RHP Physiotherapy Blog

The latest from RHP Physiotherapy

RHP Physiotherapy is one of Brisbane’s premier physiotherapy practices. We’ve started this blog in order to provide an informed and authoritative discourse on a range of health related topics.
Our hope is that we can provide you with up to date information and events associated with a range of health topics not limited to sports injuries and musculoskeletal problems as may be associated with traditional ‘physio’ or physiotherapy.

Our sports physiotherapists are amongst the country’s elite but we have worked hard to establish a culture of excellence across a range of health related issues. Many of these topics we hope to discuss in coming blogs.


Recent posts:

Posted by Office Manager on November 8, 2017

Noosa Triathlon Physical Recovery Tips

Post by Will Thwaite (BPhty(Hons), BSc, Physiotherapist APAM)


Firstly, a big congratulations from RHP Physiotherapy to all Red Dog athletes who competed (and supported) at the Noosa Triathlon Festival over the weekend! It was a great day filled with great results. Peter and I had good day doing post race recovery work on a lot of tired bodies – fortunately this year there were no traumatic injuries on the day. It is normal to feel a few niggles and aches after a race, so I wanted to share a few strategies that you can use to enhance your physical recovery.

This week it is important to follow up on your recovery as arduous exercise can leave the muscles of your legs feeling heavy, stiff, fatigued or tight – or a combination of these things. A good recovery will allow you to get back training hard for the next event and reduce the risk of developing injury.

Here are a few recovery ideas for this week to get your body going again –


1. Get a massage – Deep and firm soft tissue work can help delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) from high intensity exercise. It can also restore some flexibility in the legs. Regular soft tissue work is also a good idea if you are in consistent training.


2. Active recovery session – a light session of cross training or on the bike/pool/road will increase blood flow and help with soreness. Increasing blood flow can also speed up the muscle-rebuilding process. Aim for a 20-30 minute session of 40-60% of your maximum heart rate.

alter g(image taken from www.alterg.com)


3. Alter G Treadmill – as mentioned above, a light recovery run is a good way to facilitate muscle recovery. The Alter G treadmill allows you to run at a reduced body weight, thus reducing your metabolic demands and the impact of running on joints and muscles. A 20 minute run at 50% bodyweight could be a great active recovery session.  For pricing and bookings call RHP Physiotherapy Kelvin Grove – 3856 5566.


4. Foam roller – a foam roller is a quick and easy way to get some additional soft tissue work done at home. Evidence shows that foam rolling before training increases flexibility without affecting muscle strength, and foam rolling after training reduces muscle soreness. Foam rolling for 2-3 mins per muscle group will have you feeling fresh for your next training. Here are some key muscle groups to get stuck into with the foam roller:




Quads (front of thigh)

Quads (front of thigh)





ITB (lateral thigh)

ITB (lateral thigh)




(images taken from http://hpsm.ca/my-hpsm/exercise-tutorials/foam-roll-massage/)


5. Get checked by a physiotherapist – While all of these suggestions are great for recovery sometimes niggles can persist after a Triathlon. If you feel any pain that is different to normal post race soreness – no matter how small or large get in to see a physiotherapist. An early diagnosis and management plan is always better than dealing with an injury weeks down the track.

RHP Physiotherapy has discounted rates for Red Dog athletes, so get in to make sure your body is ready for the summer season. To make an appointment at RHP Physiotherapy contact us at 3856 5566.


Good luck with your recovery and congratulations again on a fantastic weekend! All the best for your ongoing training and any upcoming events!

For Alter G session pricing, please visit: http://www.rhpphysiotherapy.com.au/about-us/special-offers/

Posted by Office Manager on October 17, 2017

Volleyball Injuries

Post by Will Thwaite (BPhty(Hons), BSc, Physiotherapist APAM)


Recently I went away as the head physiotherapist for the Queensland Volleyball teams at Australian Junior Volleyball Championships. In total there were 13 Queensland teams (130 athletes) the under 15/17/19 age groups consisting of both mens and womens teams. After a tough week, Queensland finished as overwhelming champions across all all divisions and were repeat winners of the Presidents Cup – awarded to the best performing state. Overall, Queensland teams walked away with 10 gold medals, 2 silver medals.


It was a busy week looking after 130 athletes, as volleyball is a highly dynamic sport that involves a lot of explosive movement and jumping. This can really take its toll on the body. A volleyball player can very quickly amass a large number of jumps in a training session or game. This high amount of jumping and spiking can lead to several overuse conditions. Below is a list of common volleyball injuries – both acute and overuse injuries.


1. Ankle sprain – with players jumping in close proximity at the net there is a risk of landing on another players foot and rolling your ankle. An acute ankle injury can range from mildly disabling and painful when walking to severe with a lot of swelling, bruising and pain. Sometimes, fractures can occur in the foot and shin bones due to the high levels of force as you land. Ankle injuries require a comprehensive assessment to direct best treatment to reduce your pain and aid in the prevention of repeated injury. It is important to restore range of motion, strength, balance and co-ordination after this injury otherwise you may be prone to recurrent injuries and chronic instability. patella


2. Jumpers Knee (Patella tendinopathy) – this is a typical overuse injury from a high amount of jumping. The patella tendon is put under a lot of load when jumping and landing and can become painful over time. This type of injury will typically “warm up” when playing but will become stiff and sore afterwards. Rehabilitation of this injury may mean temporarily reducing your number of jumps, strengthening muscles of the hips, thigh and calf, or using supportive braces during play.


3. Osgood Schlatters – another overuse condition affecting the knees of growing athletes who run or jump alot. This condition affects the bone on the front of the top part of your shin where the patella tendon joins the bone. There is commonly a very painful boney bump at the top of the shin. Management of this condition may require activity modification and strengthening/stretching of muscles in the legs to relieve some stress into this area. It is important to address this issue early as damage to the growth plate can lead to long term disability and/or pain.


4. Shoulder Pain – shoulder pain is very common in the spiking arm of a volleyball athlete. Acute shoulder injuries can be a tear or impingement of different structures around the shoulder. Most commonly, overuse of the shoulder through serving and spiking leads to tendinopathy or irritation of the tendons. As the shoulder is a highly mobile joint, muscle control and strength around your scapula (shoulder blade) and rotator cuff is extremely important. Poor movement and control of your upper and lower back can also contribute to overload the shoulder. Good rehabilitation should focus on strength and mobility of both your shoulder and trunk. rotator


5. Low back pain – low back pain can come from many different sources in your back. As you can see in the picture (left) a large range of motion of the hips, lower back and upper back is required to spike.
Without good range of motion and control throughout this movement, the low back can become overloaded and irritated. Muscle spasm is very common. It is important to see a physiotherapist if you regularly develop back pain when playing volleyball. A thorough assessment will determine if you have mobility limitations or require strength improvements.



In summary, Volleyball can put alot of stress on the body. An RHP Physiotherapy screening can be performed to identify any areas of concern and optimise your movement to reduce the risk of these injuries. If you are experiencing pain in any area of your body or have any injury concerns from playing volleyball, call to make an appointment and start your rehabilitation.

Posted by Office Manager on August 10, 2017


Post by Sam Donaldson (M.PhtySt, BAppSci(HMS), Physiotherapist APAM SMAM)


Justifying the physical approach to therapy in rehabilitation and performance.


Every fortnight at RHP Physiotherapy, we are fortunate to have implemented an in-service program, through which our therapists are afforded the opportunity to learn as a team and collaborate in the care of our patients.


This fortnight we took on the science behind Mechanotherapy.


Mechanotherapy is a term used to describe the therapeutic use of any modality that provides a mechanical stimulus to the tissue, which is directed towards rehabilitating or developing the body to return to, or improve activity. My personal favourite definition (from Huang et al 2013) is the “Therapeutic interventions that reduce and reverse injury to damaged tissues or promote the homeostasis of healthy tissues by mechanical means at the molecular, cellular or tissue level.”


What this whittles down to is that when a force is applied to any bodily tissue, that force stimulates a change. When jumping up and down, the muscles must stretch and contract; tension pulls and recoils in the tendons, the bones absorb vertical compression which also bends and twists them (ever so slightly). The cells in these tissues must deform under that force, which will stimulate a cascade of events within the cell, as well as between the cells. Ultimately, the cells of those muscles, tendons and bone, will stimulate DNA transcription (the building blocks of our bodies) and create new muscle, tendon and bone.Doc 1

What is most interesting to us, is that each tissue type will respond to different types of forces. Not only that, but the cells of these tissues will respond at various amounts depending on how much force, the rate of repetition of that force and the recovery period between those forces that are applied. This means that we can potentially find an optimum amount of that mechanical force, that will stimulate change: with far too much being detrimental, a little too much being no better than the optimum, and too little not being effective enough to make the necessary adaptations.


Without going too much further into the dry science of it all, it is these cellular mechanisms that underpins every aspect of our physical approach to therapy; be it massage therapy, stretches, exercise therapy or even something like shock-wave therapy or low intensity pulsed ultrasound.

Blog 1


So, if you have ever wondered why you have been asked to do certain exercises or walking or running with explicit repetitions, sets and recovery times, this cellular response to that exercise is one justification for the specificity of that prescription.


Without a doubt, there is more at play than just the biological responses at a cellular level when we are considering how we might rehabilitate an injury. Pain and the nervous system is a whole other kettle of fish! However, the way the body can physically adapt to whatever it is we ask it to do, it seems we can achieve the most when we do just the right amount at just the right intensity, and allow certain rest times. Sometimes less is more, and more is less!




The human body is an amazing organism and one we are continually amazed by. Treat yours well and it will reward you!




If you would like to learn more or have any physical barriers to doing what you would like to be doing (injury, pain or other), then get in touch with our physiotherapists on 07 3856 5566.


  • Warden, S. J., & Thompson, W. R. (2017). Become one with the force: optimising mechanotherapy through an understanding of mechanobiology.
  • Khan, K. M., & Scott, A. (2009). Mechanotherapy: how physical therapists’ prescription of exercise promotes tissue repair. British journal of sports medicine, 43(4), 247-252.
  • Huang, C., Holfeld, J., Schaden, W., Orgill, D., & Ogawa, R. (2013). Mechanotherapy: revisiting physical therapy and recruiting mechanobiology for a new era in medicine. Trends in molecular medicine, 19(9), 555-564.


Posted by Office Manager on August 2, 2017

Sit – Stand Workplace Tips

Sit – Stand Workplace Tips

Workstations that allow computer workers to vary their position between sitting and standing are becoming more common, and the costs involved in setting up a sit – stand workstation are becoming more affordable for all.

Our guidelines for how best to incorporate sit-stand technology into your day include

  • Prepare your body for sitting
    • Prepare our lumbar intervertebral discs for sitting by going for a walk in the morning.     Our discs compress at the start of the day after lying/sleeping. A walk will help the disc start the day in an ideal state. Perhaps > 20 minutes.
    • To enable our bodies to be able to sit with the ideal posture outlined in various ergonomic guidelines, we need to be
      • flexible in the hamstrings and back of the hips to help maintain a neutral lower back curve (lordosis)
      • flexible in our chest muscles to help maintain upright trunk posture

Piri Gluteal Stretch  Hamstrings Stretch

  • Prepare your body for standing
    • After sitting for a while the muscles at the front of your hips will have tigQuadriceps Stretchhtened a bit. Thus, stretch them out before your standing stint so the lower back position will be optimised. Tight muscles at the front of your hips can drag the arch in the small of your back into a shape that is too deep, and this can compress the joints in your lower spine.
    • Maintain strength of your abdominal, pelvic floor, gluteal, and spinal muscles. These need to be gently active and supporting your skeleton whilst standing.
  • Prepare your workstation
    • For standing ensure a cushioned surface and shoes that provide stability and some shock absorption.
    • Invest in a sit-stand workstation that meets all your requirements e.g adequate space for monitor(s), keyboard, documents, phone, drinks etc.
    • The sit-stand workstation needs to be easily moved from the sitting position to standing and vice versa. Supported lifting hydraulics and durable mechanisms are recommended, as well as non-pinching hinges.
  • Sit-Stand workstation guidelines
    • Stand with your breast bone positioned over the front of your pelvis. A common mistake is to allow your pelvis/hips to slide forwards during standing.
    • Don’t cock your hips to one side whilst standing.
    • Only stand for 20-40 minutes. If you are uncomfortable or can no longer maintain good posture, then it is time to sit again.
    • Change position whilst standing. For short periods, it may be useful to place one foot up on a small stool.

Sit – stand work stations can be a helpful addition to the workplace if utilised correctly, and if your body and workstation are appropriately organised.

If you are experiencing pain associated with your computer work, RHP Physio’s are able to help identify the physical contributors, and provide remedies specifically for your body or work environment.

Posted by Office Manager on June 23, 2017

Why would I see a Physiotherapist?

Why would I see a Physiotherapist?

Post by Kerry Staples (MPhysio (Sports) BPhysio (Hons) B HMS (Ex Sci) Sports Physiotherapist APAM)

Physiotherapists are highly qualified health professionals who work in partnership with their patients to help people get better and stay well.  

Physiotherapists also work closely with GPs and other health professionals to plan and manage treatment. GPs refer more patients to physiotherapists than any other healthcare profession.  
Using advanced techniques and evidence-based care, physiotherapists assess, diagnose, treat and prevent a wide range of health conditions and movement disorders. Physiotherapy helps repair damage, reduce stiffness and pain, increase mobility and improve quality of life.

Physiotherapy extends from health promotion to injury prevention, acute care, rehabilitation, maintenance of functional mobility, chronic disease management, patient and carer education and occupational health. 

Move well, Stay well.

Common reasons people seek help

All Australians can benefit from physiotherapy at some point in their lives. While it is well-known that physiotherapists treat injuries, increasing numbers of Australians are coming to physiotherapists when they want to take control of their health and stay well. Some of the needs physiotherapists address include:

  • Cardiorespiratory – prevent, rehabilitate and support people living with, or at risk of diseases and injuries affecting the heart and lungs, such as heart disease or asthma.
  • Cancer, palliative care and lymphoedema – address a range of patient needs, including treating, managing or preventing fatigue, pain, muscle and joint stiffness, and deconditioning.
  • Continence, men’s and women’s health – manages and prevents incontinence and pelvic floor dysfunction in men, women and children. Physiotherapists work in areas including pregnancy, birth, post-partum care, breastfeeding, menopause, loss of bladder or bowel control, and with men living with or recovering from prostate cancer.
  • Supporting older Australians – using evidence-based care to promote healthy and active ageing among older Australians, including falls prevention.
  • Musculoskeletal – prevents and treats clients with musculoskeletal conditions such as neck, back and joint pain. Techniques include addressing underlying problems, preventing further injury, and prescribing exercises and other interventions to promote mobility.blog photo 2
  • Neurology – promotes movement and quality of life in patients who have had severe brain or spinal cord damage from trauma, or who suffer from neurological diseases such as stroke, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis.
  • Orthopaedic – helps patients prevent or manage acute or chronic orthopaedic conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and amputations. Physiotherapists also help patients prepare for or rehabilitate from orthopaedic surgery, or another orthopaedic hospital admissions.
  • Occupational health – supports the health and wellbeing of workers, reduces safety risks in the workplace, prevents and manages injuries and diseases, and support workers in returning to work.
  • Paediatric (supporting infants and children) – aims to prevent conditions such as plagiocephally (misshapen head) or support a child’s development such as addressing milestone delays with sitting and walking, clumsiness, or hyperactivity.
  • Pain – manages or prevents pain and its impact on function in patients using a psychologically informed and interdisciplinary approach. Physiotherapists work with other health and social-care professionals to manage pain at the acute stage of an injury or condition, including through identifying psychosocial risk factors that may lead to chronicity.
  • Sports – prevents, diagnoses and treats musculoskeletal and sporting injuries among all types of people, from professional athletes to everyday Australians.
  • Acupuncture and dry needling – which helps to manage both chronic and acute conditions such as sprains and strains, spinal dysfunction, arthritis and neurological conditions.
  • Aquatic – using a pool, physiotherapists treat patients with a multitude of conditions using hydrotherapy including sports injuries, post-operative and orthopaedic conditions, spinal pain and/or injuries and arthritis.

About a typical physiotherapy session

A typical session with a RHP physiotherapist is unique to a patient’s needs and their health condition. RHP Physiotherapists are all expert clinicians with a wide range of interests and experiences.

A‘typical’ initial physio session would usually involve:

  • Assessing and diagnosing your condition and needs.  A careful explanation of the condition is a key focus at RHP Physiotherapy.
  • Working with you, the patient, to set and attain goals—whether that’s maintaining mobility and independence in aged care to running a marathon.
  • Developing a treatment or prevention plan with you that will take into account your lifestyle, activities and general health. At RHP Physiotherapy, we take the extra time needed to carefully design a treatment plan with you.
  • Prescribing exercise, maintenance strategies, and physical aides if required.  These are often simple strategies that are effective and time efficient.

Book in today and get some answers to your questions. Recommend someone to RHP  Physiotherapy and we will thank you with a massage voucher.


If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us on Book in today and get some answers to your questions admin@rhpphysiotherapy.com.au


Adapted from https://www.physiotherapy.asn.au/APAWCM/Physio_and_You/physio/APAWCM/Physio_and_You/physio.aspx?hkey=25ad06f0-e004-47e5-b894-e0ede69e0fff [accessed 21 Jun 2017]