 1918 to make an appointment with Kiera or Jen.




Recently we have noticed an increase in the number of people being offered injection therapies for management of their musculoskeletal conditions. The rise in popularity for such therapies has many patients asking – is there actually any scientific evidence to support this treatment approach?

What do we mean by injections therapies?

Injection therapies consist of treatments that inject blood products or cells (from the patient) into a joint, muscle or tendon. It is commonly used to treat acute muscle injuries and joint or tendon degeneration. We have seen a significant increase in one in particular, called platelet rich plasma, or PRP.

So what is PRP?

PRP is a component of the patient’s own blood. The blood is taken from the individual having the PRP injection. It is then put through a process of centrifugation, which separates the PRP from platelet poor blood and red blood.

What does PRP do?

PRP has an abundance of cells that stimulate and aid in healing of tissues within the body. It has been proposed that injection of PRP into an injured muscle or tendon will provide an optimal environment for healing or regeneration.

What does the science say?

PRP is commonly used in many different musculoskeletal problems. Two of the most commonly seen applications are in muscle strain injuries and tendon injuries. But there’s still some conjecture from a scientific perspective. Here are some key findings:

Muscle injuries: A recent systematic review demonstrated a distinct lack of quality human studies showing beneficial effects of PRP injections.

Achilles tendon: A systematic review regarding PRP use in chronic Achilles tendon problems failed to show that it is an effective treatment.

In summary, there is no concrete evidence supporting the use of PRP in commonly seen musculoskeletal conditions at this current time. With more research into the area this may very well change in the future. But for now we suggest that other treatment modalities commonly used by your physiotherapist is probably the best way to go.

Josh Heerey



About Josh: Josh is an experienced physiotherapist with a keen interest in musculoskeletal and sporting injuries. He is currently completing his Masters of Sports Physiotherapy at Latrobe University.


Vannini, F., Dimatteo, B., Filardo, G., Kon, K., Marcacci, M., & Giannini, S. (2014). Platelet-rich plasma for foot and ankle pathologies: A systematic review.  Foot and Ankle Surgery, 20(1), 2-9.

 Hamid, M. S., Yusof, A., & Mohamad Ali, M. R. (2014). Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) for Acute Muscle Injury: A Systematic Review.  PlOS ONE, 9(2), 1-7.


Children with a disability

A Better Start for Children with a disability – Clifton Hill Physiotherapy

The Better Start for Children with Disability initiative provides funding for early intervention services.

Children are eligible for the Better Start program if diagnosed with one of the following disabilities:

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Deafblindness
  • Down syndrome, including mosaic Down syndrome
  • Fragile X syndrome with full mutation.
  • Hearing impairment
  • Sight impairment
  • Prader-Willi syndrome
  • Williams syndrome
  • Angelman syndrome
  • Kabuki syndrome
  • Smith-Magenis syndrome
  • CHARGE syndrome
  • Cornelia de Lange syndrome
  • Rett’s Disorder
  • Cri du Chat syndrome; or
  • Microcephaly

Children with an eligible diagnosis must register for Better Start before they turn 6 years old. A child will have until they turn 7 to access funding.

Children registered with Better Start can access up to $12,000 (maximum $6,000 per year) to pay for early intervention services. These services include:

  • physiotherapy
  • audiology
  • occupational therapy
  • orthoptics
  • psychology and
  • speech pathology.

Service providers must be registered better start providers. For further information of registering your child for Better Start visit

Clifton Hill Physiotherapy‘s newest paediatric physiotherapist, Kimberley Bottcher, is a registered provider for Better Start. Kimberley has 8 years experience working with children with neurological conditions, and also currently works at The Royal Children’s Hospital in the Paediatric Rehabilitation Service. She has previously worked at Monash Children’s Hospital, and for the Cerebral Palsy Health Service at Brisbane Royal Children’s Hospital. Kimberley has a special interest in gait training for children with cerebral palsy, including the role of orthotics in both gait and tone management. She also has a keen interest in maximising participation in the neurological population including training of bike riding skills, running skills, and return to sport following a brain injury.

If you have any queries please email or call 94861918 to make an appointment with Kimberley.


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


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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
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Tel: 9486 1918
Fax: 9486 5650