a healthy approach

Gardening and Back Pain – What should you do?

October 22, 2017




Photo: Getty Images

Here at Eureka Osteo we love encouraging you to do what makes you happy and gives you joy. For many people, gardening is something that tops the list! Being outside in nature, soaking up some Vitamin D, and seeing the rewards of your efforts, can all be great reasons to get in the garden. However if gardening seems to cause or aggravate your back pain, there are a few things that you should consider:


  • Have you got a diagnosis? There are plenty of different things that can cause back pain. Some need rest and others need movement, some are acute and others are chronic – having a clear picture of what is causing your pain, and the movements that are helpful for your body is essential. Come and see us to get some guidance around what might be best for you in the garden.
  • Treat gardening like a sport…No seriously, you should! If you’re planning on spending an hour or more getting physical in the garden, then it makes sense to warm up slowly, and plan your activities. This might mean starting with some easy bits and pieces, breaking up the tricky jobs, avoiding being stuck in one position for too long, and then cooling down and having a stretch at the end. Drink breaks are also essential! This will help to avoid you waking up the next day feeling like you’ve run a marathon
  • Use some props Kneelers, chairs, knee pads, long handled tools, garden trolleys and wheelbarrows can all be helpful additions that make things easier once you know which movements you need to be careful of. Avoiding the positions that can aggravate your pain can generally be done with a bit of planning.
  • Be smart when lifting If you wouldn’t normally lift a 20kg weight in the gym, then take a moment to think before you lift that 20kg bag of fertiliser. Good lifting technique, breaking things down into lighter weights or delegating a few tasks to someone else can be useful strategies in the garden.

So enjoy getting your hands dirty! At the very least we will all be cutting grass and pulling out weeds over the next couple of months given the spring we have had thus far.  Come and see us if you want any advice on how to avoid injuries in the garden and for help with any injury that does occur.

If you are interested in having a food garden and don’t know where to start, or want some local expert advice, have a look at this fantastic website by Ballarat local John Ditchburn

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Trail Running – take a run on the wild side!

October 22, 2017

We would like to extend a big thank you to Julian Spence from The Running Company in Ballarat for this wonderful piece he wrote for us on trail running. Julian and the crew at The Running Company are a treasure trove of knowledge and advice about everything running: footwear, socks, hydration, nutrition, training…you get the drift. He is also an elite runner having won the Great Ocean Road Marathon for the past three years, is the current record holder for the Bogong2Hotham epic trail run, and only a few weeks ago ran a Commonwealth Games qualifying time at the Berlin marathon of 2hrs18min43sec!! Thanks again Jules!! Oh, and he ran over the line first at Run Ballarat just this weekend (12km in just over 37min).

Julian Spence Courier

Julian Spence (photo by Dylan Burns The Courier 23/10/17)

The new kid on the block in the running scene is trail running. The Internet is full of images of people running along the tops of mountains with hiking poles and videos of runners throwing themselves down steep inclines seemingly out of control.

But you don’t need to live in the Alps to take part in this liberating pastime. Right here in Ballarat you’ll find a thriving culture of trail running and some of the best locations in the country to sample this sport!


There are several different sorts of trail running. There’s Mountain running, ultra running, XC running, sky running BUT trail running is basically running off road. We’re the mountain bikers of the running world. If you’re not running on a footpath, road, athletics track or treadmill then chances are you’re trail running. There are urban trails that snake through cities and larger towns such as the Yarrowee loop in Ballarat and there are the more technical trails that are found in the regional, state and national parks around the country. The trails can be wider and more open such as fire roads but the real gems are the narrow single trails that force runners to run Indian file through the bush and ensure full concentration on foot placement!

Given the location of these trails you can expect them to be undulating with great views, lovely scenery, animal sightings and certainly away from any crowds or traffic.

Starting to see why the sport is taking off??


Runners have long been heading for the trails, well before it had a name and entire industry focussing on it!

The iconic running/life coach Percy Cerruty would have his athletes run the sandy bush trails of Portsea for their benefits of leg and lung strength. Arthur Lydiard, the founder of higher mileage training would set his athletes on weekly 20-30 mile runs through the New Zealand forest. Even in the present day, all the top Australian running coaches embark on a 2-4 week running camp up at Falls Creek and run the daily alpine trail network.

So what is it about the trails that draw runners to them?

Well, here’s a few reasons:

  1. Stabilizer strength and balance. Most trails aren’t even underfoot. They have divots, cambers, rocks, sticks, steps and boulders to try and negotiate. Each time you are putting your foot down you’re essentially having to balance yourself using all your little stabilizer muscles, tendons and ligaments. The more you’re on the trails, the more conditioned your foot and ankle gets helping to resist injury and improve performance.
  2. Big muscle strength. You may have noticed that most forests have hills in them which means if you run there, you’ll be going both uphill and downhill much more than your standard run around the lake. You may have to head up rock steps or jump over creeks. Different muscle fibres are in use during these movements. Uphill running puts more load on the glutes, hamstrings and calves. Downhill running loads the quads and core. Increased loading = adaption and strength gains. A good thing for runners of all disciplines.
  3. Injury prevention. Typically when running each foot will land between 80-90 times per minute. That’s about 7600 times per hour! Pretty repetitive isn’t it? A little scary even when you consider that on a treadmill or flat road even the loading patterns are exactly the same! In contrast, when running on trails nearly every footstrike will be different from the last – reducing the risk of overuse injuries. Couple that with the soft dirt trails rather than concrete and it’s no wonder the running coaches prefer you to hit the bush!
  4. Freedom! No people yelling, dogs lunging, cars tooting, roads to cross, bikes ripping past you, trail running takes you into nature away from the hustle and bustle. It’s just you, maybe your buddies and whichever native animals feel curious enough to check you out. You’ll run along riverbanks, climb ridges, descend into gullies and find that your 60 minute run turns into a 90min run very quickly! The best thing is that pace is irrelevant out on the trails. You can even turn your GPS off, listen the body and run to feel. There’s just something magic about running the single track that is hard to understand until you get out there and give it a crack!

Make sure you are aware of the following issues:

  1. The ground will be unstable and the risk of rolling your ankle is higher than road running. Make sure you have a stable pair of shoes and even start doing some ankles stability exercises at home to help with this.
  2. Snakes. They love the dirt trails are a presence in all forests. Very rare to get bitten but on a warm sunny day look to stick to some wider more open trails.
  3. Navigation. Make sure you know where you are at all times! Have a look at the maps before you run and even take your phone with you to double check any intersections. Nothing’s worse than the feeling of being lost on a hot day or when it’s getting dark.
  4. Weirdos. Nowhere near as many as in a city but a little more confronting if you run into them in the middle of the bush. Run with a buddy and you’ll be safer. Carry a phone.
  5. Hydration. No drinking taps in the bush so take your water. There are a range of lightweight hydration vests on the market that you can load with water, gels, your phone and anything else that you might need for a day on the trails.

What you need

  1. Trail shoes can help. They’ll give you more grip, better ankle stability and they’ll be tougher. That said, road shoes can certainly suffice if you’re just testing the waters.
  2. Longer, quality running socks. Your feet move all about in your shoes when on the trails. The uneven ground and hilly terrain mean you’ll be at risk of blisters and sore toes. Longer socks help to keep dirt out of the sock and protect you from cuts and abrasion on the ankle.
  3. If you plan on running longer, a hydration vest is going to really handy. You can store all your gels, jacket, phone, electrolytes and water for an adventure that may take you well away from the local 7/11!

Where to run?

The Goldfields region is blessed with trails perfect for running. Here’s a few little gems that will start off your exploring;

  1. The Goldfields Track. This trail runs from Bunningyong to Bendigo, right through the middle of Ballarat. There are countless entry and exit points for exploring but some highlights include the trails on Mt Buningyong, Nerrina to Creswick and Daylesford to Hepburn. Link here.
  2. The Beeripmo Walk. This 20km loop offers some steep climbs but the single track is worth it. Beautiful views from the summit of Mt Cole. Link here.
  3. The Lerdegerg State Forest. For the adventurous. Tackle Mt Blackwood and the Lerdergerg Gorge. These trails are more technical than the Ballarat area so expect some power hiking mixed in with your running!
  4. One of the best bits about trail running is exploring new areas. Get in the car and head off to the Grampians, the Otways, the Alpine region, the You Yangs or the Surfcoast. It’s a fantastic way to check out an area and see twice as many places than if you were walking.

The GoldRush Trail Run is a local trail event hosted by The Running Company Ballarat in Daylesford. There are 11km and 22km distance options with generous time allowances and aid stations along the routes.

The Goldfields Trail Runners are a group of local runners who meet weekly to run trails in a social and encouraging atmosphere.

The Running Company Ballarat is your local store stocking all things running including shoes, socks, hydration vests and gels.

Here at EO we are continuing to see an increase in runners who are taking to the trails. Trail running does place specific demands on the body and loads the lower limb in different ways. Please chat to us if you’re experiencing pain trail running or want to discuss injury prevention for this wonderful pastime. Click here to book online.


Blake Hose. TRC Ballarat employee. Transvulcania, Spain.


Competitor. Gold Rush Trail Run. Daylesford


Dale Chircop. Peaks & Trails. Dunkeld


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Scoliosis in kids – what to look for

July 10, 2017


Scoliosis – What is it?

Scoliosis is defined as a sideways bending of the spine greater than 10 degrees, accompanied by vertebral rotation. This means that the spine has a “left/right” bend that may look like an “S” or “C” shaped curve. Once the angle of that bend (measured on X-ray) gets to 10 degrees we call it a scoliosis.

It is often first noticed in childhood and adolescence, particularly during the rapid spinal growth period around the same time as puberty (11-14 years of age). It can lead to spinal deformity, pain (although in children and adolescents it is rarely painful) and spinal degeneration.

Scoliosis is more common in girls than boys and 2-4% of the population are thought to have a scoliosis, with 10% of these requiring intervention (bracing or surgery). 85% of cases of scoliosis are idiopathic (no clear understanding of an underlying cause). Idiopathic scoliosis also has a tendency to run in families. Occasionally a scoliosis does have a more serious underlying cause and this is why it is very important to have scoliosis assessed by a health professional with good understanding of scoliosis.


What to look for in your child

Signs that your child may have a scoliosis and should be screened by a health professional include:

  • Uneven shoulder height
  • Uneven looking shoulder blades
  • Asymmetrical waist creases
  • Asymmetrical rib cage obvious when they bend forward
  • noticeable “C” or “S” shape of the spine when you look from behind


Periods of growth in a child’s life are times when a curve may progress. Early detection and accurate monitoring of a curve is important to ensure that your child  gets the best possible care at the right time.  


Treatment of Scoliosis

Generally curves under 20 degrees should be monitored. Some corrective exercises can also be used to try and halt or minimise the progression of the curve. Curves above 20 degrees require more intervention with bracing and if the curve is much greater, possibly surgery. There is no evidence that any non-surgical treatment can reduce curves greater than 60 degrees.

There are a few different bracing options available depending on the degree of curve. The object of bracing is to slow down the progression of a scoliosis and in some cases reduce the degree of the curve.

Surgery is done to stop the progression of a severe scoliosis and potentially help prevent some of the complications that can be associated with a severe scoliosis.

If you notice any asymmetries or changes in posture in your child, please don’t hesitate to contact the clinic for an assessment by one of our qualified Osteopaths.

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Tongue Tie – What’s all the fuss?

July 10, 2017




What is tongue tie?

Tongue-tie, also known as Neonatal Ankyloglossia, is a congenital anomaly characterised by the thin piece of skin under a baby’s tongue (lingual frenulum) affecting the appearance or function of the tongue. It may be short, less elastic or attach towards the front of the underside of the tongue. The degree of this restriction and its’ effects on function can vary greatly. Tongue tie is said to occur in somewhere between 3-4% of newborns.

What are the signs and symptoms of tongue tie?

Many tongue ties are asymptomatic and may not require treatment, with some improving as a child grows. There is a growing acceptance however, that tongue tie may impact on a baby’s ability to latch at the breast and breastfeed effectively. Significant tongue tie can prevent the infant from being able to extend and elevate the tongue past the gum line, which may result in a shallow latch and limit the normal motion of the tongue during feeding.

Breastfeeding difficulties may include signs that the baby is feeding on the end of the nipple including nipple pain and damage (this means that the nipple is pushed up against the hard palate rather than the soft palate and more likely to suffer trauma); baby losing suction while feeding; baby making clicking sounds when feeding; or signs of poor transfer of milk – baby failing to gain weight well, recurrent mastitis or blocked ducts. It is important to note that you may not have all of these symptoms when feeding a baby with tongue tie, as some babies compensate adequately. There are also many other causes of these breastfeeding difficulties that are unrelated to tongue tie – these should be explored by an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC).

What does this mean?

Given the difficulty confirming the effects of tongue tie, there is understandable controversy in some circles around the treatment options. There are very limited high quality studies around the short and long term consequences of tongue tie. Possible issues that have been suggested include feeding and speech difficulties, as well as oral hygiene issues and orthodontic abnormalities.

It is reasonable to suggest that all newborn infants, whether having feeding difficulties or not, should have an examination of the oral cavity that assesses function of the tongue as well as anatomy.

Diagnosis of tongue tie

Diagnosis for this condition must include adequate assessment of both structure and function. This means that diagnosis cannot be made from a photo alone. Examination includes palpation of the oral cavity as well as assessment of the range of motion of the tongue and length, elasticity and points of insertion of the sublingual frenulum. Commonly used assessment tools include the Assessment Tool for Lingual Frenulum Function (ATLFF) by Alison Hazelbaker or the Frenotomy Decision Tool for Breastfeeding Dyads by Carole Dobrich. Diagnosis may also include the classification of an anterior or posterior tongue tie, both of these have different characteristics. Examination should also include assessment of the cheek and lip cavities for lip and buccal ties.

What about lip ties?

Although we have reasonable evidence to suggest that treating a tongue tie can be a low risk procedure for healthy babies, and potentially have great benefits, we unfortunately don’t have the same evidence for lip and buccal ties. There is often confusion about what a normal maxillary/labial (upper lip) frenulum should look like. In most babies, this frenulum attaches into the gum or palate, and acts as a spacer for baby teeth. This frenulum then slowly moves up the gum line in preparation for adult teeth (which are bigger than baby teeth). For this reason, a midline diastema (gap between the front teeth) is normal in kids up to roughly age 7, and then relatively rare in those over 12. This means we do need more good quality research on lip ties.

Treatment for tongue tie

Treatment may vary from a “watch and wait” approach to a variety of frenotomy procedures that may be performed with scissors or laser. Treatment may depend on the age of the child and severity of symptoms. An initial breastfeeding assessment should always be done by a trained IBCLC in order to rule out other causes of breastfeeding difficulties. Conservative treatment options may include breastfeeding advice from an IBCLC and treatment of musculoskeletal compensations by a trained professional such as an Osteopath. If breastfeeding difficulties are present then frenotomy (division of the frenulum) is often recommended early.

Megan Fraumano, Registered Osteopath & ABA Community Educator BSc, MHSc (Osteo), Cert IV Community Education (Breastfeeding)


References & Resources:


  1. Brodribb W (ed), 2012, Breastfeeding Management in Australia. 4th edn. Australian Breastfeeding Association, Melbourne.
  2. Buryk M, Bloom D, Shope T 2011, Efficacy of neonatal release of ankyloglossia: a randomized trialPediatrics 128(2):280–288.
  3. Francis D O, Krishnaswami S, McPheeters M, 2015, Treatment of ankyloglossia and breastfeeding outcomes: a systematic review. Pediatrics 135(6):e1458–e1466.
  4. Geddes DT, Langton DB, Gollow I, Jacobs LA, HartmannPE, Simmer K 2008, Frenulotomy for breastfeeding infants with ankyloglossia: effect on milk removal and sucking mechanism as imaged by ultrasound. Pediatrics 122:e188–e194.
  5. O’Shea JE, Foster JP, O’Donnell CPF, Breathnach D, Jacobs SE, Todd DA, Davis PG, (2017), Frenotomy for tongue-tie in newborn infants. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 3(CD011065):DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD011065.pub2.
  6. The Royal Women’s Hospital 2015, Tongue-tie: information for families. The Royal Women’s Hospital, Victoria Australia.
  7. Herzhadt-Le Toy, J, et al. J Hum Lact. 2016. Efficacy of an Osteopathic Treatment Couples with Lactation Consultations for Infants Biomechanical Sucking Difficulties
  8. Pizzolorusso, Gianfranco; et al. JAOA: Journal of American Osteopathic Association 2013 Jun; 113(6): 462-467. Osteopathic evaluation of somatic dysfunction and craniosacral strain pattern among preterm and term newborns.
  9. Hayes, Bezilla TA. JAOA; 2006 Oct; 106(10):605-8. Incidence of Iatrogenesis associated with OMT of pediatric patients.
  10. Posadki, Lee MS; Ernst, E. Paediatrics 2013 Jul; 132(1):140-52. Osteopathic manipulatice treatment for pediatric conditions: a systematic review
  11. Cerritelli, Pizzolorusso, et al. BMC Pediatr. 2013 April;13:65. Effect of osteopathic manipulatice treatment on length of stay in a population of preterm infants: a randomized controlled trial
  12. Henry SW, Levin MP, Tsaknis PJ. Histological features of superior labial frenum. J Periodontol 1976;47:25-8.
  13. Taylor JE. Clinical observation relating to the normal and abnormal frenum labii superioris. Am J Orthod Oral Surg 1939;25:646.
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Words from an osteo student: How studying Osteopathy has affected my running

March 27, 2017

Holly Dobbyn (in blue) crossing the line first in the 2014 Stawell Gift

By Holly Dobbyn – Holly is a 3rd year osteopathy student. Her sprinting achievements include winning the 2014 Stawell Women’s Gift. She is a Ballarat local and occasionally helps us out on reception. 

I began studying Osteopathy in 2015 and am now entering my 3rd year of studies at Victoria University. Having always had a general interest in the Health Science area, Osteopathy was one of few career pathways that truly grabbed my attention and interested me the greatest.

As an athlete, the previous 2 years of study has intentionally and also subconsciously affected the way I interpret my body whilst running. I have become more aware of how my body reacts to different sessions, how I interpret pain and even extends to offering my opinion to injury complaints of other members within my squad.


Osteopathy student and sprinter Holly Dobbyn

Holly Dobbyn wins the 2014 Womens Stawell Gift.

Holly winning the 2014 Stawell Women’s Gift

You could call it a blessing or a curse having expanded my anatomy knowledge of the human body. I have however, become more ‘in tune’ with myself. Having had three fairly significant athletic injuries over the past 3 years in my running career (two hamstring tears, and a stress fracture of the navicular bone in the foot) I have certainly begun to learn when to distinguish the difference between over doing it at training, and pushing through the discomfort of a tough session.

Although it can be difficult to ignore those small ‘niggles’ and the negative thoughts in your head; “This feels the same as when I tore my hamstring last time, maybe I should stop?” I have started to differentiate between these particular concerns in the past year or two. As my understanding of how the body functions from studying theory and practicing at an elite level, I  now naturally think twice about those minor moans and groans, and to particularly pay close attention to when I don’t feel quite right. I also began to appreciate a great deal more of how lucky and fortunate I was, to be able to run injury free.

I have found during my sprinting sessions I’ve become more aware of how important my warm up is. I am constantly paying close attention to my weights training and my progress, as I’ve realised how important prehab and rehab is for my muscles. These are such minor things to the non-athlete, and should be so obvious to many athletes, however can easily be forgotten and disregarded. Osteopathy has made me more aware of the effects of training and time it takes for changes to occur, and to be patient when preparing and waiting for positive results to happen.

Another advantage of having a greater understanding of our body is I get to (or like to perhaps?) give my opinion to others in my squad if they talk to me about a physical complaint! This can sometimes result in me challenging them, as I seem to be more concerned than they are. However, it can also be helpful for them and myself. I’m so interested in what is going on and how I can potentially help them! Of course, I run through all those initial questions. “Where is the pain? How bad is the pain? Does it radiate anywhere? When did the pain begin?” Funnily enough, this is genuinely where my knowledge begins to fizzle out. I’m excellent at taking a history- still working on the diagnosis aspect…I’m sure this will come later!

I feel so grateful that I’m able to study something that enables me to help not only others, but myself in my running endeavours. As each year passes in my course I feel I will become more confident and especially more interested in how much Osteopathy will change the way I run in the future.


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Megan’s Guide to Training for Kokoda

March 25, 2017

By Megan Fraumano, Osteopath



For many, hiking the Kokoda Track is a bucket list item. It is unique in that due to the historic significance, many people who don’t necessarily call themselves “hikers”, will attempt Kokoda. This is different to many other hikes around the world, where generally only those crazy enough to call extreme exercise and carrying a pack a “holiday” are attracted to the destination.

With this in mind, we see many people with a moderate (or minimal!) amount of fitness decide to get fit and train for Kokoda. The thought of letting your group down, or being left behind in the jungle is generally a pretty good motivator to get you training and improve your fitness.

I hiked the Kokoda track when I was 21 with 8 of my family, including my Dad and Grandpa (who at that stage was 71). The hike was a great challenge for all of us in different ways. I was determined to carry my own pack and not use a personal porter. My Grandpa on the other hand was just happy to get to the end in one piece, which he did! I have since been back to PNG to volunteer with No Roads to Health along the Kokoda Track to deliver health services and education to the local villages. This experience was quite different to my initial trip but equally challenging.

Aside from PNG, some of my favourite hikes include Mt Kinabalu (Borneo), Routeburn Track (NZ), and The Overland Track (Tas). Each of these feature different weather, terrain and difficulty and it is best if you can adapt your training accordingly.

Here are some of the things I have learnt while training twice to hike the Kokoda Track:

1. Train on tired legs – Most of us with reasonable fitness could get through a big day of walking if required. The real challenge on a multi-day hike like Kokoda, is waking up and doing it all again day after day, especially after a night of sleeping in a tent or hut on a self-inflating mattress! The practicalities of finding big hills to hike, mean that often our long walks are confined to the weekends. This is fine, but to make the most of this, I would recommend slowly increasing your mid-week training so that you are doing some shorter walks, a cycle class or some weights. This will mean that you will hopefully wake up for your Saturday walk with heavy, tired legs – exactly what we are after. Even better if you can then follow it up with another hike on Sunday.

2. Find similar terrain – This can be tricky in Ballarat! When I was training for Kokoda the second time, I remember spending lots of time researching hikes online, and was always disappointed to read things like “newly resurfaced track” – probably a bonus to some, but not ideal when you’re on the hunt for rough/muddy/uneven terrain. It is really important to get your feet and brain used to training on rough tracks. Having to actively think about where to step on a muddy, sandy or steep track is completely different to walking the lake. (See my list of recommended training hikes below).

3. Test out your gear – there is nothing worse than a gaiter cutting off circulation in your calf or your pack giving you a sore back. Making sure that everything fits properly, doesn’t rub, and that your body is used to it cannot be underestimated. Testing out ALL your clothing, your pack with your gear (and some bricks if required) in it, and wearing in those shoes is super important. If you plan to use trekking poles then test these out too, preferably on some extra rough terrain where you can actually use them.

4. Practice snacking – most of us don’t consume protein bars, gels and sports drinks on a day to day basis. Check what your hiking company provides and get used to snacking on these things. As it is, the food you will be eating for dinner could be quite different from what you are used to training on (think rice dishes with local choko and yam as well as your regular Aussie camping fare – cup of soups and tuna wraps with Kraft long life cheese!). Even just the act of snacking on the go, or walking soon after a meal is important to get used to.

5. Get strong – Strength training cannot be underestimated. Adding in some light weights to your training program is highly recommended. Having adequate strength in your hamstrings, glutes, calves and quads is a great start. When you see how quickly the locals can climb some of the mountains you will begin to appreciate the strength and endurance required.

6. Get mentally fit – Much of the strength required to hike Kokoda is mental. Regular training can help you to prepare for how you motivate yourself to continue walking when every muscle in your legs are screaming. Regularly pushing yourself past your comfortable zone, as well as continuing to walk that little bit further or faster is a good place to start.


Suggested hiking training locations:

  • Mount Donna Buang (Mt Victoria track – starting behind the golf course at Warburton. Generally muddy, rough and steep, with a chance of leeches!!)
  • You Yangs
  • Glasgow Trail (35 Glasgow Rd, Mount Dandenong. Short but steep)
  • Mount Macedon
  • Mount Beckworth
  • Mount Cole


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Why don’t you have any testimonials??

March 23, 2017



When you’re scrolling the web trying to decide where to go to fix your aches and pains, you will no doubt come across many websites and social media pages spruiking all sorts of great cures. Five star reviews, glowing testimonials, and promises to cure all are not uncommon.

When you look at our website and social media, you may be wondering why we don’t offer any of that. Where are the five star reviews? Where are the testimonials?

The reason is that osteopaths are registered health professionals with AHPRA (Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency), and bound by their advertising guidelines. AHPRA is a national registration body for all government-recognised medical and allied health professions including dentists, physios, optometrists, doctors, nurses and occupational therapists (and more). Other professions not registered with AHPRA, such as massage therapists, myotherapists, personal trainers and nutritionists are not bound by AHPRA’s advertising rules. There are many websites of AHPRA registered professionals that disregard these rules and choose to run the risk of falling foul of the national regulator.

AHPRA have strict rules so as to not mislead the public and they consider the following things to be unacceptable advertising if it:

  • Is false, misleading or deceptive. What practitioners can say in their advertising depends on whether there is acceptable evidence to support their claims. Most health practitioners advertise responsibly, but there are some who make claims that are not backed up by enough evidence.
  • Offers a gift or discount related to the health service that does not stipulate terms and conditions.
  • Includes stories from patients who say that they were happy with their treatment or that the treatment worked for them. These are called testimonials and the law says practitioners can’t use them to advertise.
  • Makes you think a certain treatment can help you in a way that may not be realistic or possible, for example, claiming to cure cancer.
  • Encourages you to seek treatment you do not need, such as saying you need regular appointments just to stay healthy.


This means that as much as we LOVE your feedback, we will delete any public reviews – don’t be offended by this! We do appreciate all of the feedback that we get, especially in the form of telling your friends and family about us (this is why we reward all word of mouth referrals with a $5 voucher for the clinic). So feel free to keep spreading the love!!

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10 Tips for avoiding Pregnancy Related Back Pain

March 19, 2017

During pregnancy, your body undergoes huge changes. As well as the obvious expanding abdomen, changes in your hormones and circulatory system can contribute to softening of ligaments, and sometimes back and pelvic pain, leg pain (sciatica), swelling, high blood pressure and fatigue. It is important to consult your health professional to ensure that further investigation or referral is not required. Your osteopath’s aim is to assist the natural process of pregnancy and birth – maximising your body’s ability to change and support you and your baby with a minimum of pain and discomfort. We understand that in the scheme of complications that may arise during a pregnancy, musculoskeletal complaints can often be skimmed over, as essentially they rarely pose a risk to the health of your baby. However just because you’re pregnant, doesn’t mean that all hope is lost for treating lower back and pelvic pain. Here at Eureka Osteo, we pride ourselves on providing a high standard of care for all patients.

Here are our top tips for avoiding pregnancy related back pain:

1) Enter pregnancy fit & healthy – and aim to maintain this throughout your pregnancy. Start your pregnancy within your ideal weight range, with a healthy diet, and some good exercise habits. Maintaining strength and fitness during pregnancy has been shown to have numerous benefits. Whether you choose pilates, yoga, walking or weight training, find something that you enjoy and stick to it!

2) Avoid excess weight gain during pregnancy. The Australian Dept of Health recommends 11.3-15.9kg total weight gain for women starting pregnancy within a normal BMI range. This is closer to 9kg for those entering pregnancy overweight. Any increase in weight will affect the load absorbed by your hips, knees and feet, as well as your posture and centre of gravity.

3) Get a diagnosis – is there instability? Is there sciatic or nerve pain? Is this pain coming from the lower back, pubic symphysis or hip? Is this pain pregnancy related at all? – Seeing a professional and having a clear diagnosis helps to define what treatment will be most beneficial.

4) Look after your feet – During the second trimester, your arches will often naturally flatten. Having a supported arch and heel will help to support not only your feet, but your knees and hips too- this means avoiding thongs and ugg boots! Balance can also be an issue during pregnancy, having a stable shoe can help. Avoiding standing for long periods can also be helpful for back and leg pain – someone get the pregnant lady a chair!

5) Go to the pool – In the absence of any medical issues, many women find water helps counteract the effects of gravity and gives their body a rest. Swimming a few gentle laps, joining a water aerobics class, or simply walking in the pool can be a gentle way to exercise, and give some temporary relief from pain.

6) Get comfy in bed – sleep is important, especially when your body is working hard to grow a baby. Sleeping on your side, often with a pillow between your knees may be most comfortable. Afternoon naps may be required!

7) Modify your load – as pregnancy progresses, you might feel fine running around all day, but will be sore and fatigued the next day. Cumulative load can have a big impact. Our advice is to “control the controllables” – Can you break up housework into smaller, more manageable chunks? Can you avoid sitting at your desk for long periods of time? Can you decrease the amount of times you lift your kids? Can you enlist the help of friends or family to avoid increased bending/lifting? In general, slow down!

8) Learn some stretches/positions of relief. This is best discussed with your osteopath, however gentle lower back and gluteal stretches can often give relief. A gentle cat stretch on all fours may be comfortable, and depending on the size of your belly, a seated glute stretch or child’s pose may also give relief. See us to check your technique.

9) Check your posture – As discussed, as your tummy grows, your centre of gravity will move forward, and your lower back may arch to counteract this. Trying to stand up tall, avoid locking your knees out, and keeping your shoulders back can be helpful. When sitting, try using a small cushion or rolled up towel to support your lower back.

10) Pain relief – Finding non pharmaceutical strategies for relieving pain is important. A heat or ice pack on the lower back may give temporary relief. Sometimes taping, bracing and other support garments can help to decrease your pain. Osteo treatment can also provide relief by loosening tight muscles, offloading stiff joints, and providing advice on safe movement.

If you have any further questions about musculoskeletal pain during pregnancy, please don’t hesitate to contact the clinic.

Wishing you a healthy pregnancy,
From the team @ Eureka Osteo

1) Osteopathic manipulative treatment in gynecology and obstetrics: A systematic review. Ruffini, Nuria et al. Complementary Therapies in Medicine , Volume 26 , 72 – 78
2) Prevalence and characteristics of women who consult with osteopathic practitioners during pregnancy; a report from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health (ALSWH). Frawley, Jane et al. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies , Volume 20 , Issue 1 , 168 – 172
3) Osteopathic manipulative treatment of back pain and related symptoms during pregnancy: a randomized controlled trial. Licciardone JC, Buchanan S, Hensel KL, King HH, Fulda KG, Stoll ST. Published in American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 2010 Jan;202(1):43.
7) Reduction of Back and Posterior Pelvic Pain in Pregnancy. Östgaard, H. C. MD, PhD; Zetherström, Gunilla RPT; Roos-Hansson, Eva RPT; Svanberg, Bernhard MD, PhD. Spine, April 15, 1994 – Volume 19 – Issue 8
8) Sabino, J. & Grauer, J.N. Curr Rev Musculoskelet Med (2008) 1: 137. doi:10.1007/s12178-008-9021-8
9) Gijon-Nogueron GA1, Gavilan-Diaz M, Valle-Funes V, Jimenez-Cebrian AM, Cervera-Marin JA, Morales-Asencio JM. J Am Podiatr Med Assoc. 2013 Jul-Aug;103(4):314-21. Anthropometric foot changes during pregnancy: a pilot study
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Nutrition for Good Health and Healthy Swimmers

February 3, 2017

by Anthony Rogan


The topic of nutrition is one full of opinion and bias. Whilst there is a large body of research, some of this loaded with bias as well. I have been very interested in food for a long time! More recently I have been reading books, research, opinion pieces, and listening to friends and colleagues and “world leaders” in the field. All of this leads me to offer my opinion, thanks to the gentle prompt from some of the wonderful parents at Ballarat Gold Swimming Club whom we sponsor. I re-iterate, this is MY OPINION albeit an informed one, not an expert one – take it, leave it, digest it or spit it out!

I think more vital than nutrition specifically for swimmers is nutrition for a healthy life. But food has become an obsession of the media and there is a lot of conflicting information out there. In recent times the food pyramid that was recommended strongly by health authorities has been turned upside-down. Well almost, literally. Carbs no longer hold the importance they once did. Fats are no longer the evil muck-raking disease loaded yumminess they were reported and advertised to be. The importance of proteins hasn’t changed all that much – they are still the essential building blocks of life. Vegetables are undoubtedly THE most important food group to consume. Fruit is good for us in small amounts, particularly berries. “Superfoods” are fashionable one minute and not the next. The market is flooded with supplements advertised as essential to optimal health. Some say that intermittent fasting is good for men but maybe harmful for women. The Melbourne Football Club has gone low carb high fat (LCHF) and this probably explains their wins last season! Well maybe…Confused?

So here I go at trying to pull a rabbit out of a hat and make simple sense of it all. If we take healthy eating first, I actually think it is pretty simple. So here are my 6 GOLDen (GO GOLD!) rules:

  1. Eat lots of plants.
  2. Eat moderate amounts of protein, about two palm size portions for men and one for women at each meal, the bigger your palm the bigger your portion.
  3. Eat fats including saturated fats. They are a great energy source, far more energy dense then carbohydrates per gram and have greater satiety (they fill you up for longer).
  4. Eat small to moderate amounts of carbohydrates, preferably from plants rather than processed grains.
  5. Limit your sugar significantly – this is probably THE most important thing you can do for your long term health, not just your dental health. The “healthiest” forms of sugar are thought to be those that you consume in vegetables and fruit (read whole fruit, not juice).
  6. Drink moderate amounts of water.

I suspect that if you follow these 6 GOLDen rules 70-80% of the time and you get out in the sun regularly, exercise often, and have nourishing relationships you will be healthy.

Those who exercise more intensively, are in training for competition and who are trying to gain muscle mass have slightly different requirements, although the GOLDen rules still apply for the most part.

My recommendations for swimmers

Before your swim session: Eating prior to exercise is important and generally the recommendations are to eat 1-2 hours beforehand. This is a challenge for swimmers who do bounce out or get dragged out of bed by Mum or Dad for a 5.15am training session. The sensible thing to do here is to drink milk or water or both, and a eat a piece of toast with a spread. The alternative is to make a shake or smoothie. There are loads of recipes online and I would recommend sticking with real foods. There should be no need to add protein powders or other supplements unless you are really trying to put on muscle mass. 

If the session is an afternoon or evening, you are better off eating a small to moderately-sized well balanced meal 1-2 hours beforehand. If you don’t have the time, then follow what to do before the morning session.

During your swim session you must stay hydrated. Water is best for this and for a two-hour session in the pool you should drink minimum one full sports bottle (600-750ml). You can add lemon juice to your water for taste. Sports drinks really aren’t necessary!

After your swim session is known as the Recovery phase and this time is really important. You need to replenish your energy stores relatively quickly, especially if you are training later that day. There are advocates who say that eating within 30 minutes of finishing training is vital and it may be, but I think so long as you eat within a couple of hours you should be right. What to eat is personal preference. Just make sure that there is plenty of vegetables, a portion of protein, some fats and some carbs.

It is critical if you are trying to build muscle mass and strength that you increase the protein component in your recovery phase and of course make sure that you continue to pay attention to your hydration and drink water.

Before an event it is important to eat a good meal, preferably 2-4 hours prior to competing. Probably one of the most important elements of this meal is that it is one that is familiar, perhaps one you have tested out at training or at a previous competition. The “old” recommendations of carb-loading are probably ok if that is what you are used to. Hydration, hydration, hydration.

During a swim meet between events, eat small amounts of foods that again you are used to and have tested out before or at training. It is really pleasing when I see kids snacking on strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, nuts, dark chocolate, half a sandwich, a small piece of sushi or home made “powerballs” packed with nutrient-rich goodness. Forget all your lollies, hot chips, dim-sims, ice-creams, etc. So my point here is eat REAL food, not something out of a packet or the deep fryer. In all honesty a few lollies won’t do anyone any harm but don’t make them the mainstay of your between event snacks.

Gels: those sweet, gooey, sometimes caffeine-loaded sachets of mostly fructose and flavourings. For swimmers, seriously not needed. The only place for them should be in the jersey of a rider on le Tour de France or tucked into the waistband of an endurance runner. They are easily digested during exercise but in my opinion should only be used during endurance events.

If there is a lunch break between events have a light meal and follow the 6 GOLDen rules. Some suggestions would be some salad with avacado, egg and tuna, a salad roll with some cold meat, sushi, some roasted vegetables. Again, avoid the stuff from the deep fryer – it will slow you down.

If you want to learn more about what to eat then have a look at some or all of the reading suggestions below. This is just a handful – there is soooooo much reading material out there. Sweet Poison by David GIllespie Lots of good information in their blog Some great recipes here from naturopath Sally Gray Very “American” but contains some good information and a more toned-down version of Paleo eating

Why We Get Fat and What To Do About It by Gary Taubes Some good recipes here and the man behind this is Tim Noakes, the worlds most outspoken LCHF advocate Several links on this page to information given to the swimmers at the most successful swimming club in country Victoria. It is a more traditional view but it is one that clearly is a part of this teams success.

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Load Management in Adolescent Rowers

December 13, 2016

Photo Credit: Dean Kittelty

Coaches: Have you ever planned a great session, only to realise that your crew is having a flat day, and completely adapt what you had planned? This is the sign of a coach who is tuned in to their athletes.

Load management is how we describe the balance between training enough to be fast/strong/technically competent, vs overtraining and injury. This line can be a thin one that requires a coach to be finely tuned to their athletes.

With school rowing, we commonly see injured rowers in our clinic in term 1. In Ballarat, in particular, we have an extremely short amount of time between term 1 rowing resuming, and Head of the Lake. This puts our rowers at a high risk of injury during this period.

The AIS has produced a White Paper on Training Load that states:

* If an athlete trains at 60% of their normal volume and intensity, it takes two weeks to progressively return to full training load and reduce injury risk.

* Athletes are at a higher risk of injury on returning to training after a prolonged reduction in training load due to planned rest, tapering, illness or injury.

* The time taken to return to full training, should be proportional to the length of break, and the amount of training achieved during this break.

* Camps or intensive training blocks should not be planned within 4 weeks of a training trough due to rest or injury.


Obviously, these recommendations do not fit with our traditional school based training programs that often include and enforced break from water training over the summer holidays, commonly followed by an intense rowing camp just before term 1 begins. With this knowledge, there is a responsibility for coaches to ensure that their rowers maintain a high (but safe) level of training over the holidays (proportionate to their term 4 training load), and adapt rowing camp and term 1 training loads accordingly.

Adequate rest and recovery is extremely important throughout the season, but so is ensuring that our rowers don’t experience extremely sharp increases in unaccustomed load in order to minimise injury risk.

If you would like to know more about rowing injury prevention, check out my notes on common rowing injuries, injury prevention in teenage rowers, and overuse injuries in paediatrics and adolescents.