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Waking up with a stiff lower back? Help is at hand.

You set the alarm and get up early to get in some exercise before work commitments, but your lower back says “whoa!” and the first 30 minutes of your precious training time you are trying to limber up and get rid of the stiffness and pain. Why does it have to be this way?

Your body produces natural anti-inflammatories (something like ibuprofen) but only during the day. "We have these in-built chemicals in our body which act the same way on your cells as ibuprofen does – it helps to bring down inflammation and basically makes us less sore and less stiff," says Dr Richardson, who is a spokesperson for Osteopathy Australia. But at night, production slows down. What’s more, because we aren’t moving about as much while we sleep, our blood, lymphatic and synovial fluids stagnate a bit, and don’t lubricate our muscles and joints like they do during wakeful hours when we move more. The end result is morning stiffness.

Not everyone wakes up stiff and sore. However, tests show that even those who leap out of bed in the morning are actually not as flexible as they are during the day. Then again, they don’t need treatment, but those of us who drag themselves painfully out of bed could do with some help. The qualified osteopaths at Williamstown Osteo and Pilates are in a great position to assist with specific exercises to help you warm up and gentle movements to encourage better fluid flow – blood, synovial and lymphatic. This all helps to lubricate muscles and joints to get you moving pain free once again. But listen to your body as you exercise. If your body says “no” to a deep lunge, for instance, just go as far as is comfortable.

So if you don’t get up in the morning feeling lithe and fantastic, a visit to a skilled osteopath at Williamstown Osteo and Pilates can set up a programme to get you exercising and moving comfortably first thing in the morning once again.

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Unravelling Myotherapy

7/04/18 11:25 AM


What is Myotherapy?

It is a form of “hands-on” therapy used to treat and prevent musculoskeletal pain, or soft tissue pain that can involve both muscles and restricted joint movement. It is also known as “myofascial” pain, because it is pain caused by myofascia, which is the thin, fibrous sheets of tissue that surrounds and separates muscles. Myotherapy is founded on the Western medicine values of biomechanics, physiology and anatomy. A doctor’s referral is not needed to see a qualified myotherapist. You can make an appointment at Williamstown Osteopathy and Pilates.

How do I know I have soft tissue or myofascial pain?

There is a range of symptoms you may experience, including muscle tightness, numbness, stiff joints, aching muscles, pins and needles, sore spots in muscles and even unexplained tiredness.

What can a myotherapist treat?

There is a whole list of disorders a myotherapist can treat, including tension headache, muscle sprains, poor posture pain, some sports injuries, shin splints, tennis elbow, some kinds of joint pain, and chronic back pain

What happens at your first appointment?

Your myotherapist will ask lots of questions about your symptoms and medical history, and will ask to see any X-rays or the results of other relating medical tests, so be sure to take them with you. Don’t worry! All this information is kept in the strictest confidence, and is used to help pinpoint the cause of your symptoms. The therapist will give you a thorough initial examination, including testing your reflexes, and manipulating the affected joints and muscles. All this to get a proper diagnosis. Depending on your medical condition, they may refer you to another healthcare professional.

How does a myotherapist treat you?

That depends on the diagnosis. Myotherapy utilises a range of techniques – massage (including remedial massage), passive stretching (gently moving a body part through a range of motion), TENS therapy, dry needling, acupressure (trigger point therapy), and hot or cold therapy. You can generally expect pain relief within one to three sessions, each typically lasting an hour.

What can I do to help my condition at home?

Your myotherapist can help you with take home treatments. These may include specific exercises, self-administered massage, heat packs, ice packs and relaxation techniques such as meditation. Your therapist will also help identify and avoid or reduce trigger factors that could be worsening your condition. If something cannot be altered, such as arthritis or deterioration of spinal discs, your myotherapist can develop a pain management program for you, which may involve referral.

Where can I make an appointment? There are qualified experienced myotherapy practitioners available to help you at Williamstown Osteopathy and Pilates. Phone for an appointment on (03) 9397 8877.


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What is Scoliosis?

7/04/18 11:02 AM

Early adolescence, specifically between 11 and 14 years of age is the ideal time to screen your spine for scoliosis. Scoliosis can progress during adulthood if not treated during youth. Therefore, being checked and treated at any stage can greatly improve your comfort, muscular strength and mobility.


There are several types of scoliosis and factors when determining what causes it.

Structural (Idiopathic) scoliosis has genetic roots. A family history of scoliosis, particularly along the female side can increase your likelihood of having it by up to 20%. Progression of scoliosis is also more common in females than males. If left undiagnosed and untreated in adolescence, the curvature of the spine can progress.

Functional scoliosis can develop in adulthood, often in response to an injury or repetitive practice of asymmetrical activities (i.e. tennis, golf swing etc). It is a curvature of the spine that has formed from overuse of muscles on one side of the side and underuse of muscles on the reciprocal side. Since it is muscular based, it can reverse with appropriate treatment and exercise.

Pathology-related scoliosis can arise in people with a neuromuscular disease such as muscular dystrophy or in response to a severe injury to the spinal cord such as quadriplegia.

What are the Symptoms of Scoliosis?

Physical signs in children after the age of 8 that parents should suspect is scoliosis:

  • Uneven hips

  • Uneven shoulders

  • One shoulder blade being more prominent than the other

  • Bending to one side

  • Pain around the areas above imbalanced areas.

Contrary to common belief, scoliosis does not result from poor posture. However, if managed it can progress to a more severe curve as a result of a poor posture of weak spinal muscles.

How is Scoliosis Diagnosed?

At Williamstown Osteopathy we check for scoliosis by normally undertaking a routine assessment.

Your physiotherapist or osteopath will examine your spine, shoulders, rib cage, pelvis, legs and feet for abnormalities and asymmetry. If your practitioner suspects significant scoliosis, they will arrange for X-rays to confirm your severity of scoliosis.


There are several treatment options for Scoliosis. And while not all scoliosis sufferers experience pain or discomfort, a percentage do. Pain relief can be achieved through a variety of techniques:

  • electrotherapy modalities (ultrasound, TENs),

  • acupuncture,

  • release of tight muscles, and

  • supportive postural taping.

Your physiotherapist or osteopath may also introduce gentle exercises to maintain mobility in your spine as well as enhance your posture while your pain settles.

Since scoliosis in many cases is a permanent structural change in the skeleton, ongoing self-management is paramount to preventing re-exacerbation of your symptoms. This will entail a routine of a few key exercises to maintain optimal strength, flexibility, core stability and postural support. Your physiotherapist or osteopath will assist you in identifying which are the best exercises to continue in the long-term.

In addition to your muscle control, your practioner will assess you hip biomechanics and determine if you would benefit from any exercises for adjacent muscles or some foot orthotics to address to correct for biomechanical faults. Some scoliosis results from an unequal leg length, which your therapist may address with a heel rise, shoe rise or a built-up foot orthotic.

If you have mild to moderate scoliosis, you can expect a full return to normal daily, sporting and recreational activities. Your return to function is more promising when you are diagnosed and treated early.

Contact our team of practitioners at Williamstown Osteo and Pilates to make appointment with one of our Osteopaths or Physiotherapists.

We are the local osteo, physio, myopathy and pilates practice to Williamstown, Yarraville, Seddon, Altona, West Footscray, Inner West, Hobsons Bay, Port Melbourne, Newport and Spotswood.

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What is Hip Bursitis?

21/03/18 10:16 AM


A bursa is a closed fluid-filled sac that functions as a gliding surface to reduce friction between tissues of the body. The major bursae are located adjacent to the tendons near the large joints, such as the shoulders, elbows, hips, and knees. When the bursa becomes inflamed, the condition is known as “bursitis.” Inflammation of the Trochanteric bursa can be associated with stiffness and pain around the hip joint. The trochanteric bursa is located on the side of the hip. It is separated significantly from the actual hip joint by tissue and bone.


Symptoms of Hip Bursitis:

People who are suffering from Trochanteric Bursitis tend to suffer from One or more of the following symptoms:

  • Pain and swelling occurring over the side of the hip
  • Referred pain that travels down the outside thigh and may continue down to the knee
  • Pain when sleeping on your side; especially the affected hip
  • Pain upon getting up from a deep chair or after prolonged sitting (eg. in a car)
  • Pain when climbing stairs
  • Pain in sitting with the legs crossed
  • Increased pain when walking, cycling or standing for long periods of time

How does a trochanteric bursa occur?

This injury can occur traumatically from a fall or a sport-related impact contusion.

It can also be a case of gradual onset via a repetitive trauma to the bursa from such activities as running (with poor muscles control or technique), walking into fatigue, or cycling, especially when the bicycle seat is too high.

It is also a secondary injury associated with chronic conditions such as:

  • Scoliosis - curvature of the spine
  • Unequal leg length
  • Weak hip muscles
  • Osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease) of the hips or lower back
  • Calcium deposition in the gluteal tendons that run over the bursa
  • Rheumatoid arthritis.

Treating Hip Bursitis with Osteopathy

Osteopathy can be helpful in reducing the tightness in the gluteal muscles which is a common cause of bursitis around the hip.  Our Osteo’s at Williamstown Osteo & Pilates use techniques such as soft tissue massage, myofascial release, hip traction and manipulation, dry needling and articulation to decrease pain and increase function at the hip joint. Ice therapy is very effective at reducing the pain and inflammation around the joint. Ask our osteos to explain the best way to use ice to reduce inflammation. In severe cases a cortisone injection is applied to the inflamed bursa by a physician.

Treating Hip Bursitis with Physiotherapy

Physiotherapists will use an array of treatment tools to reduce your pain and inflammation. These include: ice, electrotherapy, acupuncture, deloading taping techniques and soft tissue massage. Our Physio’s will prescribe a series of progressive and tailored rehabilitation exercises to address the hip control issues identified in your assessment to reduce the amount of pressure on the bursa. Correct posture and joint protection are useful, advice on these can be given by your physiotherapist. After an acute attack, it is important to consider how recurrences can be prevented and this is normally via exercise prescription.

While some people can respond quickly to osteopayhy and physiotherapy treatment within a few weeks, more chronic cases where a tendinopathy exists in the gluteal muscle group under the bursa can require a few months to achieve recovery. If you are have concerns like Hip Bursitis, please call us to make an appointment. Our experienced team can create you a treatment plan to get you on track for recovery.

Local osteo & physio practice to Williamstown, Yarraville, Seddon, Altona, West Footscray, Inner West, Hobsons Bay, Port Melbourne, Newport and Spotswood.

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14/03/18 10:32 AM


Neck and upper back pain is one of the most common reasons people visit osteopaths, physiotherapists or myotherapists. Our lifestyles make this area of our body susceptible to pain, usually as a result of stress and increased workload in combination with poor posture.

For most of us, we rarely stop to think about how the position we spend each day affects our body and mind. For example, sitting all day at a desk, driving long hours, washing dishes or cooking, looking down at our mobile phones or computers, breastfeeding and caring for infants and children, whatever it may be – these can all contribute to neck and upper back pain.

In a multitude of ways, the modern lifestyle many of us have evolved with is to blame. Our ancestors did not need to sit for such long hours for work and they did not have mobile phones and tablets taking their attention away from what’s going on around them, at eye level.

However, in spite of the culprit that is our daily life, there are things we can do take to reduce our chances of suffering neck or back pain.

Osteopathy, Physiotherapy or Myotherapy may help in reducing your pain and discomfort..

The cause of neck or upper back pain often relates to tight muscles that are tired as a result of poor posture. Seeing one of our Physios, Osteos or Myotherapists at Williamstown Osteo & Pilates can alleviate tension in your neck and back and can provide relief from pain. After a thorough assessment to determine the cause of your pain, an osteopath or physiotherapist may use a range of techniques such as massage, joint mobilisation and muscle energy techniques to improve muscle tension, increase movement and improve joint alignment.

Tips to improve your posture - To achieve good posture you need to have:

Normal Joint Range of Motion
If you have stiff spinal joints they will need to be loosened to allow you achieve good posture alignment.

Normal Muscle Length. 
If your muscles are too tight you won't be able to attain a normal posture. Your muscles will need to be stretched and relaxed.

Good Muscle Strength.
Your muscle needs to be able to pull you into the correct posture. This include good core strength in order to support your back.

Excellent Muscle Endurance. 
Your muscles need to able to work for hours on end. Poor endurance is a major factor in habitual poor posture.

Normal Nerve Extensibility. 
Yes. Your neural tissue needs enough length to allow for normal posture.

Good Spatial Awareness. 
You need to know where you are in space. If you are not sure "how you should feel" with good posture, what hope have you got for achieving it? This is where your physiotherapist can provide you with verbal and visual feedback. Plus they can asset you at home with postural taping or a postural brace.

Perfect Posture Habits. 
The hardest part is the initial change. After that, you are merely reinforcing the correct habit which will become your normal perfect posture.

Are you suffering with bad posture or neck and back pain? See us at any of our Williamstown Osteo & Pilates to discuss how our team can help you standing straight again.

We are local to Williamstown, Yarraville, Seddon, Altona, West Footscray, Inner West, Hobsons Bay, Port Melbourne, Newport and Spotswood 


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                        standing desk.jpg


Are standing desks better for our bodies?

With 70-90% of Australians suffering from lower back and upper back pain at some point in their lives, combined with evidence that 68% of 40 year olds and 80% of 50 year olds have some level of disc degeneration. Throw all that in with the sedentary nature of our current lifestyles, we need to take better care of our backs.

We all know that exercise and movement is better for us. Years ago, bed rest was the common prescription for lower back pain, now your osteopath or physiotherapist will encourage you to keep moving. We know there isn’t a lot of moving going on when you are sitting. But then again there isn’t a lot of movement if we are only standing either. What you will find is that if you sit for too long, your back may become sore. If you stand for too long the same is also true. So, try gentle movements such as rocking your legs from side to side whilst laying on the ground is a great way to open up those ribs and lower back. Our experienced osteopaths at Williamstown Osteo & Pilates will work with you to create you some exercise movements that suit you and your workplace surrounding.

The important thing is to constantly change postures so we are varying the stresses on the back. It is the variety and change in posture combined with movement that helps your back.

If you apply this same theory to your desk set up at work or at home, having a desk where you can both sit and stand will make you change postures and vary the stresses on your back, whilst adding in some movement to your routine.

So, if you decide to invest in a standing desk how do you incorporate it into your work life? Firstly make sure it is set up correctly for you, don’t forget about the importance of ergonomics (even if you don’t get a standing desk it is always worth reassessing your desk setup, especially at home). Ideally have both a standing and sit down station or a desk that moves up and down. Like you would with any new activity start slowly, spend 30 minutes sitting, then 15 minutes standing. Then slowly increase your standing time. I believe it is good to change positions every 30 minutes.

A standing desk could reduce your back pain significantly,  but the key point is to vary your posture and position every 30 minutes if you are desk bound. 

Make an appointment with one of our professional osteopaths, exercise physiologist or physiotherapist to discuss how a standing desk could benefit your body.

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We're Hiring!

7/03/18 12:02 PM

Monday Quote (5).png

We have a fantastic opportunity for an experienced Physiotherapist to join our team!

Williamstown Osteopathy & Pilates is a large multidisciplinary Clinic in Williamstown in Melbourne’s West. We have been established for 10 years and have a team of Osteopaths, Myotherapists, Pilates instructors, Exercise Physiologists and a passionate admin team. Our motto to patients is: 'Get back doing the things you love'. 

At Williamstown Osteopathy & Pilates, we aim to motivate and educate our patients to achieve long-term solutions to their musculoskeletal pain or dysfunction. We treat our patients on a 30-minute list with no patient overlap, to ensure that our practitioners have the time necessary to provide patients the attention they require.

We are currently expanding our practice and rebranding to better identify with the multidisciplinary nature of our clinic. We have a well-equipped Pilates studio and soon to be developed rehab gym, and provide in house education and guest speakers. We are excited to add a passionate and experienced Physiotherapist to our team, as we strongly believe that the two modalities have much to offer each other when working in a team environment. Generous remuneration on an employment basis. Just come to work and do what you do best! 

If you feel you are a good fit, please email your cv:

Comments | Posted in blog By Williamstown Osteo & Pilates


Myotherapy and massage are two distinct professions, with different aims and objectives, different health fund rebates, and very different educational pathways. 

In common with physiotherapists, osteopaths and chiropractors, myotherapists may use massage in their treatments, when warranted, but they also call upon a wide range of other evidence-based treatment approaches and skill-sets which in addition to manual therapy, dry needling, and thermo and electro-therapeutic techniques may include; exercise prescription and/or education about pain management, load management, activity modification and/or lifestyle modification.

In common with the aforementioned allied health professions, myotherapy has it's own separate qualifications, specifically the BHSc (Clinical Myotherapy), BHSc (Myotherapy) and AdvDip (Myotherapy), which qualify practitioners to undertake evidence-based assessment, treatment and rehabilitation of patients experiencing musculoskeletal pain and associated conditions.

What do Myotherapists Treat?

Myotherapists provide evidence-based assessment, treatment and rehabilitation for a wide range of musculoskeletal pain and associated conditions, for example:

  1. Back pain
  2. Neck and shoulder pain
  3. Headache
  4. Sports injuries
  5. Rotator cuff problems
  6. Occupational injuries
  7. Achilles tendinopathy and other ankle injuries
  8. Jaw pain and clicking
  9. Fibromyalgia and other chronic pain presentations
  10. Tennis elbow

You don’t need to be in pain to visit a Myotherapist. Once symptoms have settled treatment may focus on restoring optimal activity (rehabilitation), reducing the likelihood of further injury and keeping you moving and performing at your best. 

If you feel you could benefit from a Myotherapy treatment, please call Williamstown Osteopathy & Pilates today on (03) 9397 8877.

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As we age our body goes through many physical changes. These natural age related changes can include reduced bone density, reduced muscle strength, increased body fat, poorer coordination and stiff joints. These quite normal symptoms of ageing can affect older people’s mobility, balance and make them more at risk of fall and broken bones.

Our Williamstown Physiotherapist and Exercise Physiologists provides therapy for many conditions affecting older people, from Alzheimer’s to urinary incontinence. Oue experienced physios can help restore or improve strength, range of motion, flexibility, coordination, and endurance, as well as reduce pain. Another important role is to retrain the patient to perform daily tasks. A couple of ultimate benefits of a physio is to become independent in your own home and improve your capability to go out and about.

Helps manage pain

Back, neck, and joint pain are common complaints for older people. One of the main culprits is arthritis, and as the pain progresses for some, they are more likely to remain idle. However, the lack of movement and exercise can actually worsen the condition. The lack of physical activity can cause stiffness and poor circulation, which in turn causes aches and discomfort.

Physiotherapy involves gentle and controlled movements, so it is a great way for the elderly to regain mobility and improve circulation. After several sessions, you can start to feel less pain and have more energy.

Builds strength and improves balance

As you get older, your stability weakens and you are more prone to falls and slips. And if you don’t get any exercise, your body will only become weaker. Through the controlled environment of physical therapy, you can regain and increase your strength as well as improve your balance.

Recuperate from fractures

If you had an accident or illness that resulted in a fracture, our Exercise Physiologists can help you during and after your hospitalisation and recovery. We will give you exercises that will help you regain movement and strength so you can get back to your daily routine. Having an Exercise Physiologists assisting you with the workout, you can feel confident that you won’t overwork yourself or worsen your condition.

Prepare for and heal from surgery

Before undergoing any procedure, you want to make sure that you are healthy and prepared. Physical therapy exercises can help in improving circulation. As a result, cells and tissues are healthy since they get the oxygen and nutrients they need. Thus, you are also well and strong enough to have surgery.

After the procedure, Physiotherapy and Exercise Physiologists can be helpful with your recovery as you work to regain mobility and strength.

Be more mobile and independent

As you slowly become stronger, more active and flexible, you can move around confidently and independently allowing you can do more activities with reduced pain and difficulty. Buying groceries, going for long walks, gardening, and visiting family and friends can be more enjoyable experiences. You get to live more, and enjoy better overall health.

Call us now to find out more about how our Physiotherapists and Exercise Physiologists can help keep you active and strong! We service the locals in and around Williamstown, Yarraville, Seddon, Altona, West Footscray, Inner West, Hobsons Bay, Port Melbourne, Newport and Spotswood. 

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Ice Packs, Heat Packs or Both!

Treating pain with hot and cold can be extremely effective for a number of different conditions and injuries, and easily affordable. The tricky part is knowing what situations calls for hot, and which calls for cold. Sometimes a single treatment will even include both.

Ice Packs

Ice packs are commonly used for inflammatory acute injuries. If you have a recent injury (within the last 48 hours), especially if swelling is a problem, you should be using ice. Rugby players have a dip in an ice bath after a game to reduce any inflammation, you do not need to go this far!

Ice packs can help minimize swelling around the injury because ice constricts the blood vessels and reduces blood flow. Icing the injury site early and regularly will help minimize swelling which will in turn help to reduce the pain. It is recommended that ice is only applied for 10-20 minutes every hour or so.

Ice is not normally used for chronic tight muscles or joints.

Heat Packs

Heat is generally used for chronic injuries (>3 months old) or injuries that have no inflammation or swelling. Aching, tight or stiff muscles or joints is ideal for the use of heat therapy.

Patients with chronic pain or injuries may use heat therapy before exercise to increase the elasticity of the tissues and to stimulate blood flow. Heat can also help relax tight muscles or muscle spasms.

Do not use heat after activity, and do not use heat after an acute injury. This can make the problem worse. When using heat treatments, be very careful to use a moderate heat for a limited time (10-20 minutes) to avoid burns. Never leave heat pads on for extended periods of time, or while sleeping.

Hot and Cold Packs

Combining the two together is excellent for stimulating blood flow and speeding up healing to an area. Fractures (once acute stage has passed), chronic muscle problems, Raynaud’s patients, arthritic joints, shin splints, carpal tunnel syndrome are just a few conditions this treatment may be used for.  Athletes use this therapy a lot as they say it gets them back in the game faster.

When using the combination, heat is the first application for 3 minutes then cold is put on for 1 minute. This is repeated at least 3 times. The quick change in temperature stimulates the body without stressing it bringing fresh blood to the area and pushing stagnant blood away, a bit like a pump. This can be done with packs, cloths, showers or hot and cold bowls/baths depending on which area you are trying to affect. Patients with dizziness, blood pressure or cardiac problems need to steer clear of this type of treatment as this treatment is such a good circulatory stimulator!

If you are unsure or have any further questions please contact our clinic at Williamstown Osteo & Pilates.

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