All posts by Paul

Get Fit

Made a promise to yourself to get fit this year? If you did you’re not alone. Many of our patients make this same promise to themselves but find it hard to get motivated. The physiotherapists in this practice can help!

We can recommend exercises that are designed specifically for you to achieve your desired level of fitness. The more you repeat and become aware of an activity, the easier it becomes. Our practice looks at types of exercises /activities, specific workloads durations of activities, sessions and intensity guidelines and can devise a plan to help you achieve your target fitness level.

To help we have six tips to help you become motivated  and fit this year.

Tip 1)              Start slow

If you’ve been inactive for some time it’s important to start slowly and gradually build up. Begin with low impact activities such as walking, swimming or using an exercise bike. We can help suggest an appropriate level to start at based on your current fitness.

Tip 2)              Know yourself

Talk to us about your medical history or any problematic areas which may affect your choice of activity. We can help make exercise safer.

Tip 3)                          Warm up

Remember to warm up, warm down and stretch before and after gentle activity minimise muscle soreness. If you’re not sure we can show you some warm up techniques.

Tip 4)              Come prepared

Make sure you have appropriate footwear for your activity and a bottle of water to keep you hydrated.

Tip 5)              Venues

Gyms are great places to get active but you must ensure that

you are well supervised. Not a gym person? –

Then try some else, – go bush walking or go for a bike ride!

Even simply take the stairs, walk to the station or local shops!

Better still see us for regular assessment and instruction.

Tip 6)              Record your progress

Keep a diary or log of your progress it will serve as a reminder of how far you’ve come and give you encouragement if you’re feeling disheartened. Reward yourself which something healthy when you achieve mini goals.

For all appointments call 04 499 3504.


50 Reasons to exercise

When your physiotherapist suggests that some exercise would be good for you, have you ever stopped to consider why?

Consider no longer; listed below are the many benefits gained by some regular exercise.  If you are unsure as to how to start, or what to do, your physiotherapist can help advise you.

 50 Reasons to exercise                     

  1. Reduces your risk of getting heart disease
  2. Reduces the risk of developing hypertension and helps control the blood pressure in people who already have high blood pressure
  3. Helps in weight reduction
  4. Increases circulating levels of ‘good’ cholesterol
  5. Improves the likelihood of survival of a myocardial infarction  (heart attack)
  6. Improves the circulation to your heart
  7. Reduces the circulating levels of triglycerides in your blood
  8. Helps to alleviate low back pain
  9. Helps reduce the risk of osteoporosis

10. Helps reduce the long term  risk of obesity

11. Reduces medical and health care expenses

12. Helps maintain weight loss, unlike dieting alone

13. Increases muscle strength

14. Improves your ability to recover from physical activity

15. Lowers you heart rate in response to submaximal activity

16. Increased the density and breaking strength of ligaments and tendons

17. Can help relieve the pain from tension headaches

18. Helps reduce and prevent the immediate symptoms of menopause

19. Assists in efforts to stop smoking

20. Helps to combat substance abuse

21. Reduces the risk of developing colon cancer

22. Helps relieve constipation

23. Reduces the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding

24. Helps preserve lean body tissue (especially important in older people)

25. Improves mental cognition in older people

26. Improves balance and coordination

27. Helps retard bone loss as you age

28. Helps older people maintain an independent lifestyle

29. Slows the rate of joint degeneration in people with osteoarthritis

30. Maintains or improves joint flexibility

31. Improves pain tolerance and mood in those who suffer osteoarthritis

32. Helps to resist upper respiratory tract infections

33. Improves respiratory muscle strength and endurance which is especially important in asthmatics

34. Helps to boost creativity

35. Improves your decision making abilities

36. In kids, increases the density and breaking strength of bones

37. Helps relieve many of the common discomforts of pregnancy

38. Reduces the risk of endometriosis

39. Reduces the risk of developing prostate cancer

40. Reduces the risk of developing breast cancer

41. Helps speed up recovery from chemotherapy

42. Helps to increase the tissue responses to insulin, for better control of blood sugar in diabetes

43. Enhances sexual functions

44. Helps you to more effectively manage stress

45. Reduces anxiety levels

46. Helps alleviate depression

47. Improves you mood

48. Improves the function of your immune system

49. Gives you more energy to meet the demands of daily life

50. Improves your overall quality of life

So get up and get active! It doesn’t have to be hard, walking is great. Try get to the stage where you are a bit puffed but can still hold a conversation, and if you can do more than that, that’s fantastic. It’s a great time to get outdoors and make the most of the longer days heading into summer.


Philippa King is a physiotherapist at the Oamaru Physiotherapy clinic.  She has a postgraduate diploma in Sports & Exercise Medicine.  Philippa was the physiotherapist for the champion 2010 Heartland Rugby Team.

Source:  Oamaru Physiotherapy Clinic written by Mike Stewart and Michelle Sintmaartensdyk


Holiday Season

Fast, Effective Injury Management

Helpful hints for the holiday season

Back and neck pain are common problems experienced when travelling or staying away from home- so here are some ideas to help you enjoy a more comfortable Christmas and summer break.

In the car

  • Make sure you sit with good posture- if your car doesn’t have enough low back support use a rolled up towel (pick the right size!) or buy a purpose-designed lumbar roll from us.
  • Don’t allow your chin to poke forwards as you peer out the windscreen- especially at night! – this is a very common habit and can result in a stiff and sore neck. The back of your head should be just touching the headrest support and your chin should be tucked towards your Adam’s apple.
  • Take breaks – get out and walk about every hour or so even if just for a few minutes.

On the plane

If you are headed to Aussie or further afield don’t fall asleep in an awkward position- try and keep your back in its normal alignment (again a small lumbar roll can help with this) and use a horse shoe shaped neck support to help stop your neck kinking into the wrong position.

Remember sustained positioning when your joints are not in neutral alignment can cause damage and pain – so avoid it.

If on a long flight- get up and walk every 2 hours.  This will also help your circulation.

In bed

Lots of people suffer as a result of sleeping in a strange bed- while there’s not a lot you can do about the bed itself you can alter the pillows (or take your own).

The pillow’s purpose is to fill the space between the head and neck and the mattress.  If you sleep on your back your pillow should be fairly flat.  If you’re on your side that pillow should fill the space between your shoulder and head to ensure your neck is held straight and doesn’t drop down toward the mattress (too flat pillows)  or is pushed away (too many pillows)-it should be ‘just right’.

And remember we will be open between Christmas and New Year to help ease any aches and pains.

Have a safe and happy Christmas and an Injury Free New Year.

For all appointments call 04 499 3504.



Welcome to Central City Physio

Welcome to our Newsletter!  – We thought you might like a quick update on the clinic and some helpful hints for your health and well-being.


We know you have a choice.  Choose us for:

  1. Perfect central city location.
  2. Experienced team to treat a full range of injuries and conditions.
  3. Easy to get appointment times to suit.
  4. Seen on time, every time.
  5. Information on your progress from visit to visit.
  6.  All appointments 30 minutes.

With the onset of daylight saving summer is fast approaching, it’s time to get those niggles sorted so you can be more active and enjoy the long summer nights.

If you have ongoing or recurrent joint or muscle problems, such as back and neck, leg, arm or shoulder pain/discomfort,  physiotherapy can help.


It won’t get better on its own!


if you do have a recent injury                         Avoid        

Rest                                                                                         Heat

Ice                                                                                           Alcohol

Compression                                                                          Running

Elevation                                                                                Massage


It’s always worth popping in for advice- it is usually an ACC covered injury and some professional advice can ensure an optimal recovery.

STOP PRESS Sportswide CBD:

Opened recently on 22 Willeston Street (also access through Old Bank Arcade and the BNZ Food Court).  Great rates and an awesome location right in the heart of the city.  The ideal place to continue your rehab to a better you!  For more info contact Jenny on 894 7711 or pop in and see them.


Office workers



Tips and suggestions for aches and pains at work


Without doubt most of our clients in the central city spend their day primarily behind a PC.

While advanced technology and increased automation comes with major benefits, the toll on our bodies can be high – we just weren’t designed for prolonged static postures- hunting and gathering were supposed to be our thing!


  • Make sure your workstation is suitably set up for you- after all you wouldn’t attempt a days cycling on a bike that didn’t fit you. If you would like us to send a diagrammatic sheet of how your workplace should be set up then- call us on 499 3504.
  • Don’t sit there all day!  Make sure you get up (even to walk around your desk) every hour or so- you can do some general ‘pause’ exercises in this time. When you’re busy- that’s when you really need to take your breaks and micropauses- this is often when people miss them!
  • Remember your micropauses– a micropause is taken every 3-5 minutes (NOT every 15-20 as many people believe).

    For a micropause all you need to do is take your hands off the PC and shake them around for a moment and then you can get back to work again!

    Get some postural advice from your Physio– maybe you are not activating the correct postural muscles, or you are repeatedly using some muscles at the expense of others. If your postural muscles are weak you’ll need some prescribed exercises to strengthen them up.

  • Don’t hope that aches and niggles will go away- they generally don’t.  It usually means you are specifically aggravating a certain structure.
  • Remember that prolonged sitting with poor posture can place stress and strain on muscles, joints, ligaments and nerves in the neck, upper back and shoulders, forearms and wrist. If allowed to continue this may cause eventual breakdown of the tissue causing pain, swelling, muscle spasm and weakness.
  • So best get those niggles and aches addressed before you progress to long term damage and chronic pain.
  • Try not to let other people’s stress and lack of organisation stress you- let others know that you need time to complete work for their potential deadlines.
  • Stress often manifests itself physically and can add to your problems.

We can help: Education and rehabilitation

    • postural correction
    • relaxation massage/advice on self relaxation
    • workstation set-up advice
    • assessment and management of any underlying tissue strains/microtrauma
    • muscle balance assessment
    • home and work exercise plan


For all appointments call 04 499 3504.


Sports Injuries


1 DIAGNOSE your injury.

How long will you be off sport?
Do you need to be off?
What else could you safely do to maintain fitness?

3 MONITOR your rehabilitation and treat appropriately minimising time lost off the field of play.

4 INSTRUCTION as to which exercises, stretches and strengthening are best suited to you and your sport.

5 SCREENING – fully body musculoskeletal screen to identify any weakness and prevent injury.

6 EDUCATION – about injury management, prevention and maximising sporting performance.

The first 24-48 hours is crucial in the effective management of any soft tissue injury.

For sprains, strain, and bruises, start the R.I.C.E.D. programme.

injured tissue must have time to heal

10-15 minutes every 1-2 hours
Cold reduces the pain, causes contraction of blood vessels – thus reducing bleeding and swelling

moderately firm bandage to control swelling

elevate the injured part above the level of the heart

An accurate diagnosis either by a doctor or physiotherapist will identify the expected duration off sport and any appropriate specific   rehabilitation


  • Correct warm up and cool down exercises
  • Appropriate footwear
  • Wearing protective clothing, i.e, shin pads, eye goggles
  • Sport specific conditioning and stretching.



Neck Pain


What Causes Neck Pain?

Your head is heavy and balanced on a narrow support made up of seven bones called vertebrae.  The vertebrae are separated from each other by discs stabilised by joints and ligaments and moved by muscles.  Because the neck is so mobile it is easily damaged.  Injury and postural problems are the most common causes of neck pain.  Diseases such as arthritis or degeneration of the discs can also cause pain. A disorder of the neck joints or muscles can cause referral pain to your head, shoulders, arms and upper back.

Neck Injuries
Neck injuries most often result from motor vehicle accidents, sports or occupational accidents.   Damage may occur to vertebrae, joints and nerves, discs, ligaments and muscles.  A common neck injury is the acceleration/deceleration injury or ‘whiplash’ where the head is thrown forward or back.

Bad posture can cause neck pain.  Ligaments are over-stretched, muscles become tired and the neck joints and nerves are put under pressure. Slouching your shoulders with your head pushed forward, sleeping with your head in an awkward position, or working with your head down for long periods, will all tend to cause neck pain.


Here is some useful advice to help you prevent neck pain.

Think Tall:  chest lifted, shoulders relaxed, chin tucked in and head level.  Your neck should feel strong, straight and relaxed.

A down pillow or urethane pillow is best for most people.  Avoid sleeping on your stomach.

Recognise when you are tense.  You may be hunching your shoulders or clenching your teeth without realising it.


Physiotherapists will be able to determine the source of your neck pain and treat it.  They may use:

  • mobilisation
  • manipulation
  • massage
  • remedial exercise
  • postural assessment, correction and advice
  • relaxation therapy

Manipulation can be an effective treatment for neck problems, but it may not be the best option in every situation.  Other methods, such as mobilisation, may be preferable.  Your physiotherapist will carefully check your neck and discuss the options with you before any form of treatment takes place.


What Causes Back Pain?

Postural Stress
Poor posture stresses your spine.  Ligaments are overstretched, muscles tire and joints and nerves are put under pressure.

Muscle Strains
Minor back muscle strains quickly improve on their own, but more severe strains will need physiotherapy treatment to relieve pain and promote healing.

Ligament Strains
Stretching ligaments too far or too quickly makes them tear and bleed into surrounding issues, causing swelling and pain.  Motor vehicle and sporting accidents are common causes.

Disc Problems
Discs are anchored to the vertebrae above and below, so they cannot ‘slip’ out of place.  They can wear down with age, but most disc problems arise from injury.  Discs can bulge (prolapse), hermiate or even rupture.

The sciatic nerves run from the lower back through the buttons and down the back of your legs.  Irritation anywhere along this pathway will cause pain in the back and legs.

Vertebral and facet joints can be affected by arthritis, causing degeneration and inflammation within the join and the growth of bony spurs on the edges of the vertebrae.


Here is some useful advice to help you prevent back pain.

With your feet shoulder-width apart, bend at the hips and knee.  Grip the load firmly and hold it close to your body, tighten your stomach muscles and use the strong muscles of your legs to lift.  Keep your back as straight as possible.  Avoid twisting – turn by using your feet, not your back.

Don’t stay seated for too long – stand up, stretch and walk around.  The right back support will also help.

Good support from your car seat will prevent back pain.  If you need more lower back support, use a lumbar roll or a rolled-up towel.


  • mobilisation/manipulative physiotherapy
  • McKenzie therapy
  • specific stabilisation exercises
  • general exercises
  • traction
  • ergonomic advice

Ongoing ‘maintenance treatments’ should not be required once your back has been successfully treated by a physiotherapist.  If severe pain persists. other causes will need to be investigated.  Your physiotherapist can order x-rays or refer you to see a doctor or specialist.




Busy lifestyles often mean different priorities. Having a busy career and a social life can often take away our focus on personal health,
diet and fitness.

We can help you commit to getting the balance right. We can advise you on how regular walking,breathing exercises, and even a good stretch
routine can be important steps to be added to your daily schedule.

Our physiotherapists can advise on healthy routines and habits and refer you to other experts in sports, gym classes, or Yoga.


Women’s Health Issues

Women’s Incontinence and Self Help Clinic.  We have a service specialised in the assessment of treatment of stress & urge incontinence and other women’s problems. If you or someone you know is experiencing any of the following conditions, we can help!


Please click on the links below to learn more about the conditions and know how we can help.

Pelvic pain
Leaky bladder
Vaginal slackness
Spinal / Postural advice. Learn more
Pregnancy / postnatal problems
Painful sex
Diastasis rectus abdominis
Urinary incontinence
Faecal incontinence
Episiotomy pain
Perineal trauma

Client information

For more information

What we do at WISH

What you can expect

For Dry pants & Great Sex Ask for WISH on 499 3504


Positional Statement

Central City Physiotherapy provides injury management for all people wanting fast, effective help to return to their full activities. We spend extra time to ensure complete recovery and prevention of recurrence to keep you at peak performance so you enjoy life to the full – because your body deserves the best of care.

Vision Statement

Our vision is that Central City Physiotherapy will be recognized as the premier provider of musculo-skeletal physiotherapy services in the region.

Mission Statement

  • Central City Physiotherapy will be the provider of choice for the services we offer.
  • Current clients will recommend our service to other clients.
  • Other physiotherapists and health professionals will respect the skill level within the practice and may refer clients for a second opinion.
  • Centrally located businesses will feel assured that their employees receive the highest standard of care when attending the Clinic. They will also be confident that any ongoing referrals or onsite management required will be organised.
  • G.P.s and health professionals will choose Central City Physiotherapy as the clinic of choice for clients in the Central City region.
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