North Shore Osteopaths, Balgowlah

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Do you suffer from poor posture?

Friday, February 21, 2014



Do you suffer from poor posture: rounded shoulders, a ‘hump’ at the base of the neck and a slightly ‘slumped’ back? Do you find this impossible to change no matter how many times you keep trying to ‘sit up straight and put your shoulders back’? The driving factor maintaining this poor posture, may be coming from your FEET.


The nerves in your feet that talk to the brain about your posture, exist in greater number in your big toe joints. Through stimulating your big toes, this communication can increase, improving your posture


Handy tip: one way of improving the communication between your feet and your brain, is by spending time each week walking barefoot in the sand and on rocks.


However, if you spend most of your time away from the sand, you may benefit from wearing our Posture Control Insoles (PCI’s, or prokinetics), which are designed specifically to improve this communication and your posture, by giving stimulation to the big toe joints.


The insoles may also benefit the feet themselves, as well as potentially reducing hip, knee and back pain


They are safe to wear for adults and children, from the ages of 6 and up. Children, with their growing bones may particularly benefit from these insoles.

Book in for an assessment today, to see if you or your children may benefit from these insoles!

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.

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

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.

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