Author: Michael Ranger

The importance of sleep

Everyone knows to perform at your best you need to be fuelling your body with the best foods and keeping yourself hydrated. What many people don’t realise is that sleep plays an equally important role in optimising performance and body function.

A lot happens while we’re sleeping. At night we cycle through different sleep stages, usually from light sleep to deep sleep, back to light and then into REM although everyone’s sleep cycles naturally vary.

REM sleep (Rapid Eye Movement) typically occurs later at night as is important for your memory and mood. Light sleep is essential, it promotes mental and physical restoration. It is no surprise we spend a big chunk of our night in this stage. Deep sleep is responsible for physical recovery and aspects of memory and learning. People usually awaken feeling extra refreshed after a solid night of deep sleep.

The quality and duration of sleep is crucial for optimal performance. A short or restless sleep means that our body is unable to correctly cycle through the sleep stages. This can mean it doesn’t have time to repair, consolidate memory and release hormones. Continued poor sleep or sleep deprivation has been found to impact the way we store energy for exercise. Sleep deprivation has a detrimental effect on our in the moment decision making, our mood and concentration.

Getting the right amount of sleep is the secret ingredient in continually putting your best foot forward in all aspects of your life.

Make 2021 a good one!

The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to turn over a new leaf. January brings with it that extra boost of motivation everyone needs to start a new chapter, full of fresh resolve and better habits. After everything 2020 threw at us, it is not surprising that we now more than ever are looking for a clean slate and making resolutions.

It is much easier to make a New Year’s resolution than it is to keep one. Once you move out of holiday mode and settle back into routine, it’s easy to also slip back into old habits.

If you’re looking for help sticking to your resolutions, whatever they be, there are a few simply steps that you can take to help achieve your goals.

Be specific! Many people resolve to “get fit” or “be productive”. The struggle with these kinds of goals comes when motivation dwindles and it’s hard to see any measurable change with such a vague target. A more concrete goal such as “run 5km” is much easier to complete and gives you the opportunity to plan and tick off achievements along the way.

One at a time! Don’t overwhelm yourself. Choose one thing to focus on so you can put all your energy into it. It can also be helpful to break your goal down into a process. Plan how to tackle your resolution and take it one step at a time.

Remember it’s a process. Breaking old habits is hard. It won’t happen overnight. Be patient with yourself, you should expect a few setbacks. It may take longer than you envisioned, try to remember your reason for starting. When you hit a bump in the road, it is a good time to look over your plan for achieving your goal, you might have to adjust your method but it is no time to give up. You’ll get there.

Team up! Having people to lean on helps keep you motivated and accountable. A resolution buddy can also make the hard work more fun, see if you can talk a friend, family member or colleague into joining you. Simply telling friends and family what you’re striving for can increase your likelihood of success.

Celebrate along the way! Victories throughout the process, no matter how small deserve to be celebrated. Ticking off a milestone on your way to your goal is the perfect time for a pat on the back and a look at how far you’ve come.

Resolution setting doesn’t have to be a yearly disappointment. The difference between success and failure can be as simple as choosing the right goal to strive for and the way you go about achieving it. Be patient with yourself and be flexible, the road to success is not a straight line. The journey towards the end goal is just as important as the end goal itself. Good luck for the year ahead from the entire Physio Plus team!

Clinical Case – Subacromial Pain Syndrome

Subacromial Pain Syndrome is an umbrella term for non-traumatic, usually unilateral, shoulder problems that produce antero-lateral shoulder pain often worsening during or after lifting the arm.

This term encompasses pain involving one or more structures within the subacromial space. It is thought to represent between 45-65% of all complaints of shoulder pain.

This comprises conditions such as:

  • Subacromial bursitis
  • Rotator cuff tendinopathy or rotator cuff tears
  • Biceps tendinopathy or
  • Rotator cuff tendinosis

Three main mechanisms are thought to be involved in the pathogenesis of subacromial pain syndrome:

  • Reduced scapular control
  • Reduced humeral head control
  • Change to the actual size of structures within the subacromial space (rotator cuff tendons, subacromial bursa etc).

Patients will usually present with:

  • Weakness (particularly external rotation)
  • Limited range of motion (flexion and abduction primarily)
  • Pain that radiates down the upper arm (stopping above the elbow)
  • Pain worse at night with difficulty sleeping on the affected side.

Three useful tests in clinic to aid in the diagnose subacromial pain syndrome are as follows:

  • Hawkins Kennedy
    • Taking the patient into internal rotation passively with the arm in 90 abduction and 90 degrees elbow flexion
  • Painful arc
    • Pain with shoulder abduction from 60 – 120 degrees. Pain should ease towards the top however if it reappears at 170-180 degrees this may indicated ACJ involvement.
  • Resisted external rotation in neutral
    • Pain +/- weakness with resisted contraction either during or on release.

Initial conservative management would comprise of:

  • Relative rest and limitation of aggravating activities
  • Strengthening and mobility program to address relevant deficits over an 8-12-week period.
  • NSAIDs to help with pain and inflammation
  • A cortisone injection is unlikely to be needed as first line management unless pain is severe and preventing the patient from participating in rehabilitation.

Surgical management is usually only considered after a failure of conservative management after 3-6 months.


Matt Delaney – Physio Plus Footscray


Happy Christmas to the Physio Plus family and support crews.

We look forward to looking after each and every one of you in the closing days of 2020 and are excited about a great 2021.

Opening hours have now been updated on each of the practice google info pages.


Injury prevention program

Before shift start this morning for the Mackay Ring Road Northern Access project team of Plant Operators, Labourers, Concreters, Carpenters, Steel fixers and Form workers, Tom and Jess ran an information session on occupational health and risk minimisation techniques.

The session included stretches and strengthening exercises for the team to complete before starting their physical work day in the hope that they can reduce risk of workplace injury and best management of their most important tools, their body.

Thanks to our partners on the Mackay Ring Road project for their continued support of preventative occupational health and injury prevention measures.

Athlete Across the Lifespan Symposium

A couple of weekends ago, Mike and Mick completed the APA run Athlete Across the Lifespan Symposium. It was a particularly informative day that allowed Mike and Mick to build on their current knowledge of athletes from a variety of sports and from all age brackets.

The Sports and Exercise Symposium was designed specifically for experienced physiotherapists, bringing together an impressive group of renowned sports and exercise practitioners.
The program featured complex case presentations focusing on diagnostic clinical patterns, aetiology and research-informed management of challenging athletic presentations across the lifespan.
Brought to you by the Australian College of Physiotherapists and Physio Educations, the program included:
  • The younger athlete: Physiological developmental considerations of muscle, tendon and bone in the younger athlete – APA Musculoskeletal and Sports and Exercise Physiotherapist Dr Dave Spurrier
  • Lumbar stress fractures in developmental cricketers – APA Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist Dr Kevin Sims, FACP;
  • An adolescent knee presentation – APA Sports and Exercise Physiotherapist Dr Loretta O’Sullivan Pippia, FACP;
  • Growth plate injuries in young gymnasts – APA Sports and Exercise Physiotherapist Mr Phil Cossens, FACP;
  • Hip and groin pain in young athlete – APA Sports and Exercise Physiotherapist Dr Andrea Mosler, FACP;
  • An elite athlete with boney stress injury: Critical clinical decision-making – APA Sports and Exercise Physiotherapist Mr Dave Battersby, FACP;
  • Physiological considerations for the older athlete – Professor Robin Daly;
  • Shoulder dislocation presentations across the lifespan – APA Musculoskeletal and Sports and Exercise Physiotherapist Dr Mary Magarey, FACP;
  • The post-menopausal athlete – APA Sports and Exercise Physiotherapist Ms Keren Faulkner, FACP;
  • How similar injury aetiology presents and is managed differently in younger and older athletes – Expert panel hosted by APA Musculoskeletal and Sports and Exercise Physiotherapist Jane Rooney, FACP.

Our fantastic fingers.

Fingers, digits or phalanges, are the organs that we as humans use to manipulate, feel and move the objects that we need to live.

The use of our fingers and thumb set us apart from other primates.

Each finger has 3 bones connected with a complex network of joints and ligaments. Ligament injury and joint dislocation can inhibit function in the short term but if managed well shouldn’t impact long term function.

Other injuries involving the fingers include fracturemallet and trigger fingers. To find out more please visit the ‘Your Body’ page on our website.

Physio Plus Tropical Christmas 2020! 

Qld Christmas party 2020
Physio Plus Tropical Christmas 2020!🎄🌴
We look forward to our QLD team Christmas Party every year! So great to enjoy each other’s company and thank each other for the incredible work we do together.
Who could have predicted 2020? A horrible pandemic – currently at least 53 millions COVID cases and 1.3 million deaths worldwide. Masks became normal attire. Toilet paper sales skyrocketed. The Tiger King brought us together. Zoom became a verb. Telehealth became normal (we’ve been doing it since 2013!). The world has a renewed appreciation of science and health…
We rose to this challenge, we adapted, we innovated and we got through it together. But we’ve done better than just got through it, we’ve grown – our team is bigger and better than ever and we’re doing more than ever to improve #health in our community and across Australia.
What an honour to work with such a fantastic team! Thanks to the wonderful #Makcay and #Whitsunday communities we work in and thanks to the great team at The Dispensary Mackay for hosting our celebration! #Christmas 😀🎄 #Physio #EP #OT #Pilates🌴🌴 @thedispensarymackay @physioaustralia