Clinical Pilates at SPS Castlereagh Street

Clinical Pilates Classes Sydney CBD

Pilates at Castlereagh Street Sydney CBD

Pilates Classes at Castlereagh Street Sydney CBD

We are excited to announce that Clinical Pilates are now offered at our Castlereagh Street physiotherapy clinic! All of the pilates classes and private sessions will be lead by our experienced physiotherapist and Pilates clinician Talia, who will provide a personalised approach to your exercise regime – whatever your fitness or experience level may be.

We are offering a variety of Pilates Classes:

  • Pilates Mat classes: These are ideal for those who are new to pilates, returning to exercise from injury or would like to focus on the fundamentals of pilates and correct core activation. You will work through a variety of exercises on the mat using small equipment to challenge your posture and core control.
  • Pilates Equipment classes: For those of you who have Pilates experience or are wanting to be further challenged on the pilates equipment, these classes progress and challenge your core control with the use of the Reformer, Trapeze Table and small equipment such as swiss balls, foam rollers and hand weights. The class is run as a circuit providing a taste of each equipment in every class. Close supervision to posture and technique is maintained.
  • Pre-natal pilates classes: Our pre-natal pilates classes are suitable to join at any stage of your pregnancy if you have been cleared for exercise. These classes have an emphasis on exercise and education to give you confidence throughout your pregnancy and into labour. Activation of your pelvic floor and deep abdominals will be taught in functional positions, as you work through a variety of exercises using equipment such as the Reformer, Swiss Ball, Theraband and small weights to challenge your stability in different postures. As the class is led by a physiotherapist it is a great chance to manage any musculoskeletal aches or pains you might be experiencing such as treating low back pain.
  • Private (1:1) and Duet (2:1) sessions: These  classes allow for more individualised sessions to introduce the participants to both mat and equipment-based exercises. The fundamentals of pilates can be consolidated and a home exercise program can be developed. These sessions afford you the freedom to book whenever suits your schedule and can be a great way to enhance your current training regime, or get you back into exercise.

To ensure correct technique and to maximise benefits from each session, we have a maximum of four people per class. This allows close supervision and the power to tailor each class to the participants needs.

Clinical Pilates Classes Sydney CBD

Clinical Pilates Classes Sydney CBD

PILATES CLASSES TIMETABLE: Next term begins 26th June 2017

7AM – 7:45AM Equipment
8AM – 8:45AM Mat
12:30PM – 1:15PM Pre-natal
6:45PM – 7:30PM Equipment

 Pilates Classes Pricing

  • Assessment: $136 (45 minutes)
  • Internal Assessment: $FOC (30 minutes)
  • Pilates Pack Private: $655 (45 mins) (Buy 5, get 1 free)

$535 (30 mins) (Buy 5, get 1 free)

  • Duet classes $86 (45 mins)
  • Duet class pack $430 (45mins) (Buy 5, get 1 free)
  • Small group class: $41/class ($328 – 8 week term)

$33/class ($528 -16 week term)

$45 casual class

Reception can be contacted on: 02 9264 4153 or for further information or to speak with Talia.

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.

Driving Posture

drivingCould your driving position be causing your pain?

With the number of hours we spend in our cars commuting to and from work or during our weekend errands it could be possible that your driving position is causing you pain.

Common pains experienced with driving are neck, shoulder, lower back and foot pain. If you do experience any of these what could you do about it?

  1. Before you get into the car ensure there isn’t anything on you that can alter your sitting posture. Empty pockets of pants and jackets removing wallets, phone and keys; as well as ensuring that clothing is not restrictive.
  2. Seat position:
  • Adjust the seat so that you’re not having to reach too far forward on the steering wheel and you can visually see the road well. By moving the seat forward you should have a slight bend in your knee and be able to easily press the clutch or accelerator fully.
  • You want to keep your spine upright by correcting the backrest position. Using pillows can be a great way of correcting your spine position or the height of your hip and knees. This should reduce the pressure on your spine.
  1. Steering wheel: the height is determined on how much clearance there is for your knees during sitting and where you can still see the display panel well. To determine the arm length you should be able to rest your wrist comfortably on the top of the wheel without reaching forward. Keep both hands on the wheel to stop any twisting or side bending in sitting.
  2. Mirrors: Adjust your mirrors last to prevent any twist of the spine, neck protraction or leaning forward with the body.
  3. Foot placement: common areas of pain can be your heel or the ball of the foot. If you rest your foot on the floor this could lead to heel pain. Ensure that your foot is straight and use shoes that have cushioning around the heel. If pain is persisting once you stop driving this could indicate there is another underlying issue that may need to be treated. Pain in the ball of your foot is generally due to the contact point of the pedal, and is can be influenced by shoe choice. Ensure to wear comfortable shoes or implement gel padding if necessary to the pressure through the foot.


Even once you have established a good sitting position it is important to ensure you take regular breaks. For long distance drives take a minimum of 10-15 min breaks every 2 hours. When you stop ensure to walk and perform stretches. When you return to driving, recheck and adjust your sitting posture to alleviate your current symptoms.

Whilst driving check your posture to ensure you don’t slouch.

If pain still persists with the above advise please seek treatment from your GP or physiotherapist.

Sleep Habits

Physios are often asked about the best position to sleep in, and what is the best mattress or pillow to use. Unsurprisingly, there is no one answer. However, sleep is obviously a crucial time to allow the body and mind to recuperate. Here are a couple of tips that I often advise.

dog upside down

In patients with low back pain, especially if it is one sided and referring into the leg, I advise them to sleep with their sore side up and a pillow/s between the knee to unload the spine. This also works very well for hip pain, particularly bursitis, as it removes the tension of the leg from the hip.

Mattresses are often a great source of contention. The main advice that I give to patients is to make sure they feel comfortable and supported and check that they are not waking up in a valley in the morning! This would indicate that it may be time for a new mattress. This is where you need to have a trade-off between feeling comfortable but also supported. When patients are deliberating between a slightly softer or firmer mattress I generally recommend the firmer mattress as they tend to soften over time anyway.


When it comes to neck pain and pillows, I advise patients to select a pillow that maintains a neutral neck position. If you are unsure of what a neutral position is then you may want to consult your physio. The pillow chosen will vary depending on whether the person is a stomach/back/side sleeper, but it will also vary based on the person’s size and natural spinal curvature.

In general, side sleepers will probably need a high profile pillow, whereas back sleepers will likely only need a low profile pillow or sometimes no pillow at all (or a rolled up towel behind the neck).

When a patient is suffering from acute neck pain and finding it difficult to find a position of comfort, I generally recommend lying on your back with a McKenzie cervical roll under the neck. This usually keeps the neck in a minimally stressful position. If the patient also has associated arm pain, then I may advise them to have a pillow under their arm to support it and take the weight of the arm off the neck.

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.



Workstation Position

The goal of ergonomics is to make work more comfortable and to improve both health and productivity. Many ergonomic problems can be fixed by rearranging, adjusting or modifying existing furniture and tools, so don’t be in too much of a rush to go out and purchase the next great ergonomic “THING”.

We know that sitting for long periods can have negative consequences for our health, and that regular breaks along with standing for part of your day can help to prevent and relieve aches and pains when they occur. However, often sitting cannot be avoided, at which times it is important to ensure that your office chair is set-up to provide optimal support for your back.


Steps for setting up your workspace:

Adjust the chair height so that your elbows are at desktop level (roll your shoulders back and relax them first).

Sit fully back into your chair, adjust the seat back for good lower back support, use a lumbar roll if the back of the chair does not support your lower back.

If your chair seat has a tilt feature, set it so that you are comfortably supported.

If your feet don’t comfortably reach the floor or there is pressure on the backs of your legs, use a footrest.

Locate your monitor so the top third of the viewing area is at or below eye level. Use monitor stand if required. As long as you can clearly view the screen contents there is no specific distance that you need to be from the monitor.

With elbows at the desk level, ensure that your wrists are straight. Use wrist rest if required, and if you have armrests try to adjust them so they support your arms without beings too high or too low.

Position the mouse as close as is practical to the keyboard, so that both elbows are directly under the shoulders while working. If this is not possible you may need to consider purchasing a mini keyboard.

To reduce stress on the neck when working from paper documents, a document holder can be placed between the keyboard and monitor.

Always either put the phone on loudspeaker (depending on your office environment) or use a phone headset if you need to use the computer while talking on the phone, this will help avoid neck and shoulder strain.

Use your mouse pad or another soft surface to pad the edge of your desk. Avoid pressing your hands or forearms against any desk edge.

Adjust screen brightness and contrast for clear comfortable viewing, and clean the screen regularly. Also remember the 20-20-20 rule: look away from the monitor every 20 minutes to a distance of 20 metres for 20 seconds. This helps avoid eye strain.

Finally and very importantly remember to take breaks regularly preferably every 45 minutes to an hour for 1 or 2minutes. Go get a glass of water talk to a colleague etc.

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!

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Pilates in Sydney CBD

Sydney Physiotherapy Solutions has a dedicated Pilates Studio and expert, caring instructors who are all experienced physiotherapists.

We offer a wide variety of classes from beginner to advanced and have something for everyone. There are private and duet sessions, mat classes and classes utilising the pilates equipment such as the reformer and trapeze table. We also offer specialist classes for ante-natal clients, runners, cyclists and men’s health.

Clients are required to undergo a thorough assessment before commencing pilates with us & this allows the instructor to tailor exercises specifically for you.

Deep Neck Flexors

Deep Neck Flexors – The ‘core’ of the head and neck muscles…

Most of us have heard about our deep core muscles and how they support the spine – ‘pull in your core!” “this will build your core” and we seek out every way possible to train these guys…yet not often do we hear about the deep muscles of the head and neck, aka the deep neck flexors.

The role of the deep neck flexors is to keep the head in a neutral position relative to the neck, so that the head doesn’t drift forward and create stress on the muscles and joints around it – which is often what we see with neck pain and headaches as the load increases.

So ask yourself….


So – if you happen to catch a side glimpse of yourself and see your head slowly drifting forward, it’s not all doom and gloom. Take a moment to have a look at the video below and start training the ‘core’ muscles of your neck – you will thank yourself for it!


Easy Tips to Avoid Neck Pain at Work

Healthy working- five easy tips: So as well as the screen position, what else can you do to avoid neck pain & stay ‘office healthy‘?

1. Bob Marley once said ‘Get up, Stand Up’ and nothing could be truer when it comes to preventing neck pain. One study showed the longer you sit, the more likely you are to have neck pain. Standing up frequently, whether to pop to the water cooler, chat to your colleagues or just go for a walk around- all will help.


Stand up desks are becoming popular. These often adjust between sitting and standing.

2. Don’t keep the neck too still! Avoid holding the same neck position for long periods of time. Especially if looking down. Studies have shown people who look down (we call this ‘neck flexion’) for long periods are more likely to get neck pain. It’s easy to get caught up in a document you’re reading- so remember to move frequently. Sometimes document holders can help.
3. Dead as a Dodo. The Dodo bird became extinct because it was unable to fly- it was suggested it was too slow, heavy and unfit. Don’t become the dodo- there’s lots of research that shows keeping yourself fit prevents neck pain, and has heaps of other health benefits too!
4. Don’t let work get you down! If you are stressed, or unhappy at work, you are more likely to get neck pain. Speak with your boss about changing things that don’t work for you. And try point (3) above- research shows if you do exercise or sport it’s likely you’ll be happier at work.


5. Sit. Stand. Move. Repeat. Regular movement is so important we are mentioning it again. You can have the poshest desk with the most expensive seat, and the latest computer screen. However, if you sit there all day and barely move, you’re still more likely to get neck pain, as well as other problems.

In summary: Movement is key. And if you can add in some exercise (whatever you enjoy doing, it doesn’t need to be the gym) you are minimising your risk of getting neck pain- and also gaining lots of other health benefits!