For All Your Physiotherapy & Health Needs
4 Annie Street, Caboolture

Four Surprising Causes of Neck Pain

If you are experiencing regular neck pain that just won’t go away, it’s possible that parts of your daily routine are contributing without you realising. Here are a few common everyday activities that might be making your neck pain worse.

1. Your sleeping position

It’s easy to underestimate the impact your sleeping position has however, spending hours in one position will undoubtedly have an effect on your body. Pillows that are too high or too flat can mean your cervical joints are sitting at the end of their range in too much flexion or extension. Similarly, sleeping on your stomach often means your thoracic spine is locked into extension and your neck is fully rotated. In simpler terms, this means your joints are under more stress than necessary. Ideal sleeping posture allows your spine to maintain it’s natural curves.

2. Your daily commute

Many of us make sure our work stations are ergonomically set up to reduce stress and strain throughout the day. Few of us take the same consideration when it comes to driving. In fact, the set up of your car can be just as important as your work-desk, particularly if you are driving more than 30 minutes everyday. The correct setup in your car can mean you use less effort to drive and turn your head less often to check traffic.

Ensuring that your steering wheel, seat and mirrors are set up correctly could make a difference to your posture and even perhaps reduce neck pain and headaches. If you find that driving is still affecting your pain after making these changes, try catching public transport or riding a bike on alternative days.

3. Your downtime

Many of us unwind by watching TV or our laptops at the end of the day. Your position during this time can be something you give little thought to however, looking up to view a screen mounted on a wall or looking down at a small screen or laptop can put pressure on the upper structures of the neck. Take a few minutes to consider what posture you’re sitting in before settling down to binge watch a series and see if you can either lower the height of your screen or raise it slightly so your neck can be in a more neutral position.

4. Your exercise routine

Any activity that requires sustained positions or repetitive neck movements can contribute to neck pain. Cyclists can be stuck in neck extension while looking ahead and breaststroke swimmers can also have excess neck extension. Freestyle swimmers with reduced thoracic or neck rotation can have difficulty achieving rotation when breathing which can cause pain and discomfort over time.

Your physiotherapist will be able to identify any daily habits or activities that might be contributing to your neck pain. Come and see us for an appointment to see how we can help.

Caboolture Physical Therapy Centre – serving people in need from the following areas: Caboolture, Morayfield, Elimbah, Wamuran, Beerburrum, Beerwah, Glasshouse Mountains, Toorbul, Donnybrook, Ningi, Woodford, Kilcoy, Bribie Island, Goodwin Beach, Sandstone Point, Banksia Beach, Bongaree, Bellar, Woorim, Burpengary & Beachmere.

Three common myths about back pain

Low back pain is one of the most common conditions treated by physiotherapists and if you are unlucky enough to have been a sufferer, you know that severe back pain can take over your life.

With improved understanding, health professionals have come to identify some common myths about back pain that are inaccurate, misleading or even counterproductive.

Myth #1 – Discs can ‘slip’ out of place

Sitting between the vertebrae of the spine are soft discs that provide flexibility and shock absorption to the spine. In the past, many health professionals including doctors and physiotherapists told patients that these discs had ‘slipped’ as a way of explaining their pain to them. While this was helpful to some extent, it is not entirely accurate, as these discs are actually very secure and rarely, if ever ‘slip’ out of place.

Discs may bulge slightly or in some cases tear, however more often than not these injuries will heal without any permanent damage and exist in many people without causing any pain at all.  Thinking that a part of your spine has permanently ‘slipped’ out of place can cause you to move differently, which can create more pain and dysfunction in itself.

Myth #2 – If you have low back pain, you should stay in bed

When back pain strikes, our natural instinct is to rest, avoid movement and wait for the pain to pass. However, studies have shown that being active and performing targeted and gentle exercises can help improve low back pain. In fact, our impulse to stop moving and protect our spines can actually cause abnormal movement patterns and stress, leading to ongoing pain after the original injury has healed.

If you are unsure of what kind of exercises you should be doing, your physiotherapist can help guide you with a targeted exercise program.

Myth #3 – Severe pain means severe damage

Pain that is severe, strikes suddenly and without warning can be a very scary experience. If this happens to you, you could be forgiven for assuming you must have sustained a very serious injury.

The fact is, however, that the spine – being surrounded by nerves – is a particularly sensitive area of the body and pain in this area can be very strong without significant damage. A small ligament sprain or muscle tear can actually cause a large amount of pain and it is common for intense symptoms to settle down quickly, even disappearing within a few days. In many cases, symptoms that last for longer than 2-3 weeks are caused by changes to your movement patterns in response to this pain and not the original injury itself.

If you are suffering from back pain, the best person to see is your physiotherapist. They can help you to recover without any complications or side effects and help you safely return to your usual activities while also ruling out any serious damage that might need further investigation.

The information in this article is not a replacement for proper medical advice. For advice on your individual injury, get in touch with one of our physiotherapists.  

Caboolture Physical Therapy Centre – serving people in need from the following areas: Caboolture, Morayfield, Elimbah, Wamuran, Beerburrum, Beerwah, Glasshouse Mountains, Toorbul, Donnybrook, Ningi, Woodford, Kilcoy, Bribie Island, Goodwin Beach, Sandstone Point, Banksia Beach, Bongaree, Bellar, Woorim, Burpengary & Beachmere.

Biceps Tendinopathy: Symptoms and Solutions

What is Biceps Tendinopathy?

The biceps brachii muscle, commonly known as the biceps, sits between the shoulder and elbow. It has two parts: the long head and short heads. These come together to form the main muscle bulk, which is the “Popeye” part of your upper arm. The biceps brachii muscle runs from the top and front of the shoulder all the way down to the upper forearm. The biceps tendon is the part that attaches the muscle to the bone, both at the shoulder and the elbow.

The biceps muscle functions to bend the elbow and turn the hand to face palm-up. The term “tendinopathy” is used to describe injury and pain of a tendon. This is most commonly due to overuse. Biceps tendinitis tends to affect the long head of the biceps more commonly. Both the tendon itself and the tendon sheath can be the source of pain.

How does it happen?

This condition occurs most commonly due to repeated use of the biceps over a long period of time. People with this condition often present in the later stages of tendon damage, when they begin to experience pain. This means that biceps tendinopathy is a slow-developing condition, without any symptoms until it reaches the point that the tissues become injured and painful. This is the body’s way of self-defence; it is telling you that it doesn’t like the activity you are asking it to do.

While specific tasks such as throwing sports, tennis or golf can increase the risk of developing a biceps tendinopathy, often it is simply caused by usual daily activities throughout the course of an adult’s life. With aging comes a decrease in the collagen and elastin components of tendons. This contributes to a reduced ability to sustain a high load, which can cause degeneration or inflammation over a longer period of time.

What are the symptoms?

Biceps tendinitis is painful; often aching at night and increasing in intensity when performing overhead tasks such as reaching and lifting. The pain is usually at the front of the shoulder and can radiate downwards along the front of the arm.

People with this condition often have developed adaptations to their usual movement patterns in order to avoid aggravating this pain. This in itself can lead to other issues such as strained or overworked muscles. An example of this is hitching up the shoulder to the ear when going to use the affected side, as this will help to offload the affected muscle, allowing the biceps to be under less stress. Unfortunately, this will eventually increase the stress on the muscles of the upper neck and shoulder, leading to secondary aches and pains.

How can physiotherapy help?

Your physiotherapist will assess and diagnose this condition, which will, in turn, allow for a comprehensive management plan to be put in place. A combination of strengthening, stretching and muscle release is often beneficial to assist in the management of this condition.

If you have developed secondary complications with changes to your normal movement patterns, your physiotherapist can assist you in addressing these and training your body to avoid causing further damage.

If further imaging or onward referral is needed, your physiotherapist can help in guiding you through this process.


This information is not a replacement for proper medical advice. Contact our practice and speak with one of our physiotherapists for advice on your individual condition.

Caboolture Physical Therapy Centre – serving people in need from the following areas: Caboolture, Morayfield, Elimbah, Wamuran, Beerburrum, Beerwah, Glasshouse Mountains, Toorbul, Donnybrook, Ningi, Woodford, Kilcoy, Bribie Island, Goodwin Beach, Sandstone Point, Banksia Beach, Bongaree, Bellar, Woorim, Burpengary & Beachmere.

The Golden Years and loving every minute

The man who didn’t know he could until he did

People say that with age comes wisdom, so why are we all so afraid of getting older? Is it because we believe that our bodies will deteriorate once we reach a certain age, or that our minds will start to play unwanted tricks on us?… well, after spending some time chatting with Hughie Thomsen, I have a new attitude towards the later years of life and we can all take comfort in the fact that life IS “what you make it”.

It is October 2002, one month out from the Masters Games in Melbourne whena 72 year old man comes into the Practice at 69 King Street Caboolture requiring treatment for a Hamstring Injury, an optimistic man trying to get a 6 week injury fixed in one month. He was meant to compete in six events that year but only managed to complete one. This Gentleman has never had an injury like this before and believed that his running career would soon be over. But here he is 11 years later, 83 years old with a shoe box full of Medals from the masters Games and he has never looked back…

Hughie ThomsenWhat motivated Hughie to begin running?

The idea of competing/running came about in Gladstone after retirement. After seeing an Australian Judo Champion for regular massages it was suggested that he should participate in some form of sports. It took four years of convincing, then training began at the age of 71. Being unfit and a little over his ideal weight “The first three weeks were hard” After only 10 months of training, Hughie competed in his first Masters Games at Newcastle in NSW walking away with two silver medals.

To be a Master you have to be 30 years of age with the age categories running in 4-5 year increments. Hugh currently falls within the 80-84 year age category. To still be competing in the 60m, 100m and 200m sprints at his age is remarkable.

How many Masters Events have you attended?

Around Easter time each year there is a Masters Games held in one of the major capital cities, I have been to every games since 2001 and have competed in Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney multiple times.

How often do you train? Daily.

He is up before daylight, starting with a few stretches and as soon as day break comes he sets off on his 3km loop from his home at Woody Point, both walking and running while he watches the sun rise. What a way to greet the day. Not bad for someone whose first thoughts of the idea of living an active lifestyle were “you are too lazy to train”.

“Tuesday mornings are a good morning for me”. Each Tuesday Hughie begins his morning in the pool where he swims for about an hour and twenty minutes, grabs a coffee and some raisin toast for breakfast then visits Ruth for his weekly massage.

Enjoyment must play a massive part; you seem to really love what you do…

“I don’t compete to break records. To keep doing this and being able to it is a great joy”

The last ten years have been great. Motivation definitely helps him to keep going. He finds it motivating to come into the practice, seeing Ruth, meeting the new and familiar faces that constantly come in and out . “I find Kaye very motivating”. She is fantastic at what she does (the physio with a big heart).

“It takes discipline, determination and consistency. If you put in the effort it is amazing what can happen”.

 Hughie had a few setbacks in earlier life. Being raised as an only child by his father after his parents divorced when he was only three, he found a lot of kids at school to be cruel, coming from the only broken family in the district, they weren’t very accepting of his situation.

Life became easier as he grew older and left school halfway through grade seven to work on the farm with his father until the age of nineteen. Since then he has travelled around a lot, he was married at Twenty five to his first wife for 17 years, they had 3 Children.

Upon moving to Gladstone (where he lived for 34 years) he met the love of his life whom he only ever referred to as “A Gladstone Lady”. They bought a 10 acre block of land and Hughie took over the build of their family home after the foundations were complete. Hughie and his Gladstone Lady had a daughter together. They were also married for 17 years before she sadly passed away in 1994. He finished off the house, sold the property and moved to Brisbane where he has been taking care of himself ever since (he can even sew on his own buttons).

So full steam ahead- no signs of slowing down?

Well I am slowing down; my best time for a 100m sprint was 16.8sec and am now doing it closer to 19 seconds. I used to compete in the 400m and 800m heats as well as the 60m, 100 & 200m sprints but have dropped the longer ones. So I have slowed down a little.

Taking this in his stride, with a smile on his face and a little giggle. You can see the sheer joy in his eyes when he talks about being able to continue doing what he does.

Hughie Thomsen Master Athlete

      Hughie competing 2012 – on left

Hobbies,  favourite way of spending  free time:

“Free time”! He says with a laugh… he enjoys watching a good movie or some quality television “when there is something on”. “I have a nice chair, it reclines all the way back”.

I guess what it comes down to, is Relaxing.


Hughie likes gardening, with a vegie garden that he made out of a busted plastic water tank.  He loves cooking, (his apple pie is a crowd favourite), he likes to get creative in the kitchen and is always coming up with a new juice or smoothie mix…

Age doesn’t define who you are. It is all about attitude. Our mind and bodies are programmed and built to thrive. Hughie has focused on his mental and physical wellbeing with actions, not thoughts or fears. Here is to an inspirational person who has truly embraced their age and has made the most of life… which reiterates a favourite quote of mine “If you feel good you are good and if you feel bad, change it”.

Caboolture Physical Therapy Centre – serving people in need from the following areas: Caboolture, Morayfield, Elimbah, Wamuran, Beerburrum, Beerwah, Glasshouse Mountains, Toorbul, Donnybrook, Ningi, Woodford, Kilcoy, Bribie Island, Goodwin Beach, Sandstone Point, Banksia Beach, Bongaree, Bellar, Woorim, Burpengary & Beachmere.