Tips for the Off Season

The last few months of sport have been chaotic- a lot of training and games are packed into a short space of time. We have seen a large number of injuries during this time as there was a huge spike in activity after the COVID break. As a lot of sport is winding down for the year, focus now shifts to preparing for next season. Here are a couple of tips to help during the off season and help you prepare for next season.

  1. REST. This may seem like a silly one considering we have had a lot of time off physical activity this year but after a busy few months it’s important you allow yourself some time to rest. This rest is important both physically and mentally. Enjoy your weekends and spend some time with friends and family.
  2. FOUNDATION OF FITNESS. Most pre seasons will begin in January (after some trials in November/December). While rest is important, don’t spend the next three months doing absolutely nothing! The goal is to begin pre season with a base level of fitness already under your belt. A helpful guide is to do two 30 minute fitness sessions per week. This may include a run, a bike ride, a swim or even a gym session. Feel free to mix it up during this period and try things you may not usually include in a typical training week.
  3. GET YOUR NIGGLES SORTED. If you have experienced any niggles this year- tight calves, an achey back or some heel soreness- now is the time to get this assessed. Book an appointment with your physiotherapist and they can provide some advice and exercises to help you start next season strong, fit and ready to go.


    Please call us on 5578-7155 to book an appointment                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      





Osteoarthritis and Exercise

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common joint disorder worldwide [1]. Although it is more common in older adults, it can also affect individuals as young as 30 years of age. Osteoarthritis often results in pain, disability and reduced quality of life.

Current national and international clinical guidelines recommend education, exercise and weight loss as first line treatment for OA [1, 2]. While you may worry that exercising with OA could harm your joints and cause more pain, high quality research shows that people can and should exercise when they have OA [2-4]. 

Physiotherapy plays a very important role in the treatment of OA. Our Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist, Hayley Thomson, is very passionate about managing OA. Her approach aims at improving quality of life and the joint’s health by targeting the various factors that are influencing the person’s pain experience. If you or a loved one experiences pain related to OA,

Please call us on 5578-7155 to book an appointment with Hayley



1. National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. NICE guideline on osteoarthritis: The care and management of osteoarthritis in adults, NICE clinical guideline 177. 2014.   2. Wellsandt, E. and Y. Golightly, Exercise in the management of knee and hip osteoarthritis. Current opinion in rheumatology, 2018. 30(2): p. 151-159.  3. Skou, S.T. and E.M. Roos, Good Life with osteoArthritis in Denmark (GLA: D™): evidence-based education and supervised neuromuscular exercise delivered by certified physiotherapists nationwide. BMC musculoskeletal disorders, 2017. 18(1): p. 1-13.     4. Abbott, J., et al., Incremental clinical effectiveness and cost effectiveness of providing supervised physiotherapy in addition to usual medical care in patients with osteoarthritis of the hip or knee: 2-year results of the MOA randomised controlled trial. Osteoarthritis and cartilage, 2019. 27(3): p. 424-434.




Low Back Pain

Low back pain is very common. Up to 80% of the population will experience this type of pain in their life. For most people (70%) who get back pain they will mostly recover, although recurrences are common. For a smaller group of people (up to 30%) it may become persistent (lasting for longer than 12 weeks) and disrupt many aspects of one’s life. This can include difficulties in the ability to do day to day activities, exercise, work and participate in social activities and hobbies.

Very similar to our general health, the health of the structures of your lower back is maintained through regular movement, keeping the back, trunk and legs strong, exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy body weight, caring for our mental health, regularly sleeping well, and not smoking or drinking too much alcohol. So, when these things go wrong, the structures of the back can become sensitised and unhealthy and we experience back pain.

It’s very important to understand that back pain usually improves with the right treatment even if you have had it for many years. Our Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist, Hayley, has a special interest in managing low back pain. She can help you to understand why you have pain, and get you back moving, active and living again. Call our friendly staff for assistance today.


Hayley Thomson


Hartvigsen, J., M. Hancock, A. Kongsted, et al., What low back pain is and why we need to pay attention. The Lancet, 2018.

O’Sullivan, P.B., J. Caneiro, K. O’Sullivan, et al., Back to basics: 10 facts every person should know about back pain. 2020, BMJ Publishing Group Ltd and British Association of Sport and Exercise Medicine.

A Prescription for Exercise

Exercise can be prescribed as a therapeutic intervention as with other treatments such as medication, because it produces measurable and predictable physiological changes that follow a clearly defined response curve and achieves long-term benefits.

For example, aerobic exercise will increase heart rate, cardiac output, respiratory rate and volume as well as delivery of glucose and fat stores to the body for use as energy. As the body is repeatedly exposed to this activity, the heart, lungs, muscles and other organs adapt giving vital health benefits. Your muscles and bones become stronger including your heart, your body becomes more efficient at delivering oxygen and nutrients to the cells, tissues and organs. Your metabolic rate or the rate at which you burn energy is increased so you have an increased vitality, your sleep more soundly and think more clearly. Your joints, flexibility and balance improve giving stability, strength and ease of movement.

More specifically, the therapeutic benefits of exercise for certain medical conditions are outlined below.

Diabetes Weight reduction and improved glucose tolerance when combined with nutrition counselling
Stroke Improved walking ability, speed and mobility
Obesity Weight loss when combined with dietary advice
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome An improvement in function, increased energy and strength
Depression Improved self-esteem, confidence, energy and a “natural” high
Balance and fall prevention Increased strength, flexibility and balance as well as confidence with movement
Osteoporosis Increased bone density with strength training and aerobic exercise
Heart disease Aerobic exercise reduces cholesterol levels, blood pressure, increases cardiac output and reduces morbidity and mortality

An exercise program designed by a university qualified Exercise Physiologist will provide specific exercises, duration, intensity and frequency according to the specific needs of the client. An assessment will be completed firstly to ascertain those needs. The assessment covers pre-existing medical/surgical conditions as well as any injury. A complete fitness assessment along with muscle strength, flexibility and balance as well as blood pressure and body fat. Your program should focus on behavioural change with a holistic approach according to the individual ability and needs of the client. Your exercise prescription is initially monitored on a weekly basis along with home-work until you are confident and positive improvements are seen. Your prescription is usually re-assessed every 4-6 weeks and modifications made as you gain strength, ability and gain wellness.

Exercise should be part of your daily lifestyle, what you don’t use you invariably lose and subject yourself to illness and injury. Make time now to exercise on a regular basis and promote your health before your doctor tells you your life depends on it.

Lauren Postans, Exercise Physiologist, Rothbury Heath & Lifestyle Connection at Physiologic.


Acute Injury Management

POLICE:  An updated approach to Acute Injury Management
The acronym of RICER has long been the central principle for acute injury management over many years. However, RICER, which stands for rest, ice, compression, elevation and referral has recently been changed in accordance to recent research within the sports medicine space.
POLICE which stands for protect, optimal loading, ice, compression and elevation has recently been accepted as the updated approach to guide acute injury management. So lets break it down shall we:
Protect – Protection and rest of the injured muscle or ligament are imperative for an acute injury. However rest should be of limited duration and restricted to immediately after the trauma because longer periods of rest can be harmful.
Optimal Loading – Optimal loading means replacing rest with a balanced increase of rehabilitation. Typically this means that with early activity comes an earlier recovery. To give you an example when someone suffers a hamstring strain, it is not uncommon for people to start running at a moderate speed early in there rehabilitation.
Ice – Ice is a really excellent way to reduce your pain. Ice should be applied directly after the trauma and should be applied for approximately 20 minutes.
Compression – Using a compression stocking or some Tubigrip is an excellent tool to combat the swelling which occurs after an injury. Compression stockings should be worn during the day or when on your feet but should be taken off when going to sleep. Tape is also an excellent tool to use to compress an acute injury.
Elevation – Elevation is another important element to control any swelling which occurs after an acute injury. Try to keep the injured body part above or at the height of your heart if possible.
If you have any question in regards to acute injury management or require a comprehensive assessment for an acute injury please feel free to ring us here in the clinic.
Chris Pearson
Physiotherapist Physiologic




How to kick-start your running year (again) . . .

It goes without saying that recent times have thrown up their share of challenges for runners. Altered work conditions, home schooling, events cancelled – it has been a time of huge change for all Australians.  Running is more than a sport, it is a lifestyle, an anchor to our true selves, our outlet, our stress relief, and our social life. During the Covid-19 restrictions, many of these aspects of running have been taken away from us and it is only now that we can start looking towards a future where we can run again with confidence. If you have found yourself lacking your usual running fix, how do you kick start your running year again?

1. Set achievable goals
Whether you have had a lay-off from running, are brand new to the sport, or are just looking for some added motivation do get you going this year, you need to set some goals. Goals act as the carrot, the reward at the end of all your hard work and training. However, we need to be careful about setting goals. If the goal is too ambitious, then it may be too out of reach and actually be more off-putting than motivating. Pick something that you are confident you can achieve, with a bit of work (don’t make it too easy either), and set a realistic time frame. For example, the goal of “I want to run a 5k in under 25 minutes by the end of August” is a great goal if you can currently run 26 minutes but not such a great goal if you are currently completing it in 35 minutes. Likewise, setting a timeframe helps to add some urgency to your goal setting. Remember your SMART (Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely) goals? Well this is your chance to put the theory into practice!

2. Build routine
We are creatures of habit and the single best thing you can do to kick yourself back into the habit of running is to create a routine. The routine itself doesn’t specifically matter, as long as you create the routine and stick to it. If you are brand new to running or haven’t run for a long time, then set yourself a routine of trying to do some kind of exercise every day. Keep the bouts of exercise themselves short and very achievable and focus more on the routine than trying to get a killer workout at each session. Always think about tomorrows session so that you are always keeping the routine alive and in your thoughts. An example for a person who wants to run 3 hours per week could be: rather than running 3x 1 hour (actually giving you 4 days per week when not running), splits the 3 hours into 6 runs of 30 minutes with a strength session of 30 minutes on the seventh day. This creates the habit and routine of training daily and is something that can be built upon easily in the coming weeks.
3. Explore somewhere new
If you are anything like me you will tend to run the same routes and the same laps and loops on a regular basis. This is actually a good idea because, as we discussed above, building a routine is paramount in getting the consistency to your training. However, when you are starting back up, it presents a great opportunity to check out some new trails or routes, perhaps exploring areas close to home that you don’t normally run or heading further afield to tackle a new mountain or a new trail. Talk to other runners and get some ideas about places you can run that you might not have considered. In recent weeks I have personally found a couple of really nice trails that are really close to home, but that I had never considered exploring before. Now I know they are there, I will include them in my regular training routine.
4. Focus on technique
Running technique is crucial for efficiency and to minimise your risk of injury. Good running technique will enable you to run further and faster, and to enjoy the running more than ever. A great time to start working on your running technique is after you have had a bit of a lay-off or don’t have any pressing events on the horizon. It takes time to perfect a new technique and in the short term you may find your running performance actually reduces slightly and muscles you didn’t even know you had, start working harder than ever before (hello calves and hamstrings!).  This is fine and will improve with practice, and whilst you are getting back into your full training is a great time to implement these changes.
5. Dream big
What is your dream event, your lifetime running goal? Maybe it is a 5k PB, a marathon, a trail ultra, an overseas event – we all have bucket list goals. Now is the time to really dream big and take inspiration from these long term blue sky challenges. The surge of adrenaline from visualising the start of your next big challenge or event will help you set short term goals, build your routine, and get back out there on the roads and trails.
I hope that has helped provide some tips and inspiration for the rest of your running year
May your dreams be big and your worries stay small.

Dave Coombs –Physiotherapist / Running Coach

To see more from Dave Coombs you can find his page on the link provided