Dry Needling


Dry Needling with Mike Jones


Hi Mike,

I just thought I’d give you some feedback.

It was great – have somehow had a deal more energy since I left, though this runs contrary to the fact that I also left in the usual post massage haze…..go figure.

At any rate, I think that given my current program this should be a very regular inclusion….and will be.

I have just booked the next 2 Fridays.

See you next week!




What is it - Dry Needling involves using needles like Acupuncture to relieve pain and discomfort from muscles, fascia, tendons and the nervous system. Please note that Dry Needling is different to Acupuncture.  Acupuncture uses traditional Chinese teaching of Meridians and the effects it has on organs and holistic relief of areas such as the immune system.  Whereas Dry Needling while still part of a holistic treatment, focuses on musculoskeletal system and its dysfunctions.


Will it hurt - No more than a good deep tissue massage.  Remember these sterile, individually wrapped needles are incredibly fine so some clients hardly feel the needle at all.   


Would I benefit from Dry Needling?

If you benefit from remedial massage then you would find Dry Needling useful.  Most Dry needling consultations involving Remedial massage so you receive the best of both worlds.


How do I book a consultation?

Just as you would if you were making a Remedial massage appointment with Mike Jones. 




2009 Hawaiian Ironman


Congratulations to our friend Mirinda Carfrae who came second in the Kona "Hawaiian" Ironman.  For those of you who are unaware, Kona is one of the toughest tests of physical and mental stamina.  It begins with a 3.8km Swim, followed by a 180km Bicycle, and concludes with a 42.2km Run (the same distance as a Marathon!!) 

Mirinda's times were:  

Swim 0:58:45,      Ride 5:14:17,       Run 2:56:51      

So a total of 9 hours, 13 minutes and 59 seconds of exercise! 

Some food for thought:

  • A lot of talented runners aim to run under 3 hours for a Marathon.  Mirinda beat this time having already ridden 180kms.
  • Mirinda's average cycling speed was approximately 34.5km/hr for 180kms. 
  • Although Mirinda has dominated 1/2 Ironman races, the Hawaiian Ironman was her first ever full Ironman Triathlon and the first time she has ever run 42km! 


Why So Tight?

We are often asked "Why am I so tight?" 

 The answer to this question isn't always simple.  This is because tightness may come from 3 major stressors, categorised as Biochemical, Psychological and Biomechanical.  So let's have a quick look at how these stressors affect the body:


Biochemical Stress - This is basically what we put into our body.   

 The things that we consume affect how well our body functions. 


Food for thought:

  • Organic vs Inorganic food?   This fuels a large debate on additives and vitamin/mineral content;
  • Fast food vs Home cooked?   There is less debate surrounding what is 'good' and 'bad' food;
  • Are you drinking enough water?    Don't forget that the body is made up of approximately 50-80% water;
  • Do you drink alcohol every night?   Try water;
  • Pill popping - Prescription, Recreational and Health Supplements. Taking twice as much does not mean you will feel twice as good.

Who can help?  Dietitian, Naturopath, Nutritionist 


Psychological stress - Have you ever noticed your sitting position when you are driving  in peak hour traffic on a wet road? Or when you are at the end of a 12 hour day of work?  Usually your shoulders sit just under your ears and your head pokes forward.  

As stress levels rise, a lot of people begin 'chest breathing'.  This is where the chest lifts to help inhalation and results in excessive use of accessory respiratory (breathing) muscles. Excessive use of these muscles causes them to overwork and become tight.  The breathing article below provides    some techniques to help resolve this problem.

Who can help?

- Sports Massage Therapists
- Friends and family
- You!   Change your work life:   Work to live. Don’t live to work
- Try Yoga, Tai Chi
- Psychologists: If the stress is unavoidable, try to learn some coping strategies.

  LogoBiomechanical Stress -

This is the most common type of stress treated in our Sports Massage clinic.  It involves poor sitting or standing posture, usually related to everyday living, especially work.  Posture is not as simple as pulling your shoulders back or standing tall.  It involves positioning the whole body correctly to combat the forces of gravity upon it. 

For example, if your head sits forward of your body, your neck muscles will have to work harder to hold your head up.  This results in these muscles overworking and becoming tired, tight and aching.  The pec stretch and foam roller exercises outlined below will help you to combat some of these issues.

Food for thought:

  • How do you hold yourself during daily living?
  • Are you slouching at your desk?
  • Do you hold your baby/ handbag/ briefcase on the same side each day?
  • Do you wear high heels?
  • Do you lean on one leg when you stand?
  • Do you use a computer mouse with the same hand each day?

Any of these factors may affect how tight your muscles become.

What can help?

- Awareness:   Have someone photograph you when you are at work. You may not recognise yourself  due to your posture;

- Sports Massage:   Both Remedial and Sports Massage in conjunction with self massage tools such as foam rollers;

- Stretching:   Not a 5 second calf stretch before a run! A designated 30 minute time to stretch all major muscles thoroughly;

- IT solution:   Put an hourly reminder on your computer to sit up, stand up or stretch;

- Ergonomics Review:   Consult an Occupational Therapist to have a review of your work station;

- Rehabilitative Exercise:   Increased strength through your “posture muscles” will help you to hold yourself in position for longer. A Physiotherapist, Personal Trainer or Exercise Physiologist can design a program that will help you to achieve this goal.


 Office Posture


Sitting correctly is very challenging to maintain.  As the day progresses, gravity takes its toll and we start to fold like an accordion.  Here are some things to think about:



  • Push your buttocks as far back as possible into your chair;
  • Adjust your seat height so that your feet are flat on the floor and your knees are level with, or slightly lower than your hips;
  • Adjust the back of your chair to a 100° reclined angle. Make sure that your upper and lower back are supported with the use of a small pillow or Lumbar Roll if required. For chairs with built in adjustable lumbar support you should make subtle frequent changes;
  • Adjust your armrests (if fitted) so that your shoulders are relaxed. If your armrests are in the way, remove them;
  • Incorrect positioning of your screen and documents may result in awkward posture. Adjust your screen and documents so that your neck is in a neutral, relaxed position;
  • Centre your screen directly in front of you, above your keyboard;
  • Position the top of your screen approximately 6-8cm above seated eye level;
  • Sit at least an arm's length away from your screen, making allowances for your vision;
  • Reduce glare by carefully positioning your screen.  This may be achieved by placing your screen at right angles to windows or adjusting the vertical screen angle;
  • Position documents directly in front of you, between your screen and your keyboard, using a stand. If there is insufficient space, place documents on a document holder positioned adjacent to your screen;
  • Place your telephone within easy reach or use headsets and speaker phone to eliminate cradling the handset. 




Self Massage

  1. Lie on your back with the foam roller between you and the ground (as pictured below);
  2. Support your head with your hands;
  3. Pause on 5 different points for 30 seconds each, starting from your mid back and moving upwards towards your neck;
  4. Alternatively, use your heels to lift your buttocks and roll up and down your upper back.

Tx Roller 1Tx Roller 2













Pec Stretch

Here is a stretch for your chest (Pectoralis Major) to help improve your posture.  If your chest becomes tight it may pull your shoulders forward into a slumping position.  Please note that this exercise is not suitable for people with a history of shoulder complaints including shoulder dislocation.

  1. Stand in a doorway with your arm raised to 90 degrees on the door frame (as pictured below);
  2. Gently step forward, allowing your arm to be drawn slightly behind your body.  You should feel a stretch in the front of your chest;
  3. Hold for 30 seconds, whilst breathing into your chest to enhance the stretch;
  4. Repeat twice;
  5. NB: If you feel pain, stop the stretch and consult a health professional.









How to Breathe


Diaphragmatic breathing has been used by Yoga instructors and other health professionals for a number of years.  As mentioned above, the way you breathe may effect tightness in your body.  Despite the fact that we perform countless repetitions of inhalation and exhalation throughout our lifetime, very few people have ever been coached in how to breathe effectively.  Below is a way of performing such a task.

1.  Lay on your back with a pillow under your knees and head.  Place one hand over your stomach and one hand over your chest.  Inhale through your nose, allowing your stomach and the hand on your stomach to lift. Then continue to inhale and fill your chest cavity, concentrating on the cavity expanding outwards from the ribs not upwards to your chin (your hand on your chest should hardly move).

2.  Exhale through your nose, allowing your stomach and the hand on your stomach to release. Think of your stomach pulling in and towards your lower back. Since this is the opposite of how most people breath it may take some practice. Many people pull their stomach in as they inhale, however this constricts the diaphragm.

Initially practice this exercise for 5-10 minutes about 3-4 times per day. Gradually increase the amount of time you spend practicing this exercise. You may increase the effort of the exercise by placing a book on your abdomen, sitting up, or even using specific breathing apparatus that requires increased effort to inhale.




Do you have pain when sitting at your computer?  YES / NO

Does it improve when you stand up?  YES / NO

If you answered YES to these two questions then why don't you stand up at work?

Alan, one of our proactive computer based clients, is fed up with pain, so he has taken a stand and ditched his chair to stand at his work station.  Of course this relies upon your boss being willing to adjust your work station for your standing position, and there are times when you will need to sit to rest your legs, but would it be so bad?  Think about other professions that spend all day on their feet -  Hairdressers, Nurses, Tradies and Massage Therapists to name a few.  Of course poor standing posture has potential to cause other issues for your body, but Alan has been doing it for the past seven years and he believes that losing his chair was a small sacrifice to have a pain free back.

Wondering what height your work station would need to be for standing? Here is a good website to have a look at: www.ergospec.com/flash/computer_standing/index.html. 


Computer Stretch


Muscles quickly become accustomed to shortened positions if they are not continually stretched.  Holding a computer mouse for eight hours every day is a perfect example of this.  Your hand and forearm muscles tighten, increasing the risk of injuries to your wrist, elbow or elsewhere in your body.



Below is a simple stretch for your forearm flexors that you can perfom daily. 

  2. Stand with your hands on your desk or alternatively kneel on the ground as shown below.
  3. Rotate your hands so that your fingers are pointing towards you.
  4. Gently lean back, feeling a nice stretch through your forearm flexors.
  5. Hold for 20 - 30 seconds.  Relax, then repeat twice.
  6. If you feel any pinching around your wrist, stop this exercise and consult one of our friendly staff for advice. 

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Pocket Physio







Inspirational Client

There are some injuries that sports massage cannot fix!  Below are the X-Rays of our 66 year old client's broken collar bone, before and after surgery.  Although this very traumatic crash off her bike in the Andes is not intended to motivate others to do the same, what is inspirational is that she is now back cycling, training for her next cycling trip throughout Ireland. 

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Pocket Physio

Pre surgery                                         Post Surgery 

Broken Collar bone (Circled)        Seven screws and one plate


Shin Splint Myth

Shin splints like Sciatica is a general term to describe a number of painful conditions, but the most common shin pain we see would have to be the medial tibial stress syndrome. 

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 Location of pain - Inside of the shin (Tibia)

Causes - The pain is usually a result of fatigue and trauma to the muscle's tendons where they attach themselves to the tibia.  These muscles are used to stabilise the foot, ankle and lower leg resulting in the the muscles exerting a greater force on the tibia. If this force becomes excessive, it can result in the tendons being partially torn away from the bone.

Why would this occur to me?

  • Increasing intensity or duration of exercise too quickly
  • Excessive uphilll or downhilll running
  • Change in training surfaces (concrete paths, uneven surfaces) 
  • Type and condition of exercise footwear
  • Over training or not adequate recovery between exercise sessions
  • Muscle imbalances and/or weakness
  • Biomechanical inefficiencies


  • Sports Massage / Self Massage - see foam roller exercise below 
  • Podiatry - an expert in controlling foot position using orthotics and other arch support devices
  • Change your shoes. They may not be old but they may not suit your type of foot
  • Change running technique.  Try to land on your mid foot not your heel  
  • Stretch tight muscles such as calves.
  • Strengthen muscles.  Here is a good exercise to try  www.sportsinjurybulletin.com/archive/0161-shin-splints-treatment.htm 


Massage for Shin Pain

  1. Sit on the ground with your hands supported behind you.
  2. Lay your calf muscle (back of leg) over the top of your roller.
  3. Use your arms to lift the buttocks and apply pressure on top of the roller.
  4. Roll up and down the calf muscle.  Rolling the leg inwards or ourwards helps to massage different parts of the calf muscle.
  5. For added massage depth, place one leg on top of the other and lift your buttocks off the ground before rolling. 

Rotator cuff 2Water BottleSelf Massage Disclaimer – Self massage is a useful tool used as part of most sports massage treatment plans. Self massage can be used to alleviate body aches but care should be taken if a more painful condition has arisen. For example, self massage of a torn muscle or DVT may exacerbate the problem and delay recovery time. If undertaken, always consult a qualified health professional before employing self massage techniques.







  Inspiring Clients


Good Luck to the Jooste family who are doing the team event at the 2010 Mooloolaba Triathlon.  Peter (Dad, 1500m Ocean Swim), Brendan (Son, 40kms Ride), Merryn (Run, 10km hilly run).  







Jan our most travelled trekker client on her way up the highest Mountain in North Africa, Mt Toubkal. 


Runners Knee

With the new year upon us and the Gold Coast Marathon 5 months away (www.goldcoastmarathon.com.au),  a number of us are dusting off our running shoes to get fit and lose that festive season weight.  Although running is an effective way to achieve weight loss, sometimes injury destroys our motivation.  One such injury is 'Runners knee' or Iliotibial Band friction syndrome.


Pain usually presents on the outside of the knee, it becomes worse with running and improves with rest.  The injury is due to the thick tendon of the ITB (Ilio tibial band) rubbing on the outside of the knee (the bursae over the lateral epicondyle), not suprisingly this causes pain. 

Symptom relief may be achieved by resting, stretching, using ice, avoiding running on hills, rolling on foam rollers (as outlined below) and receiving sports massages, but it is still important to investigate the real cause of the problem. 

Runners knee usually results from poor biomechanics whilst running.  Poor running technique may be due to weak muscles in the buttocks or abdominals, structural issues such as flat feet or inappropriate running shoes.  Helpful tips such as shortening your running stride (taking smaller steps), strengthening weak muscle groups, stretching tight muscle groups (we can help you with this) and consulting a podiatrist to look at possible use of orthotics may be beneficial in treating this condition.   


ITB Rolling

1. Lie on your side with your outer thigh on top of the roller
a. Beginner (A) – Place your foot of the top leg on the ground in font of your body. This leg can be used to aleviate some of the pressure exerted by the roller
b. Advanced (B) – Lay both legs together on top of the roller 

2. While supporting your body, your arms can be used for propulsion to roll your thigh up and down on the roller.

3. Slowly roll up the thigh, pausing on areas of tightness or discomfort. Flex and extend your knee to help release the tension in these areas.

4. Roll over all of your outer thigh. Lean forward to massage parts of the front of your thigh (quadriceps) and lean back to massage the outside of your hamstring (posterior thigh)

5. Complete a total of 4 - 5 repetitions, 2-3 times per week. 

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Foam roller




          Beginner                                            Advanced

Self Massage Disclaimer – Self massage is a useful tool used in conjunction with a sports massage treatment plan. Self massage may be used to alleviate body aches but care must be taken if a more seroius condition has risen. For example, self massage of a torn muscle may exacerbate the condition and delay recovery time. Always consult a qualified health professional prior to employing self massage techniques. 


Inspirational Clients

Here is Janice blasting a personal best of 360kg on the leg press (5 times her own body weight). For the record it was her last set and she peformed 4 repetitions of that weight. She doesn't even look like she's trying too hard!

What are your training goals for this year? Having Glandular Fever last year stopped me from doing any cardio for around 6-7 months and during that time I concentrated on my strength work. This year I would like to work more on my fitness and losing some of the centimetres that I have put on as a consequence of the lack of activity, whilst at the same time I'd like to maintain my strength - there may be another couple of PB's, particularly for the upper body - unassisted chin ups is one!

How often do you train? I weight train with Leigh (North Quay PT) twice a week for an hour - one session we concentrate on my upper body (I hit a new PB of 55 kgs on bench press first week back after Xmas) and the other session is lower body - lots of free weights with swiss ball and bosu, medicine balls etc to help work on my core muscles in both sessions.
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Frozen Shoulder

Of all the conditons we see in the clinic, Frozen Shoulder (Adhesive Capsulitis) is one of the more confusing condtions.  As the name suggests, when the injury takes hold, it renders the shoulder joint "frozen," allowing minimal movement in any direction.

Water BottleThe condition may stem from a simple injury to the shoulder joint or surrounding muscles (usually the Supraspinatus) and if not treated it may progress to a Frozen Shoulder .  However that is not to say that a Frozen Shoulder requires an injury to set it off and sometimes even high quality treatment cannot stop this condition from progressing to its "frozen" state.  This condition may appear for no known reason which is why some medical specialists believe the body may actually attack itself similar to auto immune conditons.



 Treatments include medical procedures such as Hydrodilation (injecting fluid into the joint capsule) or Cortisone injections, Physiotherapy, Chiropractic, Acupuncture and Sports Massage.  Success of treatment is very individualised and time seems to be the most successful treatment.  It may take more than 12 months for the shoulder to heal itself, but be warned that it is highly possible that the other shoulder will then become frozen.

How can we help?  The clients we see in our clinic with Frozen Shoulder usually complain of aching muscles around their neck and shoulders due to modified movements required to go about daily living.  This tension often then leads to other problems in the body such as low back pain and headaches.  So we use our Sports Massage techniques and gentle stretches to achieve symptom relief for these incredibly tight and overworked muscles. 


Foam Rollers

These rollers are one of our most popular items in the clinic.  This is because they are ideal tools to help massage your muscles and decrease mucle tension without having to leave your home.  As seen in the pictures below, you simply lie or roll on the roller on the area you want loosened.  But please remember that if performed incorrectly, self massage may cause more damage than good.  So feel free to ask us the best techniques for you next time you are in.

How can I purchase one?  Just email mike at mike@sportsmassage.net.au and we can organise pick up and payment.

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Staff Profile 

Matthew Reinbott  BHSc (MST) Dip. RM Cert IV

MAttMAttNickname and why? I have lots, my main ones are:  Reinbott, Bott - I'm sure you can work out why...

Have you ever been told you look like someone famous?   Brad Pitt :)

Have you ever cried in a movie and if so which movie?  Putting the ego aside and saying yes - 'Remember the Titans' around the time when the guy gets paralysed.

Last book you read?  Brukner and Kahn, Clinical Sports Medicine but the last real book would be Dead Lucky -  Lincoln Hall.

Why did you get into massage? People said I was good at it and nothing else really stood out.

Favourite condition you like to treat?  Headaches/ Neck Pain.

Future goals?  Finish my Physio degree and Travel.

If you were/had to be a plant, what would you be and why?  I have no idea. Maybe a Christmas tree because it brings so much joy or maybe because I'm sitting next to one.

Ever played sport? Cricket, Rugby Union, Soccer, Badminton, Squash.


Thanks for your time Matt.  You are quite a comedian. 


Shoulder Impingement:

One of the most common causes of shoulder pain is shoulder impingement. The anatomy of the shoulder consists of four muscles that are joined together by a tendon known as the Rotator Cuff. The Supraspinatus, Infraspinatus, Subscapularis and Teres Minor muscles stretch over the head of the humerus, commonly referred to as the ‘ball of the shoulder’. Together, these musles lift and rotate the humerus.

The Supraspinatus tendon travels under the bone on the outside of the shoulder (the Acromion). It is this tendon that is most often pinched (impinged) and injured because of its position between the bones. The tendon may then become inflamed, sore and swollen. The bursa or sac of fluid that cushions the tendon may also be damaged. If the rotator cuff is involved, the pain is usually in the front or outside of the shoulder. This pain is usually worse when you raise your arm or lift something above your head. The pain may prevent you from doing even the simplest tasks such as dressing yourself or even sleeping.

Rotator cuff 2Water Bottle



  • Poor posture
  • Repetitive work with outstretched arms overhead
  • Powerful movements overhead e.g; playing tennis
  • Sudden increase in frequency, intensity or duration of training
  • Sleeping position (usually one arm above or under the pillow)
  • Muscle and joint tightness and weakness.

Treatment / Relief:

  • Lift objects close to the body
  • Lift light weights only and always below shoulder level
  • Do sidestroke or breaststroke when swimming
  • Throw balls underarm or sidearm
  • Do not serve overarm in tennis or volleyball
  • Maintain good posture when writing and performing assembly work etc
  • Seek training advice from an experienced Personal Trainer or Health Professional
  • Sports Massage or Physiotherapy 

Shoulder impingement can be a very complex problem to resolve. It may be caused by muscle and/or joint tightness but is often also due to instability in the shoulder joint. That is why a comination of soft tissue massage, stretching and specific strengthening exercises should be used to improve mobility and reduce discomfort caused by impingement.  


Relief from Shoulder  Impingement

Latissimus Dorsi / Rotator Cuff / Back of Shoulder

  1. Lay on your side with your arm extended and a foam roller between yourself and the ground (see pictures below)
  2. A pillow or another persons hands may be used to support your head
  3. Find a tender spot and try to relax until the discomfort lessens (30 – 60 seconds)
  4. Gently roll from under your armpit to half way down your back pausing on any tender spot that may require additional releasing. 

Water BottleWater BottleDisclaimer – Self massage is a useful tool when used in combination with an established Sports Massage / Physiotherapy treatment plan. Self massage may be used to alleviate general body aches but care should be taken if a more serious condition has arisen. For example, self massage of a torn muscle may exacerbate the problem and delay recovery time. Before commencing self massage techniques always consult one of our Sports Massage Specialists team.



Rotator Cuff Stretch

  1. Place your right hand against the small of your back with your palm facing out. (See below)
  2. Reach across and with your left hand and grab your right elbow.
  3. Gently pull your elbow forward while still keeping your shoulder back.
  4. Hold for 20 - 30sec then repeat on opposite side
  5. The stretch should be felt in the back of the shoulder without any pain in the front of the joint.

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Natural Remedies for Arthritis

Are there any natural remedies that effectively reduce the pain associated with Osteo Arthritis?

Yes! One which I would highly recommend is Glucosamine supplements. Whilst there has been a lot of media exposure regarding Glucosamine's effectiveness in recent times, the fact remains that there are many people that sing its praises and many research articles that also strongly support the use of Glucosamine supplements for Osteoarthritic symptoms.

Glucosamine supplements come in many forms, typically you can get Glucosamine in a Sulphate or Hydrochloride form and it may also come with other products which may increase its effectiveness like Chondroitin Sulphate or MSM (also known as Methylsulfonylmethane). A lot of people ask which Glucosamine form is better and the fact is that trials have shown that they both absorb equally as well and are equally as effective as each other. Most trials demonstrate that Glucosamine is effective at doses of between 1500-2000mg per day and that it needs to be taken typically for 4-8 weeks for noticeable results. Other adjunct therapies that may be of great benefit in managing joint pain and any referred muscle pain include fish oils, green lip muscle extracts and also Acupuncture and Massage Therapy.

Todd Rose
BSc (HMS) Water Bottle


Headaches in Review

Area of pain: Any area in your head.
Signs and symptoms: Increased pain with activity.
Causes: Sustained neck posture (typical computer work / driving posture), acute trauma (Motor Vehicle Accident) or psychological stress, which may lead to contraction of your neck and scalp muscles and associated muscle trigger points.
Treatment: Tension headaches can usually be relieved with over the counter medications and stress relieving activities such as a warm bath, meditation, stretching or a sports massage (1, 2). See self massage tips.


Area of Pain: Mainly in your forehead.
Signs and symptoms: Altered vision, followed by nausea and / or vomiting, often accompanied by sensitivity to light and sound. 
Causes: Often genetically linked so check your family history; allergy; stress; hormones.
Treatment: Early anti-inflammatory medication. Rest in a dark, quiet room with a cool compress over your forehead. Complementary medicine such as sports massage (1) has been found to decrease frequency of migraines. 


Area of pain: Front and sides of your head, pressure pain behind your eyes.
Signs and symptoms: Rapid onset to extreme pain.
Causes: Unknown.
Treatment: Strong pain relieving medication, Breathing 100% Oxygen, rest.


Area of pain: Sinus headaches are generally accompanied by pain in the face, especially in your cheeks or forehead.
Signs and symptoms: Pain is often accompanied by yellow-green discharge from the nose, mild fever, sore throat and cough.
Causes: Your sinus becomes inflamed, often as a result of infection which may cause pain and associated fever.
Treatment:  Headaches due to sinus infection may be treated with antibiotics as well as antihistamines or nasal decongestants. If your sinus headache follows a cold or allergic reaction, you may try taking over the counter decongestants for relief of your symptoms.

1. Lawler SP, Cameron LD
A randomized, controlled trial of massage therapy as a treatment for migraine. Ann Behav Med. 2006 Aug; 32(1):50-9.
2. Puustjarvi K, Airaksinen O, Pontinen PJ
The effects of massage in patients with chronic tension headache. Acupunct Electrother Res. 1990; 15(2):159-62.

 Self Massage Tips

Pressure points to relieve headaches:

The use of pressure points comes from Eastern medicine, and is another effective headache remedy. By applying pressure on particular points in the body, you can relieve the symptoms of a headache and feel better.

1. Thumb squeeze: Using your other hand, squeeze the webbed area between your finger and thumb for 30 seconds to provide quick relief from your headache.  Repeat as required.

exercise 1 

2. Hair pull: This may be performed on yourself but it is more effective if you have a reliable friend to perform the move. Grab a large clump of hair and pull gently away from the scalp for 10 seconds. Repeat 4 times.

3. 'Scrum' into a doorway using a pocket physio: Position yourself in a doorway with a rolled towel and a pocket physio. The positioning of your body relies on bending at your knees and hip to maintain a straight back throughout the move. Use your free hand to position the pocket physio and support the rolled towel on top of your shoulder. Apply pressure onto the pocket physio by pushing your shoulder (trapezius muscle region) into the door frame. 

exercise 1exercise 1

Locations of trigger points (muscle knots) that typically cause headaches are shown in the diagrams below.  When applying pressure to the trigger point, your pain will initially increase to 7 or 8 out of 10 on the pain scale. When your pain decreases to 3 or 4 then it is time to move to the next spot. If your pain has not changed after 40 seconds then move to another trigger point in your shoulder.

exercise 1exercise 1

• Please note in the diagrams above

 X = the position of the trigger point (TrP or Knot).

Red  = Pain ReferralArea of referred pain


PT Corner with Brett Batchelor

A common complaint by many people today is the headache; there are various causes that may lead to headaches. A major cause may include tight and dominant upper trapezius muscles (pictured below) resulting in rounding of the shoulders and increased tension in the upper back and into the base of the skull. This is often a result of prolonged periods of sitting which are common among office workers and many high profile jobs today. As these areas tighten they become dominant in a lot of the pulling exercises we perform in everyday activity and movements performed in the gym, further aggravating the problem

Middle and Lower Trapezius Exercises:
An exercise such as a seated row or a dumbbell single arm row is performed with the goal of working the middle trapezius and rhomboids, however when the upper trapezius is extremely tight and dominant it tends to take control in these planes of movement exaggerating the existing problem.  Therefore to assist in eliminating the dominance of the upper trapezius, it is important to create a plane of movement where it is ineffective. Pictured below are two of many exercises that when performed correctly will strengthen the middle and lower portion of the trapezius and assist in shifting the tension away from and neck and controlling symptoms of this (the headache).

exercise 1

      Anatomy of the Trapezius (upper, middle, lower)

Kneeling Lat-Pulldown & Kneeling Rope Row:

Select your desired weight and attach the wide bar to the high cable position.

  1. Take the handle with your palms facing the ground and your hands closest to the outside of the bar or with the rope knot between the index finger and thumb (See pictures below).
  2. Position yourself 1.5-2 metres from the cable so the cable is at a 45 degree angle when you are performing the movement, place a towel under your knees to reduce the impact.
  3. With your arms at full extension, row the bar or rope towards your chest with your elbows out to the side just below the shoulders.
  4. Concentrate on feeling the movement between and below your shoulder blades.
  5. Having reached the bottom of the action, allow your arms to return to the starting position and repeat the action for 12-15 repetitions and 3 sets with 60 seconds rest between.
  6. Perform the movement at a controlled tempo of 1-1-1 (one second row, one second hold and one second to control weight back to the starting position).

 exercise 1exercise 1

  exercise 1exercise 1

                   Brett Batchelor
Bachelor Applied Science Human Movement Studies
5 years franchise operator Fitness First Indooroopilly 

For any questions or assistance in achieving your fitness or wellbeing goals inside or outside of the gym, feel free to contact him on 0405326958. 


Neck Stretch

 Levator Scapulae Stretch: neck stretch

  1. Stand side on to a wall with your left arm bent up behind your head.
  2. With your right hand, gently grab the top/back of your head and pull towards you right armpit
  3. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on your other side.
  4. Increase the stretch on exhalation of your breath.


Is your Lower Back pain related to your Hip Flexors?

Lower back pain checklist:
Do you suffer lower back pain?     YES /  NO
Does your back ache when lying on your back, and is it relieved by bringing your knees towards your chest?     YES / NO
Does your back pain increase when extending backwards while standing?     YES  /  NO

Answering Yes to all of these means you have a high probability of hip flexor related lower back pain.

Lower back pain is commonly caused by tightening of hip flexors and lower back muscles and weakening of lower abdominal and hamstring muscles ( Figure 1).   As these muscles either become tight or weak, they can cause the the pelvis to rotate forward and the lower back to arch excessively (Figure 2).  Over time, this condition will put undue pressure on the back and if not treated may inevitably cause structural damage to the spinal segments. 

Stick FigureLumbar Curve

                Figure 1                                       Figure 2

How do these muscles tighten?
Exercise without stretching and prolonged sitting both cause the hip flexors to shorten, thus pulling on the lumbar spine. Muscle imbalances may also contribute to the hip
flexors overworking to compensate for weaker muscles such as the lower abdominal muscles.

How do I fix this?
Frequent stretching and massage of the hip flexors and lower back muscles and a strengthening program targetting your abdominal and hamstring muscles will effectively lengthen the hip flexors and lumbar spine and reduce your pelvic tilt.  Remember that only a small change in pelvic position is required to make a huge change in pain level. Don’t forget that it is normal to have a curve in your spine, as it is the natural shock absorber of the body. It is only when this curve becomes excessive that problems may arise.


Self massage tip

When the hip flexors tighten, so do the muscles of the lower back (known as the erector spinae).  Massage has been shown to provide significant relief to lower back pain (1), so learning to use self massage tools such as a pocket physio may be beneficial for pain relief.

1. Positioning of the massage tool is important. It should not be placed on the spine but approximately 2-3 finger spans to the right of your spine and just up from the line of your hip. 

2. Holding the tool in position, lie on your back with the tool between your back and the ground.

3. Bring your right knee towards your chest. This will flatten your lower back and hence increase the pressure on the massage tool into your lower back muscle. The further your knee is lifted, the further the ball will dig in to these muscles.

4. Hold for 30 seconds then move further up your back.

5. Repeat on your left side.

6. Be careful to stay away from your kidney region (located just below your rib cage).  With some conditions such as muscular strains or disc injuries, self massage should be avoided as it may exacerbate the problem and delay recovery time. If in doubt, ask one of our staff if self massage is right for you. If pain increases cease self massage and consult your health professional. 

1. Preyde, Michelle. Effectiveness of massage therapy for subacute low-back pain: a randomized controlled trial. CMAJ • June 27, 2000; 162 (13)


Hipflexor Stretch

Kneeling hip flexor stretch:
- Begin by kneeling on your left knee, with your right leg out in front.

- Keeping your head and chest up, slowly lunge forward until you can feel that point of resistance in your left hip and/or upper thigh.

- Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, remembering not to push through the point of resistance. A good stretch should be uncomfortable but not painful.

- Variation 1: Reach up over your head with your left arm to increase the stretch.

- Variation 2: Slightly rotate your torso to the right. At this stage you should be feeling the stretch at the top of your left thigh and the left side of your abdomen.
 Hip Flexor Stretch


Strong Abs

Lower Abdominal Strengthening

1. Lie on your back, knees bent, feet on the ground, with one hand (palm down) under your lower back.

2. Concentrate on pulling your stomach in and pressing your lower back on to your hand.

3. Now lift your legs, keeping your knees bent to 90 degrees.

4. Maintaining pressure on your hand (this stops you cheating by lifting your lower back), slowly lower your feet back to the ground.

5. Repeat 10 times, or as many as you can do whilst still maintaining pressure on your hand. Rest and perform 2 more sets of 10.

6. To increase difficulty, increase the number of repetitions performed or straighten your legs more before lifting up.

7. If you find that you are unable to maintain the downward pressure on your hand, you should stop and rest before starting again. Otherwise you risk straining your lower back muscles and causing increased lower back pain.


Adductor Issues

If you have been to a health professional for lower back pain, maybe you have left with the advice that your butt is not strong enough.   One such buttock muscle is known as the Gluteus Medius (located on the outside of your hip).  

If this muscle is weak, your knee could drop in and/or your hip could drop out while standing or moving causing possible pain in feet, knee, hip or back.  The opposing muscles to this Gluteus Medius are the Adductor group (located in the inner thigh).   If the Adductors are working, then the Gluteus Medius cannot work (known as Reciprocal Inhibition).  So what does this mean to you :

  Tight, overactive Adductors = Weak, inactive Buttocks

How do I fix this?

  • Loosen the inner thigh with stretching and self massage (See below)
  • Strengthen your butt with exercises. 


 Adductor Stretch

Due to the function of the adductors it is important to do two different stretches to stretch the whole muscle group.

Short Adductors 

  1. Sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet together.  If you are quite inflexible we suggest a bolster under your butt or to lean your back up against a wall before starting
  2. Gently push down  on your knees with your elbows or hands to increase the stretch
  3. Hold for 30 seconds.  Repeat X2 










        Long Adductors

  1. Sit on the floor with knees slightly bent and legs as far apart as possible.
  2. Lean forward at the hips maintaining a straight back.
  3. If inflexible, you will not have to lean far forward to achieve this stretch.
  4. Hold for 30 seconds.  Repeat x 2








Adductor Massage 

  1. Start on your hands and knees with the roller parallel to your side.
  2. Place inner thigh onto roller.
  3. Gently push the knee out causing the thigh to roll on the roller. (As seen below) 
  4. To release some knots (trigger points pictured below with red referral pattern) you may be required to roll quite high on the inner thigh.  
  5. Repeat 4/5times.
  6. Self Massage Disclaimer – Self massage is a useful tool used in conjunction with a sports massage treatment plan. Self massage may be used to alleviate body aches but care must be taken if a more serious condition has arisen. For example, self massage of a torn muscle may exacerbate the condition and delay recovery time.  Always consult a qualified health professional prior to employing self massage techniques.

Water BottlePocket Physio








Inspirational Clients

Congratulations to Marianna who easily cycled her way around the Otago trail in New Zealand. 




Whats New


Mike has just returned from the Australian Association of Massage Therapists Annual Conference in Sydney with new techniques to treat neural conditions.

Kim has furthered her deep tissue massage skills by attending a two day course last weekend. 






We have never professed to be Dietitians but sharing advice is a valuable tool.

One of our proactive clients has found that the supplement "St Johns' Wort" has eliminated all of her Menopausal symptoms. This may be old news for some and not relevant to others but if this interests you Sports Massage Specialists suggest talking to a qualified health professional before trying any new product.


Exercise before or after Sports massage?

This is a frequently asked question that has no precise answer.  Some studies would have you believe that pre exercise massage has no effect on performance (see www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20386129), others believe massage has a place prior to perfomance to help reduce muscle spasm and psychological stress, (see www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18076229).


Our only evidence is what our clients feel, and our clients views are varied regarding this.  Some power athletes like the "sprung coil feel" and therefore book their appointment 3-5 days prior to competition to give their bodies time to tighten again; whereas some swimmers feel more streamlined in the water immediately after an agressive massage treatment and therefore prefer a massage closer to competition.  An interesting note for golfers is that massaging a high level golfer before they play may result in a terrible performance out on the course.  This may be due to their increased range of movement resulting in a loss of club control, hence golf balls start flying in all directions.

So when should you have your massage?  Trial and error.  Some clients feel 'flat' for a day or so after a massage while others feel great straight away.  So pay attention after your next massage to know what time frame best suits your body.




Inspirational Clients Logo

Where was the ride to and from, and how long was it?
We started at the top of the chairlift in Thredbo and ended 395km later on the beach at Narooma, probably 85% of the ride was off road. Unfortunately it wasn't as downhill as the topography suggests...

What training did you do in the lead up to the race?
I did the race as a two person team and the guy I did it with rode his bike once in the month leading up to it so from this point let's refer to it as an adventure, not a race. I didn't do any specific training for the adventure other than just riding lots, on average 5 days a week including at least one long ride every weekend.

What is your next Mountain bike goal?
I've got plenty of local cross country and endurance races coming up to keep things interesting and fun. A friend of mine has entered the lottery for a 2 person team spot in the Cape Epic (10 day MTB stage race in South Africa, considered one of the hardest in the world) and he wants me to do it with him. (What is it with my friends? They go from one extreme to the other. Note to self: find new friends...)

What was your worst mountain bike crash?
Oh you are a comedian aren't you? You've seen the YouTube video... you know the answer to that one! 

I sure have Dugald, and now everyone else has! (Go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YLnfUij6jY). Please note: Only to be viewed by a Mature audience.  These scenes may offend some viewers.

Thanks for being a good sport Dugald.



First Aid


Mike has just refreshed his first aid certificate and thought others might be interested in the forever changing Cardio Pulmonary Resusitation(CPR)  protocol.


CPR = 30 Compression and 2 Breaths on a cycle of 2 minutes for every man, woman and child.  That works out to be 100 compressions per minute. 


Plantar Fasciitis

LogoWhat is it?

  • Commonly known as Heel spurs though the pain can be present with or without any spur being present. It was known as inflammatory condition to the plantar fascia but now is thought  to be degeneration of the connective tissue attaching onto the heel.


  • Heel pain, especially when first getting out of bed.




  • Tight calves
  • Being overweight
  • Poor foot mechanics - Ie flat feet or excessive pronation although this condition can also occur in people with excessively high arches.
  • Inadequate arch support in shoes.  This can be highlighted during prolonged exercise.

What can help?

  • Sports Massage and self massage (See below)
  • Stretching the calves and plantar fascia
  • Rest and ice
  • Orthotics - Talk to a podiatrist to see if an orthotic will help
  • Night splint - it helps stretch the calves and plantar fascia


Self Massage for Foot pain

Symptom relief from Plantar Faciitus can be achieved using a pocket physio, golf ball or even a frozen bottle.

  1. Place ball or pocket physio in the arch of your foot
  2. Press down on the ball applying pressure into the arch of your foot.  (Figure 1)
  3. Either roll the ball up and down the arch or place it in one spot, move your big toe up and down 5 times (Figure 2) then move to another spot
  4. Be careful - Start by only using light pressure on the foot.  If you feel fine after the massage work then apply a little more pressure the following day.







        Figure 1                                       Figure 2


Inspirational Client

Congratulations to Marcia who has  just donned her racing Tutu and ran 21.1 kms of the Great Wall of China.  How can someone run all those stairs and still look like they are having fun?

Great Stuff.




Muscles Tears

Muscle tears are a very common injury that happens among our active clients are muscle injuries.  The most commonly torn muscles are ones that attach over two joints such as the Quadriceps (front of thigh), Hamstrings (back of thigh) and Gastrocnemius (Calf).   Muscles are often torn due to sudden accelerations or decelerations but there are a number of things we can do to decrease the risk of muscle strains.                         

LogoHere are a few things to think about before embarking on an exercise program

  1. Remember to warm up before exercise
  2. Am I too tight?  Previous injury and muscle tightness can lead to muscle imbalances and further injury.
  3. Are you recovering from your exercises?  Inadequate recovery and associated fatigue can increase injury risk.
  4. Watch your technique.  Eg excessive wrist action during a tennis backhand can lead to Tennis elbow.
  5. Spinal issues.  Muscles to not work independantly of the spine.  If the spine and its nerves are compromised then they will effect muscle function and performance.




How bad is my muscle tear?

  • Localised pain but no loss of strength - You have torn a small number of fibers (Grade 1). Recovery Approx 2-3weeks
  • Pain when I contract the muscle, swelling and decreased strength and movement - You have torn a significant number of fibers (Grade 2).  Recovery Approx 3-6weeks
  • Severe swelling and pain with no strength.  You may need surgery for a Grade 3 Total rupture.  Approx 3 months of recovery.


Dos and Don'ts of Muscle Tear Rehabilitation



Rest - Excessive movement will increase the bleeding into the injury. Although depending on the severity of the injury,  immobilization can actually be detremental to recovery.  Be careful and consult your health professional.

Ice -  Studies are inconclusive as to how long to ice for.  15mins every 1-2hrs seems the norm, with a decrease in frequency over the following 24hrs

Compression - use a bandage to decrease the bleeding and swelling

Elevation - use a sling on the upper body or lay down with foot up on a chair.

Dont's  First 24hrs after injury

  1. Heat the area, not even with heat rubs.
  2. Aggressive sports massage (Sadly this happens a lot by well meaning parents, trainers or poorly qualified massage therapists.
  3. Ingest Alcohol
  4. Perform Intense or even moderate exercise


Inspirational Clients

After the gruelling Goldcoast marathon and numerous painful sports massages, we thought it would be good to get a before and after apprasial on the whole experience. 

Debbie and Pat (Coach)


Pre Marathon Interview

1. What Marathon time would you be happy with? 4 hours 15 minutes

2. What is your dream marathon time? Anything under 4 hours

3. When did you start training for the GC marathon? I had to be able to run 2 hours by xmas 09 and then I got serious with a 28 week Pat Carroll program.

4. During your training what was the most Kms you did in one week? Around 70 kms

5. Do you think you will do another marathon in the future? Not likley !

6. What is your biggest worry in this upcoming marathon? Making it to the start line fit, healthy and injury free !

Post Marathon Interview

1. What time did you do and are you happy with it? My watch time was 4 hours and 40 minutes. Yes & No. Would have liked to run under 4 hours 30 minutes but the time is still a PB, so I take it !

2. Did you encounter any problems?  Yes, from 30km. I was in a world of physical and psychological hurt !!!

3. Will you ever do another marathon?  Yes, would love to run another marathon but would really prefer not to do all that pre training again.

4. Would you do anything different if you attempted another marathon?  No, generally I was happy with my preparation and recovery.

5. What advice would you give to someone thinking about attempting a marathon?  It is going to "really hurt" from about 30km (or when ever you hit the wall) but the finish and personal satisfaction that follows is truly worth it ! 



1. What Marathon time would you be happy with? Sub 4 hours

2. What is your dream marathon time? Faster than my husband's marathon time

3. When did you start training for the GC marathon? Easter weekend - 3rd April. Following a week's break after the Moloolaba tri. First long run out at Stanthorpe after excessive eating and drinking. Not pretty.

4. During your training what was the most Kms you did in one week? 73 

5. Do you think you will do another marathon in the future? Ask me after Sunday. At this stage I'm banking on no.

6. What is biggest worry in this upcoming marathon? Not finishing!!

Post Marathon Interview 

1. What time did you do and are you happy with it? 4:03:39. I was hoping to finish in under 4 hours but overall I was happy that I finished and that I felt pretty good throughout the run.

2. Did you have any problems during the marathon? 'Marathon Man' in the Superman suit kept running past me!!  But real problems, no, it really couldn't have gone better for me on the day. Perfect conditions, I felt good (I just should have gone a bit faster!)

3. Will you ever do another marathon? I don't think so... I'm tempted to do another one to try and improve my time... but I don't think I'll put my body through it again. I'm still recovering!

4. Would you do anything different if you attempted another marathon? Maybe not hold back as much now that I know that I can go the distance... but then I'd hate to break down and not make it!

5. What advice would you give to someone thinking about attemping a marathon? Find a good program to follow. But that doesn't have to mean that your life is on hold for that training period... knowing that we had a long run to do the next morning didn't stop us enjoying a nice bottle of wine the night before!

Thanks Deb and Amber for your honest and handy answers.


Free Massages

Kim Hogarth and Mike Jones are lending their support and their massage hands to Variety QLD at the Ride For Life Challenge (bike ride) on Sunday 26th September.  If anyone is interested in the cycle and a freen sports massage after your ride, you can find more details at www.bmwcycling.com.au 

Water Bottle

Pocket Physio

Beware!!  Look what too much cycling can do you your legs. 

Don't forget that Triathalon season is apon us and for those who say they can't do a Tri then check out this amazing clip.  Becareful, you may just become inspired.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flRvsO8m_KI&feature=related 


Cortisone Injections

Water Bottle

At times some of our Sports Massage clients have been advised by their health professionals (usually Doctors) to receive a Coritsone injection to help with their specific injury.  This is usually the case once other conservative forms of rehabilition have not been successful.  But do you we know what Cortisone is and how it is meant to help? 

What is it?  An Anti inflammatory drug that is either injected, taken orally or via iontophoresis (drugs transmitted through the skin via an electrical source).

How is it meant to help?  Reduce pain and inflammation so an exercise program can begin.  Some call it a Band aid or Bridge treatment as it gives pain relief while trying to resolve the real problem.

What conditions can it help?  Joints, Bursas (very common and effective), tendon (Positive effect is debatable), athritis, muscle,

Side effects - Systemic effects of absorbed cortisone, fainting from the actual needle (Only Chickens need worry), inhibits collagen synthesis and soft tissue repair - (this is why Doctors are careful to inject inside knee joints as it can effect cartilage repair).  Due to this potentially bad effect on tissue repair, caution should be taken to perform repeated injections into the same area. 

Reference source - Bruker and Khan,  Clinical Sports Medicine, 2009



We are trying to raise as much money as we can for Youngcare's first national awareness day - Thong Day! 

Sports Massage Specialists will be donating all proceeds earnt on Friday 1 October to this worthy cause.  Please click on this link to visit our personalised fundraising page to find out all about it. http://www.everydayhero.com.au/sports_massage_specialists .   For those that cannot make it in, please dig deep to sponsor us. It only takes a few seconds. Feel the wind in your (toe) hair and support me in my Thong Day activities!   Apologies in advance to those that will have to look at Mike's feet while being massaged on Friday.

Spread the word and send to as many people as possible.

Thank you very much.

Sports Massage Specialists.















Tennis Elbow

What is it? - It is an painful condition the effects the tendon of the Extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis. (A muscle of the forearm that attaches on to the outside of the elbow)


How does it occur? - Repeated wrist extension against resistance especially prevelant if the exercise is unaccustomeed.  Such movements would occur during a tennis backhand or doing some weekend renovations using a screw driver.  But note that Tennis elbow can occur from continued repetition as well as a one off heavy lift or strong muscle contraction.

Treatment - It is still a bit of a mystery.  No one technigue has been proven to have a one hundred percent sucess rate.

Such treatments include

  • Ultrasound
  • Heat
  • Sports Massage involving myofacial tension and Trigger pointing.
  • Manipulation of the elbow and cervical (Neck) joints
  • Stretching the extensor muscles
  • Strengthening of wrist extensors
  • Elbow brace placed approximately 10cm below the elbow joint.
  • Cortisone injection - used if conservative measures above have not been successful
  • Avoid excessive or unaccustomed activity - Do you really need to spread all that top soil in one day?


Inspirational Client

To disprove some misguided beliefs that high level athletes cannot achieve academically, then please meet our Caitlin, our Inspirational client of the month.  Last year she was a National age group sprinter while receiving an OP 1 and currently studies Physiotherapy wtih both an academic and sporting scholarhip.  Not a bad effort.


 What is your weekly training program and how do you fit it in around uni?
I do 3 track sessions a week. One speed, one speed endurance or strength endurance and the 3rd changes depending on where I'm at in the season but can include hills. I also do 2 gym sessions a week, 2 short cardio-conditioning sessions a week and when I'm in competition season I also do a plyos session. I've recently just added in a circuit session too which is a really fun way to do some pretty hard work. I'm doing physiotherapy so the Uni hours are pretty full-on so it can be a bit of a challenge sometimes. However having all my training facilities at UQ is really great, it means I can cut out travel time and if I'm lucky, squeeze a session into my lunch break. Other than that just being organised and just committing to making it all fit!

What is your greatest sporting moment to date?
I think you could not get the smile off of my face when I won the 100m final at the World Junior selection trials. To make that team had been a pretty long term goal so it was amazing to finally achieve it. However walking out into the stadium in Moncton was pretty incredible too. The energy from the crowd lifted me and definitely aided my performance- that was probably the race of my life, somehow everything just came together that night and it was great (too bad I couldn't repeat it in the semi-final!)

How long have you been running and what is your ultimate goal?
I've been active my entire life. I quit AFL when I was 8 years old to pursue a high jumping career which obviously didn't quite turn out. I have been training seriously since I was 12 years old and have been with my coach Eric Brown the whole 6 years. Obviously every kids dream is to win an Olympic medal. For me that would be fantastic, but in the meantime I'm aiming to make my first Australian open team and from there aim to make finals at Olympic and World Championships. I just want to wear that green and gold as much as possible and stay injury free!

How do you work your sports massage sessions into your training sessions?

Sports massage is obviously the most important component of my training regime. I mean without it, I wouldn't even be able to walk anymore... Haha. (Thanks Caitlin, Nice Plug).But seriously- As a sprinter its really important to balance strength and flexibility. To maintain my mobility, managing muscle tightness is vital. I try to get a massage at least once every two weeks. Also preferably I like to get my massages backing onto my rest days as I can take a bit of a hammering and need the time to bounce-back . As an athlete and physio student I've gotten good at managing most of my aches, pains, niggles and tight spots but there is nothing like Mike's elbow and thumbs!

Thanks Caitlin, we appreciate the insite.


The Aging Athlete

 Here is something interesting to think about:

Our strength rapidly decreases from age 40 - 60 and then the rate of decrease slows down.

Before we start blaming lack of time for not exercising I'd like to quote David Joyce of the Sports Injury Bulletin:

"Lifting weights has been proven to have functional benefits for people in their 90's and research has shown that some 75 year old athletes are in fact stronger than sedentary men 30 years younger".  So if you have done very little exercise over the past few years there is a great chance that you will actually improve your strength with exercise.  Alternatively if you are already exercising a lot, feel proud that you may be able to beat a 45 year old when you are 75!

Finally another reason to stop any further age related exercise excuses, the oldest person to climb Mt Everest  is 77 years old.


Self Massage

Following on from the topic of ageing, the Thoracic spine (middle of your back) is prone to tightening and in some cases this may result in a large curve or Kyphosis in this area.  Sometimes this Kyphosis is due to Osteoporosis and degeneration of the spine, but poor posture may also contribute.  As demonstrated in the picture below, spending 5 minutes at the end of your day rolling up and down your upper spine on a foam roller will help to maintain suppleness which may prevent other muscular aches and can even be attributed to improving digestion. 

   Tx roller.jpg

Disclaimer – Self massage is a useful tool used as part of a massage/physiotherapy treatment plan. Self massage can be used to alleviate body aches but care should be taken if a more painful condition has risen. For example, self massage of a torn muscle may exacerbate the problem and delay recovery time. Before employing self massage techniques always consult one of our Sports Massage Specialists team.


Inspirational Client

Congratulations Bill on completing your first half ironman (1.9km Swim, 90km Ride & 21.1km Run).

 What time did you do and were you happy with it?

I finished in 6 hrs 25 minutes.  I was happy to complete it still running and reasonably coherent.  I think I was the only one in the event happy to have it rain all day. Very happy with the swim, the bike was as planned, but included time to repair a puncture and the run was a matter of just keeping going.  Whenever I started to falter, I remembered by running coaches words: "if you're not going to lift your knees, you're wasting your time and mine".

What did your average training week consist of?

I trained with a squad  www.1sttri.com.au. Six of us did our first half ironman together and we trained six days a week for 3 months. Mondays - core strength and running: Tuesday - swimming: Wednesday - cycling, running: Thursday - running, swimming: Friday - rest: Saturday - Cycling, running, swimming: Sunday - Long cycle... We all made it.

Is there anything you would do different next time?

I would like to be another 10kgs lighter next time.  I think I could shave 30mins off the cycle and 15mins off the run (provided the temperature is kind).

What are your next sporting goals?

I have the swim leg of the Sri Chinmoy Triple Tri in Canberra in November this year and I would like to have a crack at a sub 2 hour 30 min at the Olympic distance tri in Mooloolaba in March. Still thinking about an iron man. 

Please note that it was just a coincidence that Bill features in the Aging athlete newsletter.  But if you combine a half ironman,  50 + years of age on a 93kg frame, he definitely qualifies for the inspirational client category.


The Year that was 2010

As another year whips by, we've taken time to reflect on some of the highlights and lowlights from the Sports Massage team in 2010:

  • We saw some amazing results from our sporting clients with State, National and even World Champions in Athletics, Swimming, Figure Skating and Triathlon.
  • On the Academic side, many of our clients were stuck behind work desks, with neck muscles tightening, stress levels rising yet still emerging with 2 new PHD's, some impressive OP's, and Uni graduates including our own Matt Reinbott.
  • And we can't forget the business world where we have seen a very driven "young" up and comer be named Entrepreneur of the year.

On a painful note, it seems that last years multiple dog walking injuries have this year been outdone by the humble push bike.  Casualties included 2 collar bone surgeries (see below), multiple stitches as well as numerous bruised ribs and egos.   But we are pleased to see that they are all back on their bikes and learning from their sometimes embarrassing accidents.


 What  you are seeing here is a repaired collar bone with 9 screws securing a plate.

In the future this aggressive treatment may be a thing of the past.  Check out the latest in Stem Cell research from Dr Peter Britton:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_asdsujQz04&feature=player_embedded

What did we get up to this year?

Kim practiced what she preaches about fitness:


Kim (on the left)managed to beat her sister and knock 4 minutes off her personal best time at the Burnie 10km fun run.She attributes her success to her four legged running buddy Miles.


Mike went searching for the elusive Barra in North Queensland:


Although there was no big Barra to report, Mikes' attempt at bravery had to be noted (by him).




Matt graduated from his Physiotherapy Degree:

LogoMatt on Physio work experience in Townsville. He assured us it






Ankle Injuries

Most people will suffer from a rolled ankle at some stage in their life.  Do you know what to do when this injury occurs? 

 1. RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation of your injured leg

Interesting point: Anti inflammatory Drugs have not been proven to be beneficial in ankle rehabilitation, although numerous health professionals advocate their use when performing active rehabilitation.

2. After 48hrs, the goal is to continue decreasing pain and swelling, which will help you to perform rehabilitation exercises.  This may include gentle soft tissue and mobility treatments, usually performed by a health professional. 

3. When pain permits, muscle conditioning may then commence.  Exercises using Wobble Boards and Therabands help to strengthen muscles and improve proprioception.  Proprioception is how joints, muscles and tendons provide feedback to your brain about joint position, motion vibrations and pressure.  So if your proprioceptive feedback system does not tell your muscle to contract in time, it may result in your ankle rolling again and causing further injury.


Interesting point: Should you tape your ankles before exercise? There is conflicting evidence regarding taping an ankle to prevent injury, unless the ankle has been injured previously.  From experience a number of athletes would attest to the positive psychological benefits that taping and braces have on their confidence and performance.

Remember all ankle injuries are different and consultation with a qualified health professional is essential to achieve optimal recovery.  Some of you may believe that you have recovered well without any help.  If so, try out the test below to see if this is true.  Good luck!


How good is your balance?

If you have ever rolled your ankle, why not try this balance (proprioception) test to see if your injury has been successfully rehabilitated?

  1. Stand and balance on one leg for one minute.  While balancing, count how often you need to place your other foot down (touch downs) to regain balance.

  2. Repeat on your other leg and once again count the number of  'touch downs'.

  3. Repeat the same process, this time with your eyes closed.

If you found that your previously injured ankle had more 'touch downs' than your uninjured ankle, you may have a high chance of reinjury. 


Inspirational Clients

Although figure skaters make it look easy, for most of us even staying upright on the ice is a challenge. This month we've taken the opportunity to gain insight into the sport from one of our inspirational clients, Sherie. Logo

What events have you been training for and how did you go?

 In the past 2 months I have trained for the New Zealand International in Dunedin and the South Australian Spring Cup in Adelaide.
The first was the SA Spring Cup where I was extremely fortunate to win the adult singles free skate. The competition in Dunedin, NZ was my first ever international figure skating competition and I came away with a silver medal in the adult division free skate.

 What sort of training were you doing in the lead up to these events?

 The training load for these competitions was doubled, with more emphasis on core stability, yoga for flexibility, weights, choreography and more contact time on the ice.

 How important is diet and nutrition when training for an event?

 Diet and nutrition are a crucial part of being a figure skater. It is an important facet of my training which I take very seriously. I maintain a high carbohydrate and protein diet which is important for energy, strength and recovery.

What is your background in the sport?

I started skating in 2007 with no prior background in winter sports. As a consequence of being relatively new to the sport, I am extremely excited and proud of my achievements thus far.

 What is your next figure skating goal?

 Goal setting is an important part of being an athlete and I believe that I must continue to set SMART goals in order to succeed in my chosen discipline. My upcoming goal is to compete in the Australian Figure Skating National Championships to be held at the new Icehouse Arena in Docklands, Melbourne.

 What is your biggest worry before an event? 

I try not to dwell on negativity, however there is always a lingering worry that I will forget my skating routine. Falling and the risk of serious injury are also concerns when competing in front of large crowds.

  Thank you for your time Sherie.