North Shore Osteopaths, Balgowlah

Contact Us:
02 9907 8919

back pain, neck pain
migraine & headache
cranial osteopathy
babies & children
sports & over use injuries
whiplash, workplace injuries
arthritic symptoms
research papers
Appointments >>

To make an appointment or general enquiry please call:

02 9907 8919 NSO Privacy Overview >>
Health Funds >>

Contact Us or Sign up
to our Newsletter

Are you suffering ….a pain in the foot!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Plantar fasciosis is a diagnosis given for foot pain that arises from the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia is a broad band of dense tissue that extends from the base of the heel bone over the sole of the foot and into to base of the toes. The plantar fascia has an important role in supporting the bones and muscles of the foot during standing, walking and running.

You might have heard of the term- plantar fasciitis which refers to an inflammatory process within the fascia. Current research suggests that this problem is now associated with repetitive overloading of the plantar fascia causing micro tears in the tissue. In simple terms, wear and tear or degeneration of the plantar fascia occurs, rather than ongoing inflammation. Plantar fasciosis is a common source of foot pain. Predisposing factors for that may lead to the onset of plantar fasciosis include;

  • A sedentary lifestyle.
  • High or low arches of the feet and or tight calf muscles.
  • A change in footwear.
  • High impact activities, such as running or dancing, or repetitive activities on hard surfaces such as concrete...
  • Occupations that require sustained periods of standing.
  • Other pre-existing medical conditions such as obesity or an arthritic condition.

The hallmark symptoms of plantar fasciosis include;

Pin point tenderness over the base of the inner heel just before the arch of the foot begins. An ache may also be felt anywhere along the inner sole of the foot.

Pain that is most notable over the heel region upon initial weight bearing after getting out of bed in the morning, especially on a hard floor. The symptoms then will typically resolve, but return in the latter hours of the day. 

Treatment options for plantar fasciosis should be tailored to individual needs. Essentially though the common treatment goals include: alleviating repetitive stress and strain to the plantar fascia, controlling symptoms, modifying identified aggravating factors and performing regular stretching/strengthening exercises as directed by your osteopath. 

Treatment may include:

  • Prompt assessment and treatment by your osteopath.
  • Arch-support strapping of the foot and or the prescription of orthotics.
  • Rest from high impact activities such as running or jumping.
  • Weight loss may be necessary.
  • Regular stretching and strengthening exercises as directed.
  • Ice massage of the sole of the foot.
  • The use of simple pain relieving medication as directed by your Pharmacist.

Posture Control Insoles™

Monday, December 08, 2008

North Shore Osteopaths presents Posture Control Insoles™ – a revolutionary
new forefoot technology that reduces pain, improves posture and athletic performance.

Posture Control Insoles™ are not traditional orthotics. Rather than being a passive foot support system, Posture Control Insoles™ are proprioceptive devices that cause the body to realign and reposture with every step.

Because the Posture Control Insoles™ rely on proprioception, the dimensions of the insoles are small, so they fit comfortably in most footwear. They are soft and comfortable to wear. And unlike orthotics, as your posture improves you need to wear then less.

North Shore Osteopaths is the only (osteopathic) clinic on the Northern Beaches to prescribe and fit PCI’s. Our trained consultants assess your feet and posture in detail to determine whether or not you would benefit from the insoles.

A number of postural photographs will then be taken against a posture grid, both with and without the insoles under your feet. It can be seen immediately (both by yourself AND the practitioner) if your body responds positively to the insole, as you will see an immediate shift in your posture and centre of gravity/weight bearing. Many people can also feel an immediate reduction in stress on their knees, hips or low back.

Many people’s feet roll inwards when they are walking, (hyperpronate) and this, combined with weak or falling arches can have a significant negative impact on posture. This can cause a huge range of problems, including foot and ankle pain, knee problems, hip and low back pain, neck and shoulder problems, headaches, migraines and jaw discomfort. It can also mean you are more prone to injury and find your problem re-occurs, even if you seek treatment.

Conventional orthotics simply support the arch and rear of the foot in an attempt to reduce hyperpronation, but become less effective as soon as the heel lifts off the ground during walking or running. Also, over time, the foot weakens and becomes more reliant on the arch support. The reason so many people find arch supports uncomfortable and even painful to wear is that the medial side of the foot literally has to straddle the arch support for the big toe to reach the ground.

Posture Control Insoles™ are designed to induce a proprioceptive response causing the big toe to become properly weight bearing Posture Control Insoles™ provide a proprioceptive stimulus causing the big toe to sense ground contact earlier in the weight bearing cycle. The normal response of the big toe is to push against the ground forces thus producing a stabilizing effect on the foot. Only patients with flexible flat feet will need a small amount of permanent arch supports. Good-bye to most types of foot pain and posture related body pain, and... No need to break in painful orthotics.

PCI’s, not only work through the whole of the gait cycle, (i.e. are dynamic), but they strengthen the foot over time. By working through receptors in the big toe that are linked with the postural control centre of your brain, your body can self correct through the increased proprioceptive input from your foot.

A recent patient came to NSO with long term back pain waking him at night and inability to bend forward. Tests had shown significant wear and tear in his spine and slight leg length difference. Physiotherapy, exercises and heel lifts had all failed to improve symptoms. Within 10 days of wearing Posture Control Insoles™ the pain was no longer waking him at night and he had significantly more mobility.

As you use your Posture Control Insoles®, you retrain and strengthen your muscles. Your feet will become stronger and your body will learn to work more efficiently, meaning that as time goes on, you will be able to reduce your wear of the insoles: i.e. as your posture improves, you will become less reliant on them, not more.

Like obesity, posture has generally been ignored by medical professionals because it was perceived as something they could do little about. Like dieting, posture improvement was thought of as requiring a conscious effort with which most patients would not comply. With Posture Control Insoles™ the compliance required is reduced to making sure the insoles are in the shoes. Unlike traditional orthotics, Posture Control Insoles™ are comfortable to wear, maintains a positive sense of contact with the ground, and fit in the shoes you already have. The enhanced foot mechanics translates to postural improvements, which generally relieves pain and increases opportunity for greater physical activity.

For an appointment to see if Posture Control Insoles™ can help you,
please ring NSO on (02) 9907-8919.

Helping Hands for Mothers – before and after birth

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Very often pregnant mothers are told that muscular pains are part of pregnancy and will go away with birth. However North Shore Osteopath’s Sharon Franklin, whose focus is on pre-natal, paediatric and cranial osteopathy says that help is at hand and it should not be ignored. If left untreated, it may increase the chances of a more difficult labour, which in turn, may increase the chances of having an unsettled baby.

Babies experience enormous pressure as they are pushed through the birth canal. At this stage the baby’s head is still very pliable. The soft bones overlap to accommodate this pressure but sometimes nerves and tissues can be affected depending on how difficult the process is. Everything is meant to spring back to normal but sometimes this does not happen and problems can occur. Most problems occur with long and difficult births, especially if the baby is breach or posterior, or if forceps or suction caps are used.

Osteopathic treatment during your pregnancy can make life easier for you and your baby. It not only relieves back and pelvic pain, sciatica, headaches and heartburn, but can maximise the available space for your baby. This makes Mum more comfortable and minimises pressure on the growing baby. The treatment ensures the spine and pelvis are as balanced and relaxed as possible. This means the mothers’ pelvis can adapt more easily to the birth process, making labour less traumatic for both mother and baby.

However sometimes difficult births cannot be avoided, so what do you do with a restless baby?

Unresolved birth strains may lead to a baby being unsettled and fractious, as well as leaving them vulnerable to musculo-skeletal problems such as back-ache and headaches as they grow.

Cranial Osteopaths have a highly developed sense of touch and are experts at releasing strain and tension in the body and restoring the proper balance to skeleton, circulatory and nervous systems. They follow the same traditional methods of osteopathy but place a special emphasis on the head. They use extremely gentle manual techniques to resolve these strains. It is non invasive and babies hardly notice a thing – most babies are relaxed and contented during treatment and can even be treated whilst feeding. It has great success with treating common problems with newborns such as colic, reflux and constipation.

Treatment can also assist with breast feeding problems which occur when pressure has caused the baby’s head to twist more on one side or palate or tongue position has been affected during birth.

Sharon Franklin who has had over 14 years of experience in Osteopathy, now has her own child and understands the importance of a happy and contented baby. .

Sharon was able to assist a new mother recently with breast feeding problems due to slow milk. One treatment of gentle spinal adjustments and muscle work resulted in a significant increase in milk flow. The mother was thrilled, as it meant she could continue with breast feeding, and not be concerned about her baby’s weight gain anymore.

For more information on how Osteopathy can help you or your family, visit or contact us on 9907 8919 for a consultation.

Does your baby have silent reflux?

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Reflux is a common condition in babies that most mums have either heard about or experienced. It involves the baby vomiting after most feedings and results in upset babies and worried parents:- not to mention an extraordinary amount of washing!


Silent reflux, however, is much harder to detect and can result in a very unsettled baby.

In silent reflux, a small amount of stomach acid and contents flow back into the oesophagus. However, unlike classic reflux, there is rarely any vomiting.


The discomfort caused by the stomach acid irritating the upper gut can cause the following signs and symptoms:

  • Irritability
  • Difficulty settling
  • Frequent waking
  • Can only be comforted by being in an upright position, especially after feeding
  • Arching the back
  • Noisy breathing


Sharon Franklin of North Shore Osteopaths has seen hundreds of mums who, after weeks with a distressed baby and the uncertainty of what is causing this, have finally been given the diagnosis of silent reflux.


What can you do?   

  • Small and frequent feeds with the head elevated, and continuing an upright position after feeding.
  • Dietary sensitivities should be considered and explored. (If breast feeding, mothers may have to try an elimination diet to pin-point the irritant.)
  • Homeopathic treatment or gentle antacids can also help calm the inflammation in the gut
  • Osteopathic Treatment


Why Osteopathy can help

The irritation of the gut also causes local muscle and joint soreness and tightness in the area of the spine between the baby’s shoulder blades. This then sets up a vicious cycle where one maintains the other. Osteopathic treatment helps to break this cycle, as well as gently releasing any tension in the base of the skull which may be irritating the main nerve to the gut.


Sharon Franklin and her team are skilled in Paediatric Osteopathy and have a highly developed sense of touch. They use this, combined with a detailed birth case history and structural examination to determine the extent and location of any areas of restriction (strain patterns) in the baby's body. They then use extremely gentle manual techniques to resolve these strains in order to relieve discomfort and improve the body's function. This will allow the different body systems - the nervous system, the immune system, the muscular system and the circulatory system - to work effectively and optimally.


To find out more about Paediatric Osteopathy and silent reflux, ring for an appointment with North Shore Osteopaths on (02) 9907 8919 or visit our website


The name of the game in pregnancy is adaptation

Monday, December 01, 2008

The name of the game in pregnancy is adaptation: adaptation to the increased weight, the altered gait and change in weight bearing. Over the course of a pregnancy, a woman’s body must be able to adapt to the gradual increase in her weight and shift in her centre of gravity, as well as make room for the baby as it grows.

Any old injuries, underlying muscle tightness, joint restriction or pelvic instability will impair her ability to adapt and may result in pain.

A woman who is biomechanically efficient is less likely to experience musculo-skeletal symptoms during pregnancy.

Back or pelvic pain during pregnancy is not normal, just very common.

The role of osteopathic treatment is to maximise the body’s ability to adjust to these changes. So what can osteopathy help with? Treatment effectively relieves sacro-iliac and pubic symphysis pain, low back, hip or neck pain, headaches and heartburn, just to name a few. Osteopathy involves a full postural assessment and treating the areas of the body that are not adapting AS WELL AS the symptomatic areas.

The ideal is for the woman to have treatment pre-conception. This enables me to optimise function prior to pregnancy, when there is more time to resolve long term problems and a wider choice of techniques available.

More and more women are becoming aware of the benefits of this approach and come to pre-empt /prevent pain during their pregnancy. I am also starting to see more and more women who want to improve pelvic function in order to aid a natural delivery.

Research is now showing what I see in my.practice: that there is an improvement in birth outcomes with osteopathic treatment during pregnancy. (Handout.) During labour, the passenger must adapt to the passageway: if the mother’s pelvis is mechanically unstable or lacking mobility, it may impede the baby’s passage thru the birth canal. Osteopathic treatment helps to restore balance and improve quality of movements of the whole pelvic girdle. This not only aids the labour from a mechanical point of view, but also promotes hormonal and neurological feedback Finally, osteopathic treatment is invaluable in the post-natal period. All the women I care for during their pregnancy have a post-natal check up. Sacral and lumbar spine mechanics need to be normalised and women often have neck and shoulder discomfort from breastfeeding which is managed well with osteopathic treatment.

Do you static stretch or dynamic stretch before exercising?

Sunday, November 30, 2008

To stretch or not to stretch?

Do you dynamic stretch or static stretch before exercising?

Stretching has been for many years an integral part of just about any warm up routine .You will most likely have an obligatory stretching ritual that you complete before exercise, as if you were on auto pilot. Typically it will involve assuming a number of static postures targeting specific body regions and stretching anywhere between 10-30 seconds. This is known as static stretching.

Static stretching causes elongation and relaxation of muscle fibres.This is secondary to a change in nerve impulses that target the stretch receptors within the muscles and tendons. Performing static stretching in isolation prior to exercise, may actually impede your performance. The reason for this is that, relaxed and lengthened muscle is not optimal for exercise that requires power, speed and agility.

There is a current trend towards the use of dynamic warm up activities before sport. Basically, the principle of the dynamic warm up is to “fire up” your nervous system and increase blood flow and oxygen to the muscles in preparation for the upcoming tasks. Simple examples include; star jumps, the walking lunge or arm swinging both backward and forward. A dynamic warm up of 15minutes is adequate.

On completion of your exercise/sport, a warm down consisting of static stretching is recommended. Static stretching during this period is designed to promote muscle relaxation, restore normal muscle length and promote recovery of your musculoskeletal system, in preparation for the next bout of exercise. How long should you stretch for post activity? Time frames vary but generally a warm down of 15-20 minutes is suggested.

Adequate flexibility is an important factor in optimising your movement efficiency during sporting related tasks. Regular static stretching will permit your joints to move smoothly through a greater range of motion and reduce the chance of sustaining injury. So it is vital to undertake your warm down every time. For some people who are inflexible a series of static stretches followed by a dynamic warm up may be beneficial.

Whether you are a recreational sports person or serious athlete, injury prevention and performance enhancement are a common goal. Advice on injury prevention and performance enhancement through appropriate exercise prescription, requires specialist knowledge and expertise. We will take a detailed medical history, followed by a thorough physical examination, postural and mobility assessment. As part of your treatment plan we will provide you with an appropriate dynamic warm up and static stretching program that will address your needs.


  • For your pre sport preparation, perform a dynamic warm up using basic activities such as; star jumps, the walking lunge, and arm circles.15-20minutes.
  • Static stretches post sport, 15-20 minutes duration. The stretch should be of mild discomfort and held for about 30 seconds. Do not bounce, and if you feel pain stop, do not push through pain as you may have sustained a muscle strain/tear.
  • Optimal flexibility is important to enhance your overall movement efficiency, agility, speed and injury prevention. Regular static stretching warm down may enhance your over flexibility and joint mobility.
  • Consult North Shore Osteopaths, so we can provide you with a professional postural and mobility analysis. This will enable us to tailor a specific warm up and warm down stretching program for you, that will enhance your overall performance and reduce your risk of injury.

© Copyright North Shore Osteopaths Pty Ltd 2008 ACN 106 319 706 | 185 Condamine Street Balgowlah NSW 2093 E:
what we do|about us|our osteopaths|health funds|find us|our referrals|your privacy