Comprehensive and specialised physiotherapy services

Self-care is like brushing teeth 

you need to do it every day!

Most of us agree with the age old wisdom of self-care: taking time to do things that energise and replenish ourselves physically and mentally.

But how do we practice self-care in our busy lives?

How do we develop the benefits of a happier mind, a healthier body and have a more meaningful time for ourselves?

Here, I will share a few simple and practical ideas for creating self-care as a daily habit.

While self-care is wired into our brain as a natural survival instinct for each person, it has been largely neglected in practice due to the demands of family and community – also wired into our neurology – as social creatures. This is not just a saying but indeed, science tells us that two key evolutionary advantages that enable humans to become a dominant species are our ability to create large societies, and our ability to have group beliefs in intellectual and virtual concepts (such as capitalism and religion). To thrive in societies, “self-care” and “care for others” are both vital skills.

We all have priorities to others in our lives, but to neglect self-care is to neglect both imperatives. Think about it! If you do not attend to self-care, you cannot effectively provide care for anyone else. Which means that self-care is not selfish but really something that you must do first! It is taking care of YOU before you can provide care to others. Self-care is not a luxury, it is as essential as brushing your teeth! AND how often do you brush your teeth? Self-care is something you need to practice every day – doing things that energise your body, mind and spirit – so you feel a little more calm, content, lighter or had more space in your head and so on… even bringing on a smile or two…

How to fit self-care into your daily routines? Make it a habit for yourself! Start by doing a simple activity that feels energising or just feels good for you! But do it for only TWO MINUTES! Here are a few ideas to kick off your imagination:

  • Sit on the grass for a cuppa!
  • Have a nice chat with your neighbour;
  • Take a walk and smell the roses – Yes, actually stop to notice the fragrance!
  • Look up and notice what shapes the clouds remind you of?
  • Flap your arms like seagulls about to take off to the skies …
  • Raise your arms in victory! (Studies actually show that this body language instantly makes a person feel more powerful!)
  • Do ten push-ups!
  • Lie down on your yoga mat and hold your favourite yoga pose for 2 minutes.
  • Take three deep “belly” breaths by extending your abdomen with each inhalation and squeezing inwards when exhaling.
  • Try a 2-minute power nap! (Close your eyes, empty your mind, and rest your body!)
  • Splash some cold water on your face! (Seawater would be an amazing alternative!)
  • Sing a song that makes you smile! (Extra points if you can sing and smile at the same time!)And any other activity that comes to mind that will energise you!

You get the picture? The amazing thing is that doing something for two minutes, and repeating it daily, at the same place and same time (where possible), will actually create in you a daily habit such that you will be practicing this self-care activity effortlessly with the power of routine habits – just like brushing your teeth! But there’s more – this little two minute daily habit of self-care becomes something you can then enlarge or refine – by increasing the time for enjoying the activity – to 5 minutes, then 10 minutes, then an hour, etc, or by adding another step to your activity, like do three yoga poses instead of one, of 10 push-ups and 10 sit-ups, or even go and enjoy a massage! etc. By steadily building upon this self-care practice habit, you will start to create and maintain a routine that will become a steady part of your daily life that will nourish you! And you will surely reap the benefits of a happier mind, a healthier body and a more meaningful life!

Want to know more? Some ideas in this blog arose from an Audible book that the wonderful Management at Physiowest have selected for team enrichment. Book title: Atomic Habits – Tiny changes, remarkable results. Author: James Clear;

Start your self-care journey with a massage with Alan today:

How can massage affect an athletes performance?

Many people think of massage as a luxury item, a treat and as such we often leave the periods between massages a bit too long. If we place it in the forefront of our minds, we can change our perception and better understand the physical and psychological effects it can have.

Massage has the ability to:

  • boost the immune system,
  • relieve tension
  • reduce muscle pain.
  • and increase circulation, effectively acting as a pump and aiding in the removal of metabolic waste through your system at a faster pace then what the body usually would.

But how can massage help me recover faster after exercise/sport is a question you may ask?

Massage following exercise:

  • can trigger biochemical sensors that send inflammation-reducing signals to the muscles. As muscle tissues will be nutritionally depleted, stimulating blood circulation can help in supplying fresh blood to repair muscle damage and muscle nutritional needs.
  • is capable of activating genes that send signals to muscle to create more mitochondria. What is the importance of building more mitochondria? Mitochondria are the powerhouses of our cells. The more mitochondria our cells have, the more energy we have. They also play a vital role in healing.

The period after hard training or performance causes an accumulation of waste material and possible micro trauma and slight swelling of muscles. Massage following exercise allows athletes to have better rest and recovery, improving the overall quality and effectiveness of such rest periods. Massage after exercise enables athletes to train better at a higher stander and with higher safety.

If you are an athlete and want to discuss your recovery program, I would love to develop a plan that meets your needs. You can get in contact me by email: or by making an appointment below:


Do You Suffer From Premenstrual Syndrome?

Trigger Point Therapy can help relieve symptoms. Find out more below...

If you are someone who is experiencing or has previously experienced premenstrual syndrome also commonly referred to as PMS; you would be well aware of the pain and discomfort that is often associated.

But did you know; a muscle located in the inner thigh could be one of the culprits for this pelvic cramping and aching?

The adductor muscles are a group of muscles that line our inner thigh; located in between our hamstrings and quadriceps groups. Adductor magnus is just one of them and lies deep along the inside aspect; originating on the pubis, ischium and ischial tuberosity of the pelvis and inserting onto the linea aspera of the femur. Its primary function is to adduct the leg towards the body, similarly because of the size and location it often considered to be a part of the hamstring group, helping in extension of the leg.

Trigger points or muscle “knots” are sensitive spots found in soft tissue and are sometimes described as a micro cramp. Throughout the body each muscle has potential trigger points; the adductor magnus has three common ones.

Now, what causes these trigger points?

Certain events or activities may have the ability to active and reactive latent trigger points, for example; slipping on ice, running or walking uphill, sitting in a fixed position for extended periods of time, sexual intercourse and hormonal changes that are associated with PMS.

Those suffering from adductor magnus trigger points may experience pain in various areas; the groin, vagina, rectum, pelvis and the medial side of the thigh. This pain can be highlighted during sexual intercourse, PMS cramping and cause a reduced range of motion when completing active or passive movements. Sometimes pain can arise spontaneously and is usually experienced as a sharp pain.

Manual therapy can be used to help treat these trigger points and reduce discomfort associated with PMS but everyday activities and events.

If you suffer from pain associated with PMS, don't delay, book a time below.

Article written by Sharni Chapman (Remedial Massage Therapist)

References taken from: Perry, L., 2015, Healthline Media Inc,. 2005-2019, Ingraham, P., Taylor, T., 2019, Perry, L., 2015

Book an Appointment with Sharni now:

90 Years Young: A celebration

Happy 90th Birthday Paddy!


Paddy is an inspirational woman who has been attending PhysioWest since Grant first opened the doors. Paddy has several health conditions including Pulmonary Fibrosis and Atrial Fibrillation but that doesn’t stop her being a very active member of the community.


Laura and all of the team at PhysioWest would like to congratulate Paddy on all her fantastic work in the PhysioWest gym and on living with such a brilliant healthy mindset and lifestyle; Paddy you are an inspiration to us all. Paddy attends the weekly Strength and Balance Class at PhysioWest; last week class we celebrated Paddy’s birthday with a balloon game and then enjoyed a lovely cake and chocolates. See photo below of Physio Laura with her awesome balance tribe on 28th March (left to right: Sandra, Audrey, Paddy, Maria, Laura and Dawn).

Falls Prevention with Strength & Balance Training at PhysioWest

Falls happen to one third of people over 65 years of age living in the community each year (Gillespie et al 2012). Worldwide we have an ageing population; a World Health Organisation report predicted that by 2050, the number of people aged over 80 will exceed those aged under 14 years for the first time in history (WHO, 2002). This emphasises the increasing importance on geriatric health care. Active Ageing is the process of optimizing opportunities for health, participation and security in order to enhance quality of life as people age (WHO, 2002); basically staying happy and healthy as you get older.


Falls may have serious consequences requiring hospitalisation including hip fractures, traumatic brain injuries and upper limb fractures. Physiotherapy can help rehabilitation of these injuries, but you might not know how important physiotherapy can be in prevention of falls – stopping them before they happen!


Importantly, there are several risk factors which can be modified including;

  • Environmental risk factors; this means the shoes you wear, the rugs you have in your house, the lighting and flooring everywhere you go
  • Behavioural risk factors, like diet and exercise… This is where physiotherapy may be able to help you out


Laura, Physio, is passionate about Active Ageing and Falls Prevention. Every Wednesday at 1pm, Laura runs the Strength and Balance Class at PhysioWest. The Strength & Balance Class is evidence-based (includes interventions which are shown to be effective in the research literature). As shown by a massive Systematic Review in 2012 (included 159 trials with 79,193 participants!), multiple-component group exercise significantly reduces rate of falls and risk of falling.


Okay, now you know exercise is important to prevent falls, especially in those over 65 years old. But what exercise specifically?


Here’s exactly what will you do in the Strength & Balance Class:

  • Balance training – including exercises standing on uneven surfaces (such as air discs and wobble discs) with multi-tasking and sometimes even little pushes from Laura – Perturbation training is shown to be effective in preventing falls (Papadimitriou et al 2017)
  • Muscle strengthening exercises, using mini weights, therabands, gym balls and steps. Laura specialises in whole body strengthening and stretching exercises and can cater these exercises for all mobility levels.
  • Pilates – in the clinic it is clear that use of the Pilates equipment (reformers and trapeze table) has been great for older people, particularly those with low back pain. A low quality study in Spain supported this (Cruz-Diaz et al 2015). Physio Laura has experience and training in using Pilates for a range of neurological conditions.
  • Yoga – modified seated and standing poses with the environmental supports to challenge balance have been shown to be effective (Youkhana et al 2016)
  • Tai Chi – studies have shown Tai Chi does significantly reduce risk of falling. Laura is trained in modified Yang style Tai Chi for falls prevention and exercises may include movements sitting in chairs or standing up which will challenge muscle strength, endurance and balance.


If you, or someone you know, is over 65 years old and not exercising, let them know! A individualised assessment with Laura is how you can get started coming to a Strength & Balance Class.


Not keen on group exercise? Laura can set you up on an individualised home exercise program and see you periodically in the PhysioWest gym to refine your skills. Laura can also give you education on how you can modify environmental risk factors around your house, and also address any musculoskeletal problems you might have… For example, that really stiff ankle or arthritic knee which might be a risk factor for you losing your balance.


Call us today on 8352 3582 to make an appointment, get started in class or have a chat with Laura about exercises for Strength & Balance.



Cruz-Diaz D, Martinez-Amat A, de la Torre-Cruz MJ, Casuso RA, de Guevara NML, Hita-Contreras F, Effects of a six-week Pilates intervention on balance and fear of falling in women aged over 65 with chronic low-back pain: a randomized controlled trial. Maturitas 2015 Dec;82(4):371-376

Gillespie LD, Robertson MC, Gillespie WJ, Sherrington C, Gates S, Clemson LM, Lamb SE. Interventions for preventing falls in older people living in the community. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2012, Issue 9. Art. No.: CD007146. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD007146.pub3.

Papadimitriou A, Perry M, A systematic review of the effects of perturbation training on preventing falls. New Zealand Journal of Physiotherapy 2017 Mar;45(1):31-49

WHO Global report on falls prevention in older age, 2007

Youkhana S, Dean CM, Wolff M, Sherrington C, Tiedemann A, Yoga-based exercise improves balance and mobility in people aged 60 and over: a systematic review and meta-analysis, Age and Ageing 2016 Jan;45(1):21-29

Remembering Betty

Raising Awareness for Multiple Sclerosis & Moving better with Neurological Physiotherapy

Life is what you make of it, whether you are completely healthy or whether you have a neurological condition. Evidence of this lies with Betty Cuthbert, who was a four time Olympic Gold Medallist who passed away this month at the age of 79. Betty was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in her 30s and an active campaigner for Multiple Sclerosis. In her 50s, Betty’s mobility was limited to her wheelchair, but that didn’t prevent her from being a final torchbearer at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.

Betty was quoted as saying “Never give up, never give up – Think of what you can do.”

This beautifully encapsulates one of the main principles in neurological physiotherapy. Rather than focusing on a persons’ impairment, we look at the whole person and focus on what they can do to help them live their life to the fullest. All physiotherapists integrate this principle from the International Classification of Functioning (ICF).

As shown the in above diagram, there are two sides to every element of health and functioning. For example, take the body structure of your quadriceps (the muscle group in the front your thigh which helps you stand and walk). If you hurt this muscle group, an activity such as standing at the sink to do your dishes might be too hard, and you might not want to participate in going for a long walk down the beach with your friend or partner. But this doesn’t necessarily mean you are bed ridden. You may still be able to go for shorter walks or stand with the assistance of an aid. If you have an acute injury such as a sports injury, the activities you do might change just over the short term. But with a neurological condition such as MS, your activities and participation might change over the long term, and may fluctuate over time; this is understandably frustrating. What is needed here is to analyse what you can do (maybe do a shorter walk) as well as what personal factors (a determined mind) and what environmental factors (good walking shoes, maybe a stick or crutches) will help you keep moving.


Betty Cuthbert was an inspiring Australian athlete who followed this principle of looking at the whole picture to make the most of her life. PhysioWest would like to recognise Betty’s inspiring work and send condolences to all who knew Betty.


If you would like more information on Multiple Sclerosis, please visit to MS Australia Website:


If you or someone close to you has a neurological condition such as MS and would like some help to get moving consult at PhysioWest today! I have a special interest in Neuro Physiotherapy and consult Monday to Friday at both our Mile End and Salisbury clinics.


Physio West | Physiotherapy, exercise therapy and massage services in Adelaide, South Australia.

Published by Laura Hundertmark, Physiotherapist, PhysioWest



Diagram credit:

Image credit:





Make the most out of your movement

You get out of bed, stumble around the house getting ready for work and making a coffee. When you sit in the car or the train you might be a little drowsy still, leaning your head to the side to remember that glorious feeling of having your head back on the pillow. You get to work and sit or stand at your work area, pouring all your concentration into your tasks. At the end of the work day you feel an annoying ache in your back. You think to yourself, how can I be so sore? I did nothing out of the ordinary. You didn’t sleep in, you traveled to work and you went about your tasks normally….


You may not have realised but throughout the day your routine movements could improve your physical well-being if undertaken ‘mindfully’.  My tip is, throughout the day, utilise your body to move in the most competent, resourceful way.


I’m asking you to spend a minute sweating the small stuff. It is as simple as:

  • Engaged your core muscles to smoothly get up out of bed,
  • Squeeze your bum muscles and make your glutes work as you are walking up the stairs.
  • Kept your chin a little bit tucked on that boring ride to work this morning
  • Get up and walk to the printer rather than asking your colleague to grab it on their way past.
  • Try adjusting your work seat and sit in a different position.

It is amazing the difference that can be made by stopping to think about the small things. This may reduce current pains and prevent future pains.


If you are struggling at the end of the day with an achy neck or back, a physiotherapist can look at the way you move and help you pick it apart to be more efficient. If you would like some help making the most out of your movement, book in to see us today.

Physio West | Headaches and Migraines | Physiotherapy, exercise therapy and massage services in Adelaide, South Australia.


Laura Hundertmark, Physiotherapist

Special interest in posture, movement efficiency and brain retraining

Physio West | Back Pain | Physiotherapy, exercise therapy and massage services in Adelaide, South Australia.

Back pain, can it come from your organs?

Most of us will suffer an achey back from time to time. Maybe you’ve spent your Sunday slouched in the couch watching movies, or lifting heavy bags of cement on and off a trailer. Most commonly, back pain will come on due to a mechanical overload . As physios we are often asked if the cause of back pain could be related to something a little deeper?


The answer is YES.

We refer to this as visceral pain.

Visceral pain refers to pain generated from our internal organs. While our bones and muscles are prone to aggravation through trauma or gradual overloading, our organs can also contribute to our body’s pain response.


When our internal organs are put on excessive stretch, experience a reduced blood supply, or are inflamed, our bodies can elicit a pain response. This pain can be felt in areas away from the organ, giving a dull, vague ache that is difficult to pin point. This can often be misleading, presenting as superficial back pain, rather than something more.


Visceral pain tends to be stubborn and usually responds poorly to physiotherapy treatment, which can be costly and frustrating.Pancreatitis, or inflammation of the pancreas, is a common example of an inflamed organ that can refer pain to the lower back.


At PhysioWest, your physiotherapist will take you through a thorough assessment of your presentation to determine the true source of your symptoms. Where appropriate, our therapists will refer on for further investigation, or make contact with your GP to ensure you have the best management possible.


If you are concerned about your back pain, make an appointment at PhysioWest today.

Physio West | Physiotherapy, exercise therapy and massage services in Adelaide, South Australia.

Author – Matt Nowosilskyj, Physiotherapist, PhysioWest