How Can Exercise Help With Cancer?

Optimising Cancer Outcomes Through Exercise, Written by Exercise Physiologist Annika Coyne

Cancer risk decreases as activity level increases

Physical activity, as a means of cancer prevention, has considerable strong and convincing evidence for particular cancers (breast and colorectal specifically), to the extent that the lack of physical activity is considered a risk factor for such cancers.

Exercise physiologist plays a significant role during and following cancer treatment:

  • Preventing, managing and reducing treatment-related side-effects
  • Bridging the gap between treatment cessation and returning to ADL
  • Improving long-term health by optimising physical functional, prevention of cancer reoccurrence and other chronic diseases (BMD loss, CVD, etc.)

In the literature, exercise during and following treatment has shown to:

  • Prevents decline and improve cardiovascular function
  • Improves body composition and immune function
  • Improves strength and flexibility
  • Improves body image, self-esteem and mood
  • Stimulate the neuromuscular, endocrine, immune and skeletal symptoms for symptom reduction and health enhancement

Reduces number and severity of side effects including:

  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Pain
  • Improves QOL
  • Reduced hospitalisation duration
  • Improves chemotherapy completion rates
  • Allows for better adjustment to illness
  • Reduces stress, anxiety and depression

In fact, the LACK of PHYSICAL ACTIVITY participation during and following cancer treatment has the potential to exacerbate fatigue symptoms and loss of function, overall impacting quality of life.

Exercise recommendations

  • Steady progress may mean regular participation in exercise rather than the continual progression of intensity/duration/frequency
  • Keeping a diary of frequency and intensity of side effects, exercise participation, the treatment being undertaken, workdays and other relevant information to help identify worsening symptoms and the cause throughout treatment.

Cardiovascular (CV) Exercise

·         Exercises involving large muscle groups

·         Don’t need to be restricted to walking or stationary bike

·         3-5days/week

·         20-30mins continuous CV exercise, but may need to start as low 3-5mins with rest intervals for deconditioned patients

Resistance Exercise

·         Dynamic using concentric an eccentric muscle contraction

·         Use of machine weight, free weights, bodyweight and bands that involve major functional muscle groups

·         Include exercises that replicate daily tasks causing problems for patients

·         1-3days per week (rest days in between)

·         6-10reps, 1-4 sets per muscle group

More about Annika

Annika is an enthusiastic Exercise Physiologist with a passion for Women’s Health. Annika has experience working with pelvic floor dysfunction, diastisis rectus abdominals, pre and post-natal, pelvic & lower back pain. She supports all women by educating them to better understand and manage their condition and restores physical function through exercise. Annika also has a special interest in musculoskeletal rehabilitation. She is committed to delivering high-quality Exercise Physiology, prescribing the best rehabilitation plans based on her clients’ goals. Annika’s love of sport and exercise is what drives her passion for health and well-being. Annika believes that TODAY is always the right day to start.

Annika is available for Exercise Physiology appointments at our Sippy Downs location.

Untreated Hearing Loss & The Risk of Falling

Written by Andrew Campbell​, Masters trained Audiologist

The association between reduced hearing and an increased chance of falling is clinically significant and is an important consideration when recommending treatment of hearing loss. The statistics are quite concerning:

· About one-third of the population over the age of 65 falls each year, and the risk of falls increases proportionately with age.

· At 80 years, over half of seniors fall annually.

· Falls account for 25% of all hospital admissions and 40% of all nursing home admissions.

· 40% of those admitted do not return to independent living.

· 25% of falls patients pass away within a year.

· In Australia in 2009-2010, the estimated number of hospitalised injury cases due to falls in people aged 65 and older was 83,800.

As alarming as these statistics are, they are an underestimate, as many falls go unreported.

Many of the causes of falls are preventable and doctors routinely advise their older patients to have their vision checked. They also advise having the home evaluated for falls risks and modified accordingly wherever possible. What’s lesser-known and mentioned far less frequently is that another major contributor to an elderly person falling is untreated hearing loss.


Multiple studies have proven that those who are ‘hard of hearing’ are at significantly greater risk of falling.

One of the most significant studies conducted to determine the connection between untreated hearing loss and falls used extensive data from the 2001–2004 cycles of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. More than two thousand survey participants aged 40 to 69 had their hearing tested and responded to the question: “Have you fallen during the past year?”


Researchers also tested participants’ balance function to determine if this was being affected by their hearing loss. The lead researchers reported that people with mild hearing loss (roughly 25% hearing loss) were nearly three times as likely to have a history of falling. Every additional 10dB (roughly 10%) of hearing loss increased the likelihood of falling by 1.4 times[G11]. Even after other factors (age, sex, race, balance function) were considered, the findings held true.


Possible reasons linking untreated hearing loss and falls

Dr Frank Lin, an otologist and epidemiologist who conducted this and several other studies on the broader implications of hearing loss, suggests the following possible reasons for the clear links between untreated hearing loss and falls:

· People who can’t hear well may not have a clear awareness of their overall environment, increasing the potential to trip and fall.

· Cognitive load increases in those with hearing loss. The brain is overwhelmed with demands on its limited resources to maintain balance and steadiness while straining to hear and process sound.

· Hearing disorders may also include balance dysfunction.

Now available – hearing aids with built-in falls detection!

To assist in reducing the likelihood of falls, one of the latest hearing devices has built-in falls detection which has a high degree of accuracy and can alert up to three people by SMS when a fall has occurred. When someone responds to the SMS, they are instantly sent Google Maps directions to the person who has fallen, to assist in coming to their aid without delay.

For current owners of hearing devices, reduced risk of falling is yet another reason why hearing devices are best worn during all waking hours. They’ll assist in keeping you sharp, engaged with those around you and firmly on your two feet.

NeuAudio is an Independent hearing practice based at Sports & Spinal’s Chermside practice, if you or someone you care an about is interested in a complimentary consultation, you can book via the following link

Meat, Dairy & Eggs, What our Dietitian has to say

The Heart Foundation has just released new recommendations and its good news for cheese lovers!  It has been found that unflavoured full-fat milk, yoghurts and cheeses have a neutral effect on cholesterol levels in healthy individuals. However, for those who currently have elevated cholesterol levels or heart disease, the recommendations are to continue or swap to low reduced-fat dairy products and no more than 7 eggs per week. Butter and other dairy products higher in fat and sugar such as ice-cream and desserts should continue to be consumed in moderation.

Emphasis has also been placed on our red meat consumption. The Heart Foundation is suggesting no more than 350g of unprocessed lean red meat per week. This is equivalent to 1-3 main meals that include lean beef, veal, pork, or lamb. Processed or deli meats should still be limited as they are linked to a higher risk of heart disease and other chronic conditions.

So where should we be getting our protein from? It’s suggested that we include plant protein such as lentils, legumes and tofu, as well as fish and seafood, with a smaller proportion from eggs and lean poultry. For main meals, start by filling half your plate with fruits and vegetables. Add a small portion of whole grains, a small portion of lean or plant protein and cook with extra virgin olive oil.

The bottom line.

Healthy individuals are recommended to consume a diet high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and plant-based protein. Enjoy fish, seafood, eggs and poultry in moderation. Include full-fat milk, yoghurts and cheeses. Limit red meat (beef, veal, lamb & pork) to 350g per week and limit foods or drinks high in saturated fats, added sugar, salt and alcohol. Those with chronic conditions such as Type 2 Diabetes, Dyslipidaemia or Heart disease are encouraged to follow a similar eating pattern. However, consume no more than 7 eggs per week and swap to reduced-fat dairy. And of course, we cannot forget the importance of regular exercise and stress management.

Chelsea McCallum is a Dietitian at Sports and Spinal Physiotherapy. Chelsea is passionate about empowering clients to transform their health and prevent chronic disease. Having graduated with a Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics from the University of the Sunshine Coast, Chelsea has experience in a wide range of nutrition areas such as weight management, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, irritable bowel syndrome, malnutrition and sports nutrition.


Dietitian Approved, Healthy & Easy Snack

No-Bake Protein Bliss Balls Are A Great Healthy Snack for Work & Time Poor Days.


- 3 cups raw muesli

- ½ cup bran

- 4 tablespoons mayvers crunchy peanut butter

- 2 tablespoons mayvers cacao super spread

- ½ cup raw (Amazonia) slim & tone protein powder

- 1 ripe banana

- ½ cup mixed nuts

- 2 tsp honey

- 1 cup of desiccated coconut.


  1. Mix all the following ingredients into a bowl, if the consistency is too dry, add a dash of coconut milk. If too wet, add more muesli.
  1. Roll into ping-pong sized balls using hands. Ideal consistency should be sticky.
  1. Coat with coconut, place in a container and allow the balls to set for 20 minutes

Casey is passionate about the role that nutrition has on health and well-being. This led her to pursue a career where she is able to utilise her knowledge to facilitate clients in meeting their individual nutrition and health goals. There is never a one size fits all approach when it comes to diet and lifestyle and she is committed to guiding and supporting all of her clients.

She has completed a Bachelor of Biomedical Science, Bachelor of Exercise & Nutrition Science, a Masters in Dietetics (University of Queensland) and is also an ACFED approved eating disorder practitioner. Her areas of interest include chronic disease, weight management, bariatric surgery, allergies/intolerances, vegetarian and vegan diets and eating disorders.

Casey is available for Dietitian appointments at ourRobina & Broadbeach clinics

Are you suffering from Vertigo or have Vestibular conditions?

Sports & Spinal have expert physiotherapists in Vestibular Rehab, Neurological Rehab and Fall Prevention treatments.

Our Vestibular physios are available throughout the Sports and Spinal’s clinics which cover a wide region from Brisbane to Sunshine Coast.

Our physios have all undergone postgraduate studies in the treatment and diagnosis of vestibular and neurological conditions.

Find out how we can help you!

What is Vestibular?

Vestibular conditions may present with a variety of symptoms including dizziness, vertigo, balance disturbances, nausea, vomiting, rocking or spinning sensations, blurred vision, fatigue or unsteadiness. Anxiety and depression may also feature or be a natural result of living with vestibular symptoms.

Vestibular Rehab

Using high level technology (infrared goggles) our Physiotherapists are trained to assess subtle movements of the eye in reaction to certain clinical tests. These movements (Nystagmus) arise when there is an imbalance in the Vestibular/Inner Ear System. Your Vestibular System is responsible for keeping your eyes and gaze steady, especially during head movements. If your Vestibular System is imbalanced (one side damaged/affected) your eyes can slightly drift towards the ‘affected’ side. Your brain then ‘centrally compensates’ to correct this and in turn your eyes ‘flick’ back to the centre. This ‘flick’ back is what is most obvious during the Nystagmus observation. There are many different patterns of Nystagmus E.G. horizontal, torsional, vertical, in all different directions, and these can be in numerous combinations. Nystagmus are the key to diagnosis as certain patterns represent specific Vestibular or Central Disorders.


Vertigo is the sensation that either you or the world is rotating. Episodes can last for a few minutes or be constant. Attacks may be associated with specific movements like rolling over in bed, turning to look over your shoulder, looking up or down a flight of stairs, or may take you completely by surprise. You may experience vertigo from the extreme sport of standing upright without moving at all! Vertigo can have a big impact on your function. You may not be able to do things you used to enjoy. It can be overwhelming to concentrate or complete basic tasks when your world is spinning, or you feel like you are standing on shifting sand.

What are the symptoms of Vertigo?

Other symptoms can include light-headedness, feeling faint, headaches, nausea, difficulty concentrating or blurred vision. Sometimes you can feel like you veer off to one side when you walk or struggle to keep your balance.

What are the causes of Vertigo?

There are many causes of vertigo, but problems arise when the three main balance systems in your body are not telling your brain the same information. These 3 systems are the balance organs in the inner ear (called the vestibular system), the position sensors in your joints and muscles, especially the neck and feet, and your eyes. Dysfunction can occur in one or any combination of these three systems, or in the processing of this information in the brain. These systems can also deteriorate as part of the normal ageing process which adds another challenge.

What is the Vestibular System?

The vestibular system is made up of 3 semi-circular canals in each ear that are filled with fluid. Tiny hairs inside these canals sense when this fluid shifts as you move your head and tell your brain whether you are upright or tipped at an angle. The most common dysfunction is BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo). In this disorder, microscopic crystals in the canals of the vestibular system are dislodged through trauma, illness or the normal aging process. Movement of these crystals in the vestibular system can trick the brain into thinking your head is tilted when your vision is telling you your head is straight resulting in an overwhelmed, spinning sensation. More complex dysfunction includes complete loss of function in one or both of the inner ears. Fortunately, the brain can be trained to compensate for the complete loss of function in this vestibular system by strengthening the use of vision and/or good postural awareness of the head and neck alignment. Other factors include vestibular migraines and the high association between headaches, migraines, and vertigo.

How can the Physio’s @ Sports & Spinal help me with Vertigo?

Our physiotherapists are trained to assess and treat dysfunction of the vestibular system and your balance. You don’t need a referral and our clinicians also screen for more serious causes of vertigo such as Meniere’s disease, or vestibular neuritis. We will refer you to a GP if you need to undertake further testing such as CT scans or blood tests. We also assess your posture and any neck or migraine issues you may experience.

Treatment involves Vestibular rehabilitation therapy to treat primary and secondary causes of vertigo. It is an exercise-based program combined with mobilisation of the head and body to correct deficiencies within the vestibular system and strengthen the processing of balance information in the brain.

How does Physiotherapy help?

  1. Improved balance
  2. Reduced tension of muscles, headaches and more energy.
  3. Symptoms of dizziness and vertigo and nausea will decrease or disappear

Many times, vestibular physiotherapy is so successful that no other treatment is required.

Vestibular Team @ Sports & Spinal

Briony McSwan

Briony has been with Sports and Spinal since 1998. She has a wealth of experience in all areas of physiotherapy but for over a decade has focussed particularly on the treatment and management of head, neck and jaw pain, as well as dizziness and vestibular dysfunction.

Briony has achieved Competency level Vestibular training and has been a Watson Headache practitioner for over 15 years. Watson techniques for headaches are internationally recognised and renowned and can be a breakthrough in the management of chronic headache and migraine.

Briony is available for Physiotherapy appointments at our Maroochydore location

David Stevens

Since qualifying as a Physiotherapist in 2002 David has worked in both the NHS and the private sector treating a variety of acute and chronic musculoskeletal conditions. Using a holistic approach he is able to tailor treatment to the individual and their goals. His areas of expertise are Cervicogenic headaches and shoulder injury. Working closely with shoulder surgeons in the UK has given David a sound understanding of the role that Physiotherapy has in the management and rehabilitation of complex shoulder conditions.

David is available for Physiotherapy appointments at our Buderim location.

Julie Gear 

Julie graduated from the University of Otago in New Zealand in 1998 and has gained a wealth of experience working in busy clinics around the world, including a professional sports centre in France, the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre in London and a clinic in the ski resort of Verbier in Switzerland. She has worked with rugby teams in New Zealand and the England Volleyball team in the UK.

Julie has postgraduate training in ergonomics and Pilates, and is also a qualified acupuncturist having studied both in the UK and in China. Julie combines her training in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Intra-Muscular Stimulation with traditional physiotherapy treatment techniques for optimum results.

Julie has a special interest in spinal problems and headaches.

Julie is available for Physiotherapy appointments at our Caloundra location.

Alana Dinsdale

Alana is a passionate physiotherapist who is experienced in working with a wide range of musculoskeletal complaints. She enjoys the challenge of finding and addressing the root cause of a problem, and works closely with her patients and other health professionals to deliver the best treatment possible.

Since graduating with a Bachelor of Physiotherapy from UQ in 2012, Alana has gone on to further her knowledge through various conferences and courses.

She has developed a particular interest in spinal rehabilitation, and treatment of neck pain, TMJ dysfunction and headaches. Alana uses a number of techniques with her patients including dry needling, manual therapy, exercise prescription and pilates.

Alana is available for Physiotherapy appointments at our Chermside location.

Contact your local clinic to book in with one of our Vestibular Physiotherapist

Cauliflower Soup Recipe; Written by Dietitian Chelsea McCallum

Recipe designed by Chelsea McCallum. Chelsea is one of our superstar dietitians, and she is passionate
about sharing her love of healthy and simple, yet delicious recipes. Here is one of her favourites below to keep you warm this winter!



1 brown onion

4 cloves garlic

1 leek

1/2 cauliflower head

1 tbsp butter

1.5L salt reduced stock


A sprinkle of parmesan cheese



  1. Roughly dice the onion and leek, cut the cauliflower into chunks and peel & dice the garlic.
  2. Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat and add the butter, onion and garlic. Cook, stirring, for three minutes or until the onion has softened.
  3. Add the cauliflower, leek, stock and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook on medium for 20 minutes.
  4. Blend with a hand-held stick blender until smooth and serve with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.

Enjoy! We hope this recipe is a favourite in your house this winter!


Chelsea McCallum is a Dietitian at Sports and Spinal Physiotherapy. Chelsea is passionate about empowering clients to transform their health and prevent chronic disease. Having graduated with a Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics from the University of the Sunshine Coast, Chelsea has experience in a wide range of nutrition areas such as weight management, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, irritable bowel syndrome, malnutrition and sports nutrition.

Why Do Cross Fit Injuries Occur? Written by Cassie Kennett

Written by Cassie Kennett, Sports & Spinal's Cross Fit Enthusiast and Physiotherapist. 

Why do CrossFit injuries occur??

Firstly, what is CrossFit?

For those of you that have not yet joined the CrossFit ‘cult’, CrossFit is a form of exercise that incorporates rapid and successive high-intensity ballistic movements from the likes of gymnastics, Olympic lifting and powerlifting, with just a few other functional movements incorporated. Due to the higher intensity and very technical movements, Crossfitters can be prone to injury. More specifically, injuries are believed to occur due to a few very common reasons.

Reason a) Advanced movements attempted by not so advanced athletes (i.e. technique, and more importantly, technique under load)

Reason b) Inconsistency of training

Reason c) Poor core strength and stability

Reason d) Spike in volume and load of training /weights

Now, this can affect anyone. I see it most commonly in newbies and in competitors.

Typically, people new to the sport represent the largest population of injury. However, they are generally of a larger body mass and do not have a background in gymnastics or Olympic lifting – which is a major component of the sport. These movements are very technical and can take weeks-months-years to master and perform in WOD, so don’t rush it. Take it slow and use only the bar/stick to the progressions until you and your coach are comfortable in moving up in weights and/or movements. Now, I’m not trying to scare off any potential new crossfitters reading this, so read on to find out how best to avoid injury when starting.

Inconsistent training is another risk factor for injury. The individuals that can only make 1-2 sessions a week/fortnight have less of a chance at mastering the movements and being able to RX the workouts. This, as well as the potential deconditioning that comes with inconsistent training, can make them more prone to injury. CrossFit workouts typically involve high reps, heavyweights all completed as fast as possible - not the best combination for sporadic training.

Core strength and stability is imperative for not only all lifts in CrossFit but in all positions under load. Think about it. Which of these two positions looks better? If you picked A, you’ve just saved yourself from a potential back injury. Knowledge of and use of core strength in all movements will not only improve technique, but it will also help prevent injury. This ‘rib flare’ is a common mistake that overextends/overarches the back which is a loss of core engagement and control, which ultimately protects the back.

Conversely, competitors, whose technique is usually on point, are more likely to become injured when there is a sudden increase in load and volume of training. – i.e. training for a comp, undertaking a new program or starting CompTrain (check it out, you won’t be disappointed). Weights increase, accessory work takes a step back, and hours at the gym increase.

There is a training continuum, if you will, that depicts a training: rest ratio that is optimal for the sport of CrossFit. Typically, gyms will program 6 days per weeks to cater for everyone’s schedule. This does not mean that to be ultimately fit, you have to train for 1-2hrs 6 days a week. No. This is put in purely to give people options. A training regime that allows one day off during the week – i.e. train Mon-Wed, rest Thurs and train Fri-Sat is an optimal training schedule as it allows recovery during the week which not only promotes rest for the body (trust me, you need it) but rests for the mind. However, other recommendations made by CFL1 courses state that a 5on, 2 off training roster is also beneficial. People that train above this recommendation risk injury.  While they may progress quickly at the beginning, eventually the volume catches up to them in the form of an injury.

Now don’t get me wrong, injuries in this sport is not a particularly common thing, and won’t happen to everyone. There are definitely ways to avoid injury, however, as in any sport, it still happens. The best way to avoid injuries is to:

  1. Start off slowly with VERY lightweight (if you’re a beginner)
  2. Focus on getting the technique right first (leave your ego at the door – there’s no need to lift heavy weight if you cannot do the movement)
  3. Have rest days and work on mobility. Yes, mobility.

The most common injuries seen are in the low back, shoulders, knees and wrists. Unless people have come from a gymnastics/weightlifting background, they can come across these when beginning CrossFit. These will be covered in the next couple of blog entries.

So what do we do about these injuries??

See your Physiotherapist!

At Coolum, Cass is a CrossFitter herself and is able to design a rehab program based around CrossFit movements and goals. She is also able to provide advice regarding technique and progressive loading to rehabilitate current and prevent future injury. 

What is a Concussion?

Collaborated by Hayley Wilkinson, Briony McSwan Sports & Spinal Maroochydore and Sabrina Maynard Sports & Spinal Kawana.

What is a concussion?

A sports-related concussion can be defined as a traumatic brain injury induced by biomechanical forces (Berlin Consensus Guidelines, 2016). It is caused by either a direct blow to the head, face or neck. It’s important to note a blow to anywhere on the body, transmits an ‘impulsive’ force to the head can cause a concussion.

Only 6% of concussion results in loss of consciousness. Just because someone didn’t lose consciousness doesn’t mean they won’t have a concussion.

40% of concussions show up at the time of injury, however, 30% evolve over time showing the importance of monitor patients or people with a suspected concussion.

Some symptoms to look for with a concussion include:

• Headache
• Fogginess (cognition)
• Rapid and exaggerated changes in mood
• Irritability
• Loss of consciousness
• Memory loss
• Unsteady, unbalanced
• Slowed reaction time
• Drowsiness

Concussion should not be taken lightly in any case but take to the emergency department if people are presenting with:

• Neck pain
• Increasing confusion and irritability
• Repeated vomiting
• Seizure or convulsion
• Weakness or tingling/burning in arms or legs
• Deteriorating conscious state
• Severe or increasing headache
• Unusual behaviour change
• Double vision

'If in doubt sit them out'

We don’t want anyone having a second impact (second impact syndrome) where they suffer a second concussion before the symptoms of the earlier one have subsided.
A second impact can cause the brain to swell rapidly and catastrophically which will then lead to further neurometabolic changes and cell death

Most people are unaware that there is treatment available to help reduce symptoms and return to sport faster.
Initial rest from cognitive, physical and environmental factors as needed is indicated for the first 48 hours. Then as tolerated start graduated return to cognitive and physical activity – need to treat the individual.
Limit: screen time, physical activity, school, socializing, stressful activities
Allow: Increased sleep, hydration and nutrition
Integrate: 5minutes every hour of symptom-free activities (no headaches, dizziness, fatigue)
Alternate between types of activity = cognitive/physical/visual. Integrate screen time sooner on a structured basis.

All activities should be introduced slowly and gradually whilst monitoring symptoms. Some types of activities you could alternate between are listed below:








• Listening tasks- audiobooks, quiet music
• Meditation or relaxation (sooner rather than later)
• Colouring
• Short walk indoors or out
• Brushing the pet


• Reading
• Computer
• Memory tasks
• Problem-solving
• Cooking
• Planning activities







• Increased HR – walking, cycling, jogging
• Household tasks – cleaning, dishes
• Yoga


• Light exposure
• Noise exposure
• Busier places/events
• Talking in group

General rule:

The athlete needs to be symptoms free for the same amount of time they have had symptoms prior to returning to contact sport.
Successful return to school/work must come before return to sport (game). Especially, in youth and adolescents

The average length of return to sport/play :

• 14 days for girls
• 15 days for girls
• 2 days earlier if received treatment right away/report it right away.
Non-sport-related concussions take longer than sport related = whiplash, falls.
It is worth noting most sports will have specific return to play guidelines and protocols. Generally, you will need to be signed off by a qualified GP before getting back to your sport.

Here at Sports & Spinal, we are able to assist you and in getting back to your regular activities, we can provide physiotherapy that includes:

  • Neurological, Vestibular (balance/dizziness) and Musculoskeletal assessment

  • Neck and headache treatment

  • Safe implementation of a graded rehabilitation program to prepare for returning to sport/work

  • Providing specific exercises for reducing some symptoms

  • Assessing for return to school/work and return to sport

Recovering from a concussion can be a frustrating process. Each patient will require individualized care during their concussion management process. Some may recover quite quickly, while some may have a difficult time progressing.  If you need advice on concussion or you have symptoms lasting longer than one month contact our team and they will be happy to book you in an appointment with our wonderful team of Physiotherapist!

Meet two of our expert Physiotherapist that can assist with a concussion in our Maroochydore clinic: 

Hayley Wilkinson

Hayley has also completed further study in Concussion Management and is passionate about helping athletes return to their sport safely following a concussion particularly if they continue to experience persistent symptoms.

Hayley has been working for the Brisbane Lions Australian Football Club the past 4 years and has developed an interest in treating sporting and lower limb injuries.

Briony McSwan

Briony has been with Sports and Spinal since 1998. She has a wealth of experience in all areas of physiotherapy but for over a decade has focussed particularly on the treatment and management of head, neck and jaw pain, as well as dizziness and vestibular dysfunction.

Click the image below to find your local clinic and to find a physiotherapist that can help you today

The Secret To Improving Your Balance, Written By Exercise Physiologist Matthew Crear

The Secret to Improving your balance

The Secret To Improving Your Balance, Written By Exercise Physiologist Matthew Crear

The importance of improving or maintaining an individual’s functional abilities is essential to achieving a greater quality of life. Functional abilities, refer to the ability of an individual to have the physiological capacity to carry out activities of daily living safely and without undue fatigue (1). A primary contributor to maintaining quality of life is balanced ability or limiting the risk of falls, both of which have been found to be directly influenced by one’s strength and stability (2).

Having adequate balance doesn’t solely refer to being able to stand on one leg or step over obstacles unbothered. But relates to functional activities such as navigating through the garden, managing stairs or inclines and in the instance where balance is lost, being able to gather it without falling or causing harm.

Once the age of 50 is reached, it is estimated that each subsequent year results in 1.4-2.5% decrease in lean muscle mass. And at 65 years of age this significantly increases with research reporting one-third of the population experiencing a fall annually. Of that one third, as many as 35% sustain a serious injury (3, 4). Aside from causing poor balance and increased risk of falls, loss of strength and stability is also associated with slow walking speed, poor endurance while completing tasks, inability to rise from a chair and frailty (5).

It has been identified that individuals that participate in regular exercise interventions significantly decrease their risk of falls and causes harm to themselves. Different forms of exercise that have been found to be beneficial are (6, 7):

  • Walking
  • Group-based strength classes
  • Pilates

As exercise physiologists, we play a vital role in providing you with exercise which suits you or finding suitable classes for you to join We account for your individual conditions and abilities, access to equipment and the goals you are trying to achieve. Completing regular supervised exercise is the simplest way to improve whole body strength, functional ability, and deter falls.

There is a surplus of benefits associated with all types of physical activity, which have proven benefits for all ages and abilities. Luckily, it’s never too late to kick off your journey to better health and begin participating in regular exercise

At Sports & Spinal we offer a 1 on 1 consultation with an Exercise Physiologist and a range of exercises classes!

Core, Strength & Mobility Classes (Studio & Mat Clinical Pilates)

With an emphasis on core conditioning, breathing and body awareness, our CSM classes are a safe and highly effective way to stretch, strengthen and streamline your body without building bulk or stressing your joints.

CSM classes utilise a variety of exercises that incorporate balance, power, strength and stability. The classes are inspired by Clinical Pilates movements and equipment, utilising levers and resistance to promote correct muscular activation patterns, postural awareness and core strength.

Blooming Bellies & Active Mums

Blooming Bellies to Active Mums are two classes designed for your specific needs during the antenatal and postnatal period. The changes your body undergoes during the childbearing years require specific, targeted exercises by trained professionals to ensure that you safely remain strong and active.


Hydrotherapy is a specific therapist supervised treatment and exercise program in a heated pool (32°C). Hydrotherapy is often used to improve strength and flexibility before beginning a gym or home-based program. It is suitable for all ages and fitness levels. Being at a constant safe depth it is not necessary to be a competent swimmer in order to benefit.

The New You

Incredible personalised health and wellness classes developed by the expertise of the Sports & Spinal Exercise Physiologist and Dietitian team.

These classes are all about taking small steps to create big, lasting lifestyle changes for THE NEW YOU!

Our Exercise Physiologists are trained in wellness coaching to help you lose weight, stay motivated with your rehab classes and self manage your condition with expert guidance.

Move 4 Life

The Sports and Spinal team are highly skilled in developing exercise programs to suit everyone individual needs as we age, particularly in relation to people who have conditions which limit them physically and affect their quality of life e.g. arthritis, stroke, a fracture, osteoporosis or heart disease.

Interested in doing classes?

All patients are required to have an initial assessment with a Physiotherapist or Exercise Physiologist before beginning any of our classes. This is to familiarise patients with any equipment, positions, exercises and identify and injuries/restrictions we need to be aware of prior to attending a class.

Contact your local Sports and Spinal location to arrange a consultation. After this assessment, your first two weeks of classes is FREE!

More about Matthew Crear

Matt graduated with a Bachelor of Exercise Physiology (Clinical) from James Cook University (Townsville) in 2016. Following two years working in a private clinic Hervey Bay, Matt has developed an eagerness to aid in the management and treatment of musculoskeletal injuries and chronic illness. Matt is passionate about ensuring that every patient he sees is provided with education regarding their specific condition to assure a greater quality of life. Matt has developed a special interest in the management of return to sport, pre and post-operative rehabilitation, chronic pain, osteoporosis and chronic disease management. In his spare time, Matt enjoys competitively playing hockey and touch football and fills in his spare time riding his mountain bike and playing golf.

Matthew is available for Exercise Physiology consultations at our Chermside clinic



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  2. In-Hee, L., & Sang-Young, P., (2013). Balance Improvement by Strength Training for the Elderly. Journal of Physical Therapy Science, 25(12), 1591-1593.
  3. KARINKANTA, S., KANNUS, P., UUSI-RASI, K., HEINONEN, A., & SIEVÄNEN, H. (2015). Combined resistance and balance-jumping exercise reduces older women’s injurious falls and fractures: 5-year follow-up study. Age & Ageing44(5), 784–789.
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  6. Cameron ID, et al. Interventions for preventing falls in older people in care facilities and hospitals. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012 Dec 12;12:CD005465.
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Five Benefits of Massage in the Winter

Massage in winter

For most of us, winter means hot drinks, extra layers of clothing, more hours spent indoors and less physical activity.
The good news is that a Remedial Massage can be a great tool to help you through the winter season!

The benefits of massage therapy during winter should not be overlooked, and may be exactly what you need to make it through to spring:

  1. Boost Your Immune System

Winter means colds & the flu spread like wildfire but massage can help your body fight these by boosting your immune system. This is through increasing the lymph flow which is loaded with lots of white blood cells which then go and fight infections around the body.

  1. Helps Dry Skin

As the humidity drops in winter the cold, dry air makes the water in your skin evaporate quicker, making your skin drier. The oils and lotions used in massage contain lots of vitamins to nourish & hydrate your skin – making you feel better on the inside & out!

  1. Improve Your Circulation

Your circulation may need a little help if your hands and feet are always chilly or if you’re having some aches and pains in the colder weather. Regular massage can help by enhancing blood flow and body warmth, which in turn increases the flow of oxygen around the body.

  1. Say Bye To Winter Blues

Massage encourages positive changes in the endocrine system where hormones are created. These changes decrease cortisol levels (a stress-related hormone) & increase oxytocin levels (the happy hormone) leading to the release of serotonin and endorphins, relieving the stress and enhancing your mood. Bye, bye winter blues!

  1. De-Stress

Waking up when it is dark and getting home from work when it is also dark can add extra stress into our lives. Some time out for a massage can really help boost your well-being & help to reset the balance in your life by aiding the release of stress.  It will also help to improve your sleep to give you more energy during the busy winter months.

Sports & Spinal have you covered this winter!

To find out more information about Remedial Massage, meet the massage team and to book an appointment click here

Remedial Massage is available at BroadbeachBuderim, Caloundra, Chermside, Coolum, Kawana,Landsborough, Maroochydore, Nambour, North Lakes, Redcliffe, Robina, Sippy Downs, Springfield and Woolloongabba locations.