The best office stretches!

There is an increasing proportion of the population that find themselves in a predominantly sedentary job position which can involve many hours spent sitting an office desk. Our bodies are designed for movement and inactivity due to prolonged sitting can bring about a myriad of postural related pains.

Of course, we can all improve our posture and decrease our chance of postural related pain by ensuring we sit correctly in our chair. Simple changes such as making sure our hips are positioned all the way back into the chair and sitting upright with a lengthened spine can make a large impact.

Office workers don’t have the opportunity to move around during the day, and often their complaints of pain are associated with tight muscles or joint stiffness. To combat this issue, here are 3 simple stretches that you can do right in your office chair:

Trunk rotation

  • Keep your feet on the ground and place an even amount of weight through both sides of the buttock
  • Twist your upper body to one side
  • Feel the twist occurring at your spine and not just your shoulders moving
  • You can use the hand on the side you are rotating towards to hold the back of the chair for an increase in the stretch
  • Hold for 30 seconds
  • Perform the same on the other side
  • This is a great stretch for someone who complains of stiffness in the mid back








Knee to chest stretch

  • Make sure you have moved your office chair out from underneath your desk so that you will have enough room to lift your knee up
  • Hug both hands around the back of one thigh and pull it as close towards your chest as it will allow
  • Hold this position for 30 seconds
  • You may feel a stretch into your bottom
  • Remember to perform the same on the other side
  • This is a great stretch for someone who complains of tightness in the buttock or low back

Side bend neck stretch

  • Place your right hand underneath the right side of your buttock
  • Relax your shoulders
  • Tilt your head to the left so that the left ear moves down towards the left shoulder
  • Feel a stretch along the right side of your neck
  • Hold for 30 seconds
  • Remember to perform the same on the other side
  • This is an effective stretch for someone who complains of tightness over the back and sides of their neck

If you experience any ongoing pain or discomfort from prolonged sitting please seek the assistance of one of our experienced and qualified physiotherapist’s at Physionorth who can tailor individual treatment regimes and exercise programs to suit you.

Call our friendly team on 07 4724 0768 for appointment bookings if discomfort persists!


Our vision

What does Physionorth Stand For?

Our Vision is to Empower People to Enjoy Life by Achieving Optimal Health and Movement

Physionorth owner Jaquie started her career in Physiotherapy working at a busy sports and orthopedic practice. She learned a lot in her first few years as a physio, under great mentors, however, became frustrated by short appointment times and the inability to spend time providing effective treatment to her clients. Jaquie enjoys taking the time to get to know her patients and their histories and found shorter appointment times took the effectiveness out of her treatment, as well decreasing the enjoyment of her job.

With this in mind, Jaquie purchased Physionorth in 2008 from founding owner Melissa Hooper (who established Physionorth in 2001), with the aim of setting it apart from the other clinics in Townsville. Her aim was to provide friendly, professional service, with longer appointment times, so that clients felt listened to, could play an active role in their recovery and ultimately get the most out of their physiotherapy treatment. She wanted to provide a clinic where people who had insidious onset pain could get a thorough assessment and treatment plan.


In the early days of her career, Jaquie enjoyed treating all areas of the body, however, wondered why some patients recovered from local treatment to their area of pain and others did not. She also wanted to find out answers to questions such as ‘Why some people ruptured their ACL’s from non-traumatic events’ and why ‘Some people with disc prolapse or rotator cuff injuries had pain and others did not.’  To answer these questions Jaquie then set out on a professional development journey, taking courses with the likes of Peter O’Sullivan, Barbara Hungerford, and Dr. LJ Lee.

Dr. LJ Lee’s approach really resonated with Jaquie as well as giving her answers to some of her questions, so she signed up to complete the Connect Therapy series with LJ, a year-long journey of learning to assess the whole person from head to toe. LJ’s approach incorporates all aspects of the body and mind and taught Jaquie to find the ‘Driver’ of a person’s pain rather than treat their symptoms.

As a result, Jaquie has been training her staff to look at their patient’s body’s differently- taking into account their stories, history and beliefs, assessing their whole bodies and  doing a thorough assessment of the way they move so they can discover where a patient is ‘breaking down’ in a task and working with patient’s to restore optimal movement patterns.

We have longer appointment times, fortnightly in-services on a range of contemporary topics, excellent support for our therapists and a great reputation. To find out more about employment at Physionorth contact our practice on 0747240768 or email

The Squat

The squat is probably the most well-known exercise in the health and fitness industry. It is considered a compound movement of the lower limbs that requires not only strength but neuromuscular control and adequate joint mobility to perform correctly.

The squat is not just an integral component of our learned movement patterns; it is also performed in multiple sports and occupational tasks. We start squatting before we learn to walk and our bodies are made to move like this. It is also one of the most common movements we retrain here in the clinic!

So, what is the best squat technique?

Unfortunately – there isn’t just one technique, everyone is different and there is a range of different squat variations. However, there are a couple of common ways to squat at work, home and at the gym.

Squat at work vs
Squat whilst gardening

As shown in these two photos squatting down to pick up an object in a workplace versus a squat variation while gardening.  These two positions are quite different as they stress different structures of the body and serve a different purpose but are commonly used throughout the day.

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Pregnancy – are you split down the middle?

No, unfortunately these are not my abs!

I’m not sure if it’s because I am pregnant myself and trying to adjust to my ever changing body, but social media seems to be rife with female fitness idols showing off their growing bellies surrounded by hints of what used to be a 6-pack of abs.

Strolling through the comments I was quite shocked to read threads about whether other women noticed an issue with abdominal separation. One woman proudly claimed that she didn’t have any tummy separation, and the fitness model replied saying “I thought you only got it if it was in your genetics”.

Unfortunately, many women aren’t aware that:

  • a) separation of their tummy muscles exists,
  • b) that it’s not a genetic issue
  • c) it is more common than you think
  • d) that if not fixed post-baby this can contribute to a number of musculoskeletal issues.

So what is abdominal separation?

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Killer High Heels

The devil wears Prada… by the devil, I mean our feet. We are our own worst enemy when it comes to wearing high heels for prolonged periods. There is no denying that a pair of Valentino 4-inch heels would be a perfect statement to go with any little black dress. However, as far as Physiotherapists are concerned, the only statement these shoes will be making is a painful one.

The simple elevation of the heels causes a chain reaction from the toes to the neck that can lead to a range of problems. Common issues seen in high-heeled culprits include: 

  • shortened muscles;
  • lower back pain;
  • poor posture;
  • plantar fasciitis;
  • bunions;
  • pinched nerves;
  • hip pain; and
  • other joint issues.

Your back is designed with precise natural curvatures that optimise shock absorption to protect your back.

When we wear heels the lower back is forced to curve even more. This adaption decreases the overall stability in the trunk.

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The Construct of ConnectTherapy

Have you been experiencing pain for a long time but have found treating the area of pain has not been effective for you OR is your recovery only short term and you continue to reinjure yourself?

Sometimes treating your symptomatic or painful area can be ineffective or give only short term relief.

Assessing using the framework of “ConnectTherapy” considers the complicated network of physical connections in the human body, as well as, other factors such as social and emotional contributors that may be relevant to the pain that you are experiencing.

Without addressing these factors in a holistic and collective way the real root of your problem or pain will remain unchanged.

Dr Linda-Joy Lee is a Physiotherapist and creator of the treatment model called ConnectTherapy. Her research is driven by her unconventional thinking and her passion about changing people’s lives. The framework integrates current scientific research with her clinical expertise. A detailed and thorough assessment process is used to determine how all areas of the body are linking and interacting with each other during a specific task.

ConnectTherapy aims to find the root of the problem to prevent the injury from reoccurring.

Over time, your body can learn bad habits with basic movements or postures.  These bad habits may occur as compensation for previous injuries or as a result of asymmetries that may develop from work, recreation or sporting activities.

Ultimately, these lead to altered mechanics of movement which are often accompanied by pain and dysfunction. Any functional task, whether it be sustained postural positions or dynamic activities requires integration and effective performance of all regions of the body. Effectively, the whole body has to work well together to allow us to function and perform well. This is why it is essential to assess the whole body, not just the area that is in pain or symptomatic.


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Acupuncture in Winter

IN WINTER: The body withdraws. Winter is the season where the kidney element is predominant. Our kidneys are held deep within the body and are vital to life. Winter is about withdrawing into ourselves, not overexerting one’s self. The Kidney’s element in Chinese medicine is water, water becomes cold easily and cold injuries the body if left unattended so keeping warm and eating warming food is important. The aspect of spirit that resides within the kidney is the Yi. This is our intelligence. The kidney organ separates the impurities from the fluid within our body and excretes them through the urine. Similarly, the Yi helps us to discern the pure from impure thoughts. Winter is a time to assess your current beliefs and values and redefine your focus for the spring, so you can clearly focus on the new ventures that spring may bring.

 Physically Winter affects the body in more ways than one, particularly in the modern world. There is a dryness in the air both external and through heating devices – this saps our moisture that is vital to the kidneys, leaves our skin and lips dry and our brain a little muddled at times.  Because our Qi withdraws it leaves our surface exposed to the elements and the cold and wind may sneak into the system, this is where we see wind cold invasion in Chinese medicine aka a cold or flu.


You know that eerie feeling when you think you are getting sick?


This is the point when the external elements have invaded the body and your body mounts a defence, you feel clammy and your glands may be up, you might wake with a kinked neck and you generally feel a bit off. Continue reading

The Urge

Often when we think Women’s health, the most common dysfunction people immediately think of is leakage. Whether that is leakage during a certain activity such as sneezing, laughing, coughing (stress urinary incontinence) or leaking on the way to the toilet (urge urinary incontinence).

Some people often don’t associate other symptoms such as urgency, frequency and increased nighttime voids as bladder related issues.

In actual fact, if I were to ask Women what is more bothersome to them, the leakage or the urgency coupled with or without frequency and nighttime voids, the later would be what is impacting their quality of life more. Leakage on most occasions Women can manage e.g they might be happy to wear a panty liner during exercise in the event that they might have a small leak. But urinary urgency has a significant impact on quality of life.

Urinary urgency is defined by the International Continence Society as the complaint of a sudden compelling desire to pass urine, which is difficult to defer.


Often the urge is very unexpected and unprovoked, and can literally happen at any time.

The issue with urgency is that it’s often followed by a fear/anxiety/stress response because the urge is so difficult to defer that you are compelled to find a place to toilet immediately.

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Headaches… can be a pain in the neck!

Most of us will experience a headache at some point in our life. For some, it is a rare event that lasts only momentarily. For others, it can be a regular occurrence that can affect day-to-day function and quality of life. They can range from being just nagging and frustrating, to totally debilitating. In some cases, there are clear-cut causes, like too many late nights, not enough water, or perhaps a little too much red wine. However, many cases aren’t so clear-cut, and can be an absolute pain in the neck (literally)! Headaches can reduce your ability to concentrate, work and do the things you love to do.

There are many different types of headaches and Physiotherapists play an important role in the treatment and management of all types.  Musculoskeletal-related risk factors of developing headaches include:

  • Poor posture
  • Neck and upper back stiffness
  • Muscle imbalances
  • Muscle weaknesses
  • Muscle tightness
  • Previous neck trauma
  • Inappropriate work set up
  • Poor sleeping posture
  • Stress
  • Sedentary lifestyles



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A great place to work!

Hi, my name is Brianna O’Toole and I graduated with a Bachelor of Physiotherapy from JCU in 2015.

I was fortunate enough to have been accepted for a position as a Physiotherapist with Physionorth commencing the beginning of 2016.

I was very nervous making the transition into the ‘working world’. I had this idea that there would be no support and help like Uni. I was afraid of the unknown. However, at the same time I was eager and excited to start work, to put 4 years of hard work into practice.

2016 came around very quickly! And it turns out I was wrong. I have received more help, encouragement, and support than I ever have before since starting at Physionorth.

over 12 months has gone by and I feel as though I have always been here.  The team at physionorth made me feel welcome from day 1. They are approachable, non-judgemental, supportive and encouraging.

My skillset has grown tremendously since working for Physionorth. I consider myself extremely fortunate to be part of a team who strongly believe in continuous education. As a team, we all get together and have Professional Development sessions, as well as one-on-one sessions with senior physiotherapists.  Since being introduced to the Thoracic Ring Approach I have learnt an alternative approach to my assessments and treatments which I cannot believe how fortunate I am to have been exposed to. I have become a very confident, enthusiastic and driven physiotherapist which I have Physionorth to thank for.