Boost Your Balance and Embrace Stability

We’re all about balance this August.

Now, we’d love for you to achieve work-life balance, eat a balanced diet, and balance your chequebook effortlessly (does anyone still have a chequebook?) but that’s not what we’re talking about.  We are talking about your ability to maintain equilibrium and stability during various movements and in different positions so you can move gracefully through life and recover quickly if you do stumble. Why are Osteopaths such big believers in working on your balance?  It’s because balance plays a crucial role in your overall well-being and musculoskeletal health, which is really our whole thing!  So, if you’re ready to embrace stability and unlock a world of benefits, keep reading.  But if you’ve got other aches or injuries that you’re more concerned about right now (maybe from a stumble you never recovered from…?) give us a call, our Osteopaths can help.

Did you know that balance skills can be improved with practice?  Yep, the brain and body will respond to exercise, helping you to find your center of gravity and enhance your overall stability.

But before we dive into these exercises, let’s remember that achieving optimal musculoskeletal health is a holistic endeavour.  It’s all about finding the right balance (pun intended!) in our bodies.  Now, let’s get started with these awesome balance exercises!

Sit to Stands Without Using Arms to Push:

This exercise not only helps strengthen your leg muscles but also challenges your balance and coordination.  Here’s how you can do it:

  • Find a sturdy chair and sit on the edge.
  • Place your feet hip-width apart, firmly planted on the ground.
  • Cross your arms over your chest.
  • Engage your core and, without relying on your arms for support, stand up slowly and smoothly.
  • Pause for a moment at the top, ensuring that you feel stable.
  • Then, lower yourself back down into a seated position with control.
  • Aim to perform 8-10 repetitions for a few sets.

Remember, it’s normal to feel a bit wobbly at first, but with time and practice, you’ll notice an improvement in your balance and strength.

Standing on One Leg:

This classic exercise may seem simple, but it’s highly effective in challenging your balance and proprioception (your body’s sense of its position in space). Give it a try:

  • Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Gently shift your weight onto one leg.
  • Lift the other foot off the ground, bending your knee to a comfortable height.
  • Find your balance and hold the position for 20-30 seconds.
  • If needed, you can lightly rest your fingertips on a wall or countertop for support.

Repeat on the other leg.   Aim to perform 3-5 repetitions on each leg.

As you progress, challenge yourself by closing your eyes or performing small movements, like swaying side to side, while maintaining your balance.  This exercise engages your core, strengthens your ankles, and trains your body to maintain stability.

Heel to Toe Walking:

Get ready to test your coordination and balance with this exercise:

  • Find a clear path or an open space.
  • Begin by standing with your feet in a heel-to-toe position, one foot directly in front of the other.
  • Take a step forward, placing your heel directly in front of the toes of the opposite foot.
  • Continue walking in a straight line, maintaining the heel-to-toe alignment.
  • Engage your core, keep your gaze forward, and take slow, deliberate steps.
  • Aim to walk for about 10-20 steps.

If needed, start with shorter distances and gradually increase as you feel more confident.

Heel to toe walking challenges your balance, proprioception, and helps strengthen the muscles in your legs and feet.  It’s like a tightrope act without the actual tightrope!

Remember, these exercises are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to balance training. Our Osteopaths can tailor a program just for you if you’d like to enhance your balance.  Give us a call for help with this or anything else to do with your musculoskeletal health.

Keep up the great work and enjoy your balance-boosting exercises!

Exercise For Osteoporosis

It’s World Osteoporosis Day  this month (on October 20th) so let’s look at the benefits of exercise for bone health and osteoporosis.


What is osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a chronic condition that causes a person’s bones to become weak and brittle, making them susceptible to fracture from minor falls or injuries. While your bones naturally become weaker as you age, osteoporosis can speed this process up.


You may be at higher risk if you are over 70 years old, female, experienced early menopause, or have a family history of hip fractures. Lifestyle factors that increase your risk include being sedentary, not doing weight-bearing or resistance training, having a low body weight and low muscle mass, eating a diet poor in nutrients, or having a high alcohol intake.


Benefits of exercise for osteoporosis

Exercise is beneficial if you have osteoporosis, because it can slow the rate of bone loss, strengthen your muscles, improve your balance to reduce your risk of falls, increase mobility, improve your mood and help to manage pain.


Regular physical activity throughout your life reduces the risk of developing osteoporosis in your later years. Regular activity combined with a healthy balanced diet can help you to reach and maintain a healthy weight, which puts less pressure on your bones and joints.


What type of exercise for osteoporosis?

There are three types of exercise you should incorporate into your routine: weight-bearing exercise, resistance training, and exercises to improve your balance.


Weight-bearing exercise is defined as aerobic activity conducted when you are on your feet with your bones supporting your weight, working against gravity. Examples of weight-bearing exercises:

  • High impact: Jogging, jump rope/skipping, step aerobics, tennis, high knees, jump squats
  • Moderate impact: stair climbing, hiking, dancing
  • Low impact: stair step machines, low-impact aerobics


Resistance training makes your muscles work against a weight or force to build strength. These should be tailored to your ability and capacity with proper form to avoid injury. Examples of resistance training:

  • Free weights (dumbbell and barbells)
  • Resistance bands
  • Body-weight resistance
  • Weight training machines


Exercises to improve your balance and prevent falls:

  • Tai Chi
  • Standing on one leg
  • Standing with your feet close together
  • Walking backwards


If you have been diagnosed with osteoporosis, it’s important to exercise within your ability and seek supervision from a trained professional to ensure your exercise routine is safe for you and to reduce the risk of fractures.

Our Physiotherapist is an expert in movement and exercise. Book an appointment today to see how it can benefit your body and osteoporosis.


If you need help managing your symptoms and would like to find out how physio pilates could help, come and see us. Give us a call on (416) 546-4887 or email us at [email protected] to make an appointment.





  1. Healthy Bones Australia (2021). Exercise & Bone Health [Online]. Available at: (Accessed 29 August 2022).
  2. Better Health Channel (2015). Osteoporosis and exercise. [Online]. Available at: (Accessed 29 August 2022).
  3. Health Direct (2020). [Online]. Available at: (Accessed 29 August 2022).

Have you tried Pilates

Whether you’re a long-distance runner, returning to exercise from injury, or at the start of a new fitness routine, Pilates has something for everybody. Read on to learn about how to try it alongside osteopathy to get the most out of life!

What is Pilates?

The Pilates method uses a combination of exercises that can be adapted as gentle conditioning for rehabilitation from injury, or as a strenuous strength workout for seasoned athletes. It was developed by Joseph Pilates in the early 20th century as a type of low-impact, body strengthening exercise.

It’s based on six principles:

● Concentration: Bringing full attention to each movement.

● Control: Muscle control and moving with intention.

● Centering: Bringing focus to the body’s centre, engaging the core muscles.

● Precision: Performing each move with correct technique.

● Breath: Steady and controlled breathing, coordinating the breath with each movement (i.e. breathing out on exertion).

● Flow: Moving between each exercise with fluidity and ease.

Are there different types?

Yes, the two most common types are matwork and reformer.

● Matwork: Pilates movements performed on a mat.

● Reformer: Pilates movements performed on a reformer machine (bed-like equipment, which has a sliding carriage controlled by springs).

If you are new to this type of exercise, it may be an idea to go to introductory classes with a certified instructor to make sure you are practicing correct technique and alignment. However, Pilates is versatile – you can find a studio that offers matwork and/or reformer classes, or you can also try it at home with an exercise mat and virtual class for instruction.

Who is Pilates suitable for?

Pilates can be adapted to suit all levels of fitness and ability. It’s a great low impact, strengthening workout to add to your daily life. Whether you’re recovering from injury, looking to strengthen your core to enhance your sporting performance, or starting a new exercise program as a beginner, it has something for everyone.

What are the benefits of doing Pilates regularly?

Much like regular osteopathic treatment, the benefits of regular Pilates can be applied to many aspects of your life.


Are there different types?

Yes, the two most common types are matwork and reformer.

● Matwork: Pilates movements performed on a mat.

● Reformer: Pilates movements performed on a reformer machine (bed-like equipment, which has a sliding carriage controlled by springs).

If you are new to this type of exercise, it may be an idea to go to introductory classes with a certified instructor to make sure you are practicing correct technique and alignment. However, Pilates is versatile – you can find a studio that offers matwork and/or reformer classes, or you can also try it at home with an exercise mat and virtual class for instruction.

Who is Pilates suitable for?

Pilates can be adapted to suit all levels of fitness and ability. It’s a great low impact, strengthening workout to add to your daily life. Whether you’re recovering from injury, looking to strengthen your core to enhance your sporting performance, or starting a new exercise program as a beginner, it has something for everyone.

What are the benefits of doing Pilates regularly?

Much like regular osteopathic treatment, the benefits of regular Pilates can be applied to many aspects of your life.

Some of the benefits you may see:

● Improvements in core strength and posture

● Reduction in back pain

● Increases in energy

● Decreases in stress

● Enhancement of body awareness


● Improvement in balance

Like osteopathy, Pilates can have a positive effect on your life and wellbeing. Beachealth offers both Physiotherapy Pilates using the reformer for rehabilitation issues or mat work pilates aimed at fitness.

Find out more about Pilates at Beachealth

Gluteal Tendinopathy

Have you recently started to experience pain at the side of your hip? With the turn of the new year now behind us, maybe you’re embracing your new healthy lifestyle and have been going for a solid run several times a week to shift some of those festive kilos… Or it might just be that you’re getting a bit older, hitting the middle decades of life, and you’ve had a nagging hip for a while. There are a few structures in and around the hip that can lead to pain felt at the very outer aspect of it. Problems in the low back, the hip joint itself, and soft tissues that surround the joint can all be viable culprits.

Common culprits in the running and middle-aged populations are the tendons of the gluteal muscles. These muscles are responsible for movement at the hip (outwards, backwards and forwards) and stability of the pelvis and hip during movement. There are three gluteal muscles or ‘glutes’. The deepest muscle is the gluteus minimus, followed by gluteus medius, and finally gluteus maximus (which is the largest and most superficial of all three). Where the gluteus medius and minimus tendons wrap around the bony outer part of the hip and insert into the bone, are the areas most commonly associated with disease leading to pain in the outer hip.

Tendon disease

There are a few terms that can describe a diseased tendon. An acutely inflamed tendon is known as ‘tendinitis’, where ‘itis‘ means inflammation occurring at the tissue. A tendon which is chronically diseased (i.e. long-standing pain that may have been present for several weeks, months or years without the presence of inflammation), is known as ‘tendinopathy’. Historically the term ‘tendinosis’ was used to describe a chronic tendon problem, but tendinopathy is now the favoured term. The important thing is to think of a tendon problem sitting somewhere on a continuum between acutely inflamed and chronically degenerated and/or torn.

Let’s take our aforementioned population, a middle-aged female (females are more affected by this issue than males), who runs. What typically happens is they will start to run with the full intent of bettering themselves. Due to poor running technique, the tendon becomes overloaded and after a few weeks or months… Bang! Inflammation, pain, can barely walk! Once the initial pain settles and movement resumes, they start to run again. If they haven’t corrected the problem that underlies the initial acute episode, the problem compounds itself. The body will compensate, and further excessive load and compression are placed on the tendons and other surrounding structures. This might go on for a while with the hip grumbling from time to time. Eventually, the changes that have occurred to the tendon tissue result in widespread degeneration and derangement of the tendon fibres and you are left with a tendon incapable of dealing with the high loads required to do something like running. If left untreated, the tendon eventually tears and leaves you with a very unhappy and less mobile hip.

Signs and symptoms

The signs and symptoms of a gluteus medius and/or gluteus minimus tendinopathy include any or all of the following:

• Pain felt on the outside of your hip
• Pain that radiates down the thigh to the knee
• Pain that is worse before and after exercise
• Pain that improves initially with exercise (depending where on the disease process you are)
• Pain when lying on the affected side
• Difficulty walking up stairs or hills
• Difficulty standing on one leg (on the affected side)


Your first port of call is to temporarily cease the activity that is aggravating your hip, and ring your osteo (ahem… 416-546-4887). This will help to de-load the injured tendon, and give you relief knowing soon you will be in the hands of an expert who is going to guide you through your recovery journey. We will assess your movement from top to bottom and work out where the root cause of your problem is. This is what osteopaths are great at doing. We look beyond the pain, take a picture of your whole life (occupation, hobbies, family life, etc…) and work out all of the contributing factors, so we can put a comprehensive plan in place to rid you of your problem forever.

For a gluteal tendon problem to occur in the first place, there will likely be mechanical issues to correct in the spine and/or lower limb (from the foot up). We do this with a combination of:

• Hands-on therapy to soothe your pain and improve muscle and joint health
• Re-training of poor movements into more efficient movements
• Strengthening exercises for the muscles / tendons
• Alterations to your daily life which may be contributing to your issue (i.e. increasing particular activities, decreasing aggravating activities, changing a work posture)

Over time, treatment will aim to progressively strengthen the gluteal tendons, so they are capable of withstanding greater loads again. Combined with correction of poor, inefficient movements, this will also decrease the compressive forces acting on the tissues in and around the hip, leaving you with greater strength and more flexibility.

We will be with you every step of the way. A gluteal tendinopathy doesn’t mean you have to give up running. We might need to change focus for a short period during rehab, but our goal will be to get you back to your pre-injury state… with a little extra in the tank so you’re not back with us for the same issue within two months.

Hip pain, was it? No problem. We got this! Contact us

Exercises for ageing bones

Are you in or approaching your latter years and are wondering what you can do to ensure your bones stay strong through the next period of your life? As we age it is common to begin feeling the effects of years of ‘life’ on your body. Diseases like osteoarthritis (i.e. degeneration of joints) and osteoporosis (i.e. weakening of bones) are more common in the elderly population. But just because the figures show this, it doesn’t mean these diseases will affect your ability to lead a full and active life.


The good news is, there is plenty you can do now to reduce the risk of bone-related problems down the line. Read ahead for a few exercises you can perform regularly to keep you and your bones in tip-top shape!


Weight-bearing and resistance are key

It is widely accepted that to increase bone health, we need to stress the bones of the skeleton. The best way to do this is through weight-bearing exercises (i.e. exercises performed in an upright position with our legs impacting the ground). Resistance-type exercises are also beneficial in protecting the skeleton against the effects of ageing. ‘Resistance’’  implies an exercise that is performed against a force acting on the body. A simple example would be to compare walking through your house to walking through strong head-on winds. The wind pushing against the body is the resistance aspect.

When we exercise, forces acting on our muscles help to build strength. The forces placed upon the skeleton through the muscles help to activate special bone-building cells within the bones, and these help to maintain or build strength in the bones depending on the intensity of the exercise. In order to increase bone strength, we need to regularly push our bodies beyond the intensity of simple everyday tasks, like walking.


Age is a factor

Now, if you’re worried, we’re going to suggest a new gym membership and intense weight lifting program, then rest easy. There are lots of things to consider, and age (as well as medical history) is a big factor when it comes to prescribing exercise. Someone who is 80 will need a different exercise regime compared to someone who is 55 when it comes to targeting bone health.


Exercises to try

The following are simple weight-bearing exercises you could have a go at doing:

  • Walking or jogging uphill
  • Hiking across the countryside
  • Stair climbing or step-ups
  • A friendly game of tennis, badminton or squash
  • Aerobics or dancing

You can add resistance to your exercise program by:

  • Lifting weights (always start light so as to not overload the body)
  • Exercising using cables or resistance bands (again, use light resistance to begin with)


Everyone has different requirements, so we suggest giving us a call on (416) 546-4887 or email me at [email protected] so we can create an individual a program that is perfect for you.



  1. Hong, AR. and Kim, SW. 2018. Effects of resistance exercise on bone health. Endocrinology and metabolism. 33 (4). 435-444. Available from:
  2. Benedetti, MG. et al. 2018. The effectiveness of physical exercise on bone density in osteoporotic patients. BioMed research international. 2018, 4840531, 10 pages. Available from:
  3. Osteoporosis Australia. 2013. Exercise – consumer guide. [Online]. Available from: [Accessed 06 Jun 2020]

Is the Empty Can Test A Good Rehab Exercise?

Over the past couple of weeks, I have been seeing a few more shoulder injuries, all which have started for many different reasons. There have been falls, sports injuries and others which have been there for a long period of time. However, with some of the presentations there has been a common factor and that has been a particular exercise or rehab that has been prescribed.

After spending some time with the clients going through their medical history and working out actions that may aggravate or relieve their pain, we are able to come to a clinical impression, which gives us an ability to determine a personalised rehab plan to the shoulder joint. The shoulder can be a complicated joint as there are lots of different muscles which attach around the area and influence its movement.
While I don’t like to call out another practitioner or say that one exercise shouldn’t be performed, I do believe that there are exercises that are better for people so that we are to strengthen an area while limiting pain.

The empty can/ full can exercise involves taking your arms out to the side (abduction) on about a 45-degree angle and turning your thumbs down (pronation) or as if you are pouring a can out and then turning the can upwards (supination) this exercise is done with weights being held and repeating the pronation and supination action.

This exercise has been proven to target the supraspinatus muscle, which is one of the four rotator cuff muscles. When you pronate your wrist, we decrease the amount of space our shoulder joint has to move and this is one of the many reasons that people may get shoulder pain. So you can imagine that if you have been given this exercise from a healthcare practitioner and you are getting a sharp pain in the front of your shoulder, your desire to perform the exercise is not going to be very good. So how do we target the muscle without placing our shoulder in a painful position?

There are a number of different ways, but to keep it simple, standing external rotations and lateral raises, should be sufficient enough to train the muscles. Each person is different and require slightly different instructions or cues to help them feel the activation of a muscle, but as a general sense these 2 exercises can activate the muscle correctly without putting the shoulder into a position which may cause more impingement pain.

If you think that this could be beneficial for yourself, please don’t hesitate to contact us at the clinic

Written By: Brendan Ashman

Getting your bike setup correctly

Over the last three weeks, the Tour De France has been running. The Tour consists of 21-day stages over a 23-day period, and the riders will cover around 3,500 kilometres (2,200 mi). While not all of us are elite athletes, there has certainly been an increase in cyclist on the road with the nice weather.

Cycling can be a great form of exercise. We get a great cardiovascular workout and it helps improve the strength of the leg muscles. There are, however, many common injuries that can occur when we start to ride or with high volume riding without the correct recovery methods.

Some of the most common sites of pain in cyclists are the neck, shoulder, knee, lower back and sacroiliac joints (SIJs). There are many reasons in which a person might be experiencing pain. It could be related to a new hobby, a predisposing injury, muscle tightness, or it could even be the set-up of your bike. Just like a work desk, our bike set up can be incredibly important to ergonomics, decrease injury, aid in decreasing pain and keep you riding for a longer period of time.

Getting the correct set up on your bike will depend on what kind of bike you have, how tall you are, shoulder reach, as well as what feels comfortable.

Here are a couple of quick tests you can do:

To check your seat height get onto your bike with one leg straight and place the heel of your foot on the pedal at the lowest point, which should make your leg straight. If this does occur then your saddle should be at the correct height for you.

To find the best saddle position, you should sit on the bike with the pedal at 3 o’clock. Place your foot with the joint of the toes on the pedal spindle. In the perfect scenario an imagery perpendicular line should run from your knee-cap through the spindle of the pedal. If the line runs behind the spindle, then the saddle needs to be pushed forward. If the line runs in front of the spindle then the saddle needs to be pushed backwards.

There are a lot of measurements and angles to take into consideration when setting up your bike with an ergonomics assessment. My best advice is that if you are experiencing any pain before, during or after riding your bike, it might be worth a visit to your local bike shop or your local specialized practitioner and ask for an ergonomic bike set up. This will allow to can for longer with the correct posture and decrease your chances of dealing with some of the getting some of the common cyclist pain.

If you would like more information on ergonomic set ups on bikes. Please ask us for a bike set up hand out.


Written by Brendan Ashman


Did you know that Brendan recently did a certification course for bike fitting and setup. For more information please ask Brendan at [email protected] or call (416) 546 4887