What is a Concussion?

Collaborated by Hayley Wilkinson, Briony McSwan Sports & Spinal Maroochydore and Sarbina Maybard 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



  1. Samuel, S. E., Shaji, E. P., & Suresh, B. V. (2018). Correlation between Balance and Functional Ability in Elderly: A Pilot Study. Indian Journal of Physiotherapy & Occupational Therapy, 12(1), 47–51.
  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.
  4. Macaluso A, De Vito G: Muscle strength, power and adaptations to resistance training in older people. Eur J Appl Physiol, 2004, 91: 450–472.
  5. Mangione, K. K., Miller, A. H., & Naughton, I. V. (2010). Cochrane Review: Improving Physical Function and Performance With Progressive Resistance Strength Training in Older Adults. Physical Therapy90(12), 1711–1715.
  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.
  7. Gillespie LD, et al. Interventions for preventing falls in older people living in the community. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012 Sep 12;9:CD007146.


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.

Have you had an injury to your wrist? Written by Hand Therapist Bethany Butler

This week, we're giving a big shout out to our resident Hand Therapist - Bethany Butler -Bethany is Sports & Spinal’s physiotherapist with a special interest in the upper limb – shoulder, elbow, wrist & hand conditions. We'll be celebrating all things wrist & hand this week with special articles on how to best recover from an upper limb injury.

Hand Therapist work with a wide variety of people, including athletes, manual labourers, new mothers, elderly people, and children, basically, they're our hidden heroes getting people back to the things they love after significant trauma & loss.

Bethany would like to share her blog with you all:

Have you had an injury to your wrist and you now find it difficult to weight bear through your hand and wrist during activities such as Pilates, Boxing or Gym training? Or, do you experience pain when simply pushing up from a chair?

You may be experiencing pain localised to the side of your wrist (below your little finger – see image below) with twisting motions of your wrist such as: wringing out wet clothes; turning a doorknob; lifting or carrying an object with your palms turned upwards? These are all symptoms of an injury to the ulnar side of your wrist.

Specifically, you might have a TFCC ligament injury. The Triangular Fibro-Cartilage Complex (commonly called the TFCC) is one of the most commonly injured structures from a fall on an outstretched hand or with a heavy twisting motion of the wrist. An injury to the TFCC may also occur at the same time you break your wrist and is quite often missed by the emergency department if they’ve only done an x-ray to check the bone injury. The TFCC is the main ligament and support structure on the ulnar side of the wrist that stabilises the forearm against load and rotational forces (such as twisting and grasping objects) TFCC injuries are painful, especially when lifting, carrying objects and loading on your wrist to push/pull.

Consultation with a Hand Therapist is recommended to determine whether you have a TFCC injury, or pain on that side of your wrist to help diagnose the specific problem. Hand Therapists have the specialised skills required to examine a painful wrist and use their knowledge of anatomy and biomechanics to prescribe appropriate treatment for each different wrist injury. They can also determine whether you need to see your GP for X-rays, ultrasound or MRI.

Hand Therapy for a TFCC injury may involve:

  • Assessment of your wrist to determine the appropriate treatment approaches specific to your injury
  • Educate you on the specific biomechanics and activities that will aggravate your symptoms – so you can adjust and reduce your pain & allow the injured structure to heal
  • Prescribe the correct splint/orthoses for your needs:
    Option 1: to provide a larger wrist splint to immobilise the wrist (for example a thermoplastic custom-made orthoses)
    Option 2: prescribe a Wrist Widget® splint which takes over for the TFCC and prevents the radius and ulna from spreading which provides pain relied & may allow you to continue training and using your wrist for daily activities while it heals
  • Prescription of graded postural and stabilising exercises at the right stage of your rehabilitation and in a graded-manner, which has been shown to improve pain, strength, stability, and coordination to help you regain normal use of your wrist after injury.
Meet Bethany:

Bethany has almost finished her post-graduate study to become an Accredited Hand Therapist (AHT) through the Australian Hand Therapy Association. Hand Therapists are best positioned to help people recover full hand and arm function back after injury.

After completing her physiotherapy degree in Brisbane at the Australian Catholic University, Bethany moved up to the Sunshine Coast and has always worked within the private physiotherapy clinic setting treating all areas of the body. She has since continued her study in predominately treating shoulder, wrist & hand conditions, but still integrates Clinical Pilates and gym-based rehabilitation into her treatment of the upper extremity.

Bethany loves to see people take control of their health in a holistic manner and loves treating complex injuries. She values building long-term relationships with patients, doctors, specialists, and other medical professionals; working cohesively together to achieve optimal results for her patients. In her downtime, Bethany loves to spend time writing music, surfing & living an active lifestyle outdoors – enjoying the best of the Sunshine Coast has to offer.

Bethany is available for Physiotherapy appointments at our Sippy Downs location.

If you would like any more information on Hand Therapy please click here.

What is the NDIS?

What is the NDIS?

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is the new way of providing individualised support for people with disability, their families and carers. The NDIS is insurance, which gives peace of mind. Disability can affect anyone and having the right support makes a big difference.
Sports & Spinal Physiotherapy is a registered NDIS provider offering both Physiotherapy, Exercise Physiology, Occupation Therapy, Podiatry and Hydrotherapy/Aquatic Physiotherapy.

We can assist you if you’re just starting your NDIS journey. There are multiple factors to consider when applying for NDIS. Fortunately, you don’t have to do this alone, and our team of health professionals are available to help make your journey as simple as possible!

In order to access allied health at Sports & Spinal under the NDIS, follow the next three steps:

1. Follow the NDIS checklist for eligibility. Click > here
2. Contact the NDIS on 1800 800 110 and an NDIS representative will assist you with your questions.
3. Once your application is approved you will then work with a Local Area Coordinator or Planner to lay out your needs and goals. They will also assist you in allocating your funding to the necessary services.

If you are already approved by NDIS, contact your local Sports & Spinal and book an initial appointment. Upon the initial contact please notify us that you are NDIS approved and your NDIS registration number and how your fund is being managed. Please make sure you notify us that you are NDIS approved, provide us with your name, your NDIS registration number and how your fund is being managed.

You and your allied health provider will then be able to work out a service agreement/plan at your first appointment

Sports & Spinal is here to support you to:

• Understand the NDIS and how it works
• Find out if you’re eligible
• Identify goals and aspirations that the NDIS may fund

Our therapists are experienced in the treatment of multiple chronic conditions such as:

• Physical Disabilities (Amputations, Post-Surgical)
• Intellectual Disabilities
• Acquired Brain Injuries
• Neurological Injuries (e.g. Strokes, Multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, Cerebral palsy)
• Spinal Cord Injuries

All our consultations can be both in the home and in clinic (in-rooms, gym, pool etc.) as required.
We will be able to provide you with:

• Pain Management Treatment
• Home Exercise Programs for Rehabilitation
• Advice on the Management of your Condition
• Recommendations for Mobility & Equipment Aids
• Advice on Transfers within the Home & out in the Community

Questions or Comments on NDIS at Sports & Spinal? Please let us know below and we’ll be in touch!
Sunshine Coast NDIS: 07 5322 5644
Brisbane NDIS: 07 3152 7212
Gold Coast NDIS: 07 5689 4138

Weight Loss Advice by Nutritionist Vanessa Belvedere

5 expert tips for Weight Loss

Our expert Nutritionist Vanessa Belvedere gives you the top 5 tips for weight loss!

Here are the top 5 tips to lose weight and feel great by working smarter not harder. Now let’s get started!

1. Make happy hormones
When we feel good we are more likely to stick to a healthy diet that fuels and nourishes our body. Exercise increases our uptake of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps to regulate our mood, appetite, digestion and sleep (1). Additionally, exercise increases our basal metabolic rate (BMR) moving us closer to an energy deficit which is required for weight loss (2).

2. Portion control
To supercharge your weight loss, combine calorie restriction with your exercise. A reduction of 500-1000 calories per day is recommended for weight loss and to maintain weight loss (3). The easiest way to restrict calories is to practice portion control. Follow these 4 simple rules to perfect your portion control, stabilise your blood sugar levels, keep you full and reduce cravings:
• Fill ¼ of your plate (around ½-1 cup) with carbohydrate-based foods
• Fill ¼ of your plate (around 100-200g) with lean protein
• Fill half your plate (around 1.5 cups) with vegetables and salad
• Consume 1-2 tablespoons of healthy fats with most meals

Choose whole grains that are low GI and high in fibre (oats, brown rice, wholemeal pasta/bread). These foods provide a steady stream of glucose in the blood, keeping you fuller for longer and avoiding low blood sugar leading to sugar cravings (4).

Protein assists with appetite control and requires energy to be converted into fuel raising our BMR, which can contribute to weight loss (5). Aim for around 20g or one palm’s worth of protein with each meal (5).

Vegetables and salad
Vegetables are low in calories and contain dietary fibre (6). They are a powerhouse of antioxidant, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals which add bulk to your meals keeping you feeling full. Try to add 1.5-2 cups of low starch vegetables to each meal.

Healthy fats include nuts, seeds, extra virgin olive oil, avocado. Try to add a portion with most meals.

3. Pause the processed foods
Processed foods are high in salt, fat, sugar and calories (7) which contribute significantly to your overall daily caloric intake leading to weight gain. Avoid foods with ingredients you can’t pronounce, long ingredient lists, preservatives and colours. Reading food labels is the best way to avoid eating unnecessary calories. Try to eat foods low in sugar with no more than 15g per 100g and aim for foods with less than 120mg of sodium per 100g.

4. Eat every 2-4 hours
Eating regularly spaced meals throughout the day is important for regular protein consumption and may prevent overeating. Pre-plan your meals for the day, ensuring you are fuelling your body at least every 4 hours.

5. Keep hydrated
Dehydration can cause a decline in concentration, exercise performance and be mistaken for feelings of hunger (8). To avoid eating when you are thirsty, make sure you consume enough water by drinking 35-45ml/kg/day (9).

More about Vanessa - Sports & Spinal Nutritionist

Vanessa is a qualified Nutritionist, with a Bachelor of Human Nutrition Degree majoring in Public Health. Vanessa is a member of the Nutrition Society of Australia and a certified Sport and Exercise Nutrition Coach.

She specialises in nutrition coaching that teaches the foundations of building and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, the art of weekly meal prepping (so you've got more time for the fun things in life) and weight loss.

Vanessa can provide nutrition advice that is based on the individual's lifestyle and belief system, as she is a huge believer in one size does not fit all.


1. Wipfli, B., Landers, D., Nagoshi, C., & Ringenbach, S. (2011). An examination of serotonin and psychological variables in the relationship between exercise and mental health. Scandinavian journal of medicine & science in sports, 21(3), 474-481.

2. Singh, M., Dureha, D. K., Yaduvanshi, S., & Mishra, P. (2010). Effect of aerobic and anaerobic exercise on basal metabolic-rate. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 44(Suppl 1), i26-i26.

3. Jakicic, J. M., Clark, K., Coleman, E., Donnelly, J. E., Foreyt, J., Melanson, E., . . . Volpe, S. L. (2001). Appropriate intervention strategies for weight loss and prevention of weight regain for adults. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 33(12), 2145-2156.

4. Bazzano, L. A., Hu, T., Reynolds, K., Yao, L., Bunol, C., Liu, Y., ... & He, J. (2014). Effects of low-carbohydrate and low-fat diets: a randomized trial. Annals of internal medicine, 161(5), 309-318. doi: 10.7326/M14-0180

5. Symons, Sheffield-Moore, Wolfe, & Paddon-Jones. (2009). A Moderate Serving of High-Quality Protein Maximally Stimulates Skeletal Muscle Protein Synthesis in Young and Elderly Subjects. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 109(9), 1582-1586.

6. Eat for Health (2015). Vegetables and Legumes/Beans. Retrieved from

7. Stuckler, D., McKee, M., Ebrahim, S., & Basu, S. (2012). Manufacturing epidemics: the role of global producers in increased consumption of unhealthy commodities including processed foods, alcohol, and tobacco. PLoS medicine, 9(6), e1001235.

8. Stand, A. P. (2009). Exercise and fluid replacement. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 39(2), 377-390.

9. Australian Government, Department of Health. Fact Sheet – What are the benefits of healthy eating? Retrieved from

Written By Neurological Physiotherapist Alice Latham: Managing Parkinson's Disease with Exercise

Exercise could be the key to managing your symptoms with Parkinson's Disease

Written by Alice Latham, Sports & Spinal's Neurological Physiotherapist. 

Alice works with a range of Neurological patients along with patients with Parkinsons Disease and has seen a positive outcome using exercises prescribed from a Physiotherapist or Exercise Physiologist. 

The positive effects of exercise and physical activity have been widely documented for a variety of health conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, mental health, cancer and can affect overall mortality (1). Recently the preventative benefit of exercise has been extended to neurodegenerative diseases, such as PD (2).

The cardinal signs of Parkinson’s disease; tremor, Bradykinesia, rigidity and postural instability, primarily impact motor function and walking ability (3). Physical activity can have a positive effect on your mobility, gait pattern, balance and upper and lower limb motor function, these improvements positively impact everyday functions and activities (4).

Getting involved in exercise in all stages of PD but in particular, the early stages of PD has been shown to have a neuroprotective effect. Being sedentary is one of the fastest ways to increase your symptoms. Exercise when intensive has been found to slow down the progression of motor decay, it might delay the need for increasing drug treatment (5, 6, 7).

Forms of physical activity and interventions vary, but the consensus seems to be on activities working on aerobic capacity, mobility, gait pattern, balance, multi-tasking and strength. Furthermore, Activities need to be intensive and completed at a high frequency. Overall activities are best supervised by physiotherapists and trained Exercises physiologists that can assess and tailor a program to your specific needs (8, 9).

If you want to be the best you can be, now is the time to review your exercise program. Exercise should be a long term goal for those with PD, but it often can be difficult to maintain consistency on your own. We are offering the professional assessment, creation and supervision of exercise for people with PD.


What Sports & Spinal can offer: 

  • Specialist Physiotherapy assessment, supervision and guidance
  • Trained Exercise physiology assessment, supervision and guidance
  • Individualised exercise programs
  • 1 hr long Weekly group classes
  • Information giving and signposting
  • Falls assessment and balance intervention
  • Fun and safe environment
  • For all stages of PD
  • Help you to maintain a lifelong exercise
  • Work towards your individual goals

More about Alice Latham

Alice is a UK Qualified Physiotherapist. She has a Sports and Exercise Science degree from Loughborough University and Completed a Masters in Physiotherapy at the University of Southampton. She has experience working in both the acute and community sectors of the National Health Service in the UK, where she developed a range of skills, as well as a specialist interest in Stroke and Neurological rehabilitation as well as elderly care.

Alice is a lover of all things active, getting outdoors and healthy living. She has been involved in competitive sports all her life, competing at national and international levels in Swimming, Running, Netball and most recently Triathlons. She has great interest and passion for rehabilitation, exercise and Pilates.

Alice is available for Physiotherapy appointments at our Kawana location. For more information, visit Parkinson's Queensland >here

Reference list

1) Pate RR, Pratt M, Blair SN, et al. Physical activity and public health: a recommendation from the centres for Disease Control and Prevention and the American College of Sports Medicing. JAMA 1995; 273:402-407.
2) Xu Q, Park Y, Huang X et al. Physical activities and future risk of Parkinson’s disease. Neurology 2010; 75:341-348
3) Jankovic J Parkinsons disease: clinical features and diagnosis. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychaitry, 2008, 79, 368-376
4) Lauze M, Daneault JF, Duval C. Journal of Parkinson’s disease 6, 2016, 685-698
5) Frazzitta G, Maestri R, Bertotti G, Riboldazzi G, Boveri N, Perini M, Uccelini D, Turla M, Comi C, Pezzoli G, Ghilardi M. Intensive Rehabilitation Treatment in Early Parkinson’s disease: A Randomised Pilot Study with a 2-year follow up. Neurorehabil Neural Repair, 2014. Vol 29, Issue 2, pp. 123 – 131
6) Hirsh M, Farley B. Exercise and Neuroplasticity in Persons living with Parkinson’s disease. Eur J Phys Rehabil Med 2009; 45: 215-229.
7) Petzinger G, Fisher B, Van Leeuwen J, Vukovic M, Akopian G, Meshul C, Holschneider D, Nacca A, Walsh J, Jakowec M. Enhancing Neuroplasticity in the Basal Ganglia: The role of exercise in Parkinson’s disease. Mov Disord2010; 25(Suppl 1): S141-S145
8) Allen NE, Sherrington C, Suriyarahchi GD, et al Exercise and Motor training in people with parkinson’s Disease: A systematic review of participant charecterisitics, intervention delivery, Rentention Rates, Adherence and Adverse Events in Clinical Trials. Parkinson’s Disease. 2012. Article ID 854328
9) Keus S, BLoem B, Hendriks E, Bredero-Cohen A, Munneke, M. Evidence based analysis of physical therapy in Parkinson’s disease with recommendations for practice and research. Mov Disord 2007; 22 (4): 451-460

CSM (Clinical Pilates)

At Sports & Spinal we offer top quality Core Strength and Mobility (CSM) classes, these classes are based on Clinical Pilates Exercises.

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.

Classes Available:

At Sports & Spinal Physiotherapy we offer four different classes.

  1. Beginners Mat CSM

this is a small group class (maximum of 6 participants) suitable for beginners and those new to clinical Pilates exercises. this class runs through fundamental exercises and is a perfect starting point to prepare you for progression into our intermediate and studio classes.

  1. Intermediate Mat CSM

This class is the next step after the Beginner’s course. New exercises are introduced and are progressively more challenging.

  1. Advanced CSM

This class is suitable for those with a good understanding of clinical Pilates-based exercises. These classes include more complex moves and exercise flows to challenge strength and coordination.

  1. Studio CSM

The equipment adds another dimension to mat work and targets areas that can’t be reached with mat work exercises alone. The equipment adds more resistance and therefore increases toning benefits for the entire body. These classes are suitable for beginners with every session tailored to your individual needs.

What makes doing our CSM classes different to a Gym/Pilates Studio?

Our classes are instructed by fully qualified Physiotherapists and Exercise Physiologists who will utilise their expertise to ensure you maximise your recovery and achieve your goals in a safe, friendly and professional environment. Our therapists can also tailor exercises to help you reach your fitness goals.

Want to book in?

To ensure you get the most out of our classes, it is vital to perform an assessment in rooms to ascertain your goals and tailor a program specific to your needs. During this consultation, you will be shown the equipment and the basics of our classes. You will also be told which class you would benefit most from. If you have an injury or condition, let your therapist know as this will enable them to tailor your program to your individual needs.

Want TWO weeks FREE?

We are pleased to let you know we are now offering 2 weeks of FREE classes when you book in a class initial assessment. This allows you a risk-free period to see if our classes are right for you!

Contact your local clinic to book in your initial assessment today and gain access to 2 weeks of unlimited FREE classes.


Do I get a rebate back from my health fund?

How much will they rebate per class?

Yes and we can do on the spot claiming if you pay as you go. Unfortunately, we won’t know how much you’ll get back until we swipe your health fund card through our hicaps machine. If you’d like to know prior to joining our classes you can call your health fund to enquire.

Depending on whether the class is taken by a Physiotherapist or an Exercise Physiologist the following codes will apply:

560 - Physiotherapy code
502 - Exercise Physiology code

What do I wear to these classes & do I need to bring anything in particular?

When doing our classes wear a singlet or T-shirt and some tights or shorts. Anything you can move freely in and feel comfortable stretching in etc. We don’t wear shoes in our classes so bring along some socks. You’ll need a towel with you and a drink bottle is optional. Everything else you’ll require is supplied for you.

How often should I do your CSM classes?

We suggest doing our mat and/or equipment classes at least once a week, although we do encourage you to commit to a regime for 2-5 sessions a week, whether that be additional classes or a home-based exercise.

I’ve done Pilates Classes before. Do I need to have an initial consultation?

Yes. We like to assess what level you’re at so that you’re definitely going into the right class. If you feel that you know which class you’d like to do just give us a call and we will happily chat with you!

We offer CSM classes at Buderim, Coolum, Chermside, Kawana, Maroochydore, Nambour, North Lakes, Robina, Sippy Downs and Woolloongabba

To check out our time table please click >here

Contact your local clinic to book in for your initial assessment!

Healthy Recipes from a Dietitian: Sesame Crusted Tofu

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:

Prep: 5 min | Cook: 20 min | Serves: 1


150g firm tofu

1 tsp garlic

1 tsp ginger

1tbsp tamari

1 tsp oil

1 tbsp sesame seeds

½ cup brown rice, cooked

1 small carrot

50g broccoli

50g capsicum


  1. Cut the tofu into 1cm thick steaks and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine the garlic, ginger and tamari. Add the tofu and allow to marinate for 3 minutes in the refrigerator.
  2. Prepare the vegetables. Peel the carrot and roughly chop along with the broccoli and capsicum, set aside.
  3. Removed the tofu from the marinade. Heat a medium skillet pan over medium heat and add the olive oil, sesame seeds and tofu. Stir-fry for two minutes until the tofu is coated in sesame seeds and set aside.
  4. Add the vegetables to the pan, as well as the remaining marinade. Stir-fry for two minutes until brightly coloured and crunchy. Serve with tofu as well as brown rice.

More about Chelsea - Sports & Spinal Dietitian

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.

Chelsea works at Sports and Spinal Kawana, Maroochydore, Sippy Downs, NambourNorth Lakes, Chermside. Contact these clinics to book in with Chelsea.

Healthy Recipes from a Dietitian: Beef + Quinoa Bowl  

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:

Prep: 5 min | Cook: 10 min


150g beef

40g quinoa

1tsp olive oil

50g snow peas

1/2 bunch broccolini

1/2 green capsicum

1/2 red capsicum

1 tbsp soy sauce (salt reduced)

1 tsp ginger


  1. Prepare the veggies. Slice the capsicum into thin strips and trim and halve the broccolini and snow peas.
  2. Prepare the quinoa as per the packet instructions and set aside once cooked.
  3. Meanwhile, heat a medium skillet pan over medium heat and add the oil, ginger and soy sauce. Once heated through, add the beef and cook for 3-5 minutes each side to ensure the beef is cooked evenly. Remove from the heat and set aside.  Once cooled, slice into strips.
  4. To a medium bowl add 1 tbsp of water and the snow peas and broccolini. Microwave on high for 1 minute.
  5. Build the bowl by starting with a bed of quinoa, followed by the remaining ingredients. Serve with coriander.

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.

Chelsea works at Sports and Spinal Kawana, Maroochydore, Sippy Downs, NambourNorth Lakes, Chermside. Contact these clinics to book in with Chelsea.