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Monthly Archives

July 2018

What is your rehabilitation goal?

rehabilitation health

When rehabilitating from an injury, it is important to have a rehabilitation goal.

In our experience having a specific goal to work towards makes the rehabilitation, or performance, process more effective. It helps define a target for both the patient and therapist to work towards. A more specific destination, allows for a more direct path to be taken to reach it.

Along the “pain to performance pathway”, there will be moments where the relevance of a necessary treatment or exercise may not be obvious to the client. As physiotherapists and Pilates instructors, we find that understanding the client’s goal allows us to explain the rationale behind the treatment direction. Having a common understanding and open dialogue ensures that everyone is on the same page, and working towards the same goal. This results in faster rehabilitation, and a more satisfying experience for both parties.


What do you really want?

Goals are also important for establishing the level of ability that needs to be achieved. For example, the amount of rehabilitation following an ankle sprain will differ depending on whether the goal is daily incidental walking or competitive beach volleyball.

Beyond improving the communication between the therapist and patient, goal-setting provides something else that can be of even greater importance along the “pain to performance pathway”: intrapersonal benefits. Defining a goal and attaching meaning to that goal can be a powerful motivator. A meaningful goal can help motivate you to persist through the tough periods when the drive to continue is low.


Do you know SMART?

A common strategy for goal-setting involves the use of the SMART goal method. Using this method can be very helpful when setting a rehabilitation goal.

SMART goals are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-frame Oriented

(Note- the above can vary slightly)


The Body Refinery’s physiotherapists and Pilates instructors can be very helpful in assisting you to define a goal. However, to receive the full benefits from the rehabilitation process, it is important to remember that you need to be working toward your own goal.

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Start your journey at The Body Refinery by booking your initial appointment today on 07 3358 3915 or at info@thebodyrefinery.com.au.

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Physiotherapy tips for Fall Prevention

Neurological conditions fall prevention

Falls in older people is a common problem that can have devastating consequences for individuals and their support networks. Physiotherapists play a crucial role in the prevention of falls in older people. There is high-level evidence that appropriately prescribed exercise interventions can prevent falls.

As we age, our bodies lose muscle and bone strength. These are two of the many reasons our balance begins to decrease with age.


If you’ve had a fall in the past six months, your chances of falling may be increased. There are many factors that can increase the risks of falling. These include:


Home hazards

  • Poor footwear such as loose slippers or shoes that don’t fit properly
  • Indoor hazards such as internal steps, rugs on the floor, slippery tiles in the bathroom, inadequate lighting between the bed and the bathroom/toilet at night
  • Hazards in the garden and outside areas of the house such as outside steps which don’t have handrails or are slippery, and uneven footpaths

Sensory and balance problems

  • Muscle weakness
  • Low vision or blindness
  • Poor balance
  • Reduced sensation



Chronic diseases

  • Stroke
  • Incontinence
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Low vision or blindness
  • Dementia
  • Delirium
  • Hypotension (low blood pressure)
  • Diabetes
  • Arthritis
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Osteoporosis


fall prevention


Best ways to prevent a fall


1. Understand your fall history

If you’ve experienced a fall in the past, then you’re at a higher risk of falling again. Knowing you’re at risk of falling helps you set strategies to help minimise the likeliness of falling in the future. Recognise risk situations and take necessary steps to avoid them.

2. Exercise on a regular basis

Balance and leg strength are very crucial to avoiding falls. Try exercises that will improve your balance and strengthen your bones. Weight-bearing exercises help improve coordination, cognition, posture, balance, joint flexibility and reaction time.
Weight-bearing exercises don’t mean lifting weights. They are any exercises that keep you standing, like walking. Go for walks in the evening to strengthen weak hips and legs.

3. Check your medications

Medications with various side effects, such as lightheadedness, dizziness, and confusion, can increase your fall risk. Talk with your doctor about your medications to know if they cause any of these side effects and take necessary steps to prevent falls after taking such medication.

4. Test your vision

When was your last eye exam? If you have any troubles with your eyesight, then have your eyes checked. People with blurry vision and weak eyesight are at higher risk of falling.

5. Reorganise your home environment

Reduce the clutter in your home or office to avoid stumbling. Add grab bars in areas where there are high risks of falling, like in the bathroom or stairways.

Final verdict

Understanding the fall risks helps you minimise the risks and helps to avoid falls.


men pilates


Falls can be fatal and should not be taken lightly. If you do fall, make sure you visit a doctor or physiotherapist and be examined, even if there are no visible injuries. Death from falls is usually not caused by the fall, but the associated problem.

Physiotherapy helps you maintain your independence with the implementation of individual, class and home exercise programs for balance, strength and falls prevention. By undergoing a falls assessment, your physiotherapist can build an appropriate strength and balance programme to reduce your risk of falls.

Strength and balance retraining is the most long-term, effective fall prevention measure that has cardiovascular, metabolic, and self-confidence benefits in addition to greater stability. Research has shown that falls can be prevented by retraining your balance and improving your muscular strength, endurance and flexibility.

Gentle strengthening, mobility and balance exercises with our Physiotherapists at The Body Refinery, will help you maintain your independence and confidence.
It is never too late to work on your muscle strength and improve your balance. If you or a member of your family are concerned about falls and/or balance, we would love to assist you.

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Book an appointment with a Physiotherapist today by calling 07 3358 3915 or visit info@thebodyrefinery.com.au

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Pilates and Low Back Pain

Pilates low back pain

Chronic Low Back Pain (LBP) is a condition that affects more than 50% of the population, with  70% of the population believed to experience an episode of LBP within their lives. Research shows that 60-80% of these patients will experience another episode of back pain within 1 year of an episode. With such a high prevalence, LBP is the second most common reason for absenteeism and for seeking medical consultation.

Through research, we now understand that after an initial onset of LBP there is a dramatic weakness, accompanied by an incorrect firing pattern in the key spinal stabiliser muscles, including the core muscles & multifidus. Importantly, without specific retraining, these muscles do not spontaneously recover. Despite the lack of pain, this ongoing weakness means the spine is not receiving sufficient support to prevent ongoing shearing forces across the disc and joints, which can result in chronic or recurrent LBP.

A common misunderstanding is that the strengthening of the superficial abdominal muscles is directly related to the deep core stabilising system. Many patients have heard of the need to perform abdominal exercises post LBP, and so begin strengthening exercises for the rectus abdominis and for the internal/external obliques. However, these strengthening exercises are not very effective in preventing LBP, compared to specific stabilising exercises involving the transversus abdominis & multifidus muscles.


Work on your core system

Studies have found that strengthening superficial muscles, despite not being stabilising muscles, does help to decrease pain and improve function after an episode of low back pain. However, the results were not as significant as those achieved by performing specific stabilising exercises of the core system. Core strengthening resulted in a 90% improvement in both reported pain and functional disability when using the McGill Questionnaire. The significant improvements with specific core training are explained by the fact that the two primary muscles, which are inhibited by LBP are re-activated to function correctly. As the multifidus has been found to atrophy after LBP, without specific training this muscle does not revert back to its pre-injury state, and therefore does not provide the stability required.

Patients who focus solely on exercising the larger superficial muscles still show improvements in pain and function. With a moderate contraction of the rectus abdominis and obliques, there is still an increase in intra-abdominal pressure which helps to alleviate compression forces on the disc. However, despite significant improvements in the strength of the superficial muscles, studies show that there was no change in activation of the deep core stabilising muscles. The increase in intra-abdominal pressure is a secondary stabilisation system and does not provide the micro segmental stabilisation that is delivered by the core stabilisers.

low back pain

Strengthening the superficial abdominal muscles certainly has its role in recovery from chronic LBP, however, it is necessary to first target the primary muscles that provide spinal segmental stability prior to global strengthening. Even without the superficial muscles, activation of the transversus abdominis and multifidus alone results in better outcomes for LBP patients. With correct management and guidance, patients with LBP who reactivate their core system in combination with their global stabilising muscles have a far better chance of preventing future episodes.


Pilates for LBP

This research clearly demonstrates the significant benefits to LBP patients that the addition of a targeted exercise program, such as Pilates, can have in retraining the deep spinal stabilisers. Pilates is designed to seamlessly progress patients into functional strengthening so that the spine is supported during everyday activities.

Can’t make it to our studio? Physiotherapist, Aga, has developed a 4-week Low Back Pain Online program in order for you to exercise everyday at home, at your own rhythm. More info on https://www.thebodyrefineryonline.com/low-back-pain-program

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Book an appointment with a Physiotherapist today by calling 07 3358 3915 or visit info@thebodyrefinery.com.au.

Can’t make it to the studio? Take your physiotherapist and Pilates Instructor with you with our 4-week online Low Back Pain program.

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for a daily dose of Pilates and Wellbeing.