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Monthly Archives

October 2020

3 tips for relieving tension in your lower back

Many of us are familiar with low back pain. In fact, most people will experience low back pain at some point in their adult life, with many of those people experiencing recurrent episodes or episodes acute enough that the pain and its effects limit their activities of daily living. The cost of health care, loss of work and income can be significant, not to mention the burden of experiencing and managing this pain and how this affects our participation and enjoyment of life.

Our brain and bodies are very clever – when the brain receives messages that there is a perceived problem or pain in an area such as the back, it responds by recruiting muscles around the area to tighten and stiffen in order to ‘guard’ the body segment and those around it and to limit movement. This is a “first aid” response to create stability by locking everything down, also known as ‘spasm’ or ‘back spasm’. This can happen to varying degrees – sometimes you’re unable to move, other times there will just be increased stiffness and tightness. When this occurs, it is common to also experience secondary discomfort from the contraction and lack of circulation in the muscles, and stiffness in the joints.

The great news is that you can proactively manage low back pain. Depending on where you are in your back pain journey, we recommend a combination of hands-on treatment with your osteopath, physiotherapist, myotherapist or remedial massage therapist, along with exercise rehabilitation with your physiotherapist, exercise physiologist or diploma-trained Pilates instructor. In between sessions you can use these three simple tips anytime you’re feeling sore or stiff to keep you moving and pain-free.


Release the hips

Here are some gentle stretches for your hips and some release work you can do with a ball to help reduce spasm and tightness.

  • Hip flexor stretch

3 tips Low back pain tension

  • Glute stretch

3 tips Low back pain tension

  • Hamstring stretch

3 tips Low back pain tension


Move the spine

The aim here is to get the spinal segments around the affected area moving well, then gently start moving the affected segment in safe, non-painful ways. Moving your joints will help decrease tension and improve circulation in the area.

  • Thoracic Mobility: book openings

3 tips Low back pain tension

  • Lumbar rotation: side-to-side (feet elevated on a lounge or legs on a fit ball).

3 tips Low back pain tension


Activate the stabilisers & reiterate to the body that it is safe to move.

Once you’ve reduced some of the tightness and stiffness, you can do some gentle activation and stabilisation work to help support the joints and tissues, in addition to sending reassuring messages to your brain that it is safe to move. Focus on moving with your breath here.

  • Supine core/hip disassociation: bent knee opening

3 tips Low back pain tension

  • Glute med: Sidekick/clam

3 tips Low back pain tension

  • Glute max: Bridge

3 tips Low back pain tension

  • Quadruped: spinal stabilisers

3 tips Low back pain tension


These are just a few general tips. We recommend having an assessment and receiving specific advice and guidance on which exercises and stretches will provide the greatest benefit to you, your particular symptoms, and the underlying cause of your back pain. Contact The Body Refinery for further in-person support from our wonderful health care team, who are armed with the knowledge and experience to guide you through healing, rehabilitation and prehabilitation to avoid recurrence, keep you moving well, and enjoying life.

written by Myotherapist and Pilates Instructor Sarah Holloway

Should I use a registered or unregistered NDIS service provider?

What’s the difference between registered and unregistered NDIS service providers?

Why would a service provider choose not to be registered with the NDIA?

What does engaging an unregistered service provider mean for an NDIS participant?


The Body Refinery works with many NDIS clients but is an unregistered service provider. The National Disability Insurance Scheme encourages service providers to register, however, this process takes a considerable amount of time, money and effort on behalf of the service provider. For this reason, there are many service providers who choose not to register. This effectively labels them as ‘unregistered service providers’.

One of the benefits of opting to be Plan-Managed or Self-Managed over Agency-Managed (i.e. by the NDIA), is access to both registered and unregistered service providers.

The word ‘unregistered’ can make some people feel uneasy, however, the term is misunderstood, and as a result, some participants miss out on the opportunity to work with a vast number of professional service providers who can help them achieve their NDIS goals.


Put simply:

  • a registered service provider is an entity that has registered its services and has been approved by the NDIA as a service provider.
  • an unregistered service provider has not completed this approval process, though can still offer a valid service to participants.

One key difference is that only registered providers can claim their invoices directly with the National Disability Insurance Scheme, whereas an unregistered provider will send invoices to you or your Plan Manager for payment. Participants who use the services of unregistered providers will need to manually claim funds back from the NDIS through their NDIS portal, or you can engage a Plan Manager to do this for you.

It’s important to remember that just because a service provider chooses to remain unregistered with the NDIS doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t use their services. Unregistered service providers can offer NDIS participants essential and highly-skilled services that can assist the participant in reaching their goals. These services are still covered by the NDIS, though you may need to pay a gap if the price of the services doesn’t fall within the NDIS price guide.

There is minimal risk in engaging an unregistered service provider, with many of these service providers using their skills and dedication to improve the lives of people living with a disability.

Unregistered NDIS providers are not audited for adherence to the requirements of the National Disability Insurance Scheme Commission, however, physiotherapists and other health professionals already adhere to the requirements of their own professional industry body, the standards expected by their employer/practice and generally pride themselves on providing excellent patient care.


The Body Refinery offers a range of services that are covered under the NDIS, and the relevant team members are experienced in writing the care plans required for the NDIS.  We have existing relationships with many Plan Management companies to ensure that participants receive the highest quality of care.

If you’d like to see how we can ensure you are living your fullest life with the benefits of the NDIS, call our friendly admin team, who can arrange for you to speak directly with one of our physiotherapists, osteopaths, or exercise physiologists.

NDIS – National Disability Insurance Scheme
NDIA – National Disability Insurance Agency