Comprehensive and specialised physiotherapy services

Weight Training

Does Weight Training Stunt Growth?

It is a widely held belief that weight training can stunt growth when performed by children and adolescents. In fact, no study has ever shown that lifting weights inhibits growth and numerous studies have concluded that resistance training is relatively safe for growing bodies.


This common misconception is often surfaced by the belief that lifting weights damages the growth plates in young people. However, what many don’t realise is that sport itself subjects children to far greater forces than you’ll find in a weights room. Think about the impacts that running, jumping and tackling have on the bones and joints of our body.. then ask yourself why we won’t let little Johnny pick up a light dumbbell?


Research suggests that resistance training, when performed appropriately and with good technique, provides a number of benefits for children. These include improved strength, power and builds more resilient bodies with even stronger bones and joints. Strength training also helps reduce the risk of fractures and prevents sport-related injuries.


It is recommended by the Australian Strength and Conditioning Association that children are at least 6 years old before undertaking resistance training, provided that they have the maturity to follow instructions and understand the dangers at hand. It’s important to begin weight training under the guidance of a professional to learn correct lifting techniques and program appropriately to your ability.


If you’re interested in developing a structured weights program for your child, come in and speak with the team at PhysioWest!

Reflections – Pain

Rehab and flare ups,

2 steps forward, no steps back?

It is a common occurrence that throughout a process to recover from an injury, you can get a flare up of pain. You can be doing so well, right on track to achieving your goals, and then something triggers your pain once more, and it can feel like you’re back to where you started from.

All of that exercise for nothing, right? Well, not quite!

Rarely is the path to recovery a straight line, there will usually be a bump in the road to complicate things. It might be that you did one too many dead lifts that day, run that extra kilometre instead of taking it easy, or maybe it’s something not so obvious such as poor sleep from the previous night or an overly stressful week at work. Due to the nature of pain, there may be many different contributing factors that can result in a flare up. When they occur, it can be a good time to reflect on what might be impacting it, what you might be able to modify to help get yourself through the flare up, and how you might avoid another one in the future!

Don’t lose hope! Just because the plan you set didn’t play out exactly as you would have hoped, you shouldn’t throw in the towel just yet. Flare ups are temporary, and will settle quickly. Then you can get right back on the horse where you left off.

When you have a solid plan to achieve your rehab goals, you can only succeed, or learn. Flare ups are never a failure.

Do you want help managing your flare ups?  We would love to help. Click below to make a time and let’s work together to get you back on track with your rehab goals.


Recent running reflections with Matt.  Physio West | Physiotherapy, exercise therapy and massage services in Adelaide, South Australia.


The whirlwind of 2020 has been an opportunity for me to reflect on exercise and why we do it. Through distancing and isolation to keep the community safe, gyms, pools and team sports were all put on hold for the greater good. This was difficult for many of us, me included, who love to exercise with friends and enjoy the competitive team sport environment.


Surprisingly, it also gave me a new outlook on exercise from an angle I hadn’t thought of much before. With soccer off the cards for a while, I decided to increase my running load to stay fit for when the season would take off again.


At first it was “run this distance”, or “beat this time”, which inevitably pushed the bar higher and higher and left the outcome always just short of satisfying.


Thankfully, my watch and phone went flat one morning on a run (should’ve flicked the power-point to ON). I ran without a goal in mind, enjoying the breeze, sunshine and focusing on my breathing. It was a real wake up call for me. I realised that I exercise to feel good, to be healthy, to look after my body, and to enjoy movement.


The health benefits of running are well documented in terms of reducing mortality risks, as well as improving mental health. There doesn’t have to be a gold, silver or bronze, just the feeling that you’ve looked after yourself well.


So, coming full circle – if you’re keen to run but don’t know where to start, take the pressure off yourself and focus on enjoyment. Pick your favourite song on your playlist, head down the beach with a friend, or treat yourself to a run up to the local coffee shop. The main thing is to have a go.


If you would like some more guidance on how to make this happen, our running assessments at the clinic will take a big picture look at the way you move, and set you up on the road to success so you can enjoy running in an ongoing way.


Having trouble holding yourself accountable to regular exercise?


You are not alone and I’ve definitely been a culprit of this myself! Sometimes finding the motivation to drag yourself to the gym or go for a run over watching another Netflix episode can be challenging.

You’ve probably heard the adage that ‘exercise is 90% mental and 10% physical’. Overcoming these mental barriers can be extremely testing and it’s easy to find an excuse; “I’m too tired”, “it’s too cold”, “I’ll go tomorrow instead”. You’re in a constant battle with yourself!

It’s well known that exercise has multiple benefits for both physical and mental health. Whilst it reduces your risk of detrimental health conditions, it is also an extremely effective natural anti-anxiety/stress treatment. The release of endorphins during exercise stimulates a range of beneficial responses within our body. However, that doesn’t make it any easier to find motivation and stick to a regular exercise regime!

BUT, have you tried group exercise or working out with a buddy?

Exercising with others is a powerful motivator and helps keep you accountable to regular exercise, as you’re less likely to excuse yourself from these scheduled encounters.

Research has shown that working out in a group can actually lower stress by 26% and improve quality of life (Yorks, Frothingham & Schuenke 2017).

The study investigated the effects of group exercise compared with individual exercise. Those who exercised in a group setting showed:

  • 6% improvement in mental health
  • 8% improvement in physical health
  • 26% improvement in emotional health
  • 2% reduction in stress levels

And, those who exercised individually worked out for twice as long than those in a group but reported no significant changes in anything except mental health – with an 11% increase.

Not only do you reap the benefits listed above, but peer exercise has also been shown to improve performance! With another study finding that those who exercised with a more-capable partner increased their plank time by 24% (Feltz, Kerr & Irwin 2011).

There you have it… results are in and if you ask me, it seems like group exercise is the way to go!

Eager to give group exercise a go? COME JOIN OUR GROUP EXERCISE CLASSES! We love new members!

We have a variety of different classes available to cater for all ages and skill levels, so rest assured there’s something for everyone whether your goal is to build strength, control or to de-stress after a long days work.

The ‘WHAT, WHY and HOW?’

What are all the different classes on offer?

  • Balance: With a focus on increasing strength and balance to maintain independence.
  • Body Flow: Stretching and yoga-based class, ideal for relieving muscle tension and stress.
  • Body Reform: Equipment based exercises using pilates reformers and trapeze tables to build strength and improve control.
  • Body Strong: Gym based class using weights and machines with a focus on building strength.
  • Core: Mat based exercises to challenge and build core strength/control.
  • Hydrotherapy: Water based exercises to help improve movement and build strength.
  • Mums and Bubs: Light strengthening and stability exercises for new mums and bubs.


Why join a group exercise class?

  • Improved strength and flexibility
  • Injury prevention and/or management
  • Improve posture
  • Improve control, stability and quality of movement
  • Weight management for overall health and well-being
  • Improved mental well-being and social interaction


But, why PhysioWest group classes?

  • 45-minute classes
  • Small class numbers 4-5 ppl max
  • Physiotherapist supervision to optimise technique and movement
  • Personalised Programs – work towards your specific goals at your own pace
  • Progress and be challenged as you improve
  • Fun and upbeat classes in a social group setting
  • $25 classes, claimable on private health
  • Every 5th class is free
  • Pay for 10 classes upfront (incl. x2 free classes) and receive 50% off a remedial massage in-clinic at the end of each 10-week block



Think you might be interested, but not sure what class would suit you?

Book in with one of our physiotherapists for a Pre-class Assessment where they will identify your goals, create a personalised exercise program and suggest a suitable class to help you meet these goals! You can even trial a few different classes and see what one tickles your fancy!


We can’t wait to see you in class soon!


Sophie Alderslade, Physiotherapist, PhysioWest




Feltz, D, Kerr, N & Irwin, B 2011, ‘Buddy Up: The Kohler Effect Applied to Health Games’, Journal of sport & exercise psychology, vol. 33, no. 4, pp. 506-26, DOI: 10.1123/jsep.33.4.506.

Yorks, D.M, Frothingham, C.A & Schuenke, M.D 2017, ‘Effects of Group Fitness Classes on Stress and Quality of Life of Medical Students’, The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, vol. 117, no. 11, pp. e17-e25, DOI:


Elective Surgery Delayed?

Did you know Pre-hab is as important as Rehab?

Physio West | Workplace Injuries & Motor Vehicle Accidents | Physiotherapy, exercise therapy and massage services in Adelaide, South Australia.


With elective surgery back on the cards, we are grateful that those in need now have a light at the end of the tunnel. For those still in limbo, we know that Prehab is a worthwhile pursuit in the interim.


As much as movement can at times be uncomfortable, its importance before surgery is key to setting up for a great outcome after surgery.


Patients who undertake exercise based rehab before total knee replacement surgery have an increase in pre-operative function and show less functional decline in the early stages of post-operative management. (Topp 2009).


Exercise based prehab appears to improve ambulatory function in both the short and long term for total hip replacement patients. (Wang, Gilbey & Ackland 2002).


These principles can also be extended to the sporting context in the younger population, where more conservative strengthening approaches are increasingly recommended for the knee, shoulder and ankle where appropriate.


Tailoring this exercise intensity and frequency to your level is key to gaining the positive outcome you are looking for. With your physiotherapist keeping a watchful eye, a specific and personalised program can be developed to meet your needs, be it at the clinic, in the pool or in the gym.


Sticking to the plan is key, knowing that routine exercise over a number of weeks will prepare you for years of great movement and enjoyment in returning to the activities you love.


If you have surgery planned for later this year, get in touch for an assessment and personalised prehab program to prepare well!


‘Getting off on the right foot’

How ankle mobility may be setting you back.


The time has come! The peak of the pandemic is over and the gyms are re-opening their doors. Eager as a beaver, people are lining up for the squat rack to build up those chicken legs. Unfortunately, the binge watching of ‘Tiger King’ and the, ‘walking to the fridge counts as cardio’ mindset has left many in a vulnerable position for injury. In this blog, we’re gonna talk about ankle mobility and why it is important for functional exercises, such as your beloved squats.


Ankle mobility is an essential part of everyday functional activities, including squatting, running, stair climbing and lunging. When you lack ankle mobility, the body figures out other ways to compensate inorder to get the job done, often leading to dynamic alignment issues in the lower body. You may develop pain in your hips and knees, glutes become disengaged and your torso will tend to lean forwards, putting additional pressure on your lower back.


A study by Lima et al. 2018, found an association between ankle mobility and knee position, concluding that reduced ankle dorsiflexion was correlated to dynamic knee valgus, which is when the knees tend to collapse inwards. This valgus movement pattern of the knee can increase the risk of developing overuse injuries and/or sustaining a traumatic injury.


Let’s think about weightlifters wearing fancy looking lifting shoes, it’s not to look serious, it’s to help them keep their heels on the ground and align their body upright. Studies have shown that when participants with restricted ankle mobility are given heel lifts, their lower limb mechanics improve along with an increase in force production (Crowe et al. 2020). Not saying you should race out to buy lifting shoes, but instead to work on your ankle mobility and progress yourself slowly.



So, how do I know if my ankle mobility is restricting my squat? I’m glad you asked! A simple test is to perform a traditional squat with your feet shoulder width apart, ensuring your knees track over your toes. You may feel your heels lift off the ground before you reach full depth. If this is you, perhaps ankle mobility is something to work on. 


Another way to test is to perform a ‘knee to wall test’. Start by setting yourself up in a lunge position against a wall. In this position, find a happy medium where your knee can just touch the wall without your heel raising off the ground and measure the distance between the wall and your toe.


A quick guide to see where you fall;

< 5 cm – poor ankle mobility

5-10 cm – moderate ankle mobility

10 cm – great ankle mobility



With ankle dorsiflexion, it is important to know whether the primary cause of restriction is at the joint, or in the calf muscle itself. Knowing this will determine the type of mobility work needed, hence why your traditional calf stretches may not be working. Along with ankle mobility, relatively strong glutes, good thoracic spine and hip mobility are also essential in performing a deep squat.


If squatting is one of your post-pandemic goals, then book in to see our team of physios at PhysioWest below or by calling 8352 3582



Crowe M, Bampouras T, Walker-Small K & Howe L 2020, ‘Restricted Unilateral Ankle Dorsiflexion Movement Increases Interlimb Vertical Force Asymmetries in Bilateral Bodyweight Squatting’, Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, vol. 34, no. 2, pp. 332-336.


Lima Y, Ferreira V, de Paula Lima P, Bezerra M, de Oliveira R & Almeida G 2018, ‘The Association of Ankle Dorsiflexion and Dynamic Knee Valgus: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis’, vol. 29, pp. 61-69.




Shin Splints


Most people have heard of dreaded shin splints; you may have even suffered from this in the past. The fancy (medical) name for shin splints is ‘Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome’ or MTSS.


MTSS is most often exercise-related and manifests as pain on the inside of the shin. The underlying issue is often a result of repetitive loading/overuse during exercise, particularly running, and jumping-type movements.


Management by a physiotherapist will include gathering a thorough history and a clinical assessment which is used to rule out more serious pathologies. Your plan may include advice around exercise load management/exercise modification, hands-on therapy, self-treatment advice and specific exercises to make a full recovery.


Here are 5 tips for helping to manage MTSS:


1.Monitor Load

Ensure that you are not having sudden, drastic changes in your exercise load. To do this, it is important to carefully track aspects of exercise such as distances run, intensity, types of surfaces you are training on as well as monitoring how symptoms are affected during AND following your exercise. Your physiotherapist will offer guidance on all these aspects of your exercise to ensure you’re doing the right amount.


2. Appropriate Rest

It’s important to know that MTSS may not mean complete rest from activity is needed. Although this may be the case for you, MTSS is an overuse injury that requires an adequate amount of rest to settle symptoms down and ensure that you do not stir things up more. Finding the optimal amount of rest:exercise ratio is difficult and this will likely be achieved by starting with reduced frequency of exercise and gradually building this back up to pre-injury levels.


3. Modify Training

We know everybody has a sport or type of exercise that they love, but if possible, it is important that we modify the type of training to assist with resolution of MTSS. Rather than ceasing exercise altogether, it’s possible to maintain your fitness or conditioning. If you are a runner, this may mean trying some cycling or getting on the cross trainer/elliptical. The beauty of this minimal fitness loss whilst allowing adequate rest from aggravating activities.


4. Consider Footwear

Whether you’re a professional athlete or a weekend warrior, it is worth considering what type of shoes you are wearing. It may seem obvious, but in some cases, poorly designed footwear may play a role in development of MTSS. Maybe those Converse shoes aren’t the best to run in?



Completing your individualised program will address each component that is important to keep you healthy, pain-free and reduce your risk of flare-ups from happening in the future. This may also mean giving your body some TLC by self-massaging, stretching or icing. JUST DO IT!


If you need help with shin pain, make an appointment today:


Do you ‘kneed’ some help?

Do you “kneed” some help understanding your knee pain?!? 

Illiotibial band syndrome 

Physio West | Workplace Injuries & Motor Vehicle Accidents | Physiotherapy, exercise therapy and massage services in Adelaide, South Australia.


Given the closure of many sporting clubs and gyms I noticed an increase in individuals taking up new fitness endeavours. A common one amongst my friends, including the team at PhysioWest, was running. I therefore thought I would join the gang and begin my running journey. 

Without having gone for a run in years I jumped straight into it. The first couple of times was went well and I was hitting some good running goals. After a while I started noticing a sharp pain on the outer side of my knee. Initially I only experienced it whilst running, however with increased frequency of running I noticed it became more prominent and present with long distance walking. What I believed to be experiencing was Illiotibial band (ITB) syndrome, more commonly known as ‘runner’s knee’. 

Your ITB is a thick band of tissue located on the outer side of your thigh, which runs from your hip to your knee. Associated inflammation of the ITB or its surrounding structures can result/present as this sharp/burning outer knee pain. There is debate about the exact cause and source of this inflammation. Majority attributes it to repetitive knee flexion and extension movements, which cause the ITB to rub repeatedly against local bone structures. This ultimately leads to irritation and inflammation of the ITB itself. These types of movements are frequently seen in cyclists and runners, hence the name. Another proposed cause can be compression of fat and tissues that sit under the ITB, which become inflamed and produce pain. 

Multiple risk factors can be considered for the development of ITB syndrome. These include tightness of the ITB, load/distance/frequency of aggravating activity (running or walking) and muscular weakness of supporting lower limb muscles (knee extensors, hip abductors and hip flexors). 

In the early stages of rehabilitation, the primary focus is reducing pain and inflammation. Simple modalities which can help towards pain relief include icing, massage/foam rolling (to tight ITB’s) and taping (to offload ITB). Avoiding further aggravation is a key step to the recovery process, this may involve some form of rest or activity modification; however the amount will be driven by the severity of the condition. Modifying the activity intensity/time/distance to a range which is pain-free both during and after the activity is something to consider. It is also important to implement a graded return to activity after a period of rest or activity modification. Exercise prescription is crucial for maintaining mobility and targeting any strength deficits. Stretching exercises which target the ITB, tensor fascia latae and gluteal muscles are encouraged. Research also suggests implementing strengthening exercises targeting the hip abductors (gluteal muscles) to help stabilise the hip. 

Experiencing this sort of pain can be somewhat frustrating, especially if it is stopping you from achieving your activity goals. It is important to understand the cause of your knee pain in order to treat it appropriately. The physiotherapists at PhysioWest are trained to assess and treat this sort of knee pain or any other knee troubles you may be having. 

So pop into the clinic so we can get on top of your knee pain and get you back to your activity… whether that be running just like me.


Beals, C & Flanigan, D 2013, ‘A review of treatments for Illiotibila band syndrome in the atheletic population’, Journal of Sport Medicine, Vol. NA , pg 1-6. 

Goom, T 2012, ‘ITBS’, Running Physio, <>. 

Physio-pedia NA, ‘Illiotibial band Syndrome’, Physiopedia, <>.

Feeling a bit Hamstrung?


Hamstring tightness is one of the most common complaints that we hear from runners and field athletes. 


What are the hamstrings?

The hamstrings are a group of muscles that make up the back of your thigh, and the main function of these muscles are to bend your knee, and to extend your hip backwards. The hamstrings are very active while running, and even more so while sprinting. It’s therefore not surprising that this muscle group often feels tight during and after a run.


How come stretching hasn’t got rid of my hamstring tightness?

While it’s true that hamstring tightness can be relieved by performing stretching or foam rolling before and after a run, it is not always the answer. The sensation of tightness can be caused by hamstring weakness, and that will require a more involved strengthening program to solve. 

If your hamstrings are weak, stretching and foam rolling will relieve the sensation of tightness temporarily, but it will not solve the issue in the long-term. This is because if your hamstrings are weak and constantly feeling tight during and after a run, they are likely fatigued and are unable to tolerate the load that is placed through them. 

It is especially important to strengthen your hamstrings if you are returning to running or sport after a long gap in training, as you are at a higher risk of sustaining an injury.  


What kind of exercises can I do to strengthen my hamstrings?

There are a number of different exercises that you can perform to strengthen your hamstrings, but a favourite of ours is the Nordic curl. The Nordic curl works the hamstring eccentrically, meaning that the muscle is working while it is lengthening, similar to the load that is put through it while you are running.

If you are looking to add the Nordic curl into your exercise program, make sure to come in and see one of our physios to ensure that you can perform the exercise safely and effectively. 


Have a look at our recent Team Tuesday post on Instagram or Facebook of our physios trying out the Nordic curl!

Glute Amnesia

A glut-torial to waking up your booty

What is Glute Amnesia?


Thousands of ordinary people around the world are suffering from a dangerous phenomenon scientists are calling “Glute Amnesia”. Those affected by Glute Amnesia find that their brain forgets how to activate the gluteal muscles (also known as the booty) and the consequences are quite terrifying. By not activating their glutes many people are experiencing the following symptoms:

  • Lower back pain
  • Hip pain
  • Knee pain
  • Sciatica-type pain

In addition to this many people getting back into sports and the gym are struggling to reawaken their glutes. This is detrimental to sporting performance and can pre-dispose individuals to injuries when squatting and deadlifting.


But what is the cause of this terrifying phenomena?


SITTING!!! COVID-19 has resulted in many of us sitting more at home whether that be for Netflix related reasons or working-from-home related reasons. The more you sit the more your brain forgets how to use your glutes. It’s time to fight back and reactivate your posterior!


What are my glutes even good for?


Your glutes are made up of three muscles called the Glute Maximus, Glute Medius and Glute Minimus and it is important to make sure you re-awaken all three of these muscles. The glutes assist us in squatting down, standing up, stabilising our hips when walking/running, protecting our lower back and maintaining an attractive physique. These guys are the biggest muscles in your body and are involved in nearly every movement you perform on a daily basis. 


Oh no! I think someone I love or myself may have Glute Amnesia! What should I do?


Answer: Get them working!

Take a gander at our “Movement Monday” posts on Facebook and Instagram for some exercise ideas to reactive your glutes and kick some booty goals.


If you, or someone you care about, is suffering from Glute Amnesia book in with one of our physiotherapists today. We will help you get reacquainted with your glutes using targeted exercises, whilst also addressing any aches or pains you might be experiencing. Pilates, dry needling and functional movement assessments are all techniques physiotherapists may choose to use to help you overcome your Glute Amnesia.


Book online at or call us on ph: 8352 3582