Osteo Awareness Week 2017

Osteopathy Australia is encouraging the nation to investigate better ways to prevent and manage their pain during Osteopathy Awareness Week this 16-22 April.



OSTEOPATHY. Do you immediately think of bones? Perhaps you imagined someone cracking sore backs? Osteopaths treat more than you think.

Osteopaths are primary healthcare practitioners and Australian government-registered allied health professionals who can help identify important types of dysfunction in your body. They focus on how your skeleton, joints, muscles, nerves and circulation work together to improve your health and well-being.

Osteopathic treatment diverse range of techniques such as stretching and soft tissue massage for general treatment of muscles, tendons and ligaments; along with exercise prescription and mobilisation of specific joints and soft tissues.

Statistically, osteopathy is the fastest growing health profession in the country. The rapid growth in popularity is in line with an Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report that showed 1 in 6 Australians suffer from back problems, the 3rd leading cause of disease burden in Australia.

But other common conditions that people seek help from their osteopath for include neck pain, sports injuries, headaches and migraines, whiplash, postural problems, sciatica, knee and heel pain, shin splints, arthritis and occupational injuries.

In Osteopathy Awareness Week, it is now is the perfect time to find out more about how osteopathy can help you – and you don’t need a referral.

Osteopathy is covered by most private health funds and osteopaths are also registered providers for Medicare, DVA patients, as well as workers’ compensation schemes and motor accident insurers. Medicare rebates for osteopaths are available for patients with chronic conditions and complex care needs on referral from their GP.

Want to find out what osteopathy can do for you? Make an appointment and get to know your osteo.

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Get Moving in 2017!

With the new year, comes resolutions.  At the top of many peoples’ list is getting fit, but where do you start???

Rather than spending hours in a gym working out which equipment to use and how to use it, you can make simple, subtle changes to your lifestyle.  These can be the ones that stick with you long-term and help to transform your body over time.  If you’re looking for something more challenging, or you’re time-poor and need to maximise every workout then Exercise Physiology may be the answer.  Read on to find out how….  


Movement is very important for our overall body health.  It increases blood flow to and from muscles and joints, it engages synovial pumps in joints which washes or flushes out those joints.  It also wards off heart disease, diabetes, obesity and osteoporosis.  Exercise helps to combat stress, helps us think more clearly, improves our mood and decreases pain. Our body releases powerful “happy” hormones and pain killing chemicals when we exercise.

Here are some simple ways to get moving:

  • Pakenham 1The classic example is to get out and get walking. It’s cheap, and easy, and you can slowly increase your distance and pace as you get comfortable.
  • Park your car further away from your destination to incorporate a few more steps into your day
  • Using the stairs rather than the escalator or lift.
  • With summer here, it’s a great time to hit the beach or swimming pool.  Aquatic exercises are a great non-weight bearing exercises to consider as well
  • Try to stick to the 30:30 rule: for every 30 minutes of sedentary activity, i.e. sitting in front of computer or watching TV, get up and move your body for 30 seconds, i.e. give everything a gentle ‘wiggle’


If you are stuck at a desk all day here are some gentle ways to move your body: 

  • Pakenham 2Twist your torso in each direction 4-5 times, and repeat every 1 hour. If you have a small appropriate space, you can try this same move whilst standing, with your arms crossed across your chest.
  • Squats.  Every time you sit down – stand up again! Do this up to 5 times. By the end of the day, you’ve done about 50 squats!
  • Stand whilst talking on the phone.  If you’re taking a phone call – stand up! You don’t need to be sitting unless you’re taking notes, so see it as an opportunity for movement
  • Place the printer on a desk somewhere else in the office that forces you to get out of the chair
  • Start a lunchtime exercise group– finding an exercise buddy or group can keep your motivation up and you’ll be less likely to skip sessions if others are expecting you

Even the smallest changes can result in big results over time so be patient and enjoy getting your body moving in 2017!

Still confused about where to begin?

Our resident exercise physiologistJaimie Cornwell can provide the kick start you need in 2017 with some one-on-one training.  Jaimie can design a program specific for you so that you reach your fitness goals faster.  Don’t slog away for hours with exercises that might not be getting you the best results.  Train smarter!  To learn more about Exercise Physiology. 

If living life to its fullest important to you, our Exercise Physiologist, Jaime Cornwell, wants to help you: the locals of Pakenham, Officer, Beaconsfield, Berwick, Bunyip and surrounding areas.
Please make an appointment today by calling 5941-4157 or ….

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Want to get fit and toned this summer?


We have an incentive to get you moving this summer….

If you buy a class pack (5, 10 or 20 class pack) in the month of December


So now there’s no more excuses!
With summer here NOW is the time to start getting active.  As we all know exercise is a great way to kick start a healthy lifestyle.

But did you know that Pilates is a great way to tone up and drop inches?

It is not just for those with back, shoulder and hip injuries.  Pilates is a wonderful, all over body workout that tones and strengthens and is suitable for all fitness levels. Clinicial Pilates at Pakenham Osteopathy uses 2 reformer machines and one mat work station.
Reformer machines are sliding beds that use springs and leverage (along with body weight) to provide resistance training.

Each exercise involves taking a part of the body through its full range of motion to target specific muscle groups.  The key with pilates is that all movements are slow and controlled so the focus is on quality of the movements rather than quantity.  This is where the toning comes in…. as you get stronger, the resistance on the reformer is increased and so too the tone of your muscles.  When combined with healthy eating you can drop inches as well!

Our classes have a maximum of 4 participants to ensure you get more bang for your buck.  You get personalised attention so that you can maximise every workout and reach your goals faster! And all our classes are run by qualified exercise physiologist and osteopaths (click here) so you’re in safe hands!

All participants must have an initial, one-on-one assessment before entering into the group classes.

So if you want to get healthy this summer make an appointment today by calling 5941-4157 or…


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Common Myths About Back Pain

We want to set the record straight about some of the misconceptions we hear every day at the clinic. Here is a list we’ve compiled of the top 5 myths surrounding back pain….

Myth #1: Resting when you have back pain

Research has proven that being sedentary – that is, lying down and not moving for fear of injuring your back further – is an absolute myth. The body, and in particular the spine, needs movement to continue to function and to heal itself. “Movement” is as simple as a walk, wearing sturdy, shock absorbing footwear at a comfortable speed. Swimming is also very good exercise when you have a sore back as it takes out the element of gravity on the spine. So the old adage “don’t take back pain lying down” still rings true.

Myth #2: Back pain is always caused by something “being out”

Many people believe that they experience back pain because a joint or disc is “out”.  Commonly we hear phrases like “my pelvis is out and needs to be put back in”.  This terminology is again a fallacy.  Most back pain is due to damage of the structures that surround the spinal joints eg. ligaments, muscles and tendons which all support the joints in the spine.  All of these are pain-sensitive so hence why your back hurts! This type of back pain is known in the business as mechanical low back.

The “mechanics” of the joints aren’t working well and thus mobility is lost – momentarily of course. That’s where treatment with an osteopath comes in.  We calm the area down so that it is not as painful and then gently encourage movement within a safe range.  We also can recommend some home based exercises to help as well.

Myth #3: Surgery is needed to cure back pain

Again another myth. Very few people require surgery to help with their back pain. With mechanical low back pain (as mentioned in point 2) the results of surgery are actually no better than a rehabilitation program provided by an osteopath or exercise physiologist. Less than half of patients experience good outcomes from surgery, with many still experiencing pain and having limited movement. There are obviously a lot more risks with surgery such as infection which can hinder recovery as well.

Myth #4: An X-ray or MRI is required to identify what’s caused your back pain

Scans such as X-rays, CT scans and MRIs may not provide any useful information and can cause you more angst by identifying harmless changes or incidental findings. There is often no correlation between degenerative changes identified on X-ray and symptoms. We often see scans that look good, however the patient is in severe pain. Other scans we see indicate a very worn out spine however the patient is experiencing NO pain. Our osteopaths discuss your back pain to get an understanding of what caused your back to start hurting then pair this with movement tests to work out a diagnosis. Scans are often unnecessary and costly!

Myth #5: Once you have back pain, you must live with it for the rest of your life

There is always a possibility that your back pain will return.  One of the main focuses of our osteopathic treatments is devising a management plan (which may include teaching you to identify the triggers for your back pain, on-going maintenance treatments or a home based exercise program).

This plan helps you prevent recurrences and teaches you how to deal with future flare ups.

How We Can Help You?

Our osteopaths will identify the factors that may be contributing to your back pain and devise an individual treatment plan and management program SPECIFIC FOR YOU.

We’ll also check if any underlying health conditions could be contributing to your back pain.  We will arm you with knowledge about your problem and a clear path towards being a healthier you.  Getting you back to full movement and enjoying life again is our number one aim!

To learn more about what our osteopaths actually do, click here or to learn more about the services we provide click here. Call our friendly receptionists on

to make an appointment now or…

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8 Archies Thongs


With spring now upon us and summer fast approaching the wearing of flimsy thongs can become an issue for many.  The aptly named “Archies” arch support thongs may be the answer.



As some of you may have noticed, we now stock Archies Arch Support Thongs.  The thongs have attracted much interest – due to the support and comfort they offer whilst also satisfying the most discerning fashionista.  All our staff now have a pair and the overwhelming consensus is that these thongs are awesome!  They’re available in 6 fashionable colours and at just $35, they won’t break the bank either.

Designed by a physiotherapist who was tired of patients complaining of sore, aching feet and legs over the warmer months, these innovative thongs provide the same amount of support that you would find in an ‘off the shelf’ orthotic, however with the patented design, they look just like normal thongs.

Archies Thongs are made from a super comfortable foam material and the orthotic support found within the thongs may help to reduce strain from feet and lower limbs.  But, Archies Thongs can be worn by anyone who just wants an unbelievably comfortable thong, not just those with foot or leg pain.

So if you care about how you look, your health, and your wellbeing Archies Thongs are the choice for this Spring and Summer.  Once you start wearing Archies Thongs you will never want to take them off!  Just look how happy our feet look!!!



Still want to know more?

Go to www.archiesfootwear.com.au or come in to the clinic and try on a pair.

7 Hot Tips to Protect Your Back – From the Professionals!

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Over 80% of Australian’s will experience back pain at some time in their lives. So it’s a huge problem for the vast majority of us.  The good news is that most back pain is not due to a serious disease or health condition.

We’ve put together a list of 
7 hot tips to protect your back – chances are you’ll need it at some stage!

1. Exercise your back regularly.  Walking, swimming, jogging and bike riding are all excellent ways to strengthen your back muscles and maintain mobility in your spine.

2. Always bend your knees and hips, NOT your back. This is known in the business as “hip hinging”.  To practice this, use a broom stick contacting along the length of your back then bend forward and attempt to maintain contact between the stick and your back throughout the movement (see the pic below).  You will need to soften or slightly bend your knees to fully bend forward.

3. Learn to lift heavy objects using the correct lifting technique. That is, make sure you carry the item as close to your body as possible and bending from hips and knees rather than bending from the lower back.

4. Try to take a short break from sitting every 30 minutes.

5. Maintain a good posture – avoid slumping in your chair, hunching over a desk, or walking with your shoulders hunched.

6. Lose any excess weight.  For every kilogram of weight you put on, it adds an extra 4kgs to your knee joints.

7. If your back pain isn’t going away consult one of our friendly Osteopaths.  The longer a problem hangs around, the more difficult it is to resolve so don’t put it off any longer. Book online here or call the clinic on 5941-4157 today!

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Quick video from one of our Osteopaths

Rather than give you some written information about our newest osteopath, Mirae payroli, we thought it would be fun to add a quick video from her instead.  Check out Mirae introducing herself, her journey into osteopathy and her interests.  For further information on Mirae click here.

Study Finds Exercise Doubles Chances of Surviving Cancer

On 10th May 2016 Catalyst on the ABC (watch the full story here) presented a story on the beneficial effects of exercise before, during and after chemotherapy treatment for cancer.  The results were better than anyone could have imagined.  Patients more than double their chances of surviving their cancer. In other words, they halve their risk of dying when exercise was implemented.

Group exercise

Exercise Medicine Research Institute in Perth, Western Australia is conducting trials to show the efficacy of exercise in the fight against cancer.  In their trials, patients are exercising under the supervision of an Exercise Physiologist directly after their chemo treatment is finished.  They literally walk from the chemo chair into the gym.  An Exercise Physiologist then tailors a program specific to the patients’ cancer and needs.

Anecdotally, the patients in the trial are reporting less negative side effects such as nausea and fatigue from the chemotherapy.  And oncologists are amazed at the transformation in their patients.   “I’m probably surprised by how good people’s blood counts are. I’m surprised by their wellbeing, by how well they feel on chemo” reported Dr Andrew Dean of his patients undertaking this trial.

But the evidence that truly surprised the doctors came from the DEXA machine – a machine which was used to track the fat, muscle and bone composition of each of the patients in the trial.  The typical patient on chemo will have a 10-15% decrease in muscle mass depending on the duration of the chemotherapy.  However, 38 patients who have gone through the exercise program, that muscle wastage was almost completely blocked. Some even gained.


As Professor Robert Newton states “that’s just a really fantastic outcome, because it not only improves their health and function, but it likely improves their capability to complete the full course of chemotherapy. That means they’re much more likely to survive.  We’re really excited about this. I believe it will actually change the management of cancer patients.  The benefit, in terms of muscle mass, is absolutely extraordinary, because we know that there’s no pharmaceutical intervention that can actually stop that decline in muscle mass. The only thing which will do that is highly targeted, prescribed, tailored exercise.”

The mechanism behind this success appears to be pretty simple – it’s all about blood flow.  Tumours have a very poor blood supply.  Exercise increases blood flow, potentially allowing more chemicals to infiltrate the tumour where it’s needed. Further to this, more recent science has shed light on the role of our immune system.

Our bodies are making potential cancer cells all the time, but our immune system regularly finds them and destroys them. Crucial to our tumour defence force are so-called ‘natural killer cells’. They’re one of the only cell types that can recognise threats generated by our own bodies and call in an attack. HoCellswever, in the case of cancers that develop into tumours, this defence is flawed and some cells slip past our defences and begin to grow.

This research has focused on what exercise does to the immune system.  The mechanism behind this success appears the be the body’s own in-built chemotherapy lab.  Natural Killer (NK) Cells are part of the immune system and help our bodies fight infection however with exercise they appear to super-charge in number and efficiency.  These NK cells then target the cancer causing cells or tumour more readily and attack, obliterating the cancerous cells.  It is believed that the increased circulation that occurs when a person exercises is how the NK cells become supercharged and more efficient killers.

Scandinavia has produced 2 ground breaking studies in the area of exercise and cancer.  The first in 2013 in Sweden was conducted on healthy males.  The participants were exercised on a stationary bike for 60 minutes.  Their blood was taken before and after the exercise.  The bloods were then poured over cancer cells.  Incredibly, the post exercise blood suppressed cancer growth by 30%.


Then this year in Denmark researchers studied mice with cancer and divided them into two groups.  One group was given unlimited access to a running wheel.  The other was not. They found that exercise reduced tumour growth by 60-70%.  They then biopsied the tumours and found that in the exercising mice, the tumour was packed full of natural killer cells.

Whist these trials are still on-going, it does appear that with all the above research a highly-specific, targeted exercise prescription for cancer patients will become a mainstay of cancer treatment in the not so distant future.  Rather than the previously very vague recommendation of moderate exercise.

As Professor Robert Newton states “The evidence is so strong now that the cancer patients deserve this medicine. It’s a very powerful medicine. It actually increases their survival and it has no side effects. So, what we need now is for the medical and health professions to embrace it and actually make it an integral component of the overall management of the cancer patient”.



Exercise Physiologists appear integral to overall positive outcome of cancer treatment in the future.  For a consultation with our Exercise Physiologist, Jaimie Cornwell please call the clinic on 5941-4157 or make an appointment online here.


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How Pakenham Osteopathy Can Help You!

We know how difficult it can be dealing with aches and pains so we’ve put together some information about our clinic which may just help you.  It includes some background about us so you know you can trust us.  We’ve been in Pakenham for over 15 years and delivered more than 92,000 consultations.  We are now one of the largest clinics in Melbourne.  In this article, we’ll spell out exactly why you should choose us as your health care provider.

Once upon a time…..

Back in the early 2000’s, as 2 very fresh-faced Osteopathy graduates, Shane and I decided that we would open a clinic.  We had a simple vision… to create a clinic where every single client felt special.

At that stage osteopathic clinics existed in Berwick and Beaconsfield but with none in Officer, Pakenham and all the way through to Bunyip, it was decided that Pakenham was the spot for us!

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Initially starting out at the back of a health food shop, we quickly expanded and moved to a location on Main Street. Gradually over the years we grew and grew.  

Again, we looked for a new location and thankfully we didn’t have to look far – an opportunity came up at 46 Main Street and we jumped at it.  The building needed some work so after a speedy 6-week renovation, which at times seemed like our own version of The Block, our new home was complete.  We packed our bags and moved in January 2016.

Our brand new, purpose built clinic is everything we could’ve hoped for. We’re very proud of the clinic and would love to share it with you.  Check out our Facebook page here for a sneak peek of our pics!

We are now a large team of 10 Osteopaths, who are like-minded in their values.  We’ve hand-picked ‘our’ kind of people – people that value others and want to make a positive difference to every client.  

What we do

Pakenham Osteopathy, as the name suggests, is an Osteopathic practice.  But we’re a lot more than that.  We also offer dry needling and shockwave therapy.


For the uninitiated, Osteopathy is a hands on treatment approach that uses specific techniques like massage, stretching, joint mobilisation and manipulation.  We help to ease pain, restore movement and improve body function.

We treat conditions from headaches and back pain to shoulder and knee problems, sciatica, sports injuries and arthritis.

We pride ourselves on giving our patients a clear diagnosis, an individualised treatment plan and arming them with information on their complaint so that our patients’ understand what is happening to their body. After all, knowledge is power! 

For a full description of what osteopathy is please refer to our website by clicking here.

Dry Needling

Dry needling is a technique that all of our osteopaths use in addition to their hands on treatment.  It involves inserting acupuncture needles into sore or restricted joints, muscles or tendons to improve their function.  Again, more information on this treatment technique can be found here.

Shockwave Therapy

This cutting edge technology uses high pressured acoustic shockwaves that travel through the skin to break down targeted tissue and stimulate tissue repair. Essentially it kick-starts the body’s natural healing mechanisms by increasing circulation to a chronically injured site which in turn speeds up the healing process.

Shockwave therapy is a research-proven*, pain relief treatment approach that may be effective in many CHRONIC musculoskeletal conditions, including: Plantar Fasciitis, Achilles tendinopathy, Shoulder tendon pain, Patella tendinopathy, Tennis or golfers elbow, Hamstring tendinopathy, Shin splints and Arthritis.

Why choose us?

Obviously we’re biased but we think we provide a world-class client experience.  From the moment you enter the clinic we make sure you’re looked after.  Our reception staff will step you through the paper work and make sure you’re comfortable. We also have a coffee machine so you can make yourself at home!

Our practitioners always put you first.  We take the time to listen to you so that we get a better understanding of your condition which is why our appointments are longer than many other clinics.  This then allows us to tailor our treatment to YOU as an individual rather than a cookie-cutter treatment or a one-size-fits-all approach.

We believe knowledge is power and so we will give you a clear and concise understanding, in layman’s terms, of what is happening to your body and why.

We know how important your health is to you so we have same day appointments available so that you can receive the care you need, when you need it.  Online booking is also available so you can make an appointment any time of day. Click here to make an appointment today!

To meet our awesome team click here or for more information about our practice click here.

Thanks for reading along! Please give us a call at the clinic if you have any questions. We’re here to help!

Study Finds Osteopathy Treatment Reduces Chronic Low Back Pain by Half

An American study from the University of North Texas and published in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association has found that Osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) can reduce pain and improve function in patients suffering chronic low back pain particularly those with the highest pain levels and most severe disability.

In the randomised double blind, sham-controlled study was conducted to determine the efficacy of osteopathic manipulation on chronic low back pain.  455 men and women aged between 21-69 years who were suffering low back pain for at least 3 months were involved divided into 2 groups.  One group were prescribed 6 osteopathic manipulative treatments over 8 weeks.  The other group was given a “sham” treatment involving ineffective hands on techniques which mimicked OMT such as improper patient positioning, purposely misdirected movements and diminished force by the practitioner.

At 12 weeks, pain intensity and mobility were assessed.  Each participant completed a pain scale and disability questionnaire.  Given that a significant improvement in symptoms was defined as a reduction of 50% or more in these scores, the researchers found that osteopathy proved effective in the majority of patients – 57% to be precise.

Interestingly, the use of prescription and non-prescription medication was also recorded.  There was no association of these to recovery.

The study also found osteopathy was beneficial to patients with more moderate cases of low back pain also.

To request the full study please ask at reception.

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