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Lower Back Pain

Lower Back Pain

Unlocking Secrets to Relieve Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain is a common issue affecting millions of people worldwide. Whether you’re working at a desk, staying active, or engaging in sports, chances are you’ve experienced this discomfort. In this guide, we’ll explore the intricacies of the lower back, covering causes of issues, prevention, and effective management techniques.

Understanding Lower Back Pain

The lower back, or lumbar region, is a complex network of muscles, bones, and nerves that support the upper body and enable various movements. This complexity makes it prone to stress and injuries. Common causes of lower back pain include:

  • Muscle Strain: Overexertion, lifting heavy objects, or poor posture can strain lower back muscles.
  • Ergonomics: Prolonged sitting and tight hip flexors contribute to lower back issues.
  • Injury: Accidents, falls, or sports-related mishaps can cause lower back injuries.
  • Herniated Disc: A slipped disc can compress nerves, leading to nerve referral.
  • Arthritis: Conditions like osteoarthritis can cause chronic lower back issues.
  • Sciatica: Pressure on the sciatic nerve radiates down the legs.


Preventing Lower Back Pain

The best way to deal with lower back issues is with prevention. Take these steps to minimize your risk:

  • Maintain Good Posture: Whether sitting or standing, practice good posture to reduce stress on your lower back.
  • Exercise Regularly: Strengthen your core muscles and stay physically active to support your lower back.
    (Check out for a massive range of local activities)
  • Lift Safely: Use your legs, not your back, when lifting objects, and avoid heavy lifting.
  • Ergonomic Workspace: Ensure your desk setup reduces strain on your back.
  • Stretch and Move: Take regular breaks to stretch, especially if your job involves sitting.


Managing Lower Back Pain

If you’re experiencing lower back discomfort, take steps to alleviate it and improve your quality of life:

  • Rest: Avoid activities that worsen the pain.
  • Ice and Heat: Apply ice for the first 48 hours to reduce inflammation, then use heat to relax muscles.
  • Medication: Over-the-counter pain relievers can help manage discomfort, but use them as directed.
  • Physical Therapy: Consult a physical therapist for exercises that strengthen your back.
  • Massage and Alternative Therapies: Consider booking a massage or Osteopathic care for pain management.
  • Movement: Gently move within your pain range to help with muscle defence.

When to Seek Professional Help

Seek professional assistance if pain:

  • Persists for more than a few days.
  • It’s accompanied by numbness or weakness in your legs.
  • You’ve had a recent injury.
  • Disrupts your daily life.

A healthcare provider can diagnose the cause and recommend a treatment plan.

In Conclusion

Lower back issues are common but it doesn’t have to control your life. Understand the causes, take preventive measures, and use effective management techniques to find relief. If struggling with persistent pain, consult a healthcare professional for guidance. Your journey to a pain-free life starts with knowledge and proactive care.

James Bowers
Diploma Remedial Massage
Diploma of Fitness
Injury Prevention Blog

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Hip Flexor Stretch

Hip Flexor Stretch

Why is a hip flexor stretch important?

In the hustle and bustle of modern life, we often find ourselves dealing with aches, pains, and stress. The modern-day person is spending too much sitting and our hips cop the brunt. This can hinder our daily activities and athletic performance. Enter the hip flexor stretch! Whether you’re simply seeking relief from tension and discomfort, or an athlete striving for peak performance, working on these areas with hip flexor stretches can be a game-changer. In this blog, we’ll explore the incredible benefits of focusing on hip flexors and some different ways to unlock a main component of movement.

Understanding the Hip Flexors

Our hip flexor muscles, collectively known as the iliopsoas, play a crucial role in hip movement and overall body mobility. Unfortunately, these muscles can become tight and overworked due to various factors, leading to discomfort, pain, and reduced range of motion.

Check out this video explaining how the hip flexors can cause lower back pain!

Common Causes of Tight Hip Flexors

Understanding the root causes of tight hip flexors is crucial for effective treatment:

  • Prolonged Sitting: Sedentary lifestyles and extended hours of sitting at desks or in front of screens contribute to hip tightness.
  • Lack of Stretching: Neglecting regular stretching routines can exacerbate hip flexor issues.
  • Overuse in Exercise: Certain exercises, such as excessive crunches or cycling, can lead to overuse and tightness in the hip flexors.

The Hip Flexor Stretch

To address tight hip flexors, the hip flexor stretch is a powerful tool. Here’s how to perform it:

  1. Begin in a kneeling lunge position, with one knee on the floor and the other foot in front at a 90-degree angle.
  2. Engage your core and gently push your hips forward, feeling a stretch in the front of the hip on the leg with the knee on the ground.
  3. Hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds, then switch to the other side.
  4. Repeat this stretch 2-3 times on each side.

Safety Precautions

While stretching is beneficial, it’s essential to approach it safely:

  • Progress gradually to avoid overstretching and potential injury.
  • Listen to your body; if you experience pain during a stretch, stop immediately.

Incorporating Hip Flexor Stretches into Your Routine

To reap the full benefits of hip flexor stretches, consider integrating them into your daily routine, especially during warm-up and cool-down exercises.

Consistency is Key

Keep a journal to maintain over time. Consistency is key, and with dedication, you’ll notice a significant difference in your hip mobility.

Seek Professional Guidance

For further help on hip issues or chronic pain, book a session with our massage therapists. We can provide personalized advice and treatment options.

Benefits of Remedial and Sports Massage

  1. Improve Posture: Remedial and sports massages can help correct poor posture associated with tight hip flexors, alleviating strain on the lower back and neck.
  2. Alleviate Lower Back Pain: If you suffer from lower back pain, these massages can be a source of relief by releasing tension in the hip flexors, which often contribute to back discomfort.
  3. Enhance Athletic Performance: Athletes can benefit significantly from regular remedial and sports massages. By maintaining flexible hip flexors, you can improve sports performance and reduce the risk of injuries that often result from muscle imbalances and tightness.

Remedial/sports massages, and stretches with their focus on the hip flexors, offer a path to enhanced mobility, reduced pain, and improved athletic performance. Whether you’re an athlete or simply looking to lead a pain-free life, integrating these stretches and massages into your routine can unlock a world of possibilities, helping you move with ease and confidence. Say goodbye to tight hips and hello to a better-moving you!

James Bowers
Diploma Remedial Massage
Diploma of Fitness
Injury Prevention Blog

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Forearm Pain: A Guide to Self-Massage with a Trigger Ball

Forearm Pain: A Guide to Self-Massage with a Trigger Ball

Have you ever experienced the persistent discomfort of forearm pain? It’s an issue that affects many individuals, particularly those who engage in repetitive tasks or sports activities. In this guide, we’ll delve into the causes of forearm pain and explore an effective, self-care solution: self-massage with a trigger ball.

Understanding the Underlying Issues

Before we explore the self-massage technique, it’s crucial to understand the root causes of forearm pain. The forearm comprises a complex network of muscles, tendons, and nerves. Repetitive motions, overuse, or strain can lead to conditions such as Tennis Elbow (lateral epicondylitis) or Golfer’s Elbow (medial epicondylitis) both are forms of repetitive strain injury causing inflammation. These conditions can result in discomfort, restricted mobility, and diminished performance in various activities.

The Problem Phase: Forearm pain often begins subtly, as a mild ache or discomfort during specific movements. Ignoring these early signs can lead to more severe pain and functional limitations.

The Agitation Phase: As the pain intensifies, it can disrupt your daily life and hinder your ability to participate in activities you enjoy. It might even impact your job and overall quality of life.

The Solution: Self-Massage with a Trigger Ball

Now, let’s explore a valuable technique to help you manage and alleviate forearm pain: self-massage with a trigger ball. Self-massage can be done anytime, anywhere, making it a convenient solution for pain relief. A trigger ball is an inexpensive tool that can provide ongoing benefits.


  • Targeted Relief: Self-massage allows you to pinpoint and target specific areas of tension and discomfort in your forearm.
  • Improved Blood Flow: Massaging with a trigger ball can enhance blood circulation, aiding in the healing process.
  • Enhanced Range of Motion: Regular practice can help restore flexibility and mobility to your forearms.
  • Empowerment: Learning self-massage empowers you to take control of your pain management.


  • Pain Management: Self-massage can help alleviate discomfort and pain in your forearms.
  • Preventative Care: Regular practice may help prevent the recurrence of forearm pain.
  • Independence: You can provide relief to yourself, reducing the need for frequent visits to therapists.

How to Perform Self-Massage with a Trigger Ball

  1. Choose the Right Ball: Select a firm trigger ball, such as a lacrosse ball or a specialized massage ball.
  2. Position Yourself: Find a comfortable and stable sitting or standing position.
  3. Locate the Tension Points: Use your opposite hand to locate the areas of tension and discomfort in your forearm.
  4. Apply Pressure: Gently press the trigger ball against the tense area, using your body weight to control the pressure.
  5. Roll and Massage: Move the ball in small, circular motions over the tension points. Maintain a steady pace and adjust pressure as needed.
  6. Duration: Perform self-massage for about 5-10 minutes on each forearm, focusing on problem areas.
  7. Stretch: After self-massage, incorporate gentle stretching exercises to further enhance flexibility.

For a visual demonstration, you can watch this

Take Action and Empower Yourself

Forearm pain doesn’t have to dictate your life. With a basic understanding of its causes and an effective self-massage technique, you can take control of your pain management. Incorporating self-massage with a trigger ball into your routine can be a game-changer, helping you regain comfort, mobility, and quality of life.

And of course, if you would like more targeted relief book a remedial massage where we can tailor the session and work on your problem areas.

Disclaimer: This guide is for informational purposes only and should not replace professional medical advice. If you experience severe or persistent forearm pain, consult a healthcare professional for proper evaluation and treatment.

James Bowers
Diploma Remedial Massage
Diploma of Fitness
Injury Prevention Blog

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Injury Prevention When Returning to the Gym!

Injury Prevention When Returning to the Gym!

Injury Prevention When Returning to the Gym!

Although injury prevention is something that we should be mindful for, it’s especially true nowadays.

COVID 19 has thrown the world into the dark ages.
Our routines have been shattered and therefore our health has suffered from it. The situation has made it far too easy to sit at home, watch Netflix and order takeaway (given restaurants were closed). It was so easy to stay in track pants, grab the food and return to binge-watch a favourite series.

For the motivated few that have remained faithful, their lives consisted of home workouts, makeshift weights and online workshops reliant on a good screen and internet connection.

But the time has now come…..

From the end of 2021, restrictions in New South Wales lifted to allow gym doors to open, and motivation is high! People are pulling out their activewear and scrambling through drawers to find their shakers, ready to say goodbye to their iso-bulge.

Before you rush to pick up the weights, rejoin your favourite high-intensity class buddies, set new records, or dive into five or six days worth of training, don’t make these mistakes, as you may return quickly to the couch. This time with new or aggravated injury for weeks, if not months at a time. 

Know Your Trouble Spots

Nobody knows your body as you do. The injuries and accidents you have had in the past could still be there. Have you continuously rolled your ankle? Have you hurt your back lifting five years ago? Or injured a shoulder in a car accident?

Although at the time you took the right steps and the symptoms subsided, now is the time to build the strength around the injury. If you’re asking “how do I work on an injury?” then I can point you to the following allied health professionals for advice. 

Ease Into Training

We all know that going from zero to one hundred kilometres an hour is a Red flag. For some, it’s blowing the dust off the joints. For others, it’s finally down to business. Look at the intensity and frequency of physical activity for at least the first few weeks of training. A good rule of thumb is to commit to:

Accumulate 150 to 300 minutes (2 ½ to 5 hours) of moderate-intensity physical activity or 75 to 150 minutes (1 ¼ to 2 ½ hours) of vigorous-intensity physical activity.” Australian Government Department of Health. (2019).

Don’t Know Where to Start?

No matter the starting point, there is always an option for you out there. Find an exercise that is suitable for you. Something that caters to what you enjoy, the level of intensity you can withstand and appropriate age group. Options that could be considered are walking, fitness classes, yoga, swimming or boxing to name a few.

Explore physical activity with Do More ( Do More was founded by Dr Ash Bowden; a doctor who understands the importance of physical exercise and wants to give it to you at the touch of your fingers. 

Check out your local areas that provide everything from horse riding to paddleboards, yoga to fitness, martial arts, abseiling, swimming and much more!  

Warm-up and Cool-down

It’s not what you think. Some people make the mistake of going for a run or something to get the heart racing. Whilst increasing blood flow is a part of it, from specific focus comes specific results. We need to focus on the muscles and movement we are about to participate in. Check out this list of mistakes.

Mistake #1: Static Stretching BEFORE You Start.

Static stretching is holding a certain stretch still for a period. Think of a rubber band. The warmer the rubber band, the more stretchy the band is and the more snap you get. Muscles work the same way. We want to increase blood flow by actively using the muscles. Think of calf raises rather than a calf stretch, or shoulder circles instead of an across the body arm stretch.

Mistake #2: “30 Seconds and I’m done.”

Too often, being time-poor is the main contributor to this such as “I only have X minutes to get a work out in.” A few awkward static stretches (as above) held for five seconds, some small body jumps and you are off. This is not a warm-up and leads to injury. A good warm-up can be ten minutes. Starting off slow with low intensity, and working your way up progressing your movements specific to your activity.

Mistake #3– Tailor Your Warm-up to Your Workout

Starting with a full body warm up, preparing the Central Nervous System, prepping the muscles and increasing your blood flow is great. But let’s dig a little deeper. Are you stiff from working behind a desk or standing for long periods? Do you need to spend a little specific time working problems areas or catering to existing injuries? If your work out has a lot of squats and your lower back is feeling tighter than usual, spend some extra time mobilising your hips and spine. Does your walk have a few extra hills? Try some ankle circles.

Mistake #4– Cool Down. That’s the Cold Drink Afterwards Isn’t it? 

Finally, you have finished your exercise. As the warmup is important to get everything fired up, similarly a cool down is just as important. A drastic change in our body is never going to be good and in this case, it is important for injury prevention. You want to gradually return to your pre-exercise heart rate, aiming for the same ten minutes. Work on low-intensity exercise, keep the body moving and then finish with some static stretching. For an extra bonus, add in slow and controlled breathing when stretching. Not only will this help deepen the stretch, but it will also allow for some mindful moments.

Listen to Your Body

Whether it’s before the workout, during or after, “no pain, no gain” is often a misused analogy. Even for the first few weeks back, allow yourself to become familiar with the environment, the routine and strain, both physically and mentally. In addition, tread carefully on the high intensity, high impact. Although there will be some people that are hitting goals returning to the gym after isolation, and you may find yourself making comparisons to them and also to where you used to be. This is not a sprint. This is a marathon. Run your own race. A process called “progressive overload” is how programs work. As long as you are doing more than yesterday, you will be better.

Find an Expert

For every question, there is an answer! Find the right person qualified to answer your questions. If you want to run, find a coach that can help with programs specifically for running and increasing your time, speed and/or endurance. If you want someone who trains people like you with the same issues that you have, reach out and ask. Not only will you have an expert that understands what it is that you need, but you will also be surrounding yourself with a community that is similar, and immersing yourself in a group that will support you. Find something that suits your needs. Check out the below recommendations for some great businesses on the Central Coast who are passionate about helping our local community.
Impact Group at Erina is a great community focused all in one health and fitness centre.
Anytime Fitness offers gyms that are based all around the Central Coast for easy accessbility.
Strong Mums is an outdoor fitness group that works closely with womens’ physiotherapists to help mums be strong inside and out, often talking about taboo topics that the majority of mums have, but don’t speak about.
Bulletproof Dad works with fathers to become the partners and fathers that they want to be through mindset, fitness and accountability.

We are who we surround ourselves with!

Taking Ownership of Your Health with Recovery

Personally, I find recovery to be the most important. Yes, listening to your body is great when something doesn’t feel right, however, it’s also knowing how to help. Recovery is the prevention, rather than fixing the broken. We are talking about an increase in water to replenish fluids, proper nutrition to help rebuild muscle, and also a focus on soft tissue repair.

Repeated use of muscles can cause restrictions in our soft tissues. Even something as simple as walking uphill, incorrect technique or carrying a bag can cause issues. Headaches, “niggles”, aches and some conditions can be caused by our muscles however there are ways to work on these areas. Stretching after workouts, having a routine to take you through a full-body regime (think yoga), foam rollers (Check out the Foam roller checklist), and of course some targeted Remedial Massage. If you would like to find out which can help you, take advantage of our ten minute free injury prevention call. 


As abs are made visible from the kitchen, muscles are made in your sleep. Although pumping iron, exercising and moving works the body, muscle repair happens at night. Not only does it help with recovery, but it fuels you for the next day. We all know the feeling of having little or broken sleep. We feel lethargic and not able to concentrate therefore this doesn’t allow for a great performance when working out,  it also increases the risk of injury.

Why not check out the Bedtime Checklist from 1 Click Counselling to help you get the best sleep possible!

In Conclusion

KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid!) injury prevention can go as deep as you want down the rabbit hole, but basically:
1. Start with a solid foundation, work on your weak points to become strong points;
2. As you follow your exercise regime and your progress, make sure that your recovery matches the output;
3. No matter the intensity, look after your soft tissue and sleep;
4. If it’s painful, then stop, think, get it treated and get it stronger;
5. Injury Prevention is better than rehab: and
6. Be better than you were yesterday, even if that’s slowing down.


James Bowers
Diploma Remedial Massage
Diploma of Fitness
Injury Prevention Blog

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What you should expect from your next remedial massage

What you should expect from your next remedial massage

Remedial massage is one of the most beneficial treatments that’s often prescribed or looked to when the body needs to heal from stress, physical tension or a recent injury. Most people never think of the fact that there are several different types of massage out there, but there are many – and remedial massage is only one, usually done when there’s something in the body that needs to be remedied.

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What you should know about sports massage

What you should know about sports massage

Massage is one of the best possible treatments that can be prescribed for a variety of different conditions and ailments, and sometimes a massage can even be a great way to connect with your partner, but beyond this, a lot of people don’t know that there are different types of massage out there, such as remedial massage and sports massage, and even fewer people know what defines the actual differences between the types.

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How does deep tissue massage differ from a normal massage?

How does deep tissue massage differ from a normal massage?

Massage is one of the most beneficial things for the human body, and it’s often prescribed as a treatment to relieve tension or take the pressure off a recovering muscle injury. Most people don’t realise that there are several different types of massage, and that each type of massage (from sports massage, remedial massage to deep tissue massage) are suited to specific needs, injuries and conditions that have to be treated.

adminHow does deep tissue massage differ from a normal massage?
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