Foot Anatomy

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a very common condition that affects millions of people each year. In fact, it is the leading cause of heel pain around the world. Despite this condition being so common few people understand what it actually is. At Robina Physio we excel at treating this condition and we hope this information helps empower your recovery.

Exercise at the beach


Exercising and being physically active is essential for good mental and physical health and wellbeing. It reduces the risk of many diseases, including some cancers, and helps maintain a healthy weight.

Based on self-reported data from the 2017–18 National Health Survey, more than half of adults (55%) didn’t participate in sufficient physical activity. Women were more likely than men to be insufficiently active (59% compared with 50%). The rate of insufficient activity increases with age, with more than two-thirds of those aged 65 and over (69% of men and 75% of women) were insufficiently active.

Unfortunately, insufficient exercise does carry significant burden for many associated diseases including:

  • Type 2 diabetes = 19%
  • Bowel Cancer = 17%
  • Uterine Cancer = 16%
  • Dementia = 14%
  • Coronary Heart Disease = 12%
  • Breast Cancer = 11%
  • Stroke = 10%


Activity trends across the ages

The trend of insufficient activity is also a major factor leading to overweight and obesity rates in Australia, which are not improving. An estimated 1 in 4 (25%) children and adolescents aged 2–17 were overweight or obese (1.2 million children and adolescents).

Children Obesity Trends

For adults, 2 in 3 (67%) Australians were overweight or obese (36% were overweight but not obese, and 31% were obese). That’s around 12.5 million adults. Men had higher rates of overweight and obesity then women (75% of men and 60% of women), and higher rates of obesity (33% of men and 30% of women).

The health impact of overweight and obesity does also carry a large burden to the community. In 2015, 8.4% of the total burden of disease in Australia was due to overweight and obesity. It also increases the likelihood of developing many chronic conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, asthma, back problems, chronic kidney disease, dementia, diabetes, and some cancers. It is also associated with a higher death rate when looking at all causes of death.

Adult Obesity Trends

Now for some good news!

It is possible for everyone to take control of their activity levels in many cheap and easy ways. At Robina Physio on the Gold Coast we can help you get started in a safe and effective manner.

Exercise prescription is an integral part of physiotherapy practice and is clinically used to:

  • Optimise musculoskeletal strength and function
  • Improve cardiovascular fitness
  • Improve psychological well-being
  • Increase bone density
  • Decrease hospital length of stay
  • Speed rehabilitation
  • Prevent future injuries

Being physically active is important across all ages and contributes to healthy growth and development in children and adolescents. The physical activity guidelines help us provide evidence-based recommendations that outline the minimum amount of physical activity required for health benefits.

Children should aim for:

  • Energetic play (such as climbing, running, jumping and dancing)
  • Going for a swim, walk, jog or bike ride
  • Playing a sport like tennis, football or basketball

Children aged 2–5 should spend at least 180 minutes a day on a variety of physical activities, including energetic play, with no more than 60 minutes of screen time per day.

Children and young people aged 5–17 should accumulate at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity per day, and no more than 120 minutes of recreational screen time per day.

Kids Exercise Robina Physio


  • Should be active most days, preferably every day.
  • Accumulate at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise/activity or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise/activity each week.
  • 65 and over should accumulate at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise/activity each day.
  • Include muscle-strengthening activities as part of your daily physical activity on at least 2 days each week. (e.g. push ups, squats, lifting objects etc)
  • If you are pregnant and you and your baby are healthy you should aim to meet the requirements for adults.
  • Keep in mind that any exercise or activity is better than none.

Exercise Robina Physio

As experts in exercise across the life span, physiotherapists play an important role in promoting, prescribing and managing exercise programs. BOOK NOW so the team at Robina Physio on the Gold Coast can help get your activity and exercise journey started.

Knee Anatomy Robina Physio

Knee Pain (Patellofemoral Pain)

Knee pain is a very common complaint that can affect people of all ages and fitness levels. Knee pain can be the result of an acute injury such as a fracture, ligament or meniscus tear. It can also be related to chronic conditions like arthritis, gout, tendinopathies or from patellofemoral pain syndrome.

Patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) is one of the most common knee injuries and is estimated to affect the vast majority of the population at some point in their life, but is particularly prevalent in the adolescent female population. This condition is often called “runner’s knee” or “jumper’s knee” because it is very common in the athletic community but even non-athletes are likely to experience this condition at some point.

Knee Anatomy Robina Physio–conditions/patellofemoral-pain-syndrome/

Risk factors for getting Patellofemoral pain syndrome include excessive weight, muscular imbalances, rapid changes in activity levels and simply overuse from sports such as running or occupations that require repetitive squatting, hill or stair climbing.

PFPS is caused from mal-tracking of the patella (knee cap) within the femoral condyles (end of the thigh bone). This can come from the following lower limb soft tissue changes.

  1. Tight Iliotibial Band (ITB)
  2. Tightness in the Hamstrings, Hip Flexors and Calf muscles
  3. Weakness in the Gluteus muscles. Particularly Gluteus Medius
  4. Weakness in the medial Quadriceps (VMO)
  5. Excessive pronation of the feet

Patella Tracking Robina Physio–conditions/patellofemoral-pain-syndrome/

Knee pain is managed very well with conservative management techniques. Although some more severe conditions may require further interventions such as injections or surgery. Patellofemoral pain syndrome is thankfully a condition that rarely requires invasive treatments.

At Robina Physio on the Gold Coast we can accurately assess your knee in the clinic to determine what is causing your knee pain. For PFPS we will use our subjective assessment to look for things like an insidious onset, overload events and certain aggravating activities like squatting, climbing stairs/hills and pain with sustained sitting. During our objective examination will would assess the entire structure of your knee joint including, range of motion, strength, ligament and tendon integrity, functional status (inc running) and patella tracking.

Physiotherapy treatments for knee pain are very effective and include soft tissue release of tight muscles, dry needling, taping, orthotics and strengthening exercises for the gluts, quadriceps and hamstrings.

Below you will find 3 exercises that I commonly use when treating patellofemoral pain syndrome with great success. If your suffering with this condition I would recommend your give these a try.

  1. Cycling: This is simple yet probably the best bang for your buck exercise for managing knee pain. Start within your limits and build steadily. Aim for 20-30 mins most days.

Cycling For Knee Pain Robina

  1. Wall Sit: This exercise is very effective at strengthening your quadricep muscles. Don’t go too deep when you start. If you get pain then simply go a little higher. Try getting to 3 x 1 min holds. (Pic from Telehab)

Wall Squat For Knee Pain Robina Physio

  1. Side Kick (Hip Abduction): This can be done in standing with or without a resistance band. Make sure your contracting your glute (bum) muscles properly and not using your hip flexors. Try 3 x 20 slow repetitions. (Pic from Telehab)

Side Kick Knee Pain Robina Physio

At Robina Physio on the Gold Coast we offer expert assessment, treatment and guidance for knee injuries. Don’t hesitate to contact us on (07) 5578 7233 or BOOK NOW and we will help get you moving normal again.

Calf Muscle Stretch On Step

Sever’s Disease

Sever’s disease is the common name for a condition called calcaneal apophysitis. It is a very common condition affecting children/adolescents between the ages of 8-14 and is more common in boys than girls. This injury tends to be more prevalent in sports that involve repetitive activities including running and jumping. However, less active children and adolescents may also experience this condition if they have excessive pronation of their feet and wear unsupportive/flat shoes.

This repetitive overload and pulling on the calcaneal apophysis (C-shaped bone below) causes the growth zone to become inflamed. Sever’s disease presents with pain and tenderness at the back of the heel and/or underneath the heel. This pain typically worsens with activity, although it’s not uncommon for it to feel worse immediately after stopping activity as well. Other traction injuries that a similar to Sever’s disease are Osgood-Schlatter Disease, Sinding-Larsen-Johansson Syndrome, Iliac and hamstring apophysitis.

Sever's disease anatomy–conditions/severs-disease/

At Robina Physio we tend to see this condition more frequently at the beginning of a sports season. This tends to happen because overuse conditions such as Sever’s disease are very sensitive to changes in activity load. Unfortunately, due to regular stoppages in sports seasons over the last 18 months due to COVID-19 we have seen increased presentations of these injuries. When sport returns again after the latest lockdown, another increase in presentation of this condition is likely for physiotherapists.

The good news is there are some effective ways to treat Sever’s disease and even better completely prevent it. Below are some simple things you can try to help prevent Sever’s disease.

  1. Wear good quality and supportive running shoes and boots when training and at school. Try choosing boots with a slightly elevated heel.
  2. Gradually build the running volume in the lead up to and during the beginning of your sports season.
  3. Of course, warm up and cool down properly. Remember to stretch those leg muscles regularly (especially the calf muscles).

For those reading that already suffer with Sever’s disease, below you will find some nice tips to help manage your injury. Combining these tips with treatment from the team at Robina Physio should speed your recovery and get you out of pain faster. Although not mentioned below, rest from the aggravating activity is often very helpful but it’s important the return to sport is done correctly otherwise the condition is highly likely to return.

Calf Foam Roller Release: Aim for 30-50 rolls on each leg, especially after training and competition. (Pic from Telehab)

Foam Roller Calf Muscle

Calf Stretching: Hold for 20-30 seconds, repeat 2-3 times. Try to perform most days per week. (Pic from Telehab)

Calf Muscle Stretch On Step


Heel Wedges: I would only try these if the symptoms are severe or not responding to other treatments. A small heel lift can decrease the loading on the calcaneus.

Heel Wedge For Sever's

If you need assistance to manage Sever’s disease and return to pain free running and sport the team at Robina Physiotherapy on the Gold Coast would love to help. Call us on (07)5578 7233.

Lower Back Pain

Back Pain is a very common condition that will affect between 70-90% of the population at some point of their life. It may come as a surprise that back pain is also the 2nd leading cause of disease burden in Australia, where 2 in 5 people report that back pain moderately interfered with daily activities.

Back pain can be due to many factors including, disc pathology leading to nerve compression (Sciatica), osteoarthritis, bone problems (e.g. osteoporosis and factures), connective tissue pain from muscles, scoliosis and nerve sensitisation.

Lower Back Pain Rates

Symptoms may include:

  • Pain in the lower, middle and upper back regions
  • Pain radiating into the glute region, legs and feet
  • Tingling and numbness into the legs/feet
  • Weakness in the legs
  • Cauda equina symptoms, which are rare but very serious (e.g. saddle paraesthesia and bowel and bladder dysfunction)

Although suffering from back pain can be incredibly unbearable there are some effective treatment options available. At Robina Physio we use multiple tools to get your better as quick as possible. Effective treatments include soft tissue massage, dry needling and acupuncture, supportive taping, heat packs and of course an exercise program incorporating stretching and strengthening components.

When it comes to managing back pain (especially chronic pain), knowledge is power. Therefore, you can expect an element of education and reassurance as an integral part of your treatment with us.

Thankfully, there are also a number of modifiable risk factors that can help minimise the chance of suffering from debilitating back pain in your life. Factors that can increase your chance of suffering back pain include:

  • Smoking
  • Physical Inactivity
  • Being overweight
  • Occupational hazards (e.g. Repetitive very heavy lifting and prolonged sitting)

Now you may be thinking how does all this information help fix my back pain. That’s why I have included my 3 favourite best bang for your buck exercises to help treat lower back pain.

  1. Walking: I know it seems too simple right? But it’s incredibly effective and even better it’s cheap and easy.
    Walking For Lower Back Pain
  2. Cobra Stretch: For the majority of people this will help relieve disc related back. Only go as far as your feel comfortable. Please note if this make your symptoms worse stop immediately. (Picture from Telehab).
    Cobra Stretch For Lower Back Pain
  3. Glute Bridge: Very effective at starting to build core and glute strength with minimal risk. (Picture from Telehab)
    Glut Bridge For Lower Back Pain

If you need expert assistance managing and recovering from back pain the physiotherapist’s at Robina Physio on the Gold Coast would love to be part of your journey and help. Call us on (07)55787233 and our friendly reception team will make you a booking.