<![CDATA[RURAL HEALTH - Blog]]>Tue, 23 Jun 2020 01:33:41 +1000Weebly<![CDATA[HOME OFFICE SET-UP DO’S & DONT’S: PART 2]]>Tue, 12 May 2020 14:00:00 GMThttp://rhpl.com.au/blog/home-office-set-up-dos-donts-part-2If you haven’t already, pop back and read through Part 1 - where our Physio talks you through all things home office set-up. 

If you’re reading this at home at your perfectly aligned work station - WELL DONE! We are proud of you, and your body is feeling very thankful. But now we’re at Part 2, and you’ve got some more homework to do.

No matter how perfect our office set-up is, if we remain stationary in any position for too long throughout the day stiffness will start to redevelop. There’s one thing we all know though, which makes those feelings subside, but it’s a word we all tend to shy away from:

Here’s a collection of stretches our Physio recommends to help offset all of that sitting and staring...

Note: ONLY give these a go if you don’t have a pre-existing injury and you’re only feeling general stiffness in your spine. If any of the stretches hurt - stop, and seek professional advice!
1) Upper Trapezius / Neck Stretch
  • start in a seated position
  • keeping your shoulders down, drop one ear down towards your shoulder
  • feel a stretch down your neck on the opposite side
  • to increase the stretch: place your hand on top of your head and gently apply more pressure down
  • to increase further: place the hand on the opposite side under your chair
Hold for: 30 seconds
​Repeat: 2 times on each side
2) Upper Spine Rotation
  • lie on your side with both knees bent, knees and ankles together
  • reach your arms out in front of you with your hands one on top of the other
  • open out the upper arm, keeping your back on the floor
  • hold your knees on the floor and keep your pelvis still
  • at the end of the rotation, breathe out and hold
Hold for: 5 seconds
​​Repeat: 4 times each side
3) Lower Spine Rotation
  • lie on your back with your knees bent, feet on the ground and your arms stretched out to the side in a "T" position
  • keep your head in contact with the mat for the duration of the exercise and perform at a slow controlled pace
  • drop both knees down towards the floor on one side
  • to increase the stretch: straighten the top leg and drop down further
  • to further increase: drop your top leg fully to the ground, reach across and gently apply more pressure downwards with your hand
  • repeat for the opposite side
Hold for: 30 seconds
​Repeat: 2 times on each side
DO: Try to break up any sitting or standing time into half hour intervals. 
See if you can put these stretches together into a 3-5 minute routine and complete periodically throughout the day.

DON’T: Try to complete all of your work in 5 hours without a break for some movement. 
Remember that ‘Motion is Lotion’ - for both our joints and our brains!

For both your mental and physical health, continuing to exercise and finding ways to adapt to home exercise programs is super important! If you need some help to know how to exercise the right way for your body, make sure you seek help from an exercise professional.
<![CDATA[home office set-up do's & dont's: part 1]]>Tue, 28 Apr 2020 14:00:00 GMThttp://rhpl.com.au/blog/home-office-set-up-dos-donts-part-1The changes we have experienced over the last few months have been some of the most challenging in our lifetimes. As a community we were rocked by the bushfires of summer 2019/2020 and now the impacts of coronavirus has meant we’ve had to adapt the way we interact socially and for many occupationally.

Many of you have needed to work from home or have kept kids home from school to comply with social distancing recommendations.  While you may be managing physically with these changes for now, the more weeks we spend in modified working postures can have an undesirable impact on our muscles and joints. 
  • Have you developed neck stiffness, discomfort or pain? 
  • What about your lower back? 
  • Are you prone to developing stiffness and pain in these areas?

​Even if you’re not, I’d like to share with you some proactive tips to ensure you are keeping your musculoskeletal system happy Picture

​When we spend too long in any one position, our ligaments and muscles can strain from being stretched in different directions. Over time and repeated poor postures can mean these tissues lose the ability to recoil to their natural resting state.


​Many of us are making do with working from home now by using our dining tables or working from the couch of the floor! Temporarily this might be ok (for half an hour at a time) but spending all day here from days and weeks on end isn't going to end well. You'll notice that most of those natural curves of our spine are in opposite or excessive postures.


​Some of you may already be changing your usual sitting position because of discomfort and using the kitchen island bench or an ironing board as a make-shift standing workstation. But beware of some ergonomic nightmares here too!

​Some simple investments that will go a long way: USB/Bluetooth keyboard, mouse and/or monitor.
Other things around the house which might come in handy: shoeboxes/plastic containers and textbooks.
Talking on the phone: Use hands-free or headphones. Stand or pace during phone calls rather than continuing to sit.
One thing I am extremely proud of is to call this area home. We rallied together from the devastating impact of the bushfires and I know I wouldn’t want to be living anywhere else in the country let alone the world during this pandemic. We will come out the other side stronger and more resilient than ever. In the meantime - stay safe, stay at home if you’re vulnerable & don’t need essential services. 

If you need some extra tips to set up your home work station, or you’re experiencing some stiffness and pain, we are here to help! Give us a call on 02 5926 3806 to get the right advice from your local allied health team.

<![CDATA[running Season - How to Keep a 'spring' in your step!]]>Wed, 23 Oct 2019 21:43:12 GMThttp://rhpl.com.au/blog/running-season-returning-to-running
The sun is shining, the birds are chirping and the magpies have settled, it’s time to dust off the runners and get ready for another stellar running season!

Running season for most, typically starts around October and will go through until March. It is during this time, as Podiatrists we see a spike in soft tissue related injuries – WHICH ARE PREVENTABLE!

Soft tissue injuries are typically multifactorial, meaning multiple reasons contribute to why the injury has occurred. As health professionals with extensive training we understand and address the causative factors that relate to your injury, thus helping you in both the short term while also reducing your risk of the same injury recurring in the future.

Here are our top tips for being proactive in reducing your risk of injury this running season.
How old are your runners? Manufacturers will say that the lifespan of a pair of runners is 600-800 km. If you’re unsure – best to update.

​Do your runners suit your biomechanics? Every pair of runners on the market will influence your biomechanics in either a positive or negative way. Barefoot, minimalist, pronation controlling, zero drop, maximalist... are these terms new to you? If so your runners should be fitted by a specialist who understands lower limb biomechanics and how a shoe can influence it.

What shoes do you wear on a daily basis? Typically we spend 40+ hours in our day-day shoes and comparatively only 3-5 hours in our runners. Poor footwear day-day can lead to excessive fatigue in your lower limb soft tissues, so that when you do go for a run, your muscles are already fatigued to begin with and cannot give 100%. This increases the chance of injuries developing.
Do you have any niggling injuries carrying over from past running seasons? A lot of runners often begin the running season without addressing any niggles from the season before. A rest over winter often doesn’t cure these symptoms and sore muscles are often the sign of weak muscles. See a Health Professional and spring in to your running season niggle free! 
Have you got your training program sorted? Are you incorporating progressive overload and allowing for adaptation time? A proper training program is one of the simplest ways to reduce your risk of injury this season. Many runners believe that they could run 10km ‘easily’ and with 4 months off do the same. Don’t make that mistake. Start off small and build slowly and progressively, seek a Health Professional or running coach's advice for tips and tricks if uncertain.
Our Podiatrist at Rural Health is qualified in running training and lower limb strength and conditioning!
​For more information or to ensure your injury free running season book online or phone 02 5926 3806.
<![CDATA[SKI bootS + SKI orthotics = Happy Feet]]>Wed, 10 Jul 2019 22:33:42 GMThttp://rhpl.com.au/blog/ski-boots-ski-orthotics-stable-happy-feetPicture
Ski orthoses / orthotics, custom foot beds or ski insoles are well established to benefit a skier or boarder in three ways...
  • Even pressure dispersion 
  • Foot alignment and support
  • Cushioning
Ski boots are very firm and rigid supporting the foot on the sides and across the top, so it is vital to support the foot from underneath with an orthotic device. Think of it like filling in the gaps or empty space in your boot. When purchasing new ski or snowboard boots any worthwhile Boot Fitter will suggest you get custom made inserts in your boots. 

Custom inserts are also always the first place to start to resolve any boot fitting problems, without stabilising the foot any changes made elsewhere in the boot will not fix the problem as the foot remains unstable.​..

Ski orthoses / orthotics, custom foot beds or ski insoles are well established to benefit a skier or boarder in three ways:
  • Even pressure dispersion 
  • Foot alignment and support
  • Cushioning
Ski boots are very firm and rigid supporting the foot on the sides and across the top, so it is vital to support the foot from underneath with an orthotic device. Think of it like filling in the gaps or empty space in your boot. When purchasing new ski or snowboard boots any worthwhile Boot Fitter will suggest you get custom made inserts in your boots. Custom inserts are also always the first place to start to resolve any boot fitting problems, without stabilising the foot any changes made elsewhere in the boot will not fix the problem as the foot remains unstable.​ 

Regular orthoses do not work in ski boots as they are designed for a walking or running gait in which the foot performs greatly contrasting movements to those in a ski boot. Regular orthoses are designed for the foot to go through a full range of movements from heel strike to toe-off and then swing through the air. In contrast in a ski boot your foot is stuck in mid-stance all the time. Ski orthoses are designed to support your foot in optimal neutral position distributing pressure throughout the ski turn. Regular orthoses are generally made from a hard polypropylene material and are designed to correct or change your gait pattern. Ski orthoses are softer, more accommodative and have a higher arch for support and pressure distribution.
  • Pressure dispersion - this will make the foot feel comfortably supported like it's never felt before. It prevents "hot spots" under the foot and an even feeling of control.
  • Holds the foot in a neutral joint position - Holding the foot in a neutral position supports the muscles and ligaments of the foot. The 33 joints are held in the ideal, neutral position allowing the nerves and arteries to run through without being squashed. This prevents cold and numb spots, and fatigue and cramping from muscles overworking. Ever had an arch cramp in a ski boot? Oh yeah, you need ski orthoses. Or if you already have ski orthoses, you need new ones/modifications.
  • Arch support - When turning, the arch will collapse if not supported, causing the ankle to roll in and the tibia to rotate inwards, creating a tendency to 'A-frame' as you move through the turn. Proper support here will prevent the ankle from rolling too much and causing shin rub or painful inner ankle problems on the boot.
  • Improved ski control - A ski orthosis "fills in the gaps" under the foot so your movements are translated to the ski with minimal energy loss from wasted movement.  Improved contact also improves your sense of balance - your head has more information with which to calculate your position in space (proprioception). Better control leads to improved technique from setting the ski on its edge and releasing it faster.
  • Prevents the foot from splaying - Did you know that your foot can measure a size larger if you don't have a well made custom ski orthosis in your ski boot? A boot that's too big will result in sloppiness and unnecessary foot pain. If you require any shell expansions for spots that rub or cause pressure, you need a ski orthosis. Unless you have a ski orthosis stabilising your foot, it will just move into the space created and you will still get the rubbing or squashed feeling in your feet. Black and bruised toes and toenails occur if your foot is not stabilised and is sliding around in the boot.
  • Cushioning - Everyone needs a bit a of cushioning between their foot and the hard plastic shell. Can you imagine the heel bruising without it? Ski boots come with a cushion-y insoles but they compress very quickly once you leave the shop and lack adequate support. Ski orthosis will maintain their cushioning while supporting your feet season after season.

First clipping into skis at Selwyn as a Milo Mini Mite, Podiatrist Evan has since spent many hours both on and off-piste in the Canadian Rockies, New Zealand Canterbury & Otago Alps and Australian NSW & VIC Alps as a snowboarder, alpine and telemark skier. Combining a long-term love for snow sports with his Podiatry degree Evan has a unique understanding of anatomy of the foot and lower limb, biomechanics and the role the equipment plays in the foot's functionality whilst skiing. At your initial consult our Podiatrist will do a full biomechanical assessment, take your history and inspect your ski boots. This is when we find out all about what kind of skiing you like to do, previous boot problems, injuries, biomechanical function and anything else relevant. A 3D scan will then be taken of your feet and a custom prescription will be made for your ski orthotics. At your next consult your ski orthotics will be ready for fit and issue just in time for your next snow trip. All of this is claimable through your private health fund, so don't forget your private health care card!

  • Everyone not only benefits, but NEEDS, ski orthoses.
  • Regular running or walking orthoses must NOT be worn in ski boots.
  • Ski orthoses will make your feet feel all warm and fuzzy all day long.
  • Ski orthoses lead to better control, less fatigue and longer ski days.
  • Make sure you get your ski orthoses made by someone with skill in understanding equipment AND feet and how they all fit together.
  • Ski orthoses made by a Podiatrist are claimable through your private health fund!

At Rural Health, our Podiatrist Evan is experienced in assessment, prescription, modification and fit of ski orthotics. For further information book online or phone 02 5926 3806
<![CDATA[Wart Treatment - FALKNOR’S DRY NEEDLING]]>Wed, 12 Jun 2019 10:41:14 GMThttp://rhpl.com.au/blog/wart-treatment-falknors-dry-needlingPicture
​What is it? Falknor's Dry Needling is a surgical procedure in which the wart (verruca) is punctured with a sterile needle repetitively producing bleeding and stimulation of the body’s immune system to recognise and respond to the Human Papilloma Virus.

Is it painful? This procedure is performed under local anaesthetic blocking pain. Anaesthetic action typically lasts one hour although patients report post operative pain experienced is very low.

What is the advantage of this procedure? There are many wart treatment options although the results are mixed, the treatments are often painful and they often require several consultations. Wart needling is an effective treatment, often working following the first treatment. Protective dressings can be removed  within one-to-three days post procedure permitting return to regular duties. A review consult is held eight weeks post procedure to assess treatment success.

Risks and complications of the procedure? Although carried out with due care the possible complications of this and any procedure involving injections include infection, bleeding, bruising or an unexpected reaction to the anaesthetic. Strict surgical procedure ensuring sterility are undertaken to ensure risk of complication is minimal.

If it does not work, what are my options? The treatment is typically repeated for a second session, on review after the second wart needling session if a positive outcome is not achieved alternate treatments are considered.

Will I need to take a pain killer afterwards? These are generally not necessary and anti-inflammatories should be avoided as this can reduce the body’s immune response and therefore success of the treatment.

How successful is the treatment? Warts are a notorious source of frustration for both practitioners and patients alike, as no single treatment is completely effective for all patients. Studies indicate Falknor's Dry Needling is 70% successful in the treatment of persistent warts and offers a high level of treatment efficacy compared to alternate therapies. 

Our Podiatrist is experienced in the Falknor's Wart Needling procedure in the treatment of persistent warts, for further information book online or phone 02 5926 3806