Back Pain

When to See a Physiotherapist

Feeling pain? Joints hurting? Have an injury? There are lots of different reasons why you should see a physiotherapist. Not only can they help you deal with pain, but also they can help improve your quality of life.

Physiotherapists are highly trained and have a very detailed understanding of the human body based on years of study at university level. At Sydney Physiotherapy Solutions our physiotherapists also continue their education by attending professional training regularly so that they are up-to-date with the latest treatments & scientific data.

It is not necessary for you to be injured before you seek help from a physiotherapist. All our physiotherapists are great at helping prevent injuries as well as treating them after they appear. We are here to help you achieve your health goals and there are lots of different methods of assessment prior to commencing exercise.

You should consult a physiotherapist if

  • you have sustained an injury
  • you have had recent surgery on a limb
  • you have low back pain, either acute or chronic
  • you have aches & pains in your muscles and joints
  • you have joint problems; hurting, locking or giving away
  • you would like to increase your balance, strength & flexibility
  • you experience numbness or pins & needles
  • you would like to improve your sporting performance.

At Sydney Physiotherapy Solutions we have a great team ready to help you. We are conveniently located – 2 clinics in Sydney CBD, one in Macquarie Street & one in Castlereagh Street and a clinic in Chatswood, very close to the transport Interchange. Phone us now or book online.

Pilates and Lower Back Pain

Pilates for Lower Back Pain

Core Stability Exercise vs General Exercise for Chronic Low Back Pain

It has been well documented that Lower Back Pain, (LBP), is one of the most frequently reported disabilities (affecting between 60% – 80% of adults), we face in the community. Unfortunately, 40% of those suffering with LBP will not fully recover within the first 3 months.

As Physios and Pilates Clinicians, we see this type of presentation everyday.  A common back pain trigger can be from a poor lifting technique.  At Sydney Physio Solutions, we are continuously striving to find the best way of helping to improve the experience and recovery in this population group.

A recent study, published earlier this year, found that people with Lower back pain who undertook exercises to activate and gain control of their deep spinal stabilisers, aka “The Core”, had better outcomes in the first few months of treatment than those who didn’t.

In a nutshell……

  • “Core exercises”, (learning specific & correct activation of your muscles supporting the spine and pelvis), provide a better outcome during the first 3 months of intervention compared to general exercise alone for people with LBP.1
  • People with Lower back Pain (LBP) display a decreased activation or delay in Transverse Abdominus (deep abs), and Multifidus (supporting spinal muscles). Thus core exercises consist of regaining the strength of these muscles through specific training. 1

At Sydney Physio Solutions, all of our Pilates Clinicians are physios, and thus have the ability not only to assess your core in real time via Ultrasound, but can also guide you personally on what exercises will help and how to progress these if you suffer from lower back pain. Using this technology, you can guarantee you are receiving the most up-to-date, effective and evidenced based approach to managing your pain.

Back Pain Exercises: Low Back Pain Relief & Hamstring Strength for Squats

Looking for Physio in Sydney CBD to treat your lower back pain – Sydney Physio Solutions have two centrally located clinics in Sydney CBD as well as a clinic in Chatswood.


  1. Brian JC, Kenneth EG, Elizabeth RN, Lindsey EE. Core stability exercise Versus General exercise for Chronic lower back pain. Journal of athletic training 2017 Vol 52 (1) 71-72.

Clinical Pilates at Sydney Physiotherapy Solutions Chatswood

Pilates Classes Chatswood

Clinical Pilates has landed at Sydney Physiotherapy Solutions Chatswood

Pilates Classes Chatswood

Pilates Classes Chatswood

Do you suffer from persistent or recurrent low back or pelvic pain?

  • A 2016 study on back pain and Pilates exercise showed significant improvements in disability, pain, flexibility and balance in patients with low back pain.
  • Multiple studies have also shown altered muscle activation patterns around the low back to be related to acute, and/or persistent low back pain.
  • Pilates exercises teach you how to effectively activate the deep core muscles of your back, abdomen and pelvic floor. Thus, helping to manage the source of your low back pain.
  • We also use real-time ultrasound to assess the activation patterns of your deep core muscles. This allows us to directly assess muscles and provide visual feedback to you.

Our new Chatswood Pilates classes are run by our Physiotherapist and Pilates Clinician, Brittney Marlowe. Our Chatswood pilates classes cater for all experience levels from beginners to advanced.

You will need to have an initial Pilates assessment prior to beginning classes, so we can identify your individual status, your needs and requirements, and goals for the term.

Health  Fund rebates may apply.

Class timetable

Monday 7.30am – 8.15am

Tuesday 1pm – 1.45pm

Thursday 6.15pm – 7pm


Group class (max 4 people per class)

Casual class – $45/class

One term (10 pack of classes) – $40/class (buy 9 get one free)

Private session – $98

Initial consultation – no gap*

Reception can be contacted on: 02 9419 2553 or for further information or to speak with Brittney.

To find out more about our Chatswood Pilates classes contact Sydney Physio Solutions – your local Chatswood physio.

Pain Triggers – Laptop Bags

laptop-bagsCarrying a heavy laptop bag can be a common cause of lots of joint issues including neck, shoulder, lower back or forearm pain. Laptops and all the paperwork that comes along with them often weigh more than we think and can cause significant postural asymmetries and abnormal joint loading – especially if we carry them for long periods and always on the same side.

Another common culprit is us females popping our heavy laptops and papers into our shoulder handbags – not only is this bad for our shoulder and neck but also bad for our bags!  

Consequently consider using a wheeled or rolling laptop bag and swapping arms regularly backpackto help keep these aches and pains at bay. A rucksack bag rather than an over the shoulder or carrying case is also better option.

So ladies for those of you going against these recommendations its a good excuse to go shopping – happy bag hunting! 



If you suffer from shoulder pain or neck pain, it is advisable to start shoulder treatment straight away.  Your physiotherapist has numerous tricks that can help to quickly relieve your shoulder pain and muscle spasm.

If you have had shoulder pain or stiffness for a month or more, your GP may be able to refer you to a physiotherapist in Sydney as long-term shoulder stiffness can be treated effectively at any time.

If you are not sure what to do, please contact Sydney Physio Solutions for advice or to make an appointment with one of our shoulder physiotherapists.

Pain Triggers – Lifting

Pain Trigger – Lifting

A common pain trigger for low back pain can be from a poor lifting technique. A common mistake is curving the back forward and then using your back to lift, rather than your legs.

Simply follow these simple steps and your chances of injury will be minimalised.

1) PLAN – Plan your lift. Are there any obstacles along the path that can be removed? Is it too heavy? Do you need someone else to help you?

2) PREPARE – Stand with your feet approximately shoulder width apart, directly facing and close to the object.

3) EXECUTE – Squat down by bending from your hips and knees, tighten your stomach muscles, grasp the object and lift the load by pushing through your legs. Remember to keep your back as straight as possible throughout the lift. It is also essential that you don’t twist your body.

Take your time, follow these steps and the next time you are moving house will be a much more enjoyable experience!



Don’t Sit on Your Wallet

Think about what bone you sit on. It’s called the Ischial Tuberosity. It is at the base of your pelvis which provides the base for your spine to fit in. You can imagine if one side is pushed higher the effect it has on your pelvic alignment and spinal alignment. As your pelvis and spine are deformed with activities such as sitting on a wallet, ligaments holding your pelvis and spine together stretch. Do it long enough and the laxity of these ligaments can increase permanently, leading to chronic spinal or pelvic misalignment and instability.

Symptoms caused by this could be sciatic pain, glut and or lower back pain. Additionally this can effect the ability to exercise. Leading to a truckload of problems. Sitting-on-a-wallet

With the current use of cards that you tap, thick wallets should be a thing of the past. However even a thin wallet used consistently over time will create enough disturbance in the bones and joints of your lower back and pelvis.

Clinically we see pelvic instability a lot. Wheather it be postnatally, injury related or degeneratively. It can be a real tough problem to fix with lots of work for the patient to do themselves. So the best medicine in this case is definitely prevention.



Couch Potato Syndrome

Admittedly, sometimes after a long day at work it is hard to resist the temptation to take the train home and fire up Netflix or the like for  ‘lock in’  & non-stop uninterrupted episodes of Game of Thrones, your favourite sport, or some version of reality TV.  What a way to escape and not have to think about – well, anything…

For many of us now, with access to mobiles, social media and on demand telly, this is becoming more and more common place.  We may not want to admit it, but Couch Potato is not just the hash brown left over form Sunday brunch, but in fact the way we end up through the week and weekends….it is certainly hard to resist when the episodes just keep coming.

Unfortunately, when we spend most the day sitting at the desk or in meetings  and then do the same at home, the body does not often get the level of physical activity it needs to function optimally.  The spine in particular is a machine that is built to move, and often this is where we feel the most aches and pains from sitting too long – especially sprawled over the couch with arms and legs in every direction!

When you sit on the couch – do try and keep your spine in relatively good line and maybe even get a little footrest to support yourself and throw a decent pillow behind your neck to support it – watch for excessive twisting or slumping of the body – then you can have your rest time without getting up in pain!

Screen Shot 2016-06-20 at 1.19.24 PM

The Pains of Pregnancy

Preggieball copy

Aaaaahhhh the joys of being pregnant! That mystical glow everyone tells you about! Those warm fuzzy feelings of joy and excitement as you feel your baby moving and growing…. A carefully selected and nutritionally balanced diet to supplement and nourish your tiny developing human… Your body has never felt better right?

Not necessarily!

As I approach my final weeks of pregnancy, I feel it is my duty as a Physiotherapist to talk you through some of the not so warm and fuzzy joys of pregnancy. The one’s that your Physiotherapist can help you out with to make your pregnancy experience more of a ‘glow’ and less of a ‘blow’……

  • Muscle Cramps: Now this was one that nobody warned me about! A new level of pain that I can only imagine occurs to prepare your body for the impending painful trauma of childbirth….. If you have been woken in the middle of the night to experience the terror of your calf muscles trying to tear themselves free of your shin bone, then you will understand! It is thought these are most likely caused by a combination of fatigue and the effects of pregnancy hormone. But don’t despair – a number of things can help! Staying hydrated and taking Magnesium tables are top of the list. But your Physiotherapist can help too. Your Physiotherapist can use a combination of stretches, massage and dry needling to help alleviate muscle tension. The following is a handy calf stretch that you can do before going to bed:
  • PF2
  • Pelvic Pain: As your little bundle grows you will find there is increasing pressure on your pelvis. Your body is also preparing for childbirth via the production of a hormone caused relaxin. This will cause your ligaments to increase their laxity and results in decreased stability around your pelvis. You may experience pain anywhere around you pelvis but in particular near the pubic symphysis or the sacro-iliac joint. Your Physiotherapist can assess your pelvis and make any adjustment if needed. They can also arrange a support belt if it is appropriate make you more stable and decrease the pain .
  • Lower Back pain: The increasing bump on your front can often lead to an increased lumbar lordosis (or curvature of your lower back). Not only does this affect the biomechanics of your spine, it will also tilt your pelvis forward and can lead to tightness of your hip flexor muscles. The increasing load and changing spinal curvature often leads to lower back pain and in some cases, sciatic nerve pain. Your Physio can give you some exercises and stretches to counter this and will have a range of different treatment techniques they can use to help manage your pain.
  • Exercise: Many pregnant women become quite anxious when it comes to exercise during pregnancy. In fact, there is a lot of evidence to support the many benefits of exercise during pregnancy for both you and your baby. The key is to do the right kind of exercise. The most important factor is exercise intensity. Particularly in your first trimester, your baby is unable to regulate body temperature which means you need to be careful of over heating. Heart rate monitoring is less accurate during pregnancy because of the changes in blood volume and blood pressure. The best measure is the talk test. As long as you can talk comfortably while exercising then you are unlikely to be over exerting yourself.
  • Cat Stretch
  • The other thing to be aware of is the type of exercise. Low impact exercise such as swimming and gentle exercise bike are great – particularly if you are suffering with pain. Walking is also fantastic if you are not too sore. Pre natal pilates is something your Physiotherapist can help you with to maintain spinal mobility and work on your core and pelvic floor muscle strength. Finally don’t forget to train your pelvic floor! 10 reps of 10 second holds daily is the recommended amount. If you are not sure about your technique then check with your Physiotherapist beforehand.

Pull Your Head in

In today’s working professionals, the time spent sitting adds up to a huge portion of their day. Unfortunately what seems to be coinciding with this long period of sitting is neck pain.

Everyone hears about posture and how to have good posture but here’s the reality of what happens when your chin and head stick forward

chin protruded

The head is very heavy—anywhere from 3-5kg. If it sits in the correct position atop the cervical spine you are holding up the actual weight of the head when standing. The common wisdom holds that for every inch that your head moves forward of the spine it adds an extra 3-4kg of weight for your neck to hold up.

This is sustainable for a time but your muscles will eventually fatigue. They are overworked and therefore start to feel constantly tight, specifically in your upper trapezius and Levator scapulae.

Massage and stretching can reduced symptoms temporarily but why not do what we were designed to do and pull your chin in.

If you suffer from neck or back pain why not contact the team at Sydney Physiotherapy Solutions to make an appointment at either of our Sydney CBD physiotherapy clinics or at our recently opened Chatswood Physiotherapy clinic.

Back Pain in the Workplace

Sitting at work all day can be a real pain in the b….. ack! Literally!!

Our bodies are not designed to stay in one position for long periods of time – we need movement to keep our joints and muscles happy and prevent the build up of lactic acid.

Sitting with poor posture for long periods of time is one of the biggest factors when looking at back pain in the workplace.

Here are a few simple things you can do to minimise back pain while working:

1. The most important thing is to move regularly! It doesn’t have to be a big break – small frequent breaks from sitting is more effective than 1 long break! Try to get up at least every 30 minutes – even if its to stand up and stretch for a few seconds before sitting back down.

2. Try to do some stretches throughout the day – there are lots of stretches you can do but the main thing is to try and reverse the posture that your body had been stuck in…. for example if you are sitting with your spine bent all day – try to extend or reverse your spine as a stretch (you can lie on the floor or just stand and extend).

Extension stretch


3. Check your chair or arrange to have an ergonomic assessment. An assessment will look at the position and support given from your chair, the position of your computer screen, mouse and keyboard, as well as the height and general layout of your work station.

If you have persistent pain or pain referring into your legs then be sure to check in with your Physio for a complete assessment.