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.

Hamstrings and the Nordboard

Hamstring injuries are among the most common injuries sustained in sports. They are prevalent in all sports that include running and kicking, such as AFL, soccer rugby codes and track and field.

The average amount of time an AFL player misses if they injure their hamstring, is about 3 weeks. Whilst that isn’t a large amount of time, one of the main issues is that hamstring injuries are prone to recurrence. What can start as a short-term injury can ruin an athletes season if they have recurrent problems.

This is where the Nordboard can help. The Nordboard is a device that has been developed to accurately measure the strength of your hamstring muscles. One of the reasons why hamstring injuries can occur and indeed why they can reoccur is because of a lack of strength in the muscle group. We are lucky enough to have a Nordboard here at the clinic at QSMC.

The team at Vald Performance developed the Nordboard with a large amount of research and now have some strong evidence that if the strength of your hamstring muscles are below a certain level for particular sports you increase your risk of injury, or if there is a difference in strength between each of the hamstrings. This makes the Nordboard a very powerful tool to evaluate your strength, help make the decision if you need to do more strength work and help determined if you are ready to return to training after an injury. That’s the reason why so many of the professional sports teams such as our friends at the Brisbane Lions now utilise the device to screen their players and to monitor their progress following an injury. It will also be one of the reasons that the recurrence rate of hamstring injuries has started to decrease in recent years.

If you have had a hamstring injury or are part of a sporting team then getting QSMC to accurately assess your strength on the Nordboard can help to minimise the effect your hamstring injury has on your chosen sport.

Contact our friendly reception team on (07) 3891 2000 to book in for a hamstring test on the Nordboard today. To watch a video of the Nordboard in action. Click here. 



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.  

Swimmer’s Shoulder

– with Sports Physiotherapist Ivan Hooper

Spring has hit and with it warmer weather is on its way. As the temperatures rise our exercise thoughts often turn to swimming as a way of keeping fit and keeping cool.

Shoulder pain is a common complaint for swimmers, and is especially prevalent as people are ramping up their kilometres in the pool after a long winters hibernation. Here are a few tips from our Sports Physiotherapist Ivan Hooper, who has spent the last 2 years working with the Australian Swim Team as their Clinical Services Manager – Physiotherapy. His role is to coordinate and manage the physiotherapy services being provided to elite swimmers around Australia. With Ivan’s extensive experience, he has shared with us some tips on what to be considering, that might help prevent shoulder pain from happening to you as you hit the water this spring.

Make your shoulder strong – Making sure that the muscles of your shoulder are strong will decrease your risk of injury when you get back in the water. Whilst everyone is a bit different, the common muscles that need strengthening to avoid injury are the muscles that control the position of your shoulder blades, and the rotator cuff muscles. Try these exercises to get a head start. Remember that everyone is a bit different, and you may need a strengthening program that is more specific for you. In that case it would be a good idea to drop in a see your physiotherapist at QSMC for an individualised program.

Prone T Raises

Starting with arms on ground straight out from the body just below shoulder height. Engage between shoulder blades and lift arms off the ground keeping thumb pointing to ceiling. Hold squeeze at top for 1-3 secs and slowly release back to the ground. Repeat for 10-20 reps. Ensure not to engage neck or upper trap muscles.

Prone Y Raises

 Starting with arms in Y position above shoulder height with thumbs point up. Engage shoulder blades to lift arms off ground, hold squeeze for 1-3 seconds and slowly release back to the ground. Repeat for 10-20 reps. Ensure not too engage neck or arch up through lower back

Build up slowly  – One of the big mistakes lots of people make is to get back into things too quickly and do more than their body is ready for. There is lots of evidence now that how much you do, and how quickly you increase that amount has a big impact on the risk of developing an injury. If you have been out of the pool for a while make sure you take it easy at first and slowly build up the amount that you are doing. Early on it is advisable to only swim every second to third day to allow time for your muscles and joint tissues to recover and adapt.

Keep an eye on the frequency of your sessions (how many sessions you are doing a week) the volume of the sessions (how much you do each session) and the intensity within the sessions (how hard you are going). Try to build all of these areas up slowly and you are a good chance of avoiding an injury.

Recover between sessions  – When you haven’t been swimming for a while it can be a bit of a shock to the system. Often you feel pretty good in the first session, but your muscles pull up sore and tight, and the next session can seem a lot harder. Making sure you give your muscles some care and attention between your swimming sessions will help you hit each session feeling good. Doing some self massage and stretching to the muscles that work hard might do the trick.

Self massage 

Back of Shoulder – Position a tennis ball against a wall and lean the back of your shoulder blade onto the ball. Roll across the back of the shoulder blade to find tight / sore areas within the muscles. Hold the pressure on the tight areas for 20-30 secs before moving onto the next tight spot. Do this for a total of 3-4 mins.

Front of shoulder – put your shoulder in a pec stretch position, pictured. Using the fingers of the other hand massage across the pec muscles from the point of the shoulder towards your sternum. The pec muscle is a fan shape – so make sure you cover all areas for a total of 3-4 mins.


Lat Stretch – put the arm that you are stretching on the floor in front of you with your palm facing up. Lean your body away to extend your shoulder to feel a stretch in your lat. Hold the position for 20-30 secs and repeat 3 times each side.


By sticking to these tips, chances are you can build up your swimming and enjoy all the benefits of this great sport. If you do sustain an injury or feel you need a more detailed assessment before hitting the water, make sure you get in touch with your physiotherapist at QSMC. Don’t let an injury get in the way of your exercise goals this spring.

Calf Strains

Calf Strains in runners

We are now well into the running season, with some having just completed the Gold Coast marathon or Half Marathon, and the Brisbane marathon festival happening this Sunday. Others are preparing for the Bridge to Brisbane, the Noosa Triathlon and a host of other running events in the coming months.

As a preparation for an event picks up, runners will increase the length of their runs and the weekly mileage starts to  creep up. One very common running complaint suffered by nearly all runners at some time is calf soreness or calf strains.

Usually runners complain of a dull aching pain, but in severe cases a sharp intense pain is felt and the person will find it difficult to walk. A runner’s worst nightmare is to pull a calf muscle during a race or during the last few weeks of preparation. The calf muscle is a group of 3 muscles at the back of the lower leg. The gastrocnemius muscle (which has 2 parts, an inside and outside portion) is at the top of the lower leg and is stretched with the knee straight. The lower, deeper soleus muscle is stretched when the knee is bent. Both these muscles attach onto the heel via the Achilles tendon.

Common causes of calf strain:

  • Overload and fatigue
  • Speed or hill training
  • Ineffective warm up and warm down routines
  • A sudden increase in mileage
  • Dehydration and cramping
  • Calf tightness from back and sciatic pain
  • Inappropriate footwear


There are 2 quick measures Physiotherapists use as part of an overall assessment of a clients calf. You can use these as a guide to see how your calf stacks up.

  1. Knee to wall measure – To assess the flexibility of the calf and ankle we get the patient to place a ruler perpendicular to the wall. The patient stands with their big toe on the ruler and keeping their heel down, bends the knee to touch it to the wall. You continue to move the foot back until you are no longer are able to touch the wall with your knee while maintaining your heel on the ground. The last point you can manage this is the measurement. For most people we would like have a measurement over 10cm.
  2. Single leg calf raises – The patient stands on one leg and rises up and down onto their toes as many times as they can. The magic number we are looking for to indicate adequate strength in the muscle is the ability to do 30 calf raises on each leg.


If you have injured your calf, the early treatment aims at reducing inflammation and strain on the muscle. This may include:

  • Ice massage over the muscle several times during the day.
  • Compression to limit bleeding and swelling in the muscle.
  • Elevating the leg whenever possible.
  • Stopping running and limit all activities that aggravate the condition.
  • Using a heel raise/shoe insert that helps take the pressure off the muscle as it heals
  • Potentially using anti-inflammatory medication (if advised by your doctor or treating therapist).
  • Early mobilisation and pain free strength work as advised by your physiotherapist.

As the rehabilitation progresses your Physiotherapist will guide you through the necessary steps to get you back to running. These may include,

  • A graduated calf strength program
  • Calf flexibility and mobility
  • Plyometric exercises such as jumping, skipping and hopping.
  • Addressing other predisposing factors such as lower limb and foot biomechanics, decreased ankle range, and weakness in other muscle groups
  • Advice on safe activities to keep your fitness going whilst you work through your rehabilitation
  • Technical advice on running technique, and running drills
  • A detailed return to running program
  • An ongoing home exercise program to minimise the chances of recurrence

When treating runners one of the most difficult things is to convince them of, is the need to take time out from their running schedule to let their injuries heal. We as a runners know how mentally hard it can be, feeling like you are going to loose all your fitness and undo all your hard training. The good news is that research points to the fact that endurance training doesn’t disappear overnight. In fact, the benefits of those long runs last upwards of 6 months! Also cross training, and particularly water running have been shown to maintain your fitness while you are out of action. The key is to get better so you don’t re-injure yourself or change your running style and suffer continued injuries and problems.

As always prevention is the key! Ask your Physiotherapist for the specifics that relate to you, but some strategies that may help include,

  •       A good warmup and cool down routine.
  •       Avoid dramatic increases or changes to training.
  •       Address small injuries quickly – don’t make them big injuries!
  •       Modify your training when fatigued.
  •       Wear good quality, supportive shoes appropriate for your feet.
  •       Keep well hydrated

Hopefully this keeps you on track for your running goals this year and aids your preparation for this running season. If you have any questions about your personal running technique, niggling injuries or are in need of a strength and conditioning program, contact our friendly reception team on (07) 3891 2000 or email for booking your next appointment with a Physiotherapist or Accredited Exercise Physiologist.

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!



Ankle Injuries – 14 Day Balance Challenge

What to do about that ‘dodgy’ ankle?

Try this quick test without shoes on – stand on one foot and close your eyes.
Have a friend time how long you can keep your balance.
If you can’t stay balanced for at least 30 seconds you need to read on.

Ankle Sprains – The Facts!

Ankle sprains are the most common team sport injury and account for up to 60-90% of all injuries. Unfortunately after the first time sprained, and without any rehabilitation, you have around a 70% chance of rolling the same ankle again.
Balance is very important to ankle stability. Balance is made up by a combination of three different senses:

  1. Vision
  2. Vestibular (Ears)
  3. Joints

Unfortunately, once we sprain our ankle the message of ‘Position’ to our brain gets a little confused and in effect makes our balance worse. The good news is balance can be improved with practice. This can then decrease your chances of re-injuring the ankle again.

Give this 14-day balance challenge a go to improve balance and prevent re-injuring the ankle.

14-Day Balance Challenge

Exercises should be completed twice daily and should take approximately 10mins with no footwear or tape.

Day 1 – 3
1) Single leg balance, eyes open, standing on the floor – 30secs x 10reps
2) Single leg balance, eyes closed, standing on the floor – 30secs x 10reps

Day 4 – 6
**Note – unstable surface = either a pillow, foam mat/mattress, mini-tramp or a wobbleboard/durodisc at your gym
1) Single leg balance on unstable surface eyes open – 30secs x 10reps
2) Line walking – heel toe walking over 10 metres – 10m x 5reps
3) Standing on injured leg, kicks whilst maintaining balance – 4 x 10 kicks forward, backward & sideways whilst maintaining balance

Day 7 – 9
1) Single leg balance on unstable surface eyes closed – 30secs x 10reps
2) Forward hop-soft landing, hold landing 3secs – 2 x 10reps

Day 10 – 12
1) Single leg 1/4 squat on unstable surface, eyes open – 4 x 10reps
2) Sideways hop on ground, hold landing 3secs – 2 x 10 each way
3) Forward hop off step, land softly, hold landing 3secs – 2 x 10reps

Day 13 – 14
1) Single leg 1/4 squat on foam, eyes closed – 4 x 10reps
2) single leg hop with 1/4 turn on ground – 2 x 10 clockwise & anticlockwise
3) Sideway hop off step, land softly, hold landing 3secs – 2 x 10reps to each side

Final tip to a quicker recovery – Sport specific retraining is the key!

To make an appointment with one of our Physiotherapy team to discuss your ankle injury, sports specific retraining and when to return to sport book online, email or call 07 3891 2000.

The ‘Need-to-Know’ on Knee Injuries

The ‘Need-to-Know’ on Knee Injuries.  What injuries cause the most prolonged absence from sport and how to know when to return?

The knee joint is formed by the thigh bone (femur) and shin bone (tibia). Your kneecap, or patella, sits in a groove on your femur and this joint is know as you patellofemoral joint. The main movements that your knee performs is bending (knee flexion) or straightening (extension). There are four main ligaments that help restrict unwanted movements at your knee: the anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments, the medial ligament which is on the inside, and lateral ligament which is on the outside.

The major structure that when injured causes the most prolonged absence from sport is the ACL, which stops the tibia moving forward on the femur as well as rotation. Commonly it is injured when pivoting or landing and it is accompanied by a loud ‘pop.’ Typically you are unable to continue the activity due to the knee giving way and pain. This is usually followed by swelling. If the ACL has ruptured, you will more than likely require a knee reconstruction. Diagnosis of such an injury is able to be made by your physiotherapist but may also require an orthopaedic surgeon to assess the knee and possibly investigations such as a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan to confirm the diagnosis and to assess for other coexisting pathologies..

The most common type of reconstruction performed uses your hamstring tendon as the graft for the new ligament. The surgeon may elect to use another method such as your patella tendon, or even a synthetic graft.  In the reconstruction, the surgeon will take a portion of your hamstring tendon and insert it to take the place of your ACL. This is all done by arthroscope and physiotherapy will generally start within the first week. Over the course of the next nine to twelve months, a rehabilitation program will be followed which is set out by the orthopaedic surgeon in consultation with your physiotherapist. After such surgery and a comprehensive rehab program, you can reduce the risk of injury to almost the same risk of injury as you had before your initial injury.


But at the end of your rehabilitation, how do you know when you right to return to sport? Below are a series of hop tests which can help you and your physiotherapist decide when you are right to return.

Studies have shown that 3 simple tests: vertical jump, hop for distance and a side hop can accurately show when your knee is right for action. Your injured side must be at least 90% of your un-injured leg in all tests to pass. The tests look at the strength of the muscles surrounding your knee, the ability to control your knee under high load as well as its resistance to fatigue. It is important that these tests are done under appropriate supervision of your physiotherapist.

Vertical Jump
Start by standing upright on your un-injured leg with your arm up as high as possible with chalk bend your knee and jump as high as possible while striking the wall with your hand at the highest point. Repeat with your injured side.

Hop for Distance
Stand on your uninjured leg with hands behind your back, bend your knee and hop as far as possible. You must be able to hold the landing for 3 seconds. Measure from your toe at push off and the heel where you landed. Repeat with your injured leg and compare the two scores.

Side Hop
Get two strips of tape 40cm apart on the floor. Stand on your un-injured leg and hop from side to side without touching the tape as many times as you can in 30 seconds. Repeat the test with your injured side and compare the two results.

The results of these tests will let you know what elements you need to work on: strength, stability or fatigue. These tests should be completed under appropriate supervision and it is also important that if you have had a reconstruction, before you return to sport, you are cleared by your orthopaedic surgeon.

To make an appointment with one of our Physiotherapy team to discuss your keen pain or when to return to sport book online, email or call 07 3891 2000.

What causes tendon pain?

Research suggests that many tendon troubles are associated with tendons that are given a load that is more than they can cope with. This leads to tissue breakdown without the traditional inflammatory response that other injuries get. This ‘degenerative’ process happens in athletes of all ages who go through a period of stressing their tendons more than they can cope with.

A common (and surprising) example of this is the sedentary office worker who plays the ‘one-off’ game of touch football at a family barbecue. Another example may be an athlete who experiences a sudden increase in their training load such as the start of preseason. The prolonged ‘inactivity’, or reduced activities of the individual has the tendon feeling good but susceptible to damage with the sudden change in workload which may tip the tendon into a degenerative state.

Get and Stay Active – Follow these guidelines to maximise the chance of a successful recovery:

Be Active. Low load endurance activity that is relatively symptom free has enormous benefits to your physical, psychological and recuperative health. Avoid exhaustive and high heart rate exercise as it promotes free radical production that fosters further troubles with your tendons. Further, avoid a sudden increase or decrease in your activity loads. A well-balanced general activity program is of paramount importance to a good recovery strategy for tendinopathies.

Tape, brace, or the use of an orthotic may be required to unload the injured tendon. Your Physiotherapist will advise you if these interventions are appropriate for your condition.

Lose weight around your belly
Tendon injuries have been shown to be much more common in men with a waist girth of greater than 108cm and women with a waist of more than 88cm.  Get on that ‘pushie’ to shed some kilos.  You don’t even have to be exercising the injured part to help its recovery.

Tendon Loading Program
Your physiotherapist or Exercise Physiologist can design a specific exercise program that research shows is the ‘key’ to a successful rehabilitation program. Your clinician can also show you how to perform these activities at home with appropriate technique.

Action Plan
With activity being the key to successful rehabilitation, being armed with an injury management plan from your physiotherapist, sports physician or accredited exercise physiologist will have you on the road to recovery faster.

To make an appointment with one of our Physiotherapy team to discuss your tendon pain book online, email or call 07 3891 2000.