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Showing posts from tagged with: well being

Overactive Bladder Syndrome (Urge Incontinence)

What is the Pelvic Floor?

The pelvic floor is a set of muscles that spread across the bottom of the pelvic cavity like a hammock. The pelvic floor has three openings that run through it, the urethra, the vagina, and the rectum.

The functions of the pelvic floor include:

  • To support the pelvic organs, specifically the uterus, the bladder, and the rectum
  • To help provide sphincter control for the bladder and bowel
  • To withstand increases in pressure that occur in the abdomen such as coughing, sneezing, laughing, straining, and lifting
  • To enhance the sexual response

What is Urge Urinary Incontinence?

Urge urinary incontinence is the involuntary release of urine following a sudden strong urge to urinate. This urgent need to urinate may occur during the day and often at night as well. Urgency, frequency and nocturia (going too frequently in the night) are symptoms of an ‘overactive or irritable’ bladder. The smooth muscle pump of the bladder is spasming or contracting giving rise to this urgency. Urine is composed of water, electrolytes, and other waste material that has been filtered out of the blood in your kidneys. Urine is then transported via the ureters to your bladder, where it is stored. Once full, the muscles in the wall of your bladder contract forcing urine through the urethra and out of your body. Sphincter muscles and pelvic floor muscles keep the urethra closed to avoid leakage of urine. These muscles relax at the same time the bladder contracts in order to allow urine to exit your body.

Signs and symptoms of urge urinary incontinence include:

  • The strong urge to urinate followed by the leakage of urine
Many women also experience triggers, or anything that increases the urge to urinate including running water, cold, or the thought of urinating.


What Causes Urge Urinary Incontinence?

The dysfunction is a combination of problems with the bladder, urethra, vagina, pelvic floor and nervous system. The first step is to understand that the urgency that you feel is generated centrally through the nerve connections from the bladder to the brain. The nerves to the brain get confused. They cannot tell whether the bladder is actually full or whether they are receiving a false and urgent message, these stimulus trigger the brain to mistakenly tell us to go to the toilet. We need to deny the urge to fix the circuitry problem.

There are several causes for urge urinary incontinence, these include:

Alcohol and Caffeine Alcoholic drinks and caffeine cause your bladder to fill more quickly and can trigger a strong uncontrollable urge to urinate. Bladder irritants Carbonated drinks, citrus juices, artificial sweeteners, tea, and coffee can irritate your bladder and worsen urge incontinence. Even teas and coffees without caffeine are irritants. Nicotine is also a bladder irritant. Dehydration When dehydrated, your urine becomes very concentrated. This highly concentrated urine can irritate your bladder and worsen urge incontinence. Urinary tract infection During a urinary tract infection, bacteria can irritate your bladder. This can result in strong urges to urinate, increased frequency, and incontinence. Constipation The bladder and rectum have a common nerve supply. Constipation causes compacted stool in the rectum which over-activates these nerves, increasing urinary urgency and frequency. Overactive bladder Overactive bladder is when nerves send signals to the bladder at the wrong time, causing it to contract at an inappropriate time leading to incontinence. Aging As you age, the capacity of your bladder to store urine decreases and the frequency of overactive bladder symptoms increases. The risk of overactive bladder also increases with various blood vessel disorders, seen more commonly in the elderly. Interstitial cystitis This is a painful condition that involves inflammation and scarring of the bladder wall. Symptoms include painful, frequent urination as well as urinary incontinence. Hysterectomy and other surgery The bladder and uterus are very close together and have common supporting ligaments and muscles. Removal of the uterus as in hysterectomy, risks damage to structures supporting the bladder. If these supporting structures are damaged, a prolapse or cystocele is likely to occur. Symptoms of a cystocele include urinary incontinence. Additionally, surgery may damage the nerves that supply the bladder, also leading to urinary incontinence. Bladder cancer or bladder stones Symptoms of bladder cancer or bladder stones include urinary incontinence, urgency, frequency, and painful urination. Other symptoms include blood in the urine and pelvic pain. Neurological damage Any neurological disorder such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease or stroke can cause urinary incontinence by interfering with the nerve signals that control the bladder. Additionally, if the nerves supplying the bladder or pelvic floor muscles are damaged, urinary incontinence may result.  

How is Urge Urinary Incontinence treated?

Treatments of urge urinary incontinence are tailored to suit your individual problem. The following should be considered: Pelvic floor muscle strengthening Strengthening the supporting muscles of your bladder is very effective in helping stress urinary incontinence. Biofeedback, or the use of special computer equipment to measure muscle activity, can help improve muscle control. Electrical stimulation can also assist in strengthening the pelvic floor muscles. Bladder training Bladder retraining is the technique used to try to increase the capacity of the bladder and decrease the sensitivity of the bladder. By teaching your bladder how to store more urine without leaking or giving uncomfortable spasms, you will have more time between voids, less discomfort and more freedom to go out. This is a disciplined program to suppress an overactive bladder. Expect the program to take at least 3 months to have a positive effect Defecation training Medication to calm the bladder, this is normally initiated after 3 months, talk to your doctor Vaginal oestrogen, if you are post menopausal Surgery – very rarely  

Normal bladder function

  • fluid intake of 1.5- 2 litres
  • normal frequency of voiding (passing urine) 4 – 6 times a day (every 2-3 hours) and perhaps once at night
  • each time you void, you should pass 250 – 500ml (1-2 cups) of urine
  • if you get the urge to void, you should be able to comfortably defer until it is convenient for you to go to the toilet
  • when you pass urine, it should flow in a steady continuous stream, without hesitation, until your bladder is empty
  • you should not need to push or strain to pass urine
  • you should be able to pull up on your pelvic floor when the flow of urine is finished, before you stand up
  • urine should be pale yellow coloured, it may be darker in the morning as it is more concentrated.
If your urine is always dark it is a sign that you are not drinking enough.

Patello-femoral Knee Pain

Patello-femoral Knee Pain

Aching knees affect 25 % of the population and are commonly caused by dysfunction at the patella-femoral joint (under the kneecap). It is typically aggravated by bending movements such as sitting, walking up and down stairs or hills, jumping and running. It is also common during adolescence as the long bones are growing faster than the muscles, tendons and ligaments putting abnormal stress on the joints.


  • Unfortunately genetics have a part to play and this can’t be changes
  • Faulty bio mechanics due to muscle imbalances


Treatment is very successful and we will look at correcting muscle imbalances throughout your lower back, hip, pelvis and leg. This is done by manual techniques to the knee cap, massage, acupuncture, exercise and taping.

Carly’s Birthday Blog

Why do you love Pilates? I love Pilates because it is a form of exercise that can be modified to suit ANYONE. The layers of challenge you can add are endless. I also love that age is no barrier, it's the practice that counts! What's the best thing about being a physio? Being able to help people reach the goals that are most important to them. No matter how big or small, it's really rewarding to be a part of that journey. I also love that physio can take you in so many directions. From the clinic to the sports field, the possibilities are endless! Why work at Pottsville and Cabarita Physiotherapy ? I grew up in Cabarita, so it's nice to be able to come back to my roots. It's an amazing community with a great coastal vibe and being so close to the beach is always a plus. But, most importantly, the team is amazing! Best relaxation tip? A nice long walk along the beach followed by some guided meditation.  There is nothing better. Best lifestyle tip? Find something you love and do it consistently. Challenge yourself in some way each and every day. Favourite activity? Doing some high intensity interval training or boxing. It gets the heart racing and the sweat pouring. It's even better when you have some amazing people to work out with. Favourite recipe? Tacos. Need I say more? A special mention to Kai's choc chip oatmeal cookies. If you haven't tried them, you should! A typical Sunday... A nice long sleep in followed by a Pilates workout. I then like to go to one of my favourite cafes on the Coast and enjoy multiple coffees and a delicious brunch. You might catch me running around the rugby league scene in the afternoon. That's my other passion!Carly    

Let massage help you through the winter Season

Let massage help you through the winter Season

For most of us winter means hot drinks, extra layers of clothing, more hours spent in doors and therefore less physical activity and for some a case of the winter blues as the sun sets earlier and the air gets cooler. The good news is that massage therapy can be a great tool to help you through the season.  

The benefits of massage in winter:

It will boost you immune system:

The winter months can often bring an influx of colds and flu's, so it’s extra important to have a healthy functioning immune system to fight off these viruses. Being less active in the winter months can also mean poorer lymphatic flow, which means less circulation of the body’s white blood cells. White blood cells are what help your body fight away infections and disease. Studies have shown that massage encourages the flow of your lymphatic system, and therefore white blood cells. The more white blood cells circulating, the stronger your immune system and the less likely you are to get a cold/flu this winter!

It will encourage circulation:

In cold weather muscles contract to conserve heat, which constricts blood flow and therefore delivers less oxygen and nutrients to our muscles. This also makes it more difficult for cellular waste and toxin removal. This restriction of blood flow decreases muscle health and function, and at times causes aches and stiffness. Luckily the soft tissue manipulation that is used in massage therapy is a brilliant way to increase circulation and improve your health.

It will keep away those winter blues:

For some the colder weather can bring upon stress or feelings of being ‘low’ or ‘under the weather’. One of the beauties about massage is that it releases serotonin and endorphin's, which are hormones that relieve stress/sadness and make you naturally feel happy.

Don’t let the winter blues get you down this season, feel good and get a massage today!  

Click HERE to book a massage


14 Tips to get a better night sleep

14 Tips to get a better night sleep

  1. Eat for sleep: your body needs whole grains, nuts and green leafy vegetables to produce melatonin and serotonin – the sleep hormones
  2. Have your last meal 2 hours before bed so that digestion is complete, your blood sugar has stabilised and your body is ready for rest and rejuvenation. Make sure you are not going to bed hungry
  3. Drink enough water so you are not waking up thirsty during the night
  4. Make a lavender spray for your pillow (with water and pure lavender essential oil) lavender produces a deeper more restorative sleep
  5. Have a hot shower or bath 1-2 hours before bed – we sleep better on a decreasing temperature. As you get out of the hot bath your temperature will slowly decrease triggering sleep hormones to kick in
  6. Put lavender essential oil and magnesium salts in the bath. Magnesium is a known muscle relaxant and will help you wind down
  7. Have plants in your room to keep the air fresh (especially if you close all the windows)
  8. Switch off all electronic devices 2 hours before bed – back lit devices prevent melatonin from being released (which is our sleep hormone)
  9. If your mind is busy try reading a book in bed to calm the mind.
  10. Check your room temperature is somewhere between 18 and 25 degrees
  11. Expose your eyes to sunshine as soon as you wake up to stop melatonin and balance the bodies sleep / wake cycle
  12. Have a sleep routine: aim to go to bed and get up at the same time every day
  13. Avoid alcohol in the evening– it might help you to get to sleep but your sleep will be lighter, disruptive, and less restorative.
  14. 10pm is when melatonin production should be at its highest - so be sure to get to bed by 10pm every night.
download (1) MG spray

Birthday Blog – Helen – Fabulous Front Desk Team


Why do you love Pilates? I love the way Pilates makes me feel strong. It is such a great way of strengthening the body assisting with posture, body awareness and most importantly, keeping any niggles of pain at bay. Why work at Pottsville and Cabarita Physio? I am lucky in that I work 10 minutes from home and I get to work with such a great team of people. I have personally felt the benefits of Physiotherapy and Pilates and I see the improvements and positive impact that it has on our client’s lives every day, making it a very rewarding job. Best Relaxation tip: Taking a moment each day for yourself. Just stopping to take a few deep breaths, steady your mind and reset/recharge. Best Lifestyle tip: Do things you enjoy and spend time with people you enjoy being with. Favourite activity: Spending time in the kitchen and garden is quite therapeutic for me. I really enjoy cooking for family and friends and just pottering around in the garden. Favourite Recipe: My favourite foods to cook would be Greek or Mediterranean style. I make a delicious slow cooked lamb shoulder – throw the shoulder in the slow cooker with some herbs, spices and lemon and leave to cook for the day. I like to serve it with Cous Cous and a nice leafy Greek style salad. The whole family love it and it’s great for entertaining. A typical Sunday: Sundays for me usually involve a late breakfast, some quality family time and then cooking something yummy for dinner.   helly  

What is the best training for surfing? – Kai Allison


There are many different ways to train for surfing, each one with it’s own strengths and limitations. Surfing is a challenging sport that incorporates a number of physical skills and abilities. Much of the training for surfing has previously involved isolated movements and lacked specificity and functional relevance to the sport. People in the past have said that surfing itself is the best form of training, due largely to the difficulty in replicating the demands of surfing on dry land. Whilst nothing will ever replicate the same thrill, uncertainty and excitement unique to surfing, the surfset is a way to increase the functionality of training for surfing. The surfset is specifically designed for surfing training and can be seen as a more functional approach to training for surfers, as it enables replication of the movements and perturbation challenges inherent in surfing. The surfset consists of a modified surfboard set upon unstable surface, which creates a functional platform to replicate the dynamic integration of body systems required in surfing. The surfset is designed to engage the core and stabilising muscles, through challenging the body in a dynamic environment. Exercising on the surfset is a full-body approach to training, moving away from training in isolated and non-functional ways. Training in this way helps to develop functional movements sequences and functional muscle activation patterns specific to surfing, resulting in improved function and surfing performance. Workouts on the surfset can be specifically designed to develop aspects of surfing performance such as aerobic fitness, along with muscular strength, power, endurance in addition to balance and coordination. Workouts can also be designed to isolate specific movement sequences in surfing such as the pop up and allows replication of the dynamic balance and proprioceptive demands of surfing. In addition to being a challenging full body workout, exercising on the surfset is also a fun, engaging and unique way to exercise.  

Is there any evidence for exercising with the surfset?

  Completing exercises such as squats on unstable surfaces such as a surfset has been found to increase core muscle activation, along with an increase in lower limb muscle activity, making this type of training particularly effective and functional for this population (Nairn, Sutherland & Drake, 2017).   Specific benefits of surfset training can also be related to common injuries in surfing. Ankle injuries and sprains are one of the most common injuries in surfing and training on the surfset can be targeted specifically to rehabilitate functional stability, range of movement, balance and proprioception for these injuries (Nathanson, Haynes & Galanis, 2002).  

To summarise, the benefits of training on the surfset include: 

  • Increased dynamic balance
  • Improved core stability
  • Greater lower limb joint proprioception
  • Development and refinement of surf specific movement patterns
  • Increases in muscular power, strength and endurance
  • Greater aerobic fitness
  Training on the surfset provides the opportunity to incorporate functional movement sequences unique to surfing, whilst incorporating the same dynamic balance demands and challenges involved in surfing. Thus, the surfset is a highly functional and specific way of training for surfing and has the potential to result in increased surf fitness and greater performance, which is essentially what we are all searching for. To find out more go to: http://www.surfsetfitness.com To book a surf fitness class go to: http://pottsvillephysio.com.au   References   Nathanson, A., Haynes, P., & Galanis, D. (2002). Surfing injuries. The American Journal of Emergency Medicine, 20(3), 155-160. doi:10.1053/ajem.2002.32650     Nairn, Sutherland and Drake. (2017). Motion and Muscle Activity Are Affected by Instability Location During a Squat Exercise. Journal of strength and conditioning research. 31(3). DOI: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000001745

Stretches to use at Home – Twisting sports

Everyone needs a good stretch .. here are some stretches for Surfing, Skiing, Hockey... any twisting sport!

  • Perform each of the stretches shown on the video
  • Hold stretches for 20 - 30 seconds.
  • Hold stretches only to the point of tension (you should not feel pain).
  • Repeat stretches on muscle groups that are especially tight.

Work Out Excuses

Be stronger than your excuses. Imagine yourself in 6 months from now...

Here are some of the more common workout excuses we hear and what to do about them

  1. No time: we all have the same hours in the day so how do some people (even the busy ones) find time to exercise and others don’t – the answer lies in what you prioritise.  Do you waste  time on social media, watching TV or surfing the net?  You don’t need to allocate massive blocks of time just 20 minutes will do.  Exercise must become a non negotiable entry in your diary preferable every day but at least a few times each week. We always have time for what we WANT to do.
  2. I am too tired: often people feel more energised after exercise  due to the release of endorphins and increased circulation so sometimes it is worth just getting started, tell yourself you will just do 5 minutes then see how you are feeling, most of the time you will keep going and feel great afterward.  You may also need to look at your sleeping patterns and go to bed earlier if you are planning to exercise early in the morning.  If you feel you are chronically tired (all the time) you may need to speak to your GP and get some blood tests – if this is you start with restorative exercise like gentle Yoga, Pilates or Walking.
  3. The weather isn’t suitable: if you are an outdoor exerciser find an indoor option for bad weather days: skipping, dancing, stream a yoga class, or do a few bodyweight exercises like push ups, squats and lunges.
  4. It’s too hard: working hard does get results but it is a good idea  to start gently and gradually build up the intensity as your body strengthens, find a qualified coach in your chosen area to help you work at the correct level.
  5. I forgot my gym gear / togs / sneakers....: organisation is key, pack your exercise gear the night before or have a spare set in the car just in case.
  6. I can’t escape the kids: so exercise with them: a walk to the park, jump on the trampoline, dancing, skating, bike riding, scootering..........
  7. I am too old: there is exercise for everyone.  You may not want to join the gym but what about walking, gardening, lawn bowls or Pilates (we have a few people in their 90’s doing Pilates with us)
  8. I am not good enough: I hear this so often – but you have to start somewhere.  We offer personalised programs from the most basic to the most advanced so there is a program for everyone no matter what your condition.

It is time to establish your health as a priority, drop the excuses and make exercise a non-negotiable in your life for your own well being, you’ll be glad you did!