The 2017 CHP/CHPR Masterchef competition is heaing up!

The stakes are high and the Master Chef competition is taken very seriously here at Clifton Hill Physiotherapy/Pilates and Rehab.

Paul is pictured tucking into Issy’s delicious Rose Petal-topped Persian Love Cake, on the same day Australia voted ‘yes’ to love.

Ali is chowing down on Dave’s luscious mousse ice creams.

The standard is high and food is judged by fellow staff.

The Grand Final is coming up next month with the leader board fighting for a spot of glory in the grand final and the tile of CHP/R 2017 Master Chef!

Ali Paul Cake

Wanted: volunteers for shoulder rehabilitation study

With our ongoing commitment to best practice we are excited to be part of a study investigating shoulder rehabilitation.

Subacromial Pain Syndrome is a common shoulder condition that affects both men and women and is associated with
pain on the anterior and lateral aspect of the shoulder, affecting many activities of daily living, especially lifting the arm up and out to the side. Other terms used to describe this condition include subacromial
impingement, supraspinatus tendinopathy, bursitis, a partial tear of the rotator cuff or rotator cuff tendinopathy (or degeneration).

Although surgery is often performed to help the symptoms associated with this condition, current research suggests that a structured exercise program delivered by a Physiotherapist may, in many cases, reduce the need for this.

This study seeks to investigate which exercises are the most effective in the treatment of this type of shoulder disorder, enabling a faster improvement in pain and function.

  • Do you havepain in your shoulder or upper arm?
  • Haveyou been told by your treating heath practitioner that you have sub-acromial pain syndrome.

Don’t forget, they may have used any of the terms listed above such as subacromial impingement, supraspinatus tendinopathy, bursitis, a rotator cuff tear or tendinopathy/tendinitis.


Study Aims:

Assess the effectiveness of three different structured shoulder rehabilitation programs for improving pain and function in people diagnosed with subacromial pain syndrome/rotator cuff tendinopathy.


To be eligible for involvement in this research project you need to be:

  • Aged18-80 years
  • Experiencingpain in the shoulder/upper arm that does not also involve numbness or tingling in the arm or hand
  • Painon lifting the arm upwards or out to the side or when lying on the shoulder at
  • Noprevious trauma or surgery to the affected shoulder
  • If youhave had a diagnosis of osteoarthritis in the shoulder



If you feel that you are eligible to be involved please contact Rosie Purdue or Paul Jackson on 9486 1918.

Further Details:


The Pelvic Floor – it’s more than just kegels!

Women’s Health week is celebrated every year to promote and create further awareness around common issues affecting women.

This year I was delighted to be invited to speak at the Epworth Freemason’s on pelvic floor health to both staff and those suffering from pelvic floor dysfunction.    I covered a number of topics, including pelvic floor function and anatomy, pelvic floor appropriate exercise, and why pelvic floor health is not just all about pelvic floor strengthening exercise.

Something that we find very commonly in many women who have had some form of pelvic floor dysfunction or injury is that the muscles may not be working effectively.  A healthy muscle needs to be able to relax as effectively as it can contract, and the pelvic floor is no exception!

One of the most important things in pelvic floor rehabilitation is that we fully assess the pelvic floor function and retrain all of the components appropriately.  This may mean we need to teach the muscles how to relax first before we can strengthen them.  This is called down-training and there are a number of different techniques we can use to teach the muscles this skill.

Another important factor is to consider all of the other muscles that are involved in optimal pelvic floor strength.  These include; your lower back muscles, abdominal muscles, groin and glut muscles, and the diaphragm.  Did you know that even the way you breath may affect how the pelvic floor muscles function!  By looking at all the different components of a health functioning pelvic floor we are able to assess and address those contributing factors, often leading to a more successful outcome!

As you can see there are a large number of areas to investigate when it comes to pelvic floor dysfunction and this is why a thorough assessment with a specialised women’s health physiotherapist is of paramount importance!  So pop in for an assessment if this applies to you and get started on appropriate pelvic floor rehab!


B Physio Grad Cert (Pelvic Floor) 

Clinical Pilates Instructor image022


Women’s health week tips from Rosie

We want to send a special thank you to the women and Strong_womenlovely babes who joined us for the comprehensive talk and morning tea; and for asking great questions and sharing stories….keeping the sisterhood strong!
And remember:
  • Exercise for your body and mind
  • 30 mins moderate exercise most days
  • Keep your pelvic floor muscles strong
  • Safely exercise before, during and after pregnancy
  • See your specialist before returning to sport
  • If you’re concerned, seek help

It’s Women’s Health week!

It’s Women’s Health week, so let’s celebrate Women, Exercise and Pregnancy during Sep 5-9

Clifton Hill Physiotherapy is teaming up with The Jean Hailles Foundation to promote women and their health during women’s health week.

Women are often told to exercise comfortably when they are pregnant. This is certainly true to a point; women should absolutely listen to their bodies, but the recommended guidelines are actually more precise than this. In fact, it is recommended that women do 30 mins of moderate intensity, safe exercise, most days a week.

Moderate exercise means you are breathing heavily, can hold a short conversation and are somewhat comfortable, but the exercise is becoming more challenging. 30 minutes does not have to be done all in one go either; you can break this up during the day. It is important to stay fit and healthy during your pregnancy for your baby’s health but also so that you are comfortable, remain active and give yourself the best chance for recovery.

Apart from the obvious postural and hormonal changes that the mother goes through, there are also significant changes to the heart, lungs, kidneys and gastrointestinal systems. One important change is that pregnant women produce a hormone called relaxin. Relaxin allows the ligaments in the body to stretch and this hormone is great because it allows your pelvis to adapt to the growing baby. Relaxin is in the bloodstream and therefore it is throughout the entire body, not just the pelvis. Consequently, your newfound flexibility may be counteracted by your muscles tightening and this will cause a different strain on your body.

The combination of all these changes means that the mother needs to be educated about how much and what type of exercise she should be doing. This is very important that the mother and baby stay safe, fit and healthy. These are some of the basic recommendations for pre and post-natal exercise:

First trimester: Correct pelvic floor exercises, proper technique for core exercises, fix any postural imbalances and continue exercising.

Second trimester: Correct pelvic floor exercises, no exercising on your back, no heavy lifting, no new exercise (except Pilates), prevent pelvic pain, maintain muscle strength, improve deep core strength.

Third trimester: Pelvic floor exercises, no exercising on your back or tummy, maintain fitness and strength.

Post-natal:  Whether you had a natural or caesarean delivery, the first 6 weeks is gentle. Enjoy being a mum and focus on walking, pelvic floor exercises and correct deep core exercises. It is best to get your tummy and pelvic floor muscles checked by a physio before returning to exercise. When your baby is 12 weeks old and you have been cleared by your health professional, you can slowly return to your normal exercise routine.

At Clifton Hill Physiotherapy, Pilates & Rehab we have expert Physiotherapists to safely guide your fitness and rehab through the ante natal to the post natal period, including pre-natal pilates and mums and bubs post-natal classes. Call 9486 1918 for more information.

To help celebrate Women’s Health week Clifton Hill Physiotherapy is hosting a FREE seminar to learn about the importance of exercise and pregnancy at our clinic, from 10am – 12pm, at 101-103 Queens Parade.

Spaces are strictly limited and RSVP by Tuesday 29 August is essential. If you’d like to attend email 

Seminar flyer information

Rosie Purdue

Women’s Health physiotherapist

Good life with osteoarthritis in Denmark (GLA:D)

Osteoarthritis is the most common lifestyle disease in people over 65 years of age, more common than heart disease and diabetes. It is also very common in younger people, especially in the years following acute traumatic injury. As such it causes significant burden to many Australian’s and their families in the form of pain, daily disability and restrictions in meaningful activity participation such as sports or social outings.

IMG_5474A common question physiotherapists receive from their patients is, “how did I get osteoarthritis?”. There are a number of risk factors, including previous injury, decreased muscle strength, joint loading behaviours, genetic influences and many more. Unfortunately, it is a chronic disease and requires attention for long term management and maintenance of function and participation.

Many are aware of the overwhelmingly valuable benefit that physical activity and exercise can provide for holistic wellbeing, however there is strong evidence advocating exercise therapy and education as the best first line treatment for joint osteoarthritis.

It is a common misconception that by continuing to exercise when arthritis pain presents is harmful and will accelerate joint degeneration. This is untrue, and appropriately performed exercise will in fact have a protective effect from worsening symptoms. The challenge of prescribing the most appropriate exercise behaviours is dictated by many factors specific to each individual and their experiences. Exercise also needs to reflect the ambitions of each individual, so a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach is not the most appropriate method for achieving a specific set of goals.

IMG_5476Clifton Hill Physiotherapy/Pilates and Rehab is proud to be able to offer a GLA:D program (Good life with osteoarthritis, Denmark) for thorough osteoarthritis management and understanding. GLA:D is a new program which specifically targets hip and knee osteoarthritis by offering supervised group exercise coupled with an educational component, which helps participants to understand their pain and how to self-manage this chronic condition. Developed from the programs implemented in Denmark and Canada, it is the best first line treatment of hip and knee arthritis. It provides the opportunity to start your arthritis management journey under the safe supervision of our professionally trained GLA:D physiotherapists.

If hip or knee osteoarthritis is troubling you, contact our reception for more information, alternatively visit the GLA:D Australia website;

5 top foods to nourish your gut bacteria

5 top foods to nourish your gut bacteria

Our digestive systems are the unsung workaholics of our bodies, toiling around the clock to break down and absorb nutrients from the food and fluids we consume.

Within this ongoing cycle, our large intestine – often referred to as our gut – is the office hero. Though perhaps we should say office heroes, because it is actually the populations of tiny organisms that live in our gut that keep us healthy.

These microorganisms are also known as the microbiota, gut flora or gut bacteria. And strange as it may seem, your gut is home to a lot of them – billions, in fact. There many different types of gut bacteria, with most of us having more than 1000 different species.

Even though we can’t see them with the naked eye, we cannot underestimate the important role that our gut bacteria play in not only our digestive health, but our immune system and mental health. Part of their duties also involve the absorption of essential nutrients, protecting us from harmful bacteria and even influencing inflammation.

We spoke to Jean Hailes naturopath Sandra Villella about how to support your digestive system through eating everyday foods. Here are her five top foods to nourish your gut bacteria:

  1. Brown rice

The nutrients in brown rice encourage the growth and activity of healthy gut bacteria. Red and black rice are also good options for the gut and, luckily, are becoming more available in some supermarkets.

Wherever possible, opt for brown rice over white rice and get the benefits from this healthy wholegrain.

  1. Oats

Oats contain a unique type of fibre that nourishes and restores healthy gut bacteria. This makes oats a great food to eat every day and they are especially suited to breakfast – porridges, muesli or a smoothie with oats.

  1. Linseeds/ flaxseeds

These tiny brown, tan or golden-coloured seeds are high in fibre and can help to create an environment within the gut in which the healthy bacteria want to grow and live.

To ensure freshness and to get the most benefit from this food, Sandra recommends freshly grinding your linseeds at home in a coffee grinder or spice grinder, and storing the ground seeds for up to two weeks in an airtight container in the fridge.

You can get more linseeds into your daily diet by trying out Sandra’s latest recipe, Buckwheat porridge, or her Linseed, banana and date muffins, or simply sprinkle a tablespoon or two of ground seeds over your porridge in the morning.

  1. Prebiotic foods

Prebiotics (note: not probiotics) are a type of nutrient that are very beneficial for promoting gut health. Essentially, prebiotics are fuel for healthy gut bacteria, so it’s important to eat enough prebiotics to keep the populations alive and healthy.

Prebiotics occur naturally in a number of everyday foods, such as:

  • garlic, onions, leeks and spring onions
  • asparagus, artichokes and beetroot
  • broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, watercress and kale
  • legumes such as chickpeas, lentils and red kidney beans.
  1. Yoghurt & kefir

Another way to help keep your populations of good bacteria healthy is by eating them! Yoghurts often contain healthy gut bacteria, but it’s important to check the labels.

Good products will not only specify the type of good bacteria, but also the quantity of good bacteria. Sandra recommends eating yoghurt that contain around one billion good bacteria per serve.

Kefir is another type of food, similar to yoghurt, containing even greater amounts of healthy bacteria. Kefir is available in some health food stores, or some people make it at home. It can be quite sour to taste, but many people enjoy it as part of their breakfast – added to smoothies or with fruit.

A gut-healthy recipe

We hope you can start including more of these foods in your daily diet. If you’re still not sure where to start, Sandra has designed a delicious recipe filled with colourful whole foods and some of these ingredients to nourish and restore your healthy gut bacteria: Aduki bean salad. You could also try out her Bircher muesli recipe.

As a leaving thought, did you know that up to 60% of digestive health conditions are associated with stress? So while it’s important to eat a balanced diet rich with gut-nourishing foods, it’s also important to keep your stress levels in check – a balanced lifestyle, rest and happiness are just as essential to your digestive health.

Read more about healthy living and healthy eating on the Jean Hailes website.

Published with the permission of Jean Hailes for Women’s Health
1800 JEAN HAILES (532 642)

What to eat in winter

What to eat in winter

If the colder weather has you thinking non-stop about food, why not focus on the seasonal foods that are actually good for you, instead of reaching for unhealthy choices?

Below, Jean Hailes naturopath Sandra Villella talks about her tips and winter-food winners, explaining how they can help you through the colder months and how to get more of these ingredients into your daily diet.

Change up to warm up

When winter hits and the outside temperature drops, it’s a good idea to change your food choices to suit the season, explains Sandra. “Move away from the summery health foods of cold salads and smoothies, and warm up from the inside by eating more cooked and warm foods,” she says. “Many of us do this automatically and start to crave winter-warming meals such as soups and stews in the colder months.”

You can also increase the warming power of food by adding certain herbs and spices. Ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg and allspice can be used in both sweet and savoury dishes for an added kick of warmth. Add a pinch or two of your favourites as you cook your porridge, soup or roasted vegies.

Herbal teas to help you through

Instead of warming up with another tea or coffee, Sandra suggests having your favourite herbal teas close at hand, either at work or home. “Ginger tea has been traditionally used to boost circulation, it’s anti-inflammatory and wonderfully calming to the digestive system. Real chai tea [not powdered] is another good option, it can be bought as a tea blend and is made with a combination of warming herbs and spices.”

An added bonus of drinking herbal teas in winter is that they help you to stay hydrated if you don’t feel like drinking water in the colder weather.

Pumpkin, sweet potato & carrots

To satisfy the ‘carb’ cravings that often come with winter, Sandra suggests including these orange-coloured options.

Pumpkin, sweet potato and carrots are excellent sources of beta-carotene, a nutrient that the body can convert to vitamin A and use to aid our immune system. It helps to form our body’s first line of defence against colds, viruses and other infections that are common in the colder months.

Sweet potatoes can be used wherever you would use regular potatoes – mashed, roasted or steamed – and contain more beneficial nutrients than their paler cousins. Roasted carrots add a naturally sweet element to other vegetables or a roast.

Sandra’s roasted pumpkin and tofu curryaduki bean salad and Mediterranean style zucchini slice all boast the benefits of these wonderful vegies.

Start your dinner with soup

Having a small bowl of vegie soup before your main meal is a great way to boost your daily vegetable intake. It can also help to manage potential winter weight gain, by reducing the amount of food you eat in the meal overall.

Here is a basic recipe to follow: sauté some garlic and onion or leek, add all of your favourite soup vegetables and a good stock, simmer until done. Serve with an optional dollop of pesto.

Soups can also form the whole meal and makes excellent leftovers for lunch. Sandra’s cauliflower and cannellini bean soup is a delicious and extremely quick meal to prepare, especially suited for the winter months when cauliflower is in season. Some of her other favourite combinations are lentil, barley and vegetable, chicken and vegetable, and lamb shanks and vegetable.

For soups that take a little longer to make, Sandra recommends making a big batch and freezing easy-portioned sizes for the weeks ahead.

Don’t skip the protein

A key nutrient to pay attention to during winter is zinc. This mineral helps our immune system to recognise and destroy invading bacteria and viruses, so being low in zinc can make you more likely to pick up winter bugs.

Protein foods are the best sources of zinc, says Sandra.

“Always include a fist-sized portion of protein at every meal,” she says. “Animal sources of protein are meats, eggs, fish and dairy. Lower amounts are found in vegetable sources such as pulses/legumes; for example beans, chickpeas and lentils, as well as seeds and nuts.

“The zinc in these vegetable sources is more available if they are sprouted, so soaking overnight in water starts this sprouting process.”

Find out more about healthy eating and access more recipes and quick tips by visiting the Jean Hailes Kitchen.

Published with the permission of Jean Hailes for Women’s Health
1800 JEAN HAILES (532 642)

Good Life with Arthritis (GLA:D)

GLA:D (Good Life with Arthritis: Denmark) Program at Clifton Hill Physiotherapy

An exercise and education program for people with hip or knee osteoarthritis (OA) symptoms.IMG_5471

The GLA:D program is an exercise and education program developed by researchers in Denmark for people with hip or knee osteoarthritis symptoms.

Results from the GLA:D program in Denmark have shown:

  • Symptom progression reduction of 32%
  • Less pain
  • Reduced use of joint related pain killers
  • Less people on sick leave
  • High levels of satisfaction with the program
  • Increased levels of physical activity 12 months after starting the program


On the success of the GLA:D program in Denmark, this program has been implemented in other countries, and most recently it has been launched in Australia.

The GLA:D Australia program consists of:

  • A first appointment explaining the program and collecting data on your current functional ability
  • Two education session which teach you about OA, how the GLA:D Australia exercises improve joint stability, and how to retain this improved joint stability outside of the program
  • Group neuromuscular training sessions twice a week for six weeks to improve muscle control of the joint which leads to a reduction in symptoms and improved quality of life

IMG_5473OA is the most lifestyle disease in individuals 65 years of age and older, but can also affect individuals as young as 30 years of age. Current national and international clinical guidelines recommend patient education, exercise and weight loss as the first line of treatment for OA. In Australia, treatment usually focuses on surgery. The GLA:D Australia program offers a better and safer alternative. The GLA:D program is unique in that the education and exercises provided can be applied to everyday activities. By strengthening and correcting daily movement patterns, participants will train their bodies to move more effectively, prevent symptom progression and reduce pain.

At Clifton Hill Physiotherapy we started offering the GLA:D Australia program as one of our services just after Easter this year, making us one of the first practices in the country to implement this program which reflects the latest evidence in OA research. We are currently running the exercise sessions for this program at 10.30am on Mondays and Thursdays, and we will look launch some extra session times soon in response to demand. All GLA:D sessions at Clifton Hill Physiotherapy are currently run by Cathy Derham and Billy Williams, Physiotherapists trained in the GLA:D program.

Bladder health 101

Bladder health 101: tips to improve bladder control

We all have one. Yet the health of our bladder isn’t something many of us give much thought to – at least, not until something goes wrong with it!

It’s important to know how to take care of your bladder, and to get the right advice for your age and life stage. Throughout your life, your daily habits and practices can put you in a better position to avoid bladder leakage or loss of bladder control, also known as urinary incontinence.

Here, Jean Hailes’ own bladder guru, continence and pelvic floor physiotherapist Janetta Webb, explains how to treat your bladder well at every life stage.

For young women (and all women needing to know the basics)

Don’t go to the toilet if you don’t need to go. Many girls and young women are taught to empty their bladders before they go out, before long car trips, or when they arrive at their destination. Instead, listen to your body’s messages and pay attention to your natural urges. Your bladder works best when it can tell you when it needs to be emptied, rather than the other way around!

You can’t get an infection from a toilet seat, so please sit down. Your bladder empties itself much better when you are seated and relaxed on the toilet. If you need to, use a disposable toilet seat cover, but don’t get into the habit of hovering over the toilet.

Don’t strain to empty your bladder. When urinating, relax, take your time and let your bladder set the pace.

Any bladder leakage in young women and girls shouldn’t be ignored. If you (or your daughter) get any sort of bladder leakage – for example, when playing sport, laughing, sneezing or jumping on a trampoline – visit your GP and get it treated early.

Bowel health affects bladder health. Being constipated is a common cause of urinary incontinence in girls and young women. Keep your bowels in check by staying hydrated, eating a diet rich in fibre and whole foods (such as fruits, vegetables and wholegrains) and exercising regularly.

How much water should you be drinking? Unless instructed otherwise by your doctor, aim to drink 1.5-2 litres of fluids every day. This includes everything that you drink, not just water. There is no evidence to support that drinking more than this is healthier. If leakage is an issue, switch to decaffeinated coffee and tea.

For pregnant women

Up to half of pregnant women experience urinary incontinence, so special attention needs to be given to your bladder (and urinary system) during this time.

Dedicate a daily session to your pelvic floor. To avoid incontinence in pregnancy, learn how to correctly exercise your pelvic floor muscles (the ‘sling’ of muscles that support the bladder, bowel and womb). Set aside a dedicated time to do your pelvic floor exercises every day, while doing nothing else.

Squeeze at pressure points. Additionally, get into the habit of squeezing your pelvic floor muscles while doing activities that put more pressure on your bladder; for example coughing, sneezing, bending or lifting.

Change is normal. It’s normal for pregnant women to urinate more frequently and to need to use the toilet during the night. But watch out for constipation, which is common during pregnancy (see tips above regarding bowel health and fluid intake).

Don’t ignore pain. Lower back pain or pelvic joint pain during pregnancy can impact your pelvic floor. Seek a referral to a physiotherapist who specifically treats these conditions – find one by visiting the Australian Physiotherapy Association website.

Keeping fit is key. However, make sure it’s pregnancy-appropriate exercise.

For postpartum women

The first few days and weeks after birth are a crucial time for your pelvic floor. While you’re in hospital after the birth, lie down and rest as much as possible. Start your pelvic floor exercises as soon as you can do so comfortably, without any pain.

Get some extra support. Postnatal compression garments give extra support. Additionally, when first using your bowels after giving birth, and in the first few weeks after, support your perineum with your hand.

Exercise caution with heavy loads. Try to avoid lifting anything heavier than your baby in the first six weeks after birth.

Return to a healthy fitness as soon as you are comfortable. One of the best exercises is walking. But if you experience bladder leakage with any exercise (such as jogging or gym workouts), it’s your body telling you that you are not yet ready for that particular form of exercise. Again, seek treatment for leakage early.

A note for breastfeeding mums. Breastfeeding keeps your levels of the hormone oestrogen low. As oestrogen supports bladder control, you will therefore rely even more on good pelvic floor strength.

For menopausal & postmenopausal women

Incontinence issues often arise in menopause. This is due to the falling levels of oestrogen, which can impact bladder control. Incontinence is also more common after gynaecological surgery.

Night-time bladder habits. If you wake during the night because of insomnia or night sweats, don’t just go to the toilet for ‘something to do’, or to help you get back to sleep. Empty your bladder only when needed.

Urinary tract infections are more common in midlife women. This is because of the reduction of oestrogen. Seek advice from your GP.

Tips for healthy ageing

Maintain your levels of fitness. The fitter you are, the better your flexibility, strength and endurance will be. This not only means you’ll be more able to maintain pelvic floor strength, but also helps with the practicalities of making it to the toilet in time.

Get back pain and hip pain treated. Don’t allow pain to limit your mobility.

Learn more about bladder health and urinary continence by visiting the Jean Hailes Bladder & bowel webpages.

Published with the permission of Jean Hailes for Women’s Health
1800 JEAN HAILES (532 642)