North Shore Osteopaths, Balgowlah

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Do you suffer lower back pain?

Thursday, February 20, 2014



Do you suffer from lower back pain? Does your lower back feel weak and unstable?


Do you have strong tummy muscles or core muscles? Strengthening these muscles can be one of the best ways to help prevent and alleviate lower back pain and weakness. While doing specific abdominal muscle training like sit-ups is very good, consistency is the key. Ideally, the tummy muscles should be helping to support the lower back all the time, not just during exercise time.


Handy Tip: when you are standing, sitting, about to stand or sit and particularly when bending forward, very slightly contract your tummy muscles by drawing your tummy back towards your spine. This should be a subtle movement that doesn’t feel hard to maintain and doesn’t feel like you are ‘sucking in your tummy’. Every now and then, remind yourself to do this slight contraction again.


When you do this exercise, if it increases your back pain – or if it doesn’t alleviate your pain at all, you may be out of alignment and therefore you may benefit from coming to see us to assess and treat you.

Do you suffer from a weak bladder?

Thursday, February 20, 2014



Do you suffer from a weak bladder? Do you have difficulty with going to the toilet one way or the other? Are you a woman who experiences period pain or pain or decreased sensation during intercourse? If so, you may benefit from doing pelvic floor exercises. These exercises are widely taught now, however it is believed that the relaxation phase is just as important to control as the contraction phase.


Your pelvic floor muscles are located around your reproductive and excretion areas.


There are several groups of muscles which make up the pelvic floor, overlapping each other to form a supportive sling-like structure.


Handy tip: To squeeze your pelvic floor muscles from front to back, then relax them from back to front: first gently squeeze the front area like you are trying not to do a ‘number 1’ then squeeze the middle area, then the back area like you are trying not to do a ‘number 2’, then relax the back area, the middle area and lastly the front area.


If the relaxation phase feels difficult to do or is painful, your pelvic floor muscles may be too tight. If the contraction phase feels too difficult to do, some of your muscles may not be ‘communicating’ with each other optimally.


To have your pelvic floor muscles assessed and treated, come in and see us for an appointment

How Stable is Your Pelvis?

Friday, May 03, 2013



Although pelvic pain is commonly associated with pregnancy, it can affect both men and women of all ages. Low back, pelvic and hip pain can often be due to a sacroiliac (SI) joint dysfunction. The SI joint is formed by the triangular sacrum bone - which is at the base of your spine, sitting between the two 'pelvic' (iliac) bones.

Very little motion naturally occurs at this joint and it is held together by thick, strong ligaments. Typically pain can occur when there is more movement here than normal. During the later stages of pregnancy hormones are produced to relax these these ligaments allowing the joint to be more flexible and to prepare the body for labour. However anything that over-stresses the joints and ligaments can result in pain such as; direct trauma, car accidents, whiplash, a fall onto your bottom that can twist the pelvis, a shorter leg, poor posture, low back or hip pain/injury, heavy lifting or unaccustomed exercise. Often as a result of the local irritation or simply due to inappropriate muscle activation the deep muscles that help to stabilise the pelvis also stop doing their job properly; which can further exacerbate the problem and cause instability. In some cases the exact cause and initial trigger of SI pain may be unknown.

What you will be happy to hear is that most people who suffer from this pain can get relief, decrease the duration and help the problem with the correct management and osteopathic treatment.

Some helpful tips and how we can help:

-Initially rest if you are able (not always possible with young kids, we know!). This will help to reduce the inflammation (applying ice can also help with this when it first comes on ) .

-Gentle stretching through the bottom, back, hips, thighs and legs to relieve pain 

-Strengthening exercises to increase correct muscle activation and control to muscles deep around the pelvis

-Core stability rehabilitation programs for the abdominals, gluteals and low back

If you suffer from this type of pain during pregnancy, postpartum or for an unknown reason don't put up with it any longer!

We can help. Call 02 9907 8919 now for further information or to make an appointment.

Top Breastfeeding Tips

Sunday, December 16, 2012


Breastfeeding can be a stressful time for new mums, but there are steps you can take to make it easier for yourself and your baby:


  • Massage your breasts when you can. This reduces the sodium content of the milk, making it taste nicer for bub. It also reduces the chances of mastitis
  • Babies feed best when they have just woken up and are calm, so try if you can to feed them before they start crying to be fed. Look for little cues, like tongue thrusting and lip smacking.
  • Very young babies will push their head back if pressure is put on the back of their head . So, bring their body in close to yours when you try to feed, but instead of pushing against the back of their heads to guide them on to the boob, try putting your hand under their cheek and supporting their head that way. This will give them the freedom to move their head and neck in to the most comfortable and efficient position to feed .

If you have any questions about any of these tips, please call Sharon on 9907 8919

Tips for Lower Back Pain

Sunday, December 16, 2012


Did you know that humans are designed to be upright and on the move? We are NOT designed to sit and yet that is what we do for a large part of our day. Traveling to work, at the office or at home relaxing in the evenings, we SIT!! So, how can we reduce the stress of this on our low backs?


1) Avoid lumbar rolls or lumbar supports, especially in cars with bucket seats.


2) The ideal position when sitting is to have GREATER than 90 degrees between your trunk and your thighs. In other words, wherever possible, sit with your KNEES slightly LOWER than your hips. (This is harder in a car than at a desk). One easy way to achieve this is to use a folded up towel or small , flat cushion at the back of the car seat or office chair, so it lifts your bottom and hips up slightly . This stops you slouching as much and takes the strain off the bottom discs in your spine.


3) If your back is achey at the end of the day, when you get to relax in the evening , DON'T sit, LIE down. Try on your back , with your knees up and your feet resting flat on whatever you are lying on, your head elevated slightly on a pillow or cushion .


4)If you need to sit up, stay away from those low, soft lounges or saggy armchairs and go for something with a bit of support in the seat .


If you have any questions about any of these tips, please call Sharon on 9907 8919

Are You Pregnant?

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Would you like to maximise your chances of a straight forward birth?


Did you know osteopathic treatment can improve birth outcomes? (1)


As well as helping to relieve back , pelvic and pubic symphysis pain, heartburn and headaches during pregnancy, recent research has shown better birth outcomes in women who have osteopathic treatment during pregnancy (1). 

Treatment is gentle and can help to balance out your pelvis and spine. This is thought to help the baby to enter the pelvis as level as possible as well as ease it's passage through the birth canal.

Sharon has also found that linking osteo treatment with the Calmbirth courses ( plus good nutrition can all add up to a more straight forward, happier delivery....

BUT please don't leave it too late ! If you want your pelvis checked out for the birth, come along as soon as you can. That way, if there are any major issues, we have a bit of time to sort them out.

Need more info? Call Sharon on 9907 8919

(1) Osteopathic manipulative treatment in pre-natal care. Evidence supporting improved outcomes and health policy implications '. Hollis H King AAO Journal 2000

Heartburn and pelvic pain?

Friday, July 27, 2012


Did you know that osteopathic treatment can help relieve heartburn during pregnancy?


Did you also know that quite often you get Heartburn and pelvic pain together?


The diameter of a woman's rib cage is meant to expand by up to 9cm over the course of her pregnancy, to make room for the baby.

For this to happen, she needs a nice flexible ribcage and a happy, stretchy diaphragm.

The diaphragm is not only the main breathing muscle, but it also has the food pipe pass through it to get to the stomach. Any tightness through the lower ribs and the diaphragm can not only worsen heartburn, but it can also reduce the room for baby.

As the baby grows and the uterus expands, if the diaphragm and lower ribs don't lift up and out of the way , the baby has to stay low and find room in the pelvis. This increases the load on mums' pelvis and means we often see pelvic and pubic symphysis or pelvic pain go hand in hand.




We can help the heartburn and the pelvic pain. Call 02 9907 8919 now for further information or to make an appointment.

Sharon Franklin - Director

Combat Stress and Sleep better with these Simple Exercises

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Did you know that the way you breathe changes when you are feeling stressed?


You may unknowingly hold your breath for a few seconds, you may start breathing more quickly or not as deeply or tense your shoulders. This can alter your oxygen/ carbon dioxide balance and, in severe cases, make you to feel light headed or anxious.


It also means you use your diaphragm (the main breathing muscle ) less and instead use your neck muscles to lift you upper ribs to breathe.


This is why so many people say ' I hold all my stress in my neck and shoulders.' The good news is, you CAN change this!! Try these simple exercises to reduce the impact stress has on your body.


The first is to use during the day, the second will wind you down and send you off to sleep...


1) If you are feeling stressed, become aware of HOW you are breathing. Then, slowly breathe out of your mouth, making your OUT breath as long as possible. (it should be at least twice as long as your IN breath), then take a slow, deep breath in through your nose. Do this for 3 breaths in a row, then go back to breathing normally. Repeat every few minutes.


2) This exercise is great for helping you get to sleep. Start by making your OUT breath last 4 seconds. Do this for 6 breaths in a row. Then, extend your out breath to 6 seconds, again for 6 breaths. Next, make your out breath last 8 seconds for 6 breaths in a row.  Now reverse the process, breathing out for 6 seconds 6 times, then for 4 seconds 6 times, then breathe normally. The most important part of this exercise is the OUT breath, so focus on that. If you find starting with a 4 second out breath is too difficult, start with 2 seconds, then 4, then 6, then back to 4, then back to 2. If you do this regularly, you may find you need to start at 6 or 8 seconds and extend from there.


If at any stage you feel breathless or dizzy, STOP the exercise and breath normally .


Any questions ? Call Sharon direct on 9907 8919.


Sweet dreams !

Sleeping like a baby?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Did you know that osteopathic treatment may be able to help sleeping and behavioral issues in babies and kids?


Have you recently been on a flight , even a short, 1 hour domestic flight and your little one has stopped sleeping properly?


'Has your little one recently had a growth spurt or a fever?'


Are they more cranky or tearful than usual or just 'not themselves' and you have no idea why?


Over the sixteen years I have been treating babies and children, I have had Mums bring their little ones to me over and over for the above reasons and have experienced it in my own little girl. Time and time again there have been areas of tightness or irritation in their bodies, which, once treated , have led to a happier, calmer bub or toddler, and improved sleep. As an adult, you can understand if you are in pain or discomfort, or simply 'don't feel right' and are able to explain this clearly to others. Babies and children cannot do that, so we need to follow their cues and, as parents trust our instincts that they may need a little extra help.


Don't struggle, trust your gut and get them checked. If you're unsure, CALL me for a chat on 9907 8919.


Are you having problems with breastfeeding?

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Did you know, that Osteopathy can help correct poor milk supply or inefficient let down of milk? Osteopathy can also assist with helping your baby latch on and the treatment of mastitis.

Lactation consultants and midwives are ideally placed to show you how to position yourself and the baby, but what if there is something making it difficult for you or your baby to achieve this ideal? Osteopathy can help.

The milk let down reflex in new mothers is impaired or affected during periods of stress or fatigue. The part of your nervous system that deals with stress is located in the part of the spine between your shoulder blades, so gentle osteopathic treatment to release the joints and reset the nerve signals involved not only make your back and shoulders more comfortable, but often quite dramatically improve your let down.

With gentle and simple techniques to improve lymphatic drainage from the breast, Osteopathy can also assist with the treatment of mastitis.

If you baby  is struggling to latch or having suckling problems there may well be tension in one side of their neck or in their jaw. Very gentle and SAFE cranial osteopathic treatment releases and rebalances the neck and jaw so they work more efficiently. So don’t despair:

Call us NOW on (02) 9907 8919.

For more information, visit or contact now for appointment. North Shore Osteopaths also offers home visits for new mothers.

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