The Link Between Your Pillow And Neck Pain

Did you know that your pillow could be the main cause of your neck pain? Besides getting better sleep and feeling rested, the right pillow for you can prevent you from waking up with a “stiff/wry neck”. The question then is which is the best pillow out there to prevent this. The answer is, it depends. The best pillow for you depends on which type of sleeper you are (back/side/front).  


Is there a better position to sleep in? 

The answer again is, it depends. Sleeping on your back with a pillow that is too firm or high pushing your into a tucked chin position over stretches the back of your neck. Sleeping on your side with a soft or thin/low pillow does not provide enough support for your neck where it becomes overly bent on one side and over stretched on the other. Sleeping on your front with a firm/medium pillow with your head tilted and twisted towards one side just puts your neck in all sorts of bad angles. The trick is to choose the right pillow for your sleeping posture! 

Woman sleeping in a manner that may cause neck painHow do I pick the best pillow for me? 

There are many ways to select the best pillow but the most important one is, pillow height. I personally prefer and would recommend one with a contour (to support you neck) and made out of memory foam or latex. But again, you have to pick what is best for you and what makes you comfortable.                                   


What is the ideal pillow for back sleepers?

A pillow with a low profile, neck support and contour for your head would be ideal. If you do not have that sort of pillow but want to trial if it might be the right fit for you, get a thin towel, roll it up and place it under your neck while your head rests on the pillow. But overall, a low profile pillow is the best for back sleepers. 


For side sleepers?

A medium – high profile pillow with a contour is ideal, depending on your shoulder width. Rule of thumb is getting your head and base of neck in alignment with your upper back (how it would be if you were sitting up with your head straight). For those who are wondering if their pillow is too low for them, try adding folded towels under your pillow to trial heights before purchasing a new one.

For tummy sleepers? 

This is definitely not a recommended sleeping position for anyone with neck or upper back pain. But if this is your preferred sleeping position,and you prefer using a pillow, a flat low profile pillow would be the most ideal. 

If you are constantly waking up with neck pain, a stiff neck, want to find a suitable pillow for you or if you cannot figure out what is affecting your sleep quality, give us a call at 8599 9811 or book in here and let us help you sort it out! 

3 Myths About Back Pain

 Do you or have you ever suffered with back pain? This is an important article that could make the world of difference to you.
Around 50% of people who experience back pain will experience it again! Learning how to manage it is crucial.

With back pain if it’s not addressed by someone with a proven track record and that sees this day in day out then the rehabilitation road could be longer than necessary. It is very common for discomfort in your back to decrease your overall exercise levels, it can affect your confidence to move and commonly disturbs regular sleep patterns. When you see an expert, someone who lives and breathes treating back pain every day, you’ll finally be in the right hands so that you can get the right information, a plan that will enable you to get back to loving your life of activity and being more “you”.

We see people everyday confused about what exercises they can and can’t do, and I always get asked “Is training with back pain making it worse?”

Man training upper body with weighted ropes to help relieve back pain while woman instructs beside him

If you have ever wanted to understand when training with pain is ok, please read these three golden nuggets below.

1. Exercise will make my pain worse: This is a common misconception, as movement and exercise is imperative for you to get yourself pain free. THE SECRET = you need to be doing the right exercises for you and your back pain. We often hear that a gym class or a deadlift increases discomfort. It’s not that these are not bad exercises, they just might not be what you need right now. 
2. My back is ‘out of place’ and ‘weak’ so I can’t train: The body is amazing at adapting to new loads, developing strength and repairing itself. It is constantly remodeling! This is the best news, as this means if you are given the correct prescription of exercise then you have the ability to address your pain mechanisms.
3. I only need to strengthen my back: Your body moves as one and therefore we need to make sure we assess your whole body. Focusing on strengthening your movement patterns, areas of weakness and aggravating positions is our preferred way to effectively manage discomfort. 
By Exercise Physiologist, Rachael Kent
To book in with one of our Exercise Physiologists, click HERE. Take advantage of the special that they currently have on! For more details, email us at

Exercises For Lower Back Pain

By Physiotherapist, Vanessa Boon


The majority of people have experienced lower back pain at some point in their lives. Lower back pain is such a common issue which can stop you from doing things you love and affect your mood. The good news is that incorporating simple exercises into your routine can help. Exercising regularly can help ease your discomfort, tension, stiffness and strengthen the muscles around your back to prevent a recurrence! 

Out of all the exercises out there, we have picked out the top 5 exercises for lower back pain. 


  1. Cobra 


To do this exercise: 

  • Lay on your stomach 
  • Place your elbows or wrist under your shoulders depending on how flexible you feel (never push into pain)
  • Keep your core contracted as you gently push your chest off the ground 
  • Keep your lower back and shoulder relaxed looking straight ahead
  • Do for 3 sets of 30 seconds 


  1. Bird dog 

To do this exercise: 

  • Get into a 4 point kneeling position
  • Make sure your knees are under your hips and wrist under shoulders 
  • Keep your core contracted as you lift the opposite leg and arm
  • Bring the opposite arm and leg in as you maintain your balance and back out again
  • Make sure you are pushing down on the foot that is on the ground to stabilise
  • Do 3 sets of 10-15 repetitions on each side


  1. Plank 

To do this exercise: 

  • Lay on your stomach with your elbows directly under your shoulders
  • Feet shoulder be hip width apart
  • Keep your neck neutral by looking between your index fingers
  • Keep your core contracted and lift hip away from the ground
  • Do 3 sets of as long as you can hold and work up to 1 minute


  1. Side plank 

To do this exercise: 

  • Lay on your side, making sure your elbow is directly under your shoulder
  • You can stack your feet on top of each other or place one in front
  • Keep your core engaged and you lift your hips off the ground
  • Tip: instead of trying to push yourself off the ground, imagine a string attached to your hip pulling it upwards
  • Do 3 sets of as long as you can hold and work up to 1 minute


  1. Back extensions 

To do this exercise: 

  • Lay on your stomach 
  • Gently squeeze your glutes and contract your core
  • Press your feet downwards and lift your chest off the ground 
  • You should feel a contraction in your lower back and glutes
  • Do for 3 sets of 30 second hold or 3 sets of 15 repetitions


Do you have persisting back pain? Tried everything under the sun but still cannot figure out what is going on with your back, give us a call at 8599 9811 or book in here and let us help you get back to feeling your best! 

Exercises To Strengthen Knees

Can you strengthen your knees? Do you get knee pain when walking, running, going up or down stairs? What about standing or sitting into a chair?

Then this is the right blog for you.


What is a knee?

The knee is a hinge joint that moves forward into extension and backwards into flexion, but also has some degree of rotation which is usually forgotten about. You also have the patella, known as the knee-cap. This structure works with the knee joint and surrounding muscles to aid in movement. The knee joint is important for supporting our body weight, absorbing forces as our foot strikes the ground, and functionally aids our lower limbs for movement.


Here are some examples from Zhang et al.  regarding how much of our body-weight our knees support us during daily activities:

-Walking = 2-3x body-weight

-Sit to stand to sit = 2-5x body-weight

-Stairs = 4-6x body-weight

-Running = 7-12x body-weight


Because the knee is so important in our daily functional movements, it is important to exercise the surrounding structure to help the knee function pain free. When the structures around our knee (specifically muscles) are weak, the knee ends up taking more load, which can cause pain and risk of injury. Research states knee pain is predicted to be the fourth leading cause of global disability.

Some common knee injuries include:

1.Knee osteoarthritis affecting 7-17% (high risk elderly, obese or previous limb injury)

      • Of these, estimated 46% adults in their lifetime will develop knee pain due to Knee osteoarthritis

2.Ligament injuries 40% (ACL 46%, MCL 29%, PCL 4%, LCL 2%, ACL with MCL 13%)

3.Meniscus injuries 11%

4.Patella injuries 24%

5. Other 25%


What exercises can I do to strengthen the knee?

Here are a couple exercises to help you strengthen your knee.

**If you have knee pain it is highly advised to see a physiotherapist before attempting any type of exercise.


1.Wall sits at 60-65 degrees knee flexion

Muscles targeted: quadricep, main muscle vastus medialis obliquus

-Place back against wall, bending knees at 60-65degrees with your ankles just under your knees.

-Hold position for 20 seconds, do 3 sets of these with at least 30-60 seconds rest between sets.

Woman performs a wall sit exercise with back against wall and knees bent
Correct position to perform a wall sit – knees should be bent about 60 or 65 degrees


2.Staggered sit to stand

Muscles targeted: quads, hamstrings, calves, glutes

-Adjust yourself on a chair like you would if you were to stand up out of it but plane one leg half a foot forward.

-Now with 80-90% bodyweight in the back leg and 10-20% bodyweight in the foot in front, lift your bottom off the chair. Remember to plack pressure into the heels not your toes.

-Stand all the way up, but you’re not done yet.

-Now you will have to sit back down controlled, meaning do not fall back down into the chair. Control your bottom back to the chair.

-Things to watch out for: make sure your knees do not cave in. The knee should be above the ankle and hips should be parallel to the knees.


Woman seated and in position to perform exercises
Step 1 – Get into position
Woman beginning to stand from a seated position in chair
Step 2 – Lift bottom off the chair
Woman stands upright after completing a sit-to-stand exercise
Step 3 – Come to a full standing position
Photo of the correct position of legs and feet to perform a sit-to-stand exercise
Correct foot position (staggered), make sure knees do not cave in



If you are interested in investing in your knee health, decreasing your knee pain and/or suffer from one of the above injuries, feel free to reach out. My name is Paulina and I have a special interest in lower limb injury prevention and management. To book in an appointment with me, click HERE.

By Physiotherapist, Paulina Backiel


1.Zhang L, Liu G, Han B, Wang Z, Yan Y, Ma J, Wei P. Knee joint biomechanics in physiological conditions and how pathologies can affect it: a systematic review. Applied bionics and biomechanics. 2020 Apr 3;2020.
2.Bollen S. Epidemiology of knee injuries: diagnosis and triage. British Journal of Sports Medicine. 2000;34:227-228.
3.Hislop AC, Collins NJ, Tucker K, Deasy M, Semciw AI. Does adding hip exercises to quadriceps exercises result in superior outcomes in pain, function and quality of life for people with knee osteoarthritis? A systematic review and meta-analysis. British journal of sports medicine. 2020 Mar 1;54(5):263-71