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Returning to running post natal – how do I know if I am ready?

I am postnatal and want to start running. How do I know if I am ready?

Running is a popular form of exercise for mums. You can do a quick 30-minute workout for free, work up a sweat and even take bub along once they are old enough. So it’s understandable that many new mums are keen to get back into running after having a baby.

However, because running is a high impact activity, there are some important things to consider first. When your foot hits the ground, there is a force called a “ground reaction force” that comes up through the lower limb, some of which is transmitted to the pelvic floor. In anticipation of this force, your pelvic floor will automatically activate just before your foot hits the ground to support your pelvic organs and prevent leaking.

Ground reaction forces are reported to be 1.6 and 2.5 times your body weight when running. In the postnatal period, your pelvic floor is weaker and slower to contract, making it less able to provide support and maintain continence while running. This means that if you return to running too soon before your body is ready, it can lead to pelvic floor issues such as prolapse and incontinence as well as musculoskeletal pain.


I have had my 6 weeks check-up with my GP / obstetrician, so doesn’t that mean I can start running? 

No – and there are a couple of reasons for this.

  1. You should be at least 3 months postnatal before considering returning to running to allow enough time for the pelvic floor and abdominal muscles to heal.
  2. The 6-week postnatal checkup is only about 30 minutes long. In that time, your doctor has a lot to cover and often doesn’t have the time or the specialised training to clear you to return to running.

That is why it is recommended that, in addition to seeing your GP or obstetrician, you also see a women’s health physiotherapist who specialises in pelvic floor assessments.

I had a C-section, so shouldn’t my pelvic floor be fine if I return to running? 

No – before the birth, your body doesn’t know that you are going to have a caesarean, so it will undergo many changes during pregnancy in preparation for birth. For example, there is a gap in your pelvic floor muscles known as the levator hiatus where the urethra, vagina and anal canal pass through. The levator hiatus area widens during pregnancy and takes 4-12 months postnatal to recover, rarely returning to its prenatal size. Although the levator hiatus doesn’t increase significantly as it does after vaginal birth, it will still be wider post caesarean than what it was before pregnancy. If you run with a wider levator hiatus, there is less support for the pelvic organs, predisposing to leaking and prolapse.

After a caesarean, there is also abdominal wound healing to consider. Studies have shown abdominal fascia has only regained 51%-59% of its strength by 6-weeks post caesarean section and 73%-93% of its strength at 6-7 months postnatal.

For these reasons, it is recommended you have an assessment with a women’s health physiotherapist if you wish to return to running, regardless of whether you had a vaginal or caesarean birth.


What is involved in a women’s health postnatal running assessment? 

In the assessment, your women’s health physiotherapist will take a subjective history and identify any risk factors for returning to running. They will then perform an objective examination to check your abdominal function, lower limb strength and how your body copes with load and impact among other things. With your consent, they will also perform an internal examination to check your pelvic floor function and pelvic organ support.

Based on the assessment, your women’s health physiotherapist will prescribe an individualised exercise program to prepare you for running. This may involve exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor and lower limb muscles as well as re-training your pelvic floor to work reflexively like it does when running.


How long does it take to return to running? 

Everybody is different. Some women are ready to return to running at 3 months postnatal, for others it may take up to a year before they are ready. Once you have been cleared to run, your women’s health physiotherapist will also be able to guide your return to running in a gradual way. This will reduce your risk of pelvic floor and musculoskeletal injury and ensure you get the best results from your running. Your women’s health physiotherapist can also recommend other forms of exercise that are best suited to your specific circumstances.

To book your postnatal running assessment with one of our women’s health physiotherapists please call 3358 3915 or visit our website.

Why you should do your pelvic floor exercises and how to do them

Every woman should get into the habit of doing daily pelvic floor exercises. 

After having a baby, start your pelvic floor exercises as soon as possible. If you had a vaginal delivery, the muscles will feel inhibited and very weak due to swelling and pain, but doing the exercises will actually assist in reducing pain and swelling. 

Activating your pelvic floor can assist with several disorders of the organs for which it supports. 

  1. Prolapse disorders

This is when there is a slipping of pelvic organs out of place. This is extremely common – approximately 75% of women develop at least some degree of pelvic organ prolapse during their lifetime. 

There are 3 types of prolapses: 

  • Bladder which pushes on the front of the vaginal wall 
  • Uterus which descends down the centre of the vagina 
  • Rectum which pushes on the back of the vaginal wall 


2) Urinary Disorders

There are several but a few of these include: 

  • Stress incontinence (leaking with coughing, sneezing or activity)
  • Urgency (sudden need to empty the baller without being able to hold on) 
  • Frequency (having to empty the bladder more often than 8 times per day) 
  • Nocturia (needing to wake more than once at night) 
  • Overactive bladder (urgency usually with frequency and nocturia) 

Stress urinary incontinence help The Body REfinery

How to feel for the pelvic floor 

  • lie in a comfortable position 
  • take a breath in and then as you exhale, imagine that you are stopping yourself mid flow of emptying your bladder – it should be a lift up and in 
  • then start to lift the back of the pelvic floor as if you are stopping yourself from passing wind, but without gripping your bottom 
  • now hold this lift and count to 5 whilst still breathing! 
  • then relax and make sure you completely let go of the muscles 

if you do not feel a distinct squeeze and lift of the muscles then ask for help from a Women’s Health physiotherapist. 


How to do your pelvic floor exercises: 

  • squeeze and draw in the pelvic muscles as tight and strong as you can, and hold them until you count to 10. Then let them go and relax. You should have a distinct feeling of letting go. 
  • If you cant count to 10 just hold for as long as you can. 
  • Repeat the squeeze and lift and let go, with an 8-10 second rest in-between each lift. 
  • repeat the squeeze and lift as many times as you can, aiming for about 10 repetitions 
  • Do this every day 

Fewer stronger squeezes are better than lots of half-hearted ones so ensure you give it your full focus. Make a regular time to do your pelvic floor exercises, such as after your morning shower or before you go to bed. 

Knacks: after the longer holds, then practise quicker lifts and letting go. Squeeze, let go, squeeze, let go up to 10 repetitions. 


If you suffer from stress incontinence then you can use the knack just before coughing, sneezing or laughing in order to help control the opening of the urethra and reduce leaking. However, as its only temporary stability, we need to strengthen the pelvic floor so that we can partake in activities such as running and jumping. 

If you do suffer from either prolapse or urinary disorder then you should see a Women’s Health physiotherapist who can give you an individualised exercise prescription to strengthen the pelvic floor and ensure that you are doing it correctly. When done correctly the research shows that pelvic floor training does provide good results. There are also many other different treatment options available for these conditions which can be explored.  


Our Women’s Health physiotherapists and Exercise Physiologist offer specific Pilates and Fitness classes to help you rebuild your body after your pregnancy journey:⁠

  • Pregnancy Conditioning Pilates classes: To keep you active during your pregnancy⁠
  • Mum and Me classes: To help your body recover from the changes it experienced during pregnancy and childbirth.⁣⁠
  • Power Pregnancy: To keep you strong and energised throughout your pregnancy⁠
  • Strong Mums: Become stronger and fitter after the birthing experience.⁠

For more info, please contact us on 3358 3915. To book your appointment or your classes use our App or online booking system available on our website.⁠ When booking your appointment don’t forget to mention you would like to see one of our Women’s Health physiotherapists.

What is Endometriosis? How can we help you?


What is Endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a chronic inflammatory condition, affecting every 1 in 10 women.

When uterine tissue starts to grow in other areas outside the uterus along the abdominal wall, attaching to the fallopian tubes, ovaries, bladder and bowels.

This atypical growth of uterine cells causes scarring and plaque formation. When these tissues thicken and bleed as they would normally behave in the uterus, they can cause excessive pain and bleeding.

Symptoms can vary from;

  • Heavy bleeding
  • Pelvic pain
  • Bladder and bowel dysfunction (diarrhoea, constipation, frequency of urination)

Some women never experience pain with endometriosis. However, around 50% of diagnosed individuals have chronic pelvic pain and 70% of women will experience pain only during menstruation. Heavy periods and pain to follow are not always ‘normal’ responses to a menstrual cycle.

If you feel like your symptoms are atypical, listen to your body and speak to your GP or OBGYN about your symptoms.

Risk factors:

  • Increasing age
  • Alcohol use
  • Early menarche
  • Family history of endometriosis
  • Infertility
  • Low body weight
  • Prolonged menstrual cycle
  • Short menstrual cycle (Peterson et al., 2013

The average time frame for a diagnosis of endometriosis is  8.6 years (Bontempo & Mikesell, 2020). The longer endometriosis goes diagnosed, the longer accumulation of inflammation occurs and the potential severity of symptoms as the body attempts to manage the condition. The scarring of tissue can further perpetuate symptoms of infertility in patients diagnosed with endometriosis.

The alleviation symptoms (typically coinciding with a menstrual cycle) through exercise have been shown to drastically reduce the incidence of pain and heavy bleeding.


Endometriosis is triggered by excessive inflammation in the body at a cellular level. A sedentary lifestyle places pressure on the vascular system of the body, reducing the body’s ability to circulate the blood effectively with the nutrients it needs to stimulate healing processes via endorphin release. Exercise actively decreases the number of inflammatory markers in the body by the reduction of adipose tissue.

Pain and discomfort are positively reinforced by the brain when muscles contract in an attempt to “guard” the area causing pain sensations. With the help of a trained exercise professional, we work to rewire the body systems to relax overactive muscle groups to interrupt the pain signals sent to the brain via muscle guarding.

Pelvic floor dysfunction is a common result of pain stemming from endometriosis. When the body is in pain around the pelvis, the musculature surrounding the tissue can become overactive or spasm. This further perpetuates chronic pelvic pain or pain during a menstrual cycle. Exercise has been proven to significantly decrease maladaptive postures stemming from endometriosis pain response, as well as significantly decrease the intensity of endometriosis pain after following a structured and consistent exercise program (Awad et al., 2017).

Exercise is one of the most effective courses of treatment to reduce symptomatic endometriosis, while increasing energy levels, boosting mood and building a stronger, more resilient body. 

At the Body Refinery, our women’s health Exercise Physiologist, Tori, will assist you in managing your diagnosis and symptoms of endometriosis.

Tori is available every Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday morning at our New Farm location.

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Awad, E., Ahmed, H., Yousef, A., & Abbas, R. (2017). Efficacy of exercise on pelvic pain and posture associated with endometriosis: within subject design. Journal of physical therapy science, 29(12), 2112–2115. https://doi.org/10.1589/jpts.29.2112

Bontempo, A. C., & Mikesell, L. (2020). Patient perceptions of misdiagnosis of endometriosis: results from an online national survey. Diagnosis (Berlin, Germany), 7(2), 97–106. https://doi.org/10.1515/dx-2019-0020

Peterson, C. M., Johnstone, E. B., Hammoud, A. O., Stanford, J. B., Varner, M. W., Kennedy, A., Chen, Z., Sun, L., Fujimoto, V. Y., Hediger, M. L., Buck Louis, G. M., & ENDO Study Working Group (2013). Risk factors associated with endometriosis: importance of study population for characterizing disease in the ENDO Study. American journal of obstetrics and gynecology, 208(6), 451.e1–451.e4511. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajog.2013.02.040

NDIS and Exercise Physiology

Exercise Physiology is a growing profession within the health field and depending on your NDIS plan and goals, it can have an important role in assisting in your NDIS journey. Exercise Physiology treatment is individualised and targeted and often consists of an exercise program that is often combined with advice around lifestyle change. Their contribution to a person’s overall health, wellbeing and independence is often overlooked and this is combined with a lack of knowledge around the role of Exercise Physiology within the general public. Due to this, it is important to highlight the role of Exercise Physiology as well as its importance within the NDIS framework.

How Exercise Physiology Can Help

>Exercise Physiologists are specialised in designing and delivering individualised, targeted and safe exercise-based treatment for a range of health conditions, whether they be acute, subacute or chronic. This can range across many things such as injury rehabilitation, the treatment of musculoskeletal conditions or the management of ongoing or long term health conditions.

Some of the reasons you might want to see an Exercise Physiologist under NDIS include:

  • Your condition or disability affects your health or wellbeing
  • Your plan has goals that relate to improving or maintaining your fitness, mobility, strength or physical independence
  • You would benefit from supervised, individualised or targeted exercise-based treatment
  • You want to participate in community-based sports or activities

This can take the form of home-based exercise programs, in-clinic exercise programs (both individual and group) or even independent gym-based programs. Your Exercise Physiologist will guide you to the most suitable options. Each session is tailored to your specific needs and circumstances to ensure the best outcome.

It’s important to note that Exercise Physiologists are also trained to take a holistic approach to treatment and will often look beyond your initial goal to also assess and provide treatment or advice on other relevant factors, such as your ability to complete day to day tasks, secondary health concerns, or even your mental wellbeing.

Categories Under Which You Can Access Funding

Exercise Physiology can be accessed under the Improved Health and Wellbeing category and as of 2019 also the Improved Daily Living Skills category under your Capacity Building Supports Budget. At The Body Refinery, these supports can be accessed by clients who are either self-managed or plan-managed.

What We Can Offer At The Body Refinery

Here at The Body Refinery not only do we offer Exercise Physiology but also Physiotherapy in both individual and group settings, as well as Massage Therapy. Our clinic is also well equipped with private consultation rooms, a fully equipped clinical gym and a clinical exercise studio. This combination of high-quality services and high-quality facilities allow us to make a positive impact on many people under NDIS at The Body Refinery already. So during your next plan review make sure to discuss the relevance of Exercise Physiology in the treatment of your disability under the NDIS.

More information on our NDIS page: here.

If you have further questions do not hesitate to contact us on 07 3358 3915 or email us at info@thebodyrefinery.com.au

Urinary Leaking with Exercise – Is it Normal?

Stress urinary incontinence help The Body REfinery

If you experience urinary leaking when you cough, sneeze, laugh or perform high-intensity exercise, such as running and jumping, you may have stress urinary incontinence.


What is stress urinary incontinence? 

Stress urinary incontinence is defined as the involuntary loss of urine during times of increased intra-abdominal pressure.


What causes it? 

Some of the causes of stress urinary incontinence include:

  • Pelvic floor muscle weakness
  • Poor timing of pelvic floor muscle contraction
  • Decreased levels of oestrogen post-menopause or whilst breastfeeding
  • Damage to fascia after childbirth

Stress urinary incontinence help The Body REfinery

Stress urinary incontinence and exercise 

High-impact activities such as CrossFit are becoming increasingly popular amongst women. It is during these activities such as jumping, running and weight lifting that women are more likely to leak due to the increase in intra-abdominal pressure. Many women try to limit leaking by emptying their bladder before exercise, taking regular bathroom breaks during workouts, limiting fluid intake, or wearing pads.

They may even avoid higher intensity exercise altogether. However, this can be detrimental to women’s health given the importance of impact exercise for preventing low bone density later in life.

If this sounds like you, then you’re not alone. A recent survey found 84% of female CrossFit participants reported urinary incontinence. However, it is important to know that, while leaking during exercise is common, it is not normal and there are treatments available.


What is the treatment? 

Women’s health physiotherapists are trained in the diagnosis and treatment of stress urinary incontinence. Some treatment options your physiotherapist may suggest include:

  • The Knack.  Your women’s health physiotherapist may teach you how to engage your pelvic floor muscles just prior to and during short increases in intra-abdominal pressure such as coughing, sneezing and lifting. However, you should not try to brace your pelvic floor for the length of a run or high-intensity exercise class as this is not how the pelvic floor is designed to function.
  • Pelvic floor muscle training.  Your women’s health physiotherapist will assess your pelvic floor strength and prescribe an individualised pelvic floor muscle training program. This involves pelvic floor squeezes or ‘Kegels’ to strengthen the pelvic floor.
  • Shaper underwear. Your women’s health physiotherapist may recommend supportive underwear to wear during exercise such as the new SRC Restore Underwear for women.
  • Vaginal support devices. Your women’s health physiotherapist may prescribe a vaginal support device, which you insert similar to a tampon, to support the urethra and prevent leaking during exercise.


Before trying any of the above, please see one of our Women’s Health Physiotherapists at The Body Refinery for an assessment. A professional assessment is important so that an individualised treatment program can be developed to improve your symptoms, so you can return to physical activity with confidence.

What is Physiotherapy?

The Body refinery women's health physiotherapy

Physiotherapy is treatment to restore, maintain, and make the most of a patient’s mobility, function, and well-being. Physiotherapy helps through physical rehabilitation, injury prevention, and health and fitness. Physiotherapists get you involved in your own recovery.

Physiotherapists are experts in the structure of the human body and its movement. They work with people of all ages to treat a broad range of health conditions including sports injuries and musculoskeletal conditions as well as chronic health conditions such as diabetes, obesity, osteoarthritis, and stroke.

Physiotherapists are involved in the assessment, diagnosis, planning, and management of patient care in areas with musculoskeletal, cardiothoracic, and neurological problems. Physiotherapists help patients with chronic disease management, provide lifestyle modification and self-management advice, prescribe aids and appliances, prescribe, and supervise exercises for both patients and carers, and provide health promotion education, occupational health assessments and injury prevention activities.

You can benefit from physiotherapy at any time in your life. Physiotherapy helps with back pain or sudden injury, managing long-term medical conditions such as asthma, and preparing for childbirth or a sporting event.

History of Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy, which is commonly called physical therapy in other countries, is a branch of science that primarily deals with physical medicine and physical rehabilitation. The process involves the use of mechanical movements and force to remediate impairments and help promote function, mobility, and quality of life. This is completed using assessment, evaluation, diagnosis, prognosis, and physical intervention.

It is believed that Physiotherapy has been practised from as early as 400 BC by Hippocrates and Galen physicians as they advocated manual therapy techniques, massage, and hydrotherapy methods in treating their patients. Physiotherapy as a profession, however, was forged in the aftermath of World War 1. Many young men returned from the battlefields with broken bodies that needed careful repair. Initially, the wounded relied on therapeutic massage and electrotherapy for pain management.

Management of acute conditions morphed into the management of chronic conditions. Exercise-based therapy was developed to manage chronic conditions and chronic pain. It was noticed by the medical profession and physiotherapists became a legitimate part of the healthcare system.

In the early 1950s, the British Commonwealth countries promoted the use of manipulative procedures to the spine and extremity joints. Simultaneous with the development of polio vaccines, the popularity of physical therapists increased across Europe and North America.

Physiotherapists began to work outside the hospital premises in the late 1950s when they worked in outpatient orthopaedic clinics, local physio clinics, rehabilitation centres, medical centres, public schools, colleges/universities and health centres, among others.

Physiotherapy is a profession offering a range of benefits to people of all ages. To find out more, contact our friendly team or book an appointment today.

Clinical Rehab at The Body Refinery


Is Clinical Rehab Pilates?

At The Body Refinery, we are pleased to offer a service called Clinical Rehab. Clinical rehab is a service that blends traditional Pilates informed exercise and other strength and conditioning principles to individualise your recovery, rehab and performance.

After completing an individualised assessment, your Physiotherapist will design a tailored exercise program for you, specifically created to address your injuries, health and movement goals and any medical conditions. 


What conditions and injuries may be helped with clinical Rehab?

Clinical Rehab is a service offered to people of all ages and fitness levels, with a variety of injuries and health conditions. Such concerns as neck and back pain, postural issues, pelvic pain, women’s health issues, chronic illness as well as sporting injury management and recovery may be addressed.


Are the sessions claimable through private health?

All of our Physiotherapists have additional diploma level qualifications in Pilates training. They will utilise this background to create the most effective individualised exercise program for your needs and goals. As this service is within the accepted scope of clinical practice for the profession, the sessions may be claimable (please check with your health fund).


Will I be using Pilates equipment?

Clinical Rehab sessions involve the use of all the studio equipment. This may involve using the reformer, trapeze table, wunda chair, core align, spring resistance, free weights, exercise bands, small props and exercises on the mat. Your Physiotherapist will determine what equipment is most appropriate for your needs and goals.


How do I get started?

You will need to call us on (07) 3358 3915 to arrange a time for your Initial assessment. Your Physiotherapist may then recommend a series of individual sessions under their direct guidance until you are familiar with your program and the safe use of the equipment. Following this, you will have the option to attend a small group class, with a maximum of 4 people, where you will continue your program under the guidance of a Physiotherapist.

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Training flexibility in young dancers – why you shouldn’t stretch

Dance Pre-pointe assessment physiotherapy The Body Refinery Brisbane

Dancers sitting in the splits or effortlessly mounting their legs above their heads are quintessential images in the dance world. While many dancers are hypermobile, others are not and have to work hard to achieve the same range of movement. They resort to stretching every day to ‘increase their flexibility’ often to no avail. If this sounds like you, then you’re not alone. You may think that holding stretches passively lengthen your muscles, but this is not the case. In fact, research has shown that static stretching (i.e. holding a stretch) for longer than 60 seconds actually inhibits the muscle. If you take this inhibited muscle into a dance class you are more at risk of injury.

That’s why, at the Australian Ballet, you no longer see dancers stretching their calves. It is all thanks to Dr Sue Mayes, the Principal Physiotherapist at the Australian Ballet. Mayes educated the dancers on the importance of not stretching their calves and introduced single leg calf raises into their daily class. Over the past decade, they have seen a dramatic decline in ankle and calf injuries. As Mayes explains, when performing, dancers are not static and do not hold passive positions. Instead, they are dynamic, moving in and out of extreme ranges of movement. To have the capacity to move into these ranges with power and control requires strength. By taking a strength-based approach, Mayes and her team found they could improve flexibility and increase range of motion in a safe and effective way.

Dance Pre-pointe assessment physiotherapy The Body Refinery Brisbane

If you shouldn’t stretch, how should you warm-up?

Rather than sitting in a stretch, you should take the muscle through its range dynamically. For example, you could do a slow controlled leg swing. Other suggestions include:

  • Jogging around the studio to raise your body temperature and get the blood flowing
  • Releasing tight muscles with a ball or roller
  • Gentle activation exercises to ‘wake up’ the deep stabilising muscles such as the glutes

Dance Pre-pointe assessment physiotherapy The Body Refinery Brisbane

Should you abandon stretching altogether? 

It depends on the way you do it. If you are going to stretch, it should be dynamic and not held for longer than 30-40 seconds.

If you have been working hard on your range of movement and it’s not improving, it may be time to address the reasons why the movement is restricted. This is where physiotherapy can help.

Our physiotherapist, Courtney, understands the frustration of lacking flexibility. Unable to do the splits, she used to stretch every day, with little improvement. She now loves to apply her knowledge to help dancers achieve their own flexibility goals.

Courtney can undertake a thorough assessment to determine what may be limiting your flexibility, whether it be related to:

    • Muscle tightness
    • Muscle weakness

Joint or capsular restriction

  • Fascial or neural tension


Following this assessment, she can design a tailored program specifically for you to address these areas. Courtney offers as well pre-pointe assessment to all dancers.


To book an initial assessment with Courtney, contact our friendly reception staff on 3358 3915 or info@thebodyrefinery.com.au.

Why it’s Important for New Mums to have a Women’s Health Initial Assessment

importance of women's health initial assessment

The Body Refinery offers post-natal classes for new mums wanting to get back into exercise. Before attending these classes you are required to have an initial consultation with a Women’s Health Physiotherapist.

If you have been cleared by your GP or obstetrician at your 6-week check-up, you may be wondering why you also need to have an initial assessment appointment with a Women’s Health Physiotherapist. These initial assessments are very important to ensure you return to exercise safely.

While you may feel ready to return to exercise, your pelvic floor and abdominal muscles need time to recover from pregnancy and birth, and each woman experiences childbirth differently.  If you return to exercise too early, without adequate pelvic floor and abdominal strength, there is a risk of developing lower back pain, rectus diastasis, long term bladder or bowel problems or pelvic organ prolapse.

incontinence The Body Refinery New Farm

What is involved in a Women’s Health Physiotherapy appointment?

The initial Women’s Health Physiotherapy appointment is generally 45 minutes, but you can request a 60-minute appointment. You are more than welcome to bring your baby along to the appointment. During the consultation, your physiotherapist will:

  • Ask about your recent pregnancy and birth experience, including the type of birth, baby’s birth weight, pushing time, any tearing or instrumentation used
  • Take a history of any previous pregnancies or births
  • Check for any signs or symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction such as:
    • Urinary or faecal incontinence
    • Urgency / overactive bladder
    • Heaviness in the vagina
    • Pain with intercourse
  • Ask about any musculoskeletal complaints such as postnatal thoracic pain
  • Check your general health and whether you take any medication
  • Discuss your goals around returning to exercise, and the type of exercise

Following the initial discussion, a physical examination will be performed. This is different for everyone, depending on the predominant issue, though may include:

  • Posture and functional movement assessment
  • Checking for and measuring rectus diastasis or abdominal separation

If indicated, your Women’s Health Physiotherapist may perform an internal examination with your consent. This involves:

  • Assessing pelvic floor muscle tone and activation
  • Grading your pelvic floor muscle strength
  • Checking for the presence of pelvic organ prolapse

Throughout the examination, your physiotherapist will explain the process and make you feel comfortable. After the examination, your physiotherapist will make a treatment plan to return to exercise. Treatment will vary depending on what issues arise but may include:

  • Advice and education regarding safe exercise postnatally
  • Post-natal classes or private sessions depending on your level of experience and strength. For more information regarding the postnatal classes we offer, please see our website: Here
  • A home exercise program to help strengthen your pelvic floor and abdominal muscles
  • If you have a rectus diastasis, your physiotherapist may recommend SRC leggings and measure and order these for you
  • If you are experiencing musculoskeletal pain, they may also do some hands-on treatment to help relieve pain

Your Women’s Health Physiotherapist may recommend follow up appointments to track your progress until you reach your recovery and exercise goals.

To make an appointment at our New Farm studio, call our reception staff on 07 3358 3915. When making your booking, please ensure that you request to see one of our Women’s Health Physiotherapists.

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Written by Women’s Health physiotherapist Courtney

Exercise Physiologist or Physiotherapist? What is best for me?

exercise physiologist physiotherapy The Body Refinery New Farm

Seeking help for the management of any condition, diagnosis or ailment can be a tricky path to navigate. In addition to a range of health and well-being services, The Body Refinery has a number of experienced Exercise Physiologists (EP) and Physiotherapists who can get you onto the road to recovery.

The question is…

Should I see an EP or a Physiotherapist for my condition?

The answer…

It depends!

To best answer this question, we’ll first outline the difference between an and a Physiotherapist.

Neurological conditions fall prevention

Let’s start with the similarities.

  • Both professions are considered Allied Health Practitioners. This means their credentials and skill-set utilise evidence-based research and uphold practices that are held to the highest standards.
  • Both professions are supervised by governing bodies that are frequently audited for a standard of practice and effective management of disease or disability.

Physiotherapists fall under the umbrella of the AHPA (Australian Health Practitioner Association), while EPs are overseen by ESSA (Exercise and Sports Science Australia). Membership to either of these bodies requires annual professional development of skill-sets and upstanding service by the certified practitioner.

Exercise Physiologists (also known as Accredited Exercise Physiologists or Clinical Exercise Physiologists) and a Physiotherapist each hold, at a minimum, a 4-year undergraduate degree, specialising in anatomy, physiology and biomechanics.

EPs further specialise in chronic disease management and exercise as the main adjunct to therapy, whereas Physiotherapists accumulate specialised skill-sets which allow them to provide manual therapy techniques as the main management for musculoskeletal conditions.

Physiotherapists train to provide adjuncts to healing, using manual therapies. Not all patients will require manual therapy, just as not all patients will require exercise for their treatment plan. Depending on the severity of the condition and the personal preferences of the client, a patient may benefit from both types of therapy!

Osteopathy The Body Refinery New Farm

I have a pain/condition/issue that hasn’t been diagnosed. Who can help?

A Physiotherapist can diagnose musculoskeletal injuries. They can assess the severity through manual testing and, if necessary, will send a patient for scans such as an MRI or an ultrasound to further investigate the root cause of the condition. Physios will typically work with clients who are in ‘acute’ stages of pain or require consistent management over the short or medium term.

An EP specialises in the management of long-term chronic musculoskeletal conditions (acquired through an injury or lifestyle situation like pregnancy or recovery from surgery) and certain diseases (excluding communicable diseases).

EPs work closely with other conditions that fall outside of musculoskeletal ailments – they are trained in managing exercise for cancer, cardiovascular, pulmonary, metabolic, neurological, pregnancy/postpartum and mental health conditions. EPs specialise in getting people back to feeling normal after a diagnosis has been made regarding their health status.

Exercise training under the supervision of an EP is the safest, most effective form of increasing fitness and ability to perform all activities of daily living without pain or discomfort.

EPs are also trained in strength and conditioning – if your goal is to become fitter, faster and stronger (whether or not you are experiencing pain or have an injury) – EPs are highly educated in performance training for athletes and non-athletes alike!

Exercise Physiology exercises and sports conditioning

The main difference between an EP and a Physiotherapist is…

EPs specialise in exercise.

The Body Refinery’s Physiotherapists and EPs work closely with one another to provide the highest quality of care to their clients. We understand that what works for one person may not always work for another, so we are constantly collaborating and sharing knowledge and expertise to ensure each client’s treatment plan is tailored to them to provide the best outcome. This includes making sure that clients are working with the correct type of practitioner to best manage the outcome of their condition.

The Physiotherapy-specialised classes offered at The Body Refinery:

  • The Refined Runner
  • Kneehab
  • Mum and Me Conditioning
  • Pregnancy Conditioning
  • Balance and Falls

The Exercise Physiology-specialised classes offered at The Body Refinery:

  • Better Bones
  • Age-ility
  • PD Warrior
  • Strong Mums
  • Power Pregnancy
  • Strength and Conditioning

If you are unsure what kind of practitioner you should see, call our friendly admin team today on 3358 3915. They will help guide you to the correct practitioner for your condition or physical goals.


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blog written by Exercise Physiologist Tori