Coronavirus (COVID-19) update: New tele-health physiotherapy and exercise support
Due to the evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) response, we are changing the way we provide physiotherapy, deliver exercise and help to optimise our client’s health.
Renew Physiotherapy is now transitioning away from face-to-face consultations and will be offering a tele-health model of delivery. The need for any face-to-face consultation will be determined only following tele-physio consultation.
This is in the best interests of the health of our staff, patients, and, importantly, helps us meet our responsibility as an organisation and as individuals to help reduce the potential spread of COVID-19.
We have no way of knowing exactly how long the impacts of COVID-19 will be felt, but it is anticipated to be months rather than weeks. With this in mind, we are sensitive to the needs of all our clients to stay physically healthy and to optimise immune and mental health.
We also understand that many of our clients will need ongoing assistance with managing degenerative conditions and pain.
As you know, we are a small family-owned, community clinic. We know many businesses out there are doing it tough, and we value the support of our clients through this challenging time.
We will be here for you when this pandemic subsides, and look forward to the day when we can once again resume our regular services with you.
In the meantime, we are pleased to be able to offer three new consultation types to continue to support the ongoing management of your current injury, any new injuries, and regular exercise.
While the below options will not be able to completely replace your regular clinical exercise, we feel that during this challenging time, they will enable you to optimise your physical and mental health – an essential requirement for a healthy immune system.
Please note: we have been informed that private health rebates are anticipated to be applied to some of the consultations below. This would mean some of these consultations are likely to be eligible to be claimed via your private health insurance. Please speak to your physio about this for more information.
To book an appointment or if you have any questions, simply contact Renew Physiotherapy on 9818 3373 or email [email protected].
1. Tele-physio consultation
This consultation is appropriate for anyone that has a condition that would normally require them to present to a physiotherapist. The tele-physio consultation will mirror all aspects of a regular consultation, only the physiotherapist and the client are no longer in the same room.
What does this include?
The consultation will include:
- History-taking, assessment and injury diagnosis
- Advice on injury management strategies
- Prescription of exercise (where appropriate)
- Advice on appropriate follow up (if necessary)
Your Renew physio will allocate 30 minutes for these tele-health consultations. This will enable them to to complete all necessary documentation of the consultation and email any information, such as home exercise programs, to the client.
How much does this cost?
Cost: $40.00 for a 30 minute consultation.
2. Tele-health physio-led exercise sessions
If you regularly attend a group exercise/pilates session at Renew or would like to, then this is the option for you. These sessions will feature a weekly “live appointment” with a Renew physio who will guide you through your own exercises.
This is a great way to maintain your exercise routine while maintain your ‘social distancing’. Importantly, these sessions will provide you with the opportunity to ask any necessary questions along the way. We feel that our knowledge of your medical history, your exercise capacity and regular exercise routine will enable us to provide the best adaptation of specific exercises to your home environment, and in turn, limit any de-conditioning that can quickly ensue as a result of inactivity.
What does this involve?
The initial contact will involve assessing:
- The best Tele-Health platform for you – this is most likely zoom.us, Facetime or Skype).
- And the appropriate equipment for your sessions – this will depend on equipment you already own. Your Renew physio may organise to send equipment, such as theraband and balls, via the post if required.
How much does this cost?
Cost: $35 for a 30-minute individual guided exercise session.
3. Independent exercise programming and monitoring
This is the ideal option for those who are seeking a personalised exercise program and are comfortable to perform it by themselves in their own chosen time.
We understand the nature and history of your injury. We have guided many of you through exercises for a variety of conditions before. This knowledge will enable us to design a tailored home exercise program to suit your needs.
What does this involve?
- Your Renew physio will research your injury and exercise history, and conduct an initial phone/tele-health consultation.
- Your Renew physio will create a home exercise program with you, based on your history and the equipment you have available.
- You will receive your home exercise program via email
- A weekly follow up phone consultation from your Renew physiotherapist to check, refine and/or progress the home exercise program, which will again be emailed through to you.
This process continues for two weeks. At the end of the two week period, you can discuss the benefits of repeating the process.
How much does this cost?
Independent exercise programming and monitoring will cost $101 – the same as a standard physiotherapy consultation fee.
How to book an appointment
The clinic can still be contacted on our regular number: 9818 3373. If we are unable to answer, please bear with us and leave a message and we will return your call.
Alternatively, you can contact us by email to arrange an appointment.
For general inquiries, you can also email the business: [email protected].
Renew Physiotherapy does not currently take online transactions. We will be sending an invoice for services which can be paid by direct debit. Once again, we thank you for your understanding during this time of transition.
Private health insurance funding for Tele-physio consultations is on the way. Current information suggests patients will be able to claim rebates for sessions provided between 14 April – 30 September 2020. It is not clear if all insurers will adopt this. We encourage our clients to confirm this with their insurer. If they do not follow advice from Private Health Care Australia, you could rightly ask them why not?
Thank you again for your ongoing support during this time. We value and appreciate every one of our clients and look forward to working with you over the coming months.
It is hard to escape the fast-moving and ever-changing environment surrounding the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. It’s important to be informed and act responsibly in these uncertain times as we continue to adapt to Federal Government recommendations relating to mass gatherings, social distancing and basic hygiene.
These interventions are critical in reducing the spread of potential viral and bacterial infections and should be adhered to unequivocally.
It is also important to remember the proactive things we can do to optimise our own physical health and immune system, to help ward off an infection.
For those of us who remain free of illness and any known exposure to COVID-19, it is important not to panic or withdraw from your regular healthy habits of eating, sleeping and exercise, while adhering to government health and safety recommendations.
COVID-19 is rightly at the front of all current considerations but with winter – a heightened period of illness (common cold and flu) – on the horizon, it’s important to maintain a healthy regime to optimise your ability to ward off illness.
Extensive contemporary evidence from epidemiological studies (references below) show:
- Leading a physically active lifestyle reduces the incidence of communicable (bacterial and viral infections) and non-communicable diseases (cancer)
- Habitual exercise improves immune regulation
- Your body’s immune competency is enhanced by regular exercise bouts.
In relation to COVID-19, depending on your current circumstance, you may fall into one of these two categories:
1. High Risk
If you are of high risk (for example, recently returned from overseas, or been exposed to a person with a positive case of COVID-19), then it’s important to follow government instructions related to isolation and quarantine. If you are asymptomatic during these periods, then maintaining a healthy lifestyle while isolated can be important for optimising your long-term physical health. This could include home-based strength exercise, stretching/mobility exercise and cardio-based exercise on a treadmill/bike/erg, etc.
2. Low Risk
If you are otherwise well, continue to implement sound hygiene practices, such as regularly washing your hands, avoid face touching and the like, and maintain a healthy lifestyle while adhering to government health and safety recommendations, such as ‘social distancing’. Exercise remains a key contributor to your physical, immune and mental health. You should consider taking the necessary precautions with group training sessions and large exercise environments in the current climate but where possible, you should keep up regular exercise such as walking, jogging, cycling and exercise. A clinical environment where sound hygiene practices are in place can provide an ideal location to exercise.
Guided exercise options
If you are high risk and need guidance in establishing an independent exercise program based on your individual history, physiotherapists are well placed to help. Consultations can also be safely conducted via phone or teleconference.
If you are low risk, and exercise in a small clinically hygienic environment, remember to optimise your social distancing in accordance with government recommendations. You should also seek to keep your indoor sessions below the two-hour guideline and thoroughly wash your hands before and after sessions.
We are all keen to stay healthy but taking care of your physical and mental wellbeing in trying times can be difficult. If you need help in guiding your way through this period, the team at Renew Physiotherapy is here to assist. We’ve put a number of extra practices in place to ensure we’re maintaining rigorous hygiene practices to provide a welcoming environment for our clients and staff.
We’ve been in business since 2012 and have extensive clinical experience, including a specific interest in sports injuries and clinical pilates.
We’ve created an environment where we can provide high quality assessment, treatment and injury management, and are committed to providing quality care and empowering to to get back to optimal health and ongoing self-management.
* The advice in this article is not a replacement for medical advice. If you are unwell, or seeking information on coronavirus (COVID-19). Please call 1800 020 080 – this line is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For current information, visit the DHHS website.
Written by Andrew Fookes.
Andrew is an APA Sports-Titled Physiotherapist, who has worked with the Victorian Institute of Sport in the Rowing and Men’s Hockey programs and with Australian Rowing since 2011. Andrew consults at Renew Physiotherapy, 530 Glenferrie Road Hawthorn. For appointments please contact the clinic on 9818 3373 or email: [email protected]
1: Romeo J, Wärnberg J, Pozo T, Marcos A. Moderate physical activity or moderate-regulated training may enhance the immune function. Physical activity, immunity and infection. Proc Nutr Soc. 2010 Aug;69(3):390-9. doi: 10.1017/S0029665110001795. Epub 2010 Jun 23.
2: Nieman DC and Wentz LM. The compelling link between physical activity and the body’s defense system. Journal of Health Science. (2019) 8(3). 201-217. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jshs.2018.09.009
3: Campbell JP and Turner JE, Debunking the Myth of Exercise Induced Immune Suppression: Redefining the Impact of Exercise on Immunological Health Across the Lifespan. Front. Immunol. (2018) 9:648. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2018.00648
4: Warburton DER, Bredin SSD. Health benefits of physical activity: a systematic review of current systematic reviews. Curr Opin Cardiol (2017) 32(5):541–56. doi:10.1097/HCO.0000000000000437
It’s that time of year when the thought of the new field hockey season starts popping into our heads. You might be thinking: “what can I do to keep myself on the pitch and away from the ice packs and compression bandages this season?”
As a physiotherapist for the better part of a decade, including working with the Victorian Institute of Sport Women’s Hockey Program and the Hockey Club Melbourne team in the recent Hockey One League, I’ve seen my fair share of injuries on and off the field.
And to celebrate the pending 2020 season, I’ve pulled together a few tips to help you stay injury-free this year.
1. Preparation is key
Most clubs will break up their year into three components; off-season, pre-season and in-season.
Pre-season usually consists of a mixture of cross-training and on-pitch sessions, aimed at preparing the athlete (or weekend warrior) for the rigours of the season ahead. It probably comes as no surprise that preparing for the season can not only maximise your on-field performance but also reduce your risk of injury.
A 2017 study on Australian Rules Football (sorry, hockey research is a little light on) demonstrated that those who completed greater than 86% of the scheduled pre-season training program had up to five times lesser risk of in-season soft tissue injury.
Take home message: dust off those runners and get down to your club’s pre-season.
2. Be specific with your pre-season training program
One of the common mistakes I see hockey players make is not having training specificity. Over the summer months it can be enjoyable (or not) to put the runners on and go for a slow 5-10km jog.
Although this is a good health decision it may not be sufficient to prepare yourself for the upcoming season. Hockey is a fast-paced sport requiring constant direction changes, and your pre-season training program needs to reflect this.
A suitable pre-season training program will include repeat sprints and agility drills to adequately prepare you for the upcoming season.
3. Add in a strength and conditioning program
Individualised strength training programs, such as Pilates or gym, are an effective way of reducing acute and overuse sport injuries.
Strength training programs often consist of targeted exercises designed to overload the muscle, tendon or cartilage making them stronger.
This makes the tissue more resistant to load and therefore reduces injury risk. As a guide, adding two to three strength training sessions per week is ideal. Once again, strength training programs need to be specific to the demands of the sport.
If you would like more information on how to design a tailored pre-season program or individualised strength and conditioning program, please contact Dan at Renew Physiotherapy, 530 Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn.
For appointments, please contact the clinic on 9818 3373 or email: [email protected]
- RELATED: Is clinical Pilates right for you?
- Cycle your way into the New Year injury-free
- About Renew Physiotherapy
1. Pre-season workload volume and high risk periods for non-contact injury across multiple Australian Football League seasons.
2. Strength training as superior, dose-dependent and safe prevention of acute and overuse sports injuries: a systematic review, qualitative analysis and meta-analysis.
Pilates is more popular than ever but if you’re pregnant or you’ve recently given birth, the thought of attending a class can be a little confronting.
You might be concerned about putting too much pressure on your body before you give birth, or in the post-natal stages and you’re often left wondering if it is safe and ok to be exercising.
Renew Physiotherapy’s Mel French has been a physiotherapist for many years and has a passion for pelvic floor physiotherapy and women’s health. Mel has completed her post graduate studies in Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy, with an emphasis on pelvic floor dysfunction and musculoskeletal conditions experienced during pregnancy.
This is complemented by her work at Hawthorn’s Renew Physiotherapy which includes a strong focus on clinical pilates.
Clinical pilates is a form of physical exercise that focuses on posture, core stability, balance, strength, flexibility and breathing, and is guided specifically by a physiotherapist.
Originally developed in the early 20th century by Joseph Pilates, pilates utilises the mind-body connection and challenges the body to work in optimum movement patterns.
It is now accepted as a complementary treatment tool to physiotherapy.
Mel says clinical pilates is a really great form of exercise for clients with pelvic floor concerns because it’s a “low impact and loading form of dynamic exercise, where by exercises can be modified and manipulated to best meet the individual needs of each client”.
“When performed correctly, pilates incorporates good breath control and activation of core, glute and pelvic floor muscles,” Mel says.
“Generally, most people have heard from various sources that clinical pilates is good for pelvic floor muscle training and really embrace the treatment. Clinical pilates can be very beneficial for pregnant women.
“Clinical pilates exercises can be tailored for certain stages throughout pregnancy and can specifically target those muscles that help support the lower back and pelvis during the stages or changes that a woman’s body naturally goes through.”
Mel says some women are nervous about exercising during pregnancy and returning to exercise after giving birth.
“This often coincides with concerns for their abdominal muscles and how they can safely exercise them.
“My biggest concern is that a lot of women return to these types of exercise too early without allowing adequate time for their muscles to recover following the birth, and without specific guidance. Sometimes their body is just not ready to return to running, gym or group fitness classes and this is where professional advice can be vital.”
Mel encourages all women to exercise during pregnancy in some way, shape or form as well as women who are looking to get back into exercise after birth.
“They should seek advice from a pelvic floor or women’s health physio about when to commence exercise and what type of exercise they should be doing. This often involves a pelvic floor and thorough musculoskeletal assessment.
“I suggest all women begin with pelvic floor, and gentle glute and core exercises that are clinical pilates-based exercises when the time is right. They can then progress them from there depending on the specific type of sport or exercise they would like to return to.”
Ladies, let’s talk pelvic floors. From light bladder leakage to pelvic pain, and bowel issues to pelvic prolapses, there are myriad reasons why this is an important area of your body.
And yet, it can be a difficult topic to discuss.
Renew Physiotherapy’s Mel French has a wealth of experience treating women’s health and pelvic floors. She says it can often be difficult for women to discuss issues relating to the pelvis.
“Some women are embarrassed to discuss these concerns, even amongst their friends or mothers groups, and younger girls often find it difficult to speak about their concerns and give a true insight into their issues,” she says.
“I think a lot of it has to do with that fact that pelvic floor and urinary issues are portrayed in the media as being an older person’s issue, or only a concern for someone who has had a baby, and not something that a younger person or women who haven’t had children should be concerned with.
“First time mums can sometimes be a bit tentative initially, possibly be due to the fact that their bodies have gone through incredible changes and new symptoms may arise after birth that they have never experienced or heard of. This can also be quite scary and overwhelming.”
In these instances, Mel says it’s important to “reassure” clients.
“They need to know that they are not alone in experiencing these symptoms and that there is generally always something that can be done to help.
“I also tend to compare these issues to musculoskeletal conditions and injuries, for example, a pelvic floor injury sustained during birth is a musculoskeletal tear or injury, similar to the AFL footballer who tears his hamstring.
“They are both skeletal muscles that heal in a similar manner.”
Common women’s health-related injuries
Mel says she treats many ante-natal clients for pelvic girdle pain management, post-natal recovery, pelvic organ prolapse management, as well as general pelvic floor concerns such as urinary and bowel urgency and incontinence .
“During pregnancy, some women experience pelvic pain.
“This can be due to hormonal changes and changes in joint laxity.
“Muscles surrounding the pelvis, including the pelvic floor, and lumbar spine can become tight or weakened, so soft tissue manual therapy can help ease pain from tight muscles, and clinical pilates and exercises can help provide support to these pelvic joints.”
Mel says post-natal recovery – particularly in the first three months after giving birth – is a really important time to embrace education and treatment.
“During this time I provide lots of reassurance and education on healing time frames, hormonal changes and appropriate exercises and stretches.
“I find providing lots of handouts and information is helpful for new mums, as well as basic exercise guidelines.”
Pelvic floor prolapses can sometimes require further advanced management but Mel says there are also treatments she can prescribe.
“As a result of increased vaginal wall laxity and supporting tissue weakness, pelvic floor prolapses are essentially a descent or downward movement of the pelvic organs, such as the bladder, bowel, cervix and uterus”.
“This can be managed by pelvic floor exercise, global core and gluteal muscle strengthening exercises, support wear, education and advice for activity modification.
“But it’s important to note that possible referral on to a specialist for further advanced management can be required.”
Mel says treating women in this field provides her with a sense of satisfaction, particularly as she watches women slowly gain more confidence in their bodies.
“I really enjoy working with and empowering women with knowledge about their bodies and their potential for rehabilitation or change, particularly when they have the misconception that their symptoms/condition cannot be helped.”
Looking to get back on the bike but can’t shake that pesky cycling injury? You’re not the only one.
Cycling, be it out on the road or a stationary bike is a great form of exercise. It is a very common form of cross training by many of our patients. They range from elite to beginner athletes, social cyclists and through to those in their 60’s and 70’s.
We’ve found cycling, or more specifically spin classes, to be the perfect exercise to compliment regular Clinical Pilates, and have noticed first-hand our clients’ improved fitness, strength and postural control.
Our Women’s Health Physiotherapist recommends spin classes as the ideal form of returning to cardio exercise post-natally.
Cycling’s popularity has steadily increased in recent years, which has resulted in a number of associated injuries presenting for diagnosis, management and rehabilitation at Renew Physiotherapy.
Cycling injuries most commonly arise from trauma such as a fall or an accident, but injuries can also result from non-traumatic causes such as a poor bike set up, strength, flexibility and training loads.
Non-traumatic cycling injuries
When considering the non-traumatic cycling injuries, there are two main contributors. Firstly, sub-optimal mechanics arising from poor bike set up and/or a lack of strength and flexibility in key areas of the rider.
The cyclist has three contact points to the bike; the handlebar, the seat and the pedals. Where the body sits between these three points at any time in the crank cycle has a significant bearing on the pain that a rider may experience.
Given the repetitive mechanical nature of cycling, any deficiency in the biomechanics of the rider and mechanical set up of the bike leads to a wide range of non-traumatic injuries.
Common non-traumatic cycling injuries include:
- Cervical spine pain
- Lumbar spine pain
- Anterior and lateral knee pain
- Saddle pain
- Foot pain
The second significant contributor to non-traumatic pain when cycling is the rate of increases in training loads. The human body can be positively and negatively affected by increases in training load or decreases/absences of training loads respectively.
The appropriate graded progression in load allows tissue to strengthen and provide greater tolerance to training, and over an extended period builds increased resilience in the tissue to acute fluctuations in training.
Managing your cycling injury
The clinical challenge in the management and rehabilitation of cycling injuries is in identifying the main contributors. As many injuries will resolve with time off the bike, there is a high risk of regressing if the cause of the issue is not addressed and appropriate modifications made.
Expect to explore a combination of bike set up, rider strength and flexibility, technical efficiency and progression of training loads in planning your rehab.
Of course, with all forms of exercise there are risks of injury, but the best way to avoid injury is to ensure you have the best instructors and expertise guiding you through.
For our local Hawthorn/Boroondara patients considering getting active in spin classes and not sure where to start, Sprinnt in Camberwell is a spin-specific studio where you will be individually set up, coached on the bike and guided through progressive loads in every class.
Our physiotherapists will liaise with Sprinnt spin instructors regarding patient needs, and classes can be purchased at our clinic in Hawthorn.
Enjoy your summer cycling safely and pain free.
Andrew Fooks – Renew Physiotherapy Sports Physiotherapist
The winter hockey season is on the horizon in Melbourne, and if you’ve still got that niggling feeling in your body, now is the time to get it right.
While there are no fool-proof ways to keep yourself injury-free this season there are steps you can take to keep yourself on the park.
Renew Physiotherapist co-owner Andrew Fooks is one of the physio’s who treats the Australian Kookaburras team.
He’s treated some of the best players to ever don the green and gold, including Jamie Dwyer, Mark Knowles, Luke Doerner and Eddie Ockenden.
He says time is running out for hockey players to get that persistent niggle right before the season starts.
“If you’re going to try and strengthen an injury, preseason is the time to do it.
“Trying to improve an injury within the season is really hard, you’ve got games week after week and the recovery time and load you incur through training and games makes it difficult to strengthen.
“The best time to intervene to try and resolve injury and optimise performance is when you’re not under a high load.”
Andrew says the most common injuries suffered by hockey players are lower back pain, hamstring and hip and groin injuries.
“If it’s not getting any better you probably need some help to define the injury and figure out the best way to solve it.
“Persistence of a symptom that’s not resolving despite your intervention suggests you should look for help.
“That’s where we come in.”
When it came to the hockey player’s hamstring curse, Andrew says there are strengthening tactics.
“The management of it is really quite broad and varies but optimising strength and its capacity to absorb force is critical.
“Including a specific strength exercise is really important. There is really good evidence about a strength exercise called the Nordic Curl which shows a really huge treatment effect in reducing hamstring injuries but also reducing the recurrence of hamstring injuries.”
The Nordic Curl exercise has variations, but typically involves kneeling and lowering your body under control, while your ankles are held in place.
Former Kookaburra and current Renew Physiotherapist Daniel Mirecki added there was no need to “suffer in silence”.
“There are a lot of people out there who put up with those niggles and sometimes it can actually impact on their function and essentially restrict them, when often there’s a quick fix,” he says.
Daniel, who is also the physiotherapist for the Victorian Vipers, treating the likes of Hockeyroos Rachael Lynch, Emily Hurtz and Madi Ratcliffe, says its vital to be treated by a physiotherapist who understands the rigours of the sport.
“Renew Physiotherapy understands the specific nature of the game, what you have to do to hit a tomahawk or if you’re a drag flicker, we know what the demands are on your body.”
Andrew added: “There’s no one who would know the sport better than we would in Melbourne.”
“We have treated some of the best players in the state and we have worked with some of the best players in the country.
“We’ve been managing hockey-specific injuries from elite to club level for years.”
Call Renew Physiotherapy to book an appointment today: 9818 3373 or visit our website
Note: The advice given in this article may not be suitable for all injuries. Before attempting rehabilitation, consult a professional.
Renew Physiotherapy has now closed for Christmas.
We will be working modified hours during the Christmas Break and early in the New Year.
Christmas 2017 Hours:
Wednesday 27 December 8.00am – 12.00pm
Thursday 28 December 1.00pm – 6.00pm
Friday 29 December 8.00am – 1.00pm
January 2018 Hours:
Monday 1 January CLOSED
Tuesday 2 January 8.00am – 1.00pm
Wednesday 3 January 8.00am – 1.00pm
Thursday 4 January 1.00pm – 6.00pm
Friday 5 January 8.00am -1.00pm
Monday 8 January 1.00pm – 6.00pm
Tuesday 9 January 8.00am – 1.00pm
Wednesday 10 January 8.00am – 1.00pm
Thursday 11 January 1.00pm – 6.00pm
Friday 12 January 8.00am – 1.00pm
The Team at Renew Physiotherapy would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your ongoing support throughout 2017. We strive to offer a high level of service and will continue to push ourselves professionally to ensure that you continue to receive the highest level of care.
We wish you all a Merry Christmas and hope that New Year brings you happiness and good health.
We look forward to continuing to assist you achieve your goals in 2018.