A knee and lower limb rehabilitation specialist, Brad's interest in the treatment and management of knee conditions grew from dealing with his own knee problems during his career as a tennis player.
Brad is also a member of Sports Medicine Australia, a multi-disciplinary group of rehabilitation professionals.
Explain the work you do at Sydney Sports &
At Sydney Sports & Orthopaedic Physiotherapy, we treat both acute and chronic musculoskeletal injuries. This involves your common muscle aches, sprains and spinal injuries.
Tell us about the session you'll be hosting in the Body Zone at this year's Health & Wellbeing Weekend.
The session at this year's Health & Well Being Weekend will
be a taster of
Clinical Pilates for
Spinal Pain. It will introduce participants to the fundamentals of Pilates to include neutral positions for the spine and pelvis, and give them a concept of using their Transverse (deep) Abdominals along with their Pelvic floor to help stabilise their back.
How important is a strong spine when trying to achieve a healthy body?
Maintaining a strong and stable spine can be crucial for achieving a healthy body as it works as a foundation for the limbs and major muscle groups to work from. Think of each vertebra as links on a strong chain - any weakness, instability, or failure in one segment can have a knock-on effect and increase the burden to the next ,and so on.
What are your top three tips for people who want to achieve a stronger core?
Achieving a stronger core is a work in progress and because the muscles are designed to be working for us at a low level throughout the day, it is important to train them as such - with that in mind here are my top 3 tips for achieving this
a) Repetition - engaging your core muscles as often as you can throughout the day will improve the muscle co-ordination and allow it to be ultimately more second nature.
b) Challenge yourself in different positions - try recruiting your core muscles in sitting, lying; standing and walking - this will provide ongoing challenge and apply your basic muscle strength to different daily activities.
c) Timely progression of exercises - at some stage your body will get used to engaging your core in certain exercises. It is therefore beneficial to add in different challenges such as reducing your base of support -e.g 1 leg balance; additional weights; changing the speed or degree of movement etc so your training is continuously evolving.
5. How important is it to visit a physiotherapist regularly?
Physiotherapy is a great way to assess, manage and provide education to those with both acute and chronic injuries. It can also be extremely effective in preventing escalation or development of future symptoms. With those factors in mind, it can really important to maintain contact and review with your Physiotherapist throughout your rehabilitation, even towards the later stage and return to full activity.
6. What are your top tips for office workers who experience back pain from sitting all day?
More and more of us are spending countless hours at the desk or at least in front of a computer. My top tips to help prevent back pain and support your spine are as follows:
• Good sitting posture: Starting with your pelvic position, roll your hip bones forward slightly so again you allow a small curve at the base of your spine. You should notice when you do this that you automatically straighten up and feel more space between the base of your ribcage and your hip bones. The lumbar curve allows for dissipation of force down the spine and minimises a build up pressure accumulating there throughout the course of the day. You should also try and keep your feet flat on the ground so your hips/pelvis and spine can maintain good alignment.
• Keeping your body moving - if possible, try and get up out of your chair and move around as much as you can through the working day. Even with the best posture your joints will need to move every 30-40 minutes - every little bit counts!
• Quick stretches in your chair - if you are working for long periods of time at the desk, you can try to incorporate basic spinal, arm and leg movements to prevent yourself stiffening up. Turning your trunk left and right; rolling your shoulders; walking your feet under your desk and circling the ankles are just a few examples of small movements, done regularly, that can go a long way.
• Check your work station set up - if in doubt, it may be worth reviewing your computer and chair set up - sometimes basic adjustments such as computer screen angle and distance from your body can make a huge difference in how you sit and therefore the pressure on your spine.
For people who exercise regularly, how important are rest days?
Rest is when your body has a chance to recover so getting adequate rest is just as important as how much you are training. Aim to sleep 7-9 hours per night, vary your exercise sessions throughout the week and have a rest day at least twice a week to let your body recover. It's important to listen to your body and not push yourself to exhaustion by the end of every week. There will come a point where your body can't cope with the extra strain and that's when injuries will start to occur.
How important are resistance-based exercise such as Pilates when trying to lose weight?
Resistance based exercises are an efficient way to increase muscle tone and bone density, (in weight bearing positions), and therefore support a healthy weight loss programme. Pilates exercises can use body weight, gravity, small equipment and spring loaded machines (such as The Reformer) to apply resistance to your exercise regime.
Come meet Brad and his Senior Pilates practitioner, Virginia Sheriff, to get Back on Track with Pilates on Saturday October 20th.