Apr 062015

20121110_214600000_iOSSo definitely half way through your pregnancy by now and wondering ;

  • about what exercises
  • preparing for labour
  • how to look after your back and posture and want to know what you should be doing for your pelvic floor muscles?

Come and see me for a 1 hour full assessment where we can determine your best exercise and care options going into your 3rd trimester. This is a great opportunity to ask me about any postural and pelvic floor concerns.

Whether you are a first time mum or a 2nd or 3rd time Vaginal or ‘C’ section mum you will benefit from an individualised assessment and specific exercise program for your needs. You may be able to continue your current exercises but with some modifications to ensure you don’t develop any postural, low back or pelvic girdle pain.

Make an appointment today at our Northbridge or  Wynyard clinic

If you would like to join in a pre-natal Pilates class, these are currently available at our Northbridge practise

For more information on pregnancy check out the ‘pre- natal ‘ page



 Posted by at 7:07 am
Jan 032014

abdominal cylinder







Confused about core strengthening exercises…

There  has been so much ‘Core” research and information about the deep abdominal muscles in the last 15 years, the word has become a ‘ household  name’.
In this diagram, we can see:

  • Breathing diaphragm at the top of the cylinder
  • Abdominal muscles forming the walls of the cylinder
  • Pelvic floor at the bottom of the cylinder
  • Deep back muscles behind, close to the spine

These four parts of the cylinder work together and depend on each other for optimal function. This is the ‘deep’ or ‘inner’ core that physios and fitness professionals talk about. This deep core needs to work at a constant low level to provide a co- ordinated level of lumbo – pelvic stability as you perform your every day tasks.

Then you have the ‘outer’ core muscles

outer core front

outer core  from the back









The outer core muscles are your ‘strength’  -power house. They need to be strong to maximise your ‘whole body’ power and agility. In sports, gym work, and general aerobic fitness  we often focus on specific muscle groups to improve strength ,speed and co- ordination.
We need to understand how these layers of ‘inner’ and ‘outer’ core muscles work together to give us the ‘core strength and the co -ordination that we want !!!

I would like to link you to this great article from Anna-Louise Bouvier, physiotherapist, founder of ‘physiocise’. This is one of her many ‘pearls of wisdom’ “Cutting+Edge+Core+Control+P1
If you want to learn more about core exercises for women make an appointment to see me.
I love to combine my women’s health skills with personally training/ prescribing ‘safe’ exercises for women.
At sports focus physiotherapy, we work on re- education of these inner core muscles with a co- ordinated breathing pattern, together with manual therapy, exercise programs and specific sport training drills for all ages and abilities.

 Posted by at 2:06 am
Oct 172013

This re- blog  Bladder Health, Water, and the Acid-Alkaline Balance
in  Be Fit & Well, Bladder, Healthy Bladder Tips, Myth Busting, Nutrition
is a great reminder…AND packed full of important information on bladder health.


Photo Credit: www.homespothq.com

Drink more water . . . I know, I know. Don’t we all know this? We do, but I think sometimes we lose sight of the why. After reading this little article and maybe doing some homework on your own, you’ll be drinking water from now on, for bladder health.

In Missy Lavender’s [2] book, You Go Girl, But Only When You Want To [3], we are asked why fluid management is important to bladder health. While most everyone knows that fluids are critical to all functions of the body, and the bladder is responsible for eliminating a great deal of those fluids, when hampered by bladder leakage one could think about hydration only as it pertains to how often one needs to pee.

In other words, you may think if you limit your fluid intake, you’ll need to use the bathroom less frequently. On a strictly input/output basis that would be true; however, your body will instead conserve fluids by decreasing what the kidney and bladder would normally eliminate. As a result, the amount of urine you expel is decreased, and it becomes more concentrated.

From You Go Girl: “Just as concentrated lemonade makes your mouth pucker, concentrated urine can make your bladder ‘pucker’ or contract.” Contraction creates that “gotta go” feeling, and then when you go, there’s not much there. And, like undissolved lemonade, your bladder is left with gritty crystals of waste. Conversely, staying hydrated with small amounts of water throughout the day, equaling about 6 – 8 glasses, is the perfect way to keep the concentration of wastes diluted, and your bladder relaxed and happy.

“Researchers estimate that 75% of Americans and half of the world’s population are chronically dehydrated . . . I am always astounded by the number of patients I see who drink only 1 or 2 cups of water a day, typically in the form of coffee. If you fall into this category, you’ll likely see tremendous health improvements simply by increasing your water consumption . . . Consider this: by increasing your water consumption to 5 cups per day (still inadequate) you’ll lower your risk of developing colon cancer by 45%, breast cancer by 79%, and bladder cancer by 50% . . . Some people have a really hard time accepting that something as simple as drinking more water is sufficient to make a difference to their health.”

A pioneer in understanding and communicating the relevance of the body’s acid-alkaline balance and the water we drink, Cook explains:

“A healthy human body maintains a proper acid-alkaline balance primarily by doing two things – [1] expelling excess acid through the detox organs [kidneys, bladder, skin], and [2] neutralizing acid with alkaline substances, such as calcium or magnesium stored in the body and derived from dietary sources.

“Typically your body tries to eliminate excess acid before it resorts to neutralizing the acid that’s left over. The kidneys are the front line soldiers in the body’s war on acid, expelling acid as quickly as possible in the form of urine.”

A note on acid: It’s not the acid you feel after eating big meals. It’s the chemical reaction to a particular food or drink or how it affects pH levels in the body. For instance, lemons are an acidic fruit, but they alkalize in the body – a good thing.

Here’s why you should know this: More than 30 degenerative and life-altering conditions and disease can be linked to a too acidic internal environment, including candidiasis, kidney disease, and osteoporosis. Cook’s book, The Ultimate pH Solution [5], includes complete lists and lots of science and good sense to help communicate the acid-alkaline message.


Contact me at vanea@sportsfocusphysio.com.au  or call 9958 8986 and make an appointment to discuss your bladder health !!

 Posted by at 12:42 am
Jul 072013


‘Secret Women’s Business’

This 2 hour workshop is available to all pregnant women from 34 weeks+
It is designed for the 1st time mum, but holds advice and practical tools for all mums to help you through your late pregnancy and early post  natal period. By understanding how you can ‘help ‘ your labour you can maximize safer pelvic floor outcomes and empower your delivery…..and recovery

  • Mind/body -visualisation / meditation
  • Exercises to help foetal positioning
  • Perineal massage
  • Birth positions
  • Early days post delivery
  • Breast feeding & engorgement
  • Diastasis Recti DRA   stomach muscle separation

This workshop has a practical component. Wear comfy clothes.
This is the information they don’t tell you;  exercises for labour, relaxation awareness for tight pelvic floor muscles, epino,  perineal / pelvic pain, perineal tears and managing them and much more…..
Check into Sports Focus Physio 9958 8986 to enrol for a workshop or book an individual women’s health appointment and I will tailor this information to your proposed birth plan

 Posted by at 2:34 am
Mar 052013

Are you or your partner planning a pregnancy or already pregnant?
This time is one of the most important and physically challenging times in your whole life. It is vital that you prepare and stay as healthy and fit as possible during these 40 weeks!
It is NOT enough to just modify your present fitness programme.
Specific strengthening and stretching  pregnancy exercises are vital, especially in today’s sedentary work environment to prepare for childbirth.
40 weeks to prepare…..average length of labour 12 hours…what do you need !
Strong thigh muscles to support the weight of the baby
Hip mobility to help birth positions
Moveable sacrum to improve pelvic outlet
Strong deep stomach muscles
Pelvic floor muscles that will support, and relax !

Squatting improves the mobility in the hips, strengthens the butt and legs, promotes a wider pelvic outlet and allows the pelvic muscles to stay strong but also relax and stretch…

Exercises to address side butt strength will help prevent the pregnancy waddle and pelvic instability.

Deep abdominal and pelvic floor exercises  – vital to support your growing baby and help in your 2nd stage of labour

Relaxation techniques together with specific breathing will teach you how to maximise the times when you can rest and focus on your body during your labour.
Make an appointment with me to discuss any concerns and modify your present exercise programme. I love this ‘personal training’ part of my job!
Come and do pre-natal Pilates classes.

 Posted by at 10:16 pm
Dec 202012




Physiotherapists in Australia may use a diagnostic Ultrasound machine to look at your deep core muscles. This is referred to as ‘Real Time Ultrasound’ (RTUS).   Some Women’s Health Physiotherapists (that includes me) may use the RTUS on your second or third visit to help you visualise your pelvic floor muscles (PFM).  We use this as a biofeedback tool to help you co- ordinate the contraction inside your pelvis with what is happening on the screen.

If you right click on the link below it will take you to You tube and you will see me demonstrating how your core muscles can be seen.

Introduction to real time ultrasound

At Sports focus physiotherapy many of our physiotherapists are trained to use RTUS and do so in the rehab of patients recovering from a low back pain.

 Posted by at 10:56 am
Nov 192012

Bubs watching mum exercise

Peri – Natal Anxiety and Depression

This week Nov 19th is PND Post Natal Depression Awareness week.

1 in 5 women in Australia and 1 in 10 men will experience some form of post natal depression or anxiety in the first 12 to 18 months after having a baby.  This is most common in the first three months.
The ‘Early Childhood Centre’s’ for mums, available in almost every suburb in Sydney and every town in NSW allows a new mum to access an Early Childhood Nurse.
This free service allows all women to gain help and knowledge about being a mother and have time to talk about any concerns they may have. learning to breast feed, settle your baby and deal with severely disrupted sleep can make mums feel blue.
PND is NOT a mental DISEASE.  It is a physiological imbalance of hormones that can have mild to severe mental health issues.  It is really important to talk to your partner, doctor and childhood nurse if you feel you are not coping.

Research conducted by the University of Melbourne and a local hospital in 2010 with 161 post  natal women, showed that an early post natal exercise physiotherapy – led Exercise and Education program in the form of an 8 week ‘Mother & Baby’ class lowered the risk of PND by almost 50% in those women who were assessed as being at risk.

This is great news.  So all you new mums lets get moving…Come to my Mums and Bubs class at Northbridge Sports Focus Physiotherapy.

 Posted by at 10:33 am