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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

Exercise, PD Warrior and Parkinson’s Disease

Exercise can have a positive impact on people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) and their quality of life.  Research supporting the use of exercise in treating people with PD has been gaining momentum over the last 10-20 years, specifically, the positive effect exercise can have on the condition itself, as well as the quality of life of those who live with PD. The Body Refinery offers tailored exercise options for people with Parkinson’s through our PD Warrior classes our individualised session.


What You Should Do

But what exercise should you do? What works best? What exercise is safe to do?
Research shows that those with Parkinson’s disease should look to include in some form the following:

  • Aerobic Exercise
  • Flexibility 
  • Strength or Resistance Based Exercise

It’s important to note that everyone has different symptoms and different movements or activities that they find difficult due to Parkinson’s disease. So what types of exercise are best for you may not be the best for another person, though a key theme for everyone is that it is important to stay active and exercise regularly.

PD Warrior - Parkinson's disease The Body Refinery

What is PD Warrior?

The Body Refinery offers a program called PD Warrior that is specifically designed for people with Parkinson’s. Started in 2011 by Specialist Neurological Physiotherapist, Melissa McConaghy, it is based on the concepts of Neuroprotection, Neuroplasticity and Neurorestoration and their relation to Parkinson’s disease. These concepts have been broken down into the 7 core principles of PD Warrior, which have been used to create a fun, motivating and effective program aimed at helping to manage the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease:

  1. Fun
  2. Specificity 
  3. High Effort
  4. Frequency 
  5. Powerful
  6. Complex
  7. Meaningful 

PD Warrior is an evidence-based, highly specialised Parkinson’s disease-focused program that works to identify the specific needs and symptoms of a person, then focus on improvement through high effort exercise. PD Warrior takes the latest research, showing that significant benefits can be achieved with high effort exercise, and incorporates it in an easily accessible program that includes elements of behaviour change, social interaction and helps provide a support network for those with Parkinson’s disease.


How We Can Help

In addition to Pilates and Fitness focused classes, The Body Refinery offer’s PD Warrior in two forms: a group session where participants motivate and drive each other to be the best they can be; and individual sessions where a more personalised approach can be taken to work towards specific goals. The group setting is a great way to meet other people with Parkinson’s disease, create a strong support network and social connections, with many participants meeting for coffee after their class. Individual sessions, on the other hand, allow for a more tailored approach to be provided, where specific exercises can be prescribed to assist with symptoms or to help with day to day tasks that you might find difficult.

PD Warrior classes at The Body Refinery are becoming more and more popular as people discover the benefits of the program, and we hope that you will too!  If you are interested in finding out more about PD Warrior and its benefits please contact us on 3358 3915 or info@thebodyrefinery.com.au


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written by Exercise Physiologist Thomas Uhlmann

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

How should I set up my desk?


With so many of us working from home at the moment you may be thinking “how am I meant to set up my desk?”  Here is a short guide with some tips to help you work from home comfortably.

The first thing to remember is there is not just one right way to sit at a desk and it may look slightly different depending on your work demands and your body.  It is important to remember that even the best posture is not going to be completely comfortable eight hours a day.  Our bodies are just not designed to sit for that long!  Your posture should be comfortable and natural for you.




First of all, sit with your feet flat on the floor and your chair height so that your hips are just above your knees. A good seat that is adjustable and has some lumbar support will serve you well. If your seat does not have any low back support an easy solution is to fold up a towel and place it behind your low back. You should be sitting with a slight tilt backwards at around 100-120 degrees, rather than directly upright.



The desk should be at a level where your elbows are by your side and forearms can rest on the desk around 90 degrees.  Make sure that the things you use regularly, like the keyboard and mouse, are within reach while sitting and you are not stretching to reach them repeatedly throughout the day.



Screen height is one of the key things that can make a big difference to the neck and upper back strain.  If you imagine your screen is divided into thirds: top, middle, and bottom.  When sitting comfortably, your eyes should fall at the line dividing the top and middle thirds of the screen. This is usually where laptops fail.  If you are trying to work with a laptop, consider purchasing a separate keyboard so that you are able to raise the screen.


It is important to stand and move often.  As a general rule getting up every hour to stretch, move and reset will help keep your body feeling good.


If you would any further advice on setting up your desk at home, our team are here to guide you.  This information is quite general and a more detailed assessment by an Osteopath or Physiotherapist can help individualise the set-up. We are available for 1-on-1 appointments or take advantage of our Telehealth option, which should allow us to view your set-up and help tailor it to your needs.


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Written by Osteopath Natalie Anderson

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

5 Things to Remember when Returning to Running

Running – when you’re fit enough to run, to really run, it feels amazing and simple – just you, your running shoes and the ability to go wherever your legs can take you.

Running is different things to different people: a moment of mindfulness and awareness of yourself; a sacred, quiet time at the start or end of the day; a time to think; to compete; or to socialise.

Running can be a truly life-affirming exercise. However, it’s rare for people to uphold a consistent running routine throughout life, and our time on the pavements, trails, roads can wax and wane, ebb and flow. So if you’ve been more ebb than flow with running, here are 5 things to remember when returning to running, to ensure you don’t end up with a running-related injury just when it’s getting good again.


  • Our bodies like building up to load gradually. Too much too soon increases the risk of injury.

Incidence and prevalence of running injury in long-distance runners are high, ranging from 20 – 80% of runners. The predominant site of these injuries is the knee (7-50%), with other lower and upper leg injuries being next most prevalent.

Evidence indicates that long weekly training distances and a history of previous injury are risk factors for injury. Our bones and tissues will adapt to the loads under which they are placed, however, they need time to make these adaptations. Getting the right balance of training load while building tissue load capacity is key in mitigating running injuries, thus gradually increasing your running distance will help to minimise the risk of injury to your body, particularly your knees.


  • Be fit to run

The fitter we are, the better we can run. The overall load experienced by your body can be significantly reduced through: good running form; a relatively quick cadence; and less ground contact time. This can be achieved by having: cardiovascular fitness to maintain good form; leg speed; and enough strength and recoil in our tissues to minimise ground contact time. Building up to this slowly will make all the difference.




  • Cross-training – cardiovascular fitness, hip, core, and leg strength and stability is where it’s at.

Including other cardiovascular fitness routines in your training will help you get fitter quicker without overloading your body with running. Consider incorporating swimming, cycling, spin, and/or Tabata/HIIT classes between runs to help increase cardiovascular fitness.

Strengthening is preventative because it helps your tissues adapt to load. Running-focused strength routines are usually based on exercises around the lower leg, thigh and hip, pelvis and core to support the hip, knee and lower limbs. Exercise physiology sessions, Studio Pilates and group classes such as Barre, Reformer, Mat and TRX can be fantastic additions to your cross-training.

(Read our Hip, Core and Lower Leg Strength for Endurance Runners blog for more tips!)


  • Our bodies need rest

When you’re starting out or getting back into running, allow a rest day between each active day.

Without rest, you cannot recover, and without recovery, improvement may slow and you may become susceptible to injury. It’s okay to incorporate stretching, mobilising and light yoga on your recovery days – just make sure you’re taking it easy.

As your body adapts and strengthens you can start to change up your training and rest schedule to incorporate more running and exercise. Your exercise physiologist or physiotherapist can provide invaluable advice in planning your training and rest schedule.

Other great additions to your training regime are regular myotherapy or remedial massage sessions, which help maintain good tissue quality and joint range of motion. Once every 2-4 weeks is recommended, depending on your running load.


  • Good shoes are important

It is worth investing in a pair of shoes that effectively support your feet and lower limbs. If you’re a runner from way back, you’ve probably already found a brand or style that you know and love. If you’re not sure, seek advice from your physio or a specialist running shoe retailer. Ensure you replace your shoes when they are worn – a general rule of thumb is at around 500 + kilometres or approximately every 6 months if you’re running frequently.

If you would like assistance to improve your running form or training schedule, have any running-related discomfort that requires attention, or would like to be guided through exercises in a personalised class, call the friendly admin team at The Body Refinery.

Our Refined Runner program may be just the thing for you.  Our team includes diploma-qualified Pilates Instructors, Physiotherapists, and Exercise Physiologist, and an Osteopath who enjoy helping runners achieve their goals, pain-free and in good form. Additionally, our hands-on Myotherapist and Remedial Massage Therapists are here to help keep you in top form.


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The Importance of Advice and Education

The Importance of Advice and Education

As physiotherapists in the musculoskeletal field (i.e. muscles, bones, ligaments and nerves), our treatments are often viewed in terms of the hands-on work we do. While this can be a critical aspect of our overall management of patients, an equally important part of our treatment is the advice and education we provide.

Imagine there were certain things you were doing or positions you were putting yourself in that were making your pain or injury worse, but you weren’t aware. I’m sure you’d like to know so you could change or avoid these actions or postures in your daily life. There may also be certain things you could be doing to help relieve your pain and assist in your recovery. Knowing how and when to add such steps to your daily routine could be life-changing.

As patients, you know your body best and have most likely worked out what makes your pain worse, what makes it feel better, and have already made certain changes in your life to help manage your pain.

However, there are likely multiple other small things you haven’t recognised, which could be hindering your recovery.

Things like being up-to-date with the latest research – for example, applying ice to acute injuries is no longer recommended, but applying heat is.

Pilates low back pain

What about increasing awareness that the way you are moving your body could be creating unhelpful movement patterns that will take time to unlearn before new optimal movement patterns can be created?

These are just some examples of patient advice and education which can be crucial to recovery. There are even some chronic pain conditions where hands-on treatment can actually make the pain worse, and for patients affected by such conditions, physiotherapists rely on providing professional advice and education as the primary form of treatment.

Physiotherapy advice also extends to the exercises we prescribe, whether this be your home exercise program or clinical rehab or clinical strength sessions undertaken with a physiotherapist or exercise physiologist in the studio.

Finally, when it comes to treatment planning, communicating your diagnosis, providing recommendations for all management options, outlining a course of action (including the number of sessions required for the most effective recovery) and overall prognosis, this all constitutes advice and education. This is a huge part of our role as physiotherapists, and something we aim to implement at The Body Refinery, along with hands-on treatment, in our “Pain to Performance” model.

Our physio team aims to do everything we can to help you, which includes passing our knowledge onto you to enable you to help yourself.  So next time you are in the studio attending a class or an appointment, get the most out of your session by putting your physio’s advice into action between your sessions and even after you are pain-free, for preventative purposes.

Sever’s Disease

Is your active child complaining of heel pain? Have they started walking more on their toes? They may be suffering from a common paediatric condition called Sever’s disease.

Sever’s is an overuse condition many 8-14 year old children suffer from, being most common at 8-10 years old for girls and 10-12 years old for boys. It occurs when the Achilles tendon pulls on the growth plate at the base of the heel and becomes inflamed. The calcaneus bone is not fully developed until around 14 years of age. Until then the pressure put on the growth plate, particularly with high levels of running and jumping can cause it to become inflamed and painful.

Sever's Disease


Luckily there are some easy things that can be done to help manage this condition. 

  • load management and rest, your osteopath or physiotherapist can help to guide you with what is appropriate. 
  • cold therapy 20 minutes on 10min off 20 minutes on, particularly after activity. 
  • foam rolling the calf muscles
  • spending less time barefoot or using heel cups and cushioning shoes.

If this sounds like your child could suffer from Sever’s Disease, our team is here to help! Book in with our Osteopath or one of our Physiotherapist’s for treatment now.

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Come and see what an osteopathic approach can do for you or your child. Natalie is available for appointments Monday, Tuesday and Thursday at The Body Refinery.

Book today to experience the benefits of Osteopathy through our App or on 07 3358 3915.

Pilates For Bone Health – Osteoporosis

bone health

While bones feel solid, the inside of the bone is actually filled with holes like honeycomb. Our bones are constantly being remodelled – old bone is removed and new bone is formed. As we age, we begin to lose more bone than we build. This can result in a condition called osteoporosis. The tiny holes within the bones get bigger, and the solid outer layer becomes thinner. In other words, our bones get less dense. This makes them more prone to fracture, even from a minor bump or fall. The most common fracture sites are the spine, wrist and hips. Fractures in the spine reduce the height of the vertebrae and can lead to a stooped or hunched posture called kyphosis, reduced mobility, pain, balance problems and increased risk of falls.

What are the symptoms?

Osteoporosis is often described as a ‘silent disease’ because there are no symptoms. Often people aren’t diagnosed or treated for osteoporosis until they sustain a fracture.

Who is at risk?

There are certain risk factors for developing osteoporosis. These include:

  • Female sex
  • Certain medical conditions and medications (e.g. thyroid problems, rheumatoid arthritis)
  • Family history of osteoporosis
  • Calcium and/or vitamin D deficiency
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Smoking
  • Excessive alcohol consumption

If you are over 50 and have any of these risk factors, speak to your doctor about having a bone density scan.

bone health

How is it treated?

Medication and lifestyle changes are the main forms of treatment for osteoporosis. Exercise is also very important. Current guidelines recommend a combination of weight-bearing exercise, resistance training and balance training. Exercise programs should be performed regularly (at least three times per week), challenging, progressive, varied and individualised to the person.


Pilates for osteoporosis.

People often overlook Pilates as an exercise option for the management of osteoporosis, probably because they are only thinking of traditional mat exercises. However, Pilates can also be performed on specialised equipment such as the Trapeze Table and Reformer. This type of equipment-based Pilates incorporates weight-bearing and impact activities which can improve bone mineral density. A recent study in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis found a significant increase in bone mineral density in the lumbar region following a clinical Pilates program.

Equipment Pilates can also help to build muscle strength by adding resistance in the form of springs. Other benefits of Pilates include correction of postural changes, reduced pain and improved mobility, balance and coordination.

If you have been diagnosed with osteoporosis or low bone density, make an initial physiotherapy appointment at the Body Refinery today. Our physiotherapists will perform an assessment and design a safe, effective and individualised clinical rehab program incorporating both Pilates informed exercises and traditional rehabilitation exercises to improve bone density, strength, posture, balance, coordination and reduce the risk of falls.


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Book today to experience the benefits of Pilates through our App or on 07 3358 3915.

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Pelvic girdle pain

Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP) is a specific form of lower back pain that arises during pregnancy, usually between 14 and 30 weeks. The pain is located around the SIJ/buttock area and may radiate to the back of the thigh. PGP is very common during pregnancy, affecting approximately 56% to 70% of women. 

It is thought to be caused by hormonal changes during pregnancy which increases the laxity of pelvic ligaments in preparation for birth. This increased mobility of the pelvis can increase strain on the muscles and cause irritation or inflammation of the joints. In some cases, the pelvis may even be slightly ‘out of alignment,’ especially after a fall. 

Pregnant women with Pelvic girdle pain will experience pain with sitting, standing or walking for long periods and have difficulty with asymmetrical movements such as stairs and turning in bed. 

pregnancy massage The Body Refinery New Farm Brisbane

Some tips for helping to manage Pelvic Girdle Pain include:

  • Avoid prolonged sitting – get up at least every 30 minutes
  • Stand with weight through both legs evenly 
  • Avoid walks for hours at a time
  • Avoid stairs – take the lift or escalator where possible
  • Roll in bed with knees together
  • Shorten stride length
  • Avoid walking on soft surfaces like sand 

It is important to remember that your pelvis is supposed to be more mobile during pregnancy to make birth easier. It does not mean your pelvis is ‘unstable’, it just means you have to learn to control that increased mobility. 

If you think you are experiencing PGP, please book in for an appointment with one of our women’s health physiotherapists.

In the initial consultation, our physiotherapists will take you through a detailed history and physical examination to ensure an accurate diagnosis and develop an individualised treatment plan. This may include:

  • Advice and education 
  • Hands-on treatment such as massage or joint mobilisation to relieve muscle tension and restore alignment 
  • Fitting for a pelvic belt to help reduce movement of the pelvis
  • Stabilising exercises to help manage your pain and improve your day to day function

Depending on your goals, our physiotherapists may also recommend clinical rehab or pregnancy conditioning classes. 

To make an appointment at our New Farm studio, call our reception staff on 07 3358 3915 or click the link below. Please, be sure to request one of our Women’s Health physiotherapists.: Courtney and Charmion

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