Category Archives: Uncategorized

Get your Glutes Going

Here at QSMC Pilates we love helping you to get your glutes going, as they play such a fundamental part when working through low back, hip and knee pain.

Check out this video that our Clinical Pilates team prepared for their 6 favourite glute exercises on reformer.

Contact our team if you would like to speak to one of our physio’s about including clinical pilates into your recovery 3891 2000 or

Vionic Beach Thongs

Not your average plugger!

The Vionic Beach flip flops have arrived in the clinic and just in time for your christmas stocking fillers! With a biomechanical footbed, contoured heel cup and cushioned comfort these stylish thongs are the perfect addition to your summer wardrobe and the best part is they promote alignment making them much better for you than your average plugger!

In an effort to promote natural alignment and elevated support the team at Vionic have engineered their orthotic technology into on-trend styles you will love. Through innovation and modern, thoughtful design Vionic’s research has brought them here – the Beach Flip Flop.

With multiple colours and plenty of sizes available come into the clinic and grab your new summer footwear, supporting you from the ground up.


That Winning Feeling with Red Bull Holden Racing

For his seventh time Jamie Whincup won the V8 Supercars title in Newcastle on Sunday 26th November! Specialist Sports Physio and Director at QSMC and Aspire Chris Brady has been working with the team for over 13 years. We sat down with Chris and asked him;

What its like to be with the team when they win something like this?

CHRIS: To be honest, while at a personal level, having success in the championship makes me feel really good, mostly I feel good that I’ve been able to help the team achieve the outcome that we were aiming to do. Having said that, being with that team when we win is exactly the same as it is when we lose. We support each other, and we encourage each other to be the best we can. With this, we share in our victories and our defeats. We have a Sunday night beer either way. Winning just makes it taste a little better.

What do you think sets the team apart?

CHRIS: Red Bull Holden Racing Team is set apart by three factors:

1. Leadership. We have really clear consistent leadership from Mark Dutton and Roland Dane so that every person knows their role and knows what is required of them at all times.

2. Grit. In 2005, 2006, and 2007 we came second in the championship by small margins. This taught us the ability to keep our mind on our own job, and keep a clear head under pressure.  Being calm when everyone else isn’t, is one of this team’s strengths.

3. Passion. Every single member of RBHRT is a racer. From the cooks, to the commercial team, from the Directors to the drivers, everyone loves racing and loves helping get our cars to the pointy end. It takes a team to win a championship.

Some great insight into such a well oiled machine! Well done to the Red Bull Holden Racing Team for a tremendous effort.

Rowing Flexibility

– with Sports Physiotherapist Ivan Hooper

Over the next few months, rowers both young and old will be increasing their early morning training. Schoolboy rowing will be in full swing in Term 4 while Masters rowers prepare for the classic Head races.

Rowing is a sport that requires a unique mix of fitness, strength and skill. It requires the athlete to get into challenging positions that demand flexibility. The catch position where the athlete places the blade into the water requires a compression of the hip, thigh to chest. To achieve this position the athlete needs flexibility of the hamstrings, hip flexors and gluteals amongst other muscles.

The catch pictured above – shins at 90 degrees

Whether young or old, it is very common to see rowers with deficits in flexibility in these key muscle groups. This will have the effect of limiting hip compression. A consequence of this can be the athlete reaching further through the spine to get their stroke length. This places the spine into a weaker position and could lead to overload of spinal structures.

As rowers start to build their training volume, it is important to incorporate regular stretching into the weekly routine. A routine of 10-15 minutes repeated 2-3 times a week should produce gains. Stretches are best done when warm after activity. Hold the stretches for 20-30 seconds and repeat three times on each side. Improving the flexibility of the hamstrings, gluteals and hip flexors will assist in achieving better positions during rowing, helping with both injury prevention and performance.

Below are some stretches for rowers recommended to incorporate into your weekly training routine. If you would like a more thorough assessment of your flexibility and how it relates to rowing our physiotherapy team at QSMC can assist with a musculoskeletal screening.


Hold your leg tight in vertical position with both hands. Keep your ankle and foot relaxed. Straighten your knee until you feel a stretch in the back of the thigh. If you can fully straighten the knee with the thigh vertical, repeat the stretch while the thigh is closer to your chest.

Alternate Hamstrings – Long 

Lie in a doorway with one leg through the door and the other straight against the edge of the door. Position your hips a distance away from the door so that you feel a mild hamstring stretch. Hold this for up to 5 mins per leg. If your leg gets sore or goes numb, break up the time into smaller blocks.


Positioned on the ground with one leg behind you and one bent out in front with the knee in line with your trunk, lean forward while keeping your pelvis square to the ground. 

Hip Flexor & Quad – Hip Flexor and Lateral Trunk Extension 

Kneeling with your front shin vertical, tighten your stomach to keep your lower back flat. Tuck your bottom under to tilt your pelvis backwards. Lunge forward so that you feel a stretch in the front of the hip. A variation that an help stretch the outside of the hip and side of your trunk is to add a side bend, with arm over head. The stretch should move to being a bit higher and lateral to the previous stretch.

Quadratus Lumborum

Sitting with the left leg straight and right heel tucked into your groin, place your left hand on your right knee and use this to pull your trunk into rotation. Your shoulders should align with your straight leg. Place your right arm over your head and bend towards your left knee. The stretch should be felt in your lower back.  

Hydration Matters


Our body is made up of 60% water (can be up to 78% depending on age) water.

It is crucial for survival so it is important to be aware of our body’s need for hydration. Our body needs water for the following functions:

  •    It transports materials throughout the body
  •    It eliminates toxins and waste products
  •    It acts as solvents for nutrients
  •    It regulates body temperature
  •    It is used for energy product in
  •    It aids in digestion and absorption

Every system in the entire body depends on water and requires hydration!

It is recommended that the average individual take in at least 3L of water a day…that figure is raised to 4L during hot days or in hot climates.

Sports and Hydration

Caffeinated beverages, such as soft drinks, coffee and tea act as diuretics and can increase urination that can lead to dehydration. It’s important therefore to consult your Sports Dietician if using caffeine pre-event to ensure to ensure you are getting the stimulant vs hydration balance right.

What happens during exercise?

Heat is generated as a by-product of your working muscles. As body heat rises, body temperature and heart rate also rise. As the exercise continues, the body is limited in transferring heat from the muscles to the skin surface. The body will require hydration.

Exercising in hot, dry climates presents additional risks to dehydration. Body fluids will evaporate rapidly so that you may not notice any symptoms. In humid climates, when moisture increases, sweat decreases. When your sweating rate decreases, your body temperature rises and you will fatigue more easily and your risk of heat injury is greater.

What is heat injury?

Heat injuries include heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke.

  •    Heat cramps are severe muscle spasms resulting from heavy sweating.
  •    Heat exhaustion is severe fatigue resulting from excessive exposure to heat that can lead to collapse.
  •    Heat stroke is a life threatening condition that develops rapidly and may not have any warning signs. It is the third leading cause of death among athletes.

There are three factors that contribute to heat injuries. They are –

  •    Increased body temperature
  •    Loss of body fluids
  •    Loss of electrolytes

Symptoms to look for include –

  •    Weakness
  •    Chills
  •    Goose pimples on your chest and upper arms
  •    Nausea
  •    Headache faintness
  •    Disorientation
  •    Muscle cramping
  •    Cessation of sweating

To reduce the risk of heat injuries, adequate fluid replacement is essential before, during and after exercise.

What fluid is best for rehydration?

Water is the appropriate drink before, during and after exercise. However, for exercise lasting longer than one hour and after exercise, it is important to replace electrolytes lost. Sodium replacement not only maintains blood concentration but also increases palatability, and therefore the desire to drink.

The addition of carbohydrates will delay the onset of fatigue and help to maintain blood glucose concentration. A sport drink with 4%-8% carbohydrate is recommended for replacement during exercise, especially with exercise bouts lasting longer than one hour.

So the next time you exercise, remember the importance of hydration. It is a simple step that can save your life!



5 tips for happy shoulders

Lots of people get sore shoulders. Some of them are swimmers, some are throwers, some do ironman, and some just iron. Shoulder problems happen to teenagers, twenty year olds, and those in their 40s, and they happen for a variety of reasons. The good news is that there are things people can do to help get their shoulders better, and most of those things involve exercises which people can do themselves.

At the Queensland Sports Medicine Centre, we’ve collated our favourite exercises for people who have sore shoulders. Each exercise takes 30 seconds to perform. We recommend completing each exercise twice for a total exercise time of 5 minutes.

1. Sleeper Stretch (added by Sarah Grimstone)

One of the classic reasons for sore shoulders is a lack of shoulder turn in or ‘internal rotation’. This can be simply check by standing in ‘Scarecrow Position’. Standing upright with your arms out to the sides, elbows bent to 90 degrees, turn your palms as far down to the floor as you can and measure the angle of your forearms to the floor (and to each other). This measurement of internal rotation has been observed for 30 years as a key predictor of risk for shoulder troubles.

If you notice that your turn in is different on one side, the sleeper stretch is a proven way to help improve this:

  • Lie on your side with your lower arm out in front of you and your elbow bent
  • Use your upper arm to push down and internally rotate the lower forearm
  • When you get to the limit, roll your body forward onto your lower arm to add to the stretch. [A trigger ball can be applied under the lower arm to increase the stretch further]
  • Hold for 30 seconds


2. Happy Clavicles (added by Laura Schwab)

Happy Clavicles is a Postural Cue to promote good shoulder and shoulder blade positioning. It involves:

  • Sitting or standing upright
  • Chin Tucked
  • Imagine the space between your two collarbones at the front of your sternum.
  • Try to create a ‘smile’ using the ends of your collarbones by raising your sternum skywards.
  • Hold for 30 seconds


3. Supraspinatus Activators (added by Tammie Dare)

Supraspinatus is one of the most commonly injured muscles in the rotator cuff. Almost everyone who gets a sore shoulder has some kind of involvement of the supraspinatus whether primary or secondary. Here is a great exercise to get it going at an early stage:

  • Standing with ‘Happy Clavicles’
  • Lift the arms out to the side a small way (15 degrees) as your start point
  • Side raise from 15 to 45 degrees while holding ‘happy clavicles’
  • Repeat for 30 seconds to activate and relearn the correct motion


4. Turn Outs (added by Dolph Francis)

Turn Out exercises involve retraining the Infraspinatus muscle. This muscle is also commonly injured in shoulder problems.

  • Lie on your unaffected side with a rolled up towel under the arm to be exercised.
  • Hold Happy Clavicles
  • Use a light weight in your hand and ‘turn out’
  • Repeat for 30 seconds

5. Seated Row (added by Adam Russell)

Seated Row is the first of the basic gym exercises to be done in shoulder rehabilitation therapy and is the signalling point that you can return to strength and conditioning. This exercise can be done at home using tubing as resistance.

  • Sit at the equipment, or stand if using tubing. Choose a load that your body can do easily at first to ensure you learn the correct activation sequence.
  • Hold happy clavicles.
  • Holding your resistance, activate your shoulder blades to ensure you have control at the back.
  • Draw your elbows back until your elbows come in line with your body.
  • Repeat this for 30 seconds.

Sleeping Position

What Sleeping Position is Best?

Sleep is the best form of recovery for active people. Without sleep our mental and physical capacity slowly gets worse and training and performance can suffer. For some people the positions they sleep make their body sore enough that sleep is disturbed or even stopped. This article reviews the current views on sleep position and bedding to enable ever athlete to make night time the right time for recovery.

Back Sleeping

Back sleeping is ideal for those who don’t have a risk of snoring and have flexible enough hips to allow them to lie flat without their backs over-arching. Most people find that the can only last a limited time in this position, and many like to have a small pillow tucked under their knees, or cross their legs in order to bend one knee.

When sleeping on the back, a small to medium pillow is recommended. Many people feel like they a larger pillow, and while they may get to sleep more peacefully, they often wake with a sore neck.

Trying to train your body to cope with a smaller pillow when on your back teaches your body to get better at holding a straight position. Try just resting on your back in bed at first – without trying to go to sleep. You may find you learn how to cope better and better in this position.

For people with extension related back pain (spondylolysis and stress fractures), this position usually provides an increased risk of discomfort.

Side Sleeping

Side sleeping is usually described as the most common sleeping position. Pillow selection is critical here. The aim of a pillow with a side sleeper is to fill the gap between the bed and the side of your head. This is probably the thickest a pillow should be, and is therefore not much use in other positions of rest. A good idea is to use two thinned pillows in place of one large one. This allows you to use the two pillows under the neck when side sleeping, but switch to one when you are on your back.

Side sleeping is usually the least injurious position for neck and back pain, but can place undue stress on the shoulder you are sleeping on if you don’t take the opportunity to roll over in the night. Your body is designed to move, even in your sleep.

Stomach Sleeping

Stomach sleeping gets a bad rap from sleep experts, but is the most comfortable sleeping position for many flexible people. In truth there are not many who truly sleep on their stomach’s where many will sleep on their belly’s with one leg hooked up. A well placed pillow under the hips here will make for a comfortable and sustainable position especially when combined with a small pillow tucked under the chest to allow the head to comfortably be turned to one side.

A pillow is not recommended under the head at all in this position, however if one must be used – a very thin one is the main option. Stomach sleepers also generally like to have a firm bed.

Bed Selection

Bed selection based on sleeping posture has been found to correlate with sleep quality in a 2010 study of beds. 27 patients were given beds to use for 12 weeks based on their sleep position, and asked to rate their risk of pain and quality of sleep over the trial period. The results showed that choosing your bed firmness based on your sleeping posture decreases pain and increases sleep quality.

Using this simple guide, you can sleep to the fullest of your potential. Remember to move in your sleep, and as you move, shift your pillows accordingly. All positions are good positions if you are suited to them. Sleep well, and stay active.


Jacobson B, Boolani A, Dunklee G, Shepardson A, Acharya H. Effect of prescribed sleep surfaces on back pain and sleep quality in patients diagnosed with low back and shoulder pain. Applied Ergonomics [serial online]. December 2010;42(1):91-97.

Fong T, Choice Magazine Mattress Survey, Choice Australia, May 2010

Avoid getting knee capped

Pain arising from the knee cap can be frustrating for the athlete. For the approximate 2.5 million runners who are diagnosed with it over a given year worldwide it is a significant trouble. More than 75% of them will have recurrent problems with it, and end up with chronic pain [1].

Up to now, the majority of treatment has aimed at short term successes, while long term solutions have been harder to come by [1]. New research into the longterm management of PFPS shows that the gold standard treatment principles include:

1. Act Locally
PFPS is associated with force loads through the patella. These loads are higher in women than men, and higher in those with weaker vastus medialis oblique muscles. It is thought that this muscle has the greatest effect on motion of the patella and the femur. Recent studies suggest that it is VMO’s control of thigh motion rather than the knee cap that is the reason for its value in minimising pain [2].

For the injured person that means we should work hard on strengthening the vastus medialis muscle with a load bearing, slow, controlled strength and conditioning program from your QSMC physiotherapist or Aspire Fitness & Rehabilitation Exercise Physiologist. You will be given key cues to ensure that you maintain an ideal position of your thigh bone during these exercises.

2. Footwear Matters
People with increased mid foot mobility (dropped arch / flat foot) are at a higher risk of PFPS. Foot orthoses prescribed to treat people with PFPS are known to produce positive clinical outcomes [3].

The podiatrists at QSMC believe that it all begins with good quality footwear. Up to a point, you get what you pay for with brands like Asics, Brooks, and New Balance leading the way in running shoes for the last decade. In recent times, Nike has made a resurgence in technical running shoes as well.

Independent of the choice of brand, choosing a shoe that provides an adequate amount of motion control, especially in and around the arch has been shown to minimise risk of PFPS.

QSMC podiatrists Nathan Eadie and Nick Sprenger may also advise some people to get orthotics where clinically indicated.

3. Core Stability
Evidence suggests that people with PFPS may be weaker around their hip and core [4]. This leads the ‘at risk’ runner to an increased amount of hip ‘internal rotation’ and ‘adduction’ when their foot strikes the ground [5]. At QSMC, our clinicians will ensure that you have the right kind of therapeutic exercise program to activate and strengthen the muscles around your hip, trunk, and upper thigh in order to minimise the leg ‘turn in’ during running and other sporting activity.

With these three simple thoughts in mind, you can minimise the chances of getting PFPS and maximise the recovery process for those with symptoms. If you are already suffering PFPS, or for a general preventative checkup, contact QSMC for the latest in assessment and treatment protocols to get your knees back on track.

1. Davis, I.S., Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome: Proximal, Distal, and Local Factors, An International Retreat, April 30-May 2, 2009, Fells Point, Baltimore, MD. Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy, 2010.

2. Souza RB, P.C., Differences in hip kinematics, muscle strength, and muscle activation between subjects with and without patellofemoral pain. . J Orthop Sports Phys Ther., 2009. 2009 ;39:12-19.

3. Sutlive TG, M.S., Maxfield SN Identification of individuals with patellofemoral pain whose symptoms improved after a combined program of foot orthosis use and modified activity: a preliminary investigation. Physical Therapy, 2004. 2004;84:49-61.

4. Bolgla LA, M.T., Umberger BR, Uhl TL, Hip strength and hip and knee kinematics during stair descent in females with and without patellofemoral pain syndrome. . J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. , 2008. 2008;38:12-18.

5. Boling MC, P.D., Marshall SW, Guskiewicz K, Pyne S, Beutler A. A, Prospective investigation of biomechanical risk factors for patellofemoral pain syndrome: the Joint Undertaking to Monitor and Prevent ACL Injury (JUMP-ACL) cohort.Am J Sports Med. , 2009. 2009;37:2108-2116.

Exercises for Back Pain

The recent floods in South East Queensland and ensuing clean up have given sore backs to a lot of Brisbane locals in the month of February. This article reviews the current concepts of treatment for low back pain.Diagnosing the mechanism of low back pain helps guide management and leads to improved outcomes for the patient [1]. In many of the ‘mud armies’ cases, the cause was a forward bending motion including lifting. This is a common cause of back pain, and best outcomes are achieved from a combination of mobility techniques and strength & conditioning programs [2]. These may include:

1. Cobra: Arch backs in Prone Start by resting on your stomach. While maintaining a relaxed belly, gently push up through your arms to arch your lower back. Stop after a gentle resistance is felt, and then return to resting on your stomach. Repeat 10 times [3].

2. Knee Rocking

Lie on your back with your knees bent. Rock your knees gently from side to side. Repeat 10x each side [3].

3. Neural Mobilisation / Hamstring Stretch

Lie on your back with a towel wrapped around one foot. The ends of the towel are held in the hands. A stretch band may be used as an alternative. Pick up your foot and stretch your heel into the air. Hold with the towel while gently straightening the knee to achieve a stretch in the back of your leg. Relax and repeat knee straightening ten times [4].

4. Manual Release of Side Bend

Some people who get acute back pain will get a side bend or list along with their injury. People who get this are helped by their QSMC physiotherapist performing a release on their back which aids in straightening the lumbar spine [5]. This more complex problem can be easily identified by looking at yourself in a mirror and examining the position of your shoulders relative to your hips. For those who have a side bend issue, specific manual treatment from your QSMC physiotherapist will help to alleviate the problem.

5. Core Stability Training

One of the most researched methods of relieving low back pain risk long term is the use of core stability training. QSMC physiotherapists advise learning how to contract the transverses abdominus muscle during ‘at risk’ activities to minimise the force load through the lumbar spine.

A simple cue to activate this is to lie on your back with your knees bent and attempt to draw your belly button in towards the floor. It should not be straining motion. With practice, this contraction can be performed during activity and in a variety of positions. QSMC physiotherapists may refer you to pilates classes or to an Aspire Fitness & Rehabilitation exercise physiologist for more advanced training if clinically indicated.

Armed with these five actvities, people with back pain caused by lifting mechanisms can alleviate their initial symptoms and minimise their risks for ongoing troubles. If you have any further queries or would like assistance with managing your back pain, please do not hesitate to contact us at the Queensland Sports Medicine Centre on 3891 2000 or via email at


1. Long, A., S. May, and T. Fung, Specific directional exercises for patients with low back pain: a case series. Physiother Can, 2008. 60(4): p. 307-17.

2. Kent, P., H.L. Mjosund, and D.H. Petersen, Does targeting manual therapy and/or exercise improve patient outcomes in nonspecific low back pain? A systematic review. BMC Med, 2010. 8: p. 22.

3. McKenzie, R., Acute low back ache and exercises. N Z Med J, 1994. 107(983): p. 318.

4. Coppieters, M. and D. Butler, Do ‘sliders’ slide and ‘tensioners’ tension? An analysis of neurodynamic techniques and considerations regarding their application. Manual Therapy, 2008. 13(3): p. 213-221.

5. Laslett, Manual Correction of an Acute Lumbar Lateral Shift: Maintenance of Correction and Rehabilitation. Journal of Manual and Manipulative Therapy of New Zealand, 2009 17 (2): p. 78-85.

Bridge to Brisbane

Train for the Bridge to Brisbane for FREE

QSMC would like to invite past and current clients of the clinic to train with us for the 2011 Bridge to Brisbane for free.  Everyone is encouraged to participate, just choose the 10km or 5km course then run or walk your way into the RNA showground and across the finish line.

Over the 12 weeks leading up to the event our Aspire Fitness & Rehabilitation trainers will be delivering specific running training sessions each Monday and Friday to all QSMC clients who register.

Registration opens 12 June 2011. Your fee of $30 for the 10km run or $25 for the 5km run will raise valuable support to this year’s beneficiary, Legacy. Legacy is dedicated to caring for the families of deceased veterans and today is assisting over 100,000 widows and 1900 children and dependents with a disability.

What better way to keep you fit and healthy over the colder months than having the race as a goal with the added benefit of raising valuable funds for such a worthwhile charity.

Register for the race online at  then contact Jasmine at Aspire Fitness & Rehabilitation so that we can register your attendance for the Bridge to Brisbane 2011.