Latest News


Shaun the 'Needle Man!"

Our Osteopath Shaun Richardson spent the weekend updating and expanding his dry needling skills, learning a variety of new techniques. These new skills allow him to safely (and comfortably!) needle sensitive areas such as the head and neck, chest, abdomen, hands and feet.

These techniques can be used to help treat things such as headaches and migraines, jaw problems, spinal pain, and foot or knee complaints. Broadly speaking, they promote increased bloodflow to the area around the needles, providing increased oxygen delivery, and reducing tightness, encouraging faster healing.

Hopefully none of you injure yourselves and require this treatment, but if you do, rest assured that it is not as painful as you may think!! The needles used are of a far smaller diameter than those that are used to administer injections, and are can provide a stronger, longer lasting effect than manual therapy alone.

If you have any questions regarding the use of dry needling, feel free to contact Shaun via email:


Wry Neck - Dr Chris Reeves

Ever heard that term bandied around and wondered what the heck it means, well, read on....and maybe even pick up a tip or two on how to address it!

The medically correct term for wry neck is 'acute torticollis', but let's break it down and make it look less technical.

Acute: in medical terms relates to something of recent onset.

Tortus: in latin means 'twisted'.

Collum: in latin refers to 'neck'.

So when a patient who presents to our clinic with their head 'off-kilter' and in a decent amount of discomfort, we have a pretty good idea (on first impression) as to what is going on. Having said that, as osteopaths we won't immediately jump to conclusions, and will still run through a thorough history and examination process to arrive at a provisional diagnosis.

Once we have ascertained there are no red flags (neurological deficits, a preceding trauma, signs of infection etc.), we will then try to get a deeper understanding as to what may have 'set' this episode off. Bear in mind, a wry neck can occur insidiously (that is, for no apparent reason), but over the years we have anecdotally seen potential triggers such as:

* A complication from birth (poor bub's head is held in an abnormal position in utero, or during labour the forces on the neck muscles triggers a protective muscle spasm). As a result, it is not uncommon for us to treat babies in the clinic.

* Moving from bubs to the feeding parents (especially breast feeding mums), spending excessive amounts of time with the head held in non-neutral positions (ie flexed, side bent and rotated) can create adaptive shortening of key neck muscles, especially one called the sternocleidomastoid (let's call it SCM for short! - pictured below).

* Some other examples of abnormal head positioning can include dozing on the couch (you know that position; head slumped forward tilted slightly towards the armpit, with a little trace of dribble at the side of your mouth). What about sleeping on a different pillow (especially one that is too high for you), going for too much on that bench press in the gym and straining every muscle (including your neck muscles), and maybe even getting into that play fight (think over-zealous head lock on that bucks/hens night!).

So now you know a little more about it, how do we fix it.......?

Remember these 3 key words - RELAX, BREATHE and STRETCH.


Yes, that's right. Although it can be very painful, rest assured that in most cases this injury/condition is self-limiting and will often sort itself out over a 3-7 day period. Getting anxious/wound up/stressed about it will only exaccerbate the problem. So don't try and fight it and force your head back to normal, just know that over the coming days a slow and steady return to normal range of motion (ROM) will occur. This is where the role of the osteopath can be very important, as the introduction of soft tissue massage to the affected muscles may release spasm and improve blood flow, and using passive manual movement may aid in gradually restoring head and neck ROM.


This might sound obvious, but if you analyse your breathing closely, take a fuller breath and take note where the majority of your breathing is coming from. You may be surprised to see your shoulders elevate more than you realised and you feel fuller in the upper chest. Now this isn't all bad, but the implication can be that you may be under-utilising your diaphragm (our Primary breathing muscle lining the inside of our rib cage) and over-utilising your accessory breathing muscles (which includes our offending SCM muscle, and trapezius muscles). Consulting with an osteopath may be quite helpful as we can apply treatment techniques to these 'breathing' muscles and the supportive thorax, and also provide instruction on optimal breathing patterns.


Let's keep this simple; in the case of a wry neck you are most likely to suffer significant tightening in and around the neck region. As mentioned previously, it is important to regain ROM asap, so being armed with some appropriate neck and upper back stretches can assist with this goal. Additionally, the use of heat therapy (such as topical heat creams and wheat bags) may also have a positive therapeutic effect.

Hopefully this gives you a clearer insight into what can be a random, yet somewhat common condition, and should you require treatment or further advice for a wry neck please do not hesitate to contact us at Parkdale Osteopathic Clinic on 9580 1820 or book online here


Arthritis FAQs

You may have caught the following Frequently Asked Questions on our Facebook page, as we celebrated Arthritis Awareness Week last week!

Haven't seen our page? Check it out (& feel free to "like" us!) here!

1. What exactly is arthritis and why is it very common among the senior patients?

Arthritis is a form of joint disorder that involves inflammation of one or more joints. Age is the strongest predictor of the disease (in particular, osteoarthritis) and therefore increasing age and extended life expectancy will result in a greater occurrence of the disease.

2. What are the most common types of arthritis and how do they differ?

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common type of arthritis and is considered a form of degenerative joint disease, i.e. your ‘wear and tear’ type issue. The other common types of arthritis can include rheumatoid (RA), psoriatic and septic arthritis. These can be more linked to an auto-immune disorder or infection within the joint.

3. What is the typical treatment option for arthritis?

There is unfortunately no known cure for both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Treatment options vary depending on the type of arthritis but may be divided into 3 categories:

  • 1. Pharmacological: Includes control of pain and improvement in function and quality of life while limiting drug toxicity. For OA, medications such as paracetamol (Panadol Osteo) may be indicated. For RA and other inflammatory types, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAID’s) such as ibuprofen may be prescribed. In more severe cases, a category of drug called disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDS) may be administered (e.g. Methotrexate).
  • 2. Non-pharmacological: Physical therapy such as Osteopathy, lifestyle modification such as weight loss and a tailored exercise program and orthopaedic bracing can all be considered.
  • 3. Surgical intervention: Is generally reserved for failed medical management where functional disability affect’s a person’s quality of life.

4. How can Osteopathy be beneficial to patients suffering from arthritis?

Taking into consideration an Osteopath cannot CURE a condition such as arthritis, they may be able to provide manual treatment techniques such as soft tissue massage and passive joint articulation, which may reduce muscle spasm surrounding the joint and improve blood flow and nutrition to within the affected joint/s. They will also be able to formulate an appropriate exercise/mobility regime, aimed to optimise quality joint movement and body function.

5. Is there any chance to prevent an arthritis condition? What are the prevention methods/techniques?

As previously mentioned, there is no cure for arthritis, but here are some management ploys that may curb the severity and/or onset of arthritis:

  • See your GP or physical therapist for advice.
  • Keep active and eat a well-balanced diet. Exercise has proven to keep your joints and muscles healthy and flexible, and a diet aimed at maintaining an ideal body weight is recommended.
  • There is poor independent evidence to support the use of joint supplements such as glucosamine sulphate; however, anecdotally some people have reported either relief or reduction in their arthritic symptoms.
For more information chat to your General Practitioner or Osteopath. 
Don't have an Osteo? Call us to make an appointment 03 9580 1820, or book online here!


Use Your Head (Correctly) When Texting - Dr Chris Reeves

Next time you check your phone, or shoot off a text to your 'bff' (who's hopefully not sitting next to you!), STOP, and think about where your head is at .......I mean literally!! Is your head poking forward like a turtle hiccuping? Or is your chin poking into your collar bones??

Did you know, a new study published in 'The Atlantic' suggests that looking down at a mobile phone is the equivalent of placing a 60 pound (approx 27kg) weight on one's neck. OMG!!!!! That's like having your 8 year old child constantly sitting on your head!! Or go down to Bunnings and grab a bag of rapid set concrete and a couple of 4L tins of paint and plonk them on your head!

(Picture sourced from The Atlantic)

So PLEASE....make life easier on your neck (and on your Osteopath!), by keeping these tips in mind:

* NO epic SMS marathons or browsing sessions - keep changing your head and upper body position to avoid the 'pressure build up'.

* I know it's a massive buzz word at present, but be more MINDFUL of your head position, especially when reaching for your phone.

* Perhaps try and remember this mantra..."Bring your phone up to your head, DON'T bring your head down to your phone".

If you feel you may fall into this category and have been experiencing pain or discomfort, especially in the neck or upper back, please let us know at Parkdale Osteo! as we'd love to help you out.

Call us on 9580 1820, or book online here


Easter Opening Hours 2017

Please note our hours for the Easter 2017 weekend:

Good Friday (14th April): CLINIC CLOSED

Easter Saturday (15th April): Clinic Open 8am - 1pm

Easter Sunday (16th April): CLINIC CLOSED

Easter Monday (17th April): CLINIC CLOSED

Tuesday 18th April: Clinic Open - Normal Hours

Wishing you and your family a safe & happy Easter break!


T20 for Men's Health

Join us on Sunday 26th February from 2pm - 6pm at Gerry Green Reserve for a great T20 match supporting men's health!

Chris will be there for the duration of the event. If you've ever wondered about Osteopathy and how it could help you, come along to have a free chat with Chris and have all your questions answered!

Looking forward to seeing you there!


TALKING FOOTY – With Dr Laura Ellul (Osteopath)

TALKING FOOTY – With Dr Laura Ellul (Osteopath)

With the football season just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about ways to prevent and manage injuries. In my time working at various amateur football clubs such as De La Salle and Boronia Football Clubs, I saw a lot of injuries, which were often attributed to poor stretching protocols and as a result led to poor mobility. The importance of a good warm-up prior to training and games is generally well done, however cool down stretching is just as important. To keep the message brief, think about what’s happening to your muscles over the course of the exercise bout…..they’re getting tired! And what happens when they start to fatigue, well, they start to tighten up or contract. If we allow muscles to stay contracted, we potentially open ourselves up to a range of different issues; cramp, increased joint compression and a higher risk of straining muscle/s. So when you’ve finished your training session or game, and you’re recalling that amazing ‘speccy’ or Eddie Betts like goal with your team-mates, do so with a bottle of water in your hand (for best hydration) and whilst performing some quality stretches.

Keep posted for some more stretching tips….


Clinic Closed Australia Day

Please note the clinic will be closed Thursday 26th Jan for the Australia Day public holiday.

We will be Open for business as usual on Friday 27th and Saturday 28th Jan.

Wishing everyone a 'Bonza Stray-ya Day!!"


Headaches - Dr Laura Ellul

I really enjoy treating a wide variety of injuries; however I take a special interest in the treatment of headaches and migraines. I believe Osteopathy has the potential to help with the musculoskeletal implications which occur from headaches or migraines, but I also think it’s crucial to identify other lifestyle factors which contribute to chronic recurrences, as it is often not possible to completely eradicate headaches without making some changes to the things we regularly do. There are many factors which contribute to headaches or migraines; including poor posture, stress, poor sleep quality, imbalanced diet, medication/s, lack of appropriate exercise and hormonal imbalances.

I recently had a patient presenting with chronic headaches which had become more frequent over the years, to the point where she was getting them on a daily basis. Upon examination I found her to be extremely tight in her neck and upper back musculature, as well as being very stiff through her upper neck joints and TMJ (jaw). I thought she may get some good relief from treatment but that it could only be temporary unless we identified causative triggers in her life. I worked out that this particular patient had been going through a lot of stress, and thus was not sleeping well and was developing very poor posture, particularly at work. She was also clenching and grinding her teeth at night which I believe was contributing hugely to her headache. We made numerous changes to her daily routine including changing her work station and car seat set up, referring her back to her dentist who fitted her with a night splint to prevent grinding, increasing her exercise and introducing yoga and meditation into her routine.

These changes were combined with osteopathic treatment to improve joint mobility and reduce muscular hypertonicty in the upper neck muscles and TMJ. These small changes made a significant difference to her headaches, and by combining this with manual treatment, within a few weeks her headache frequency was reduced to one every 3-4 weeks. In this case, managing stress levels and teeth grinding were the main triggers, but every case is different and I always recommend keeping a headache diary to identify the triggers.

Stay tuned for more ‘bits’ from Laura……!


Parkdale Osteo Clinic Hours

Christmas and New Year Clinic Hours

  • Saturday 24th December 2016: 8am – 12noon
  • Christmas Day 2016: CLOSED
  • Monday 26th December 2016: BOXING DAY HOLIDAY, CLOSED
  • Tuesday 27th December2016 : PUBLIC HOLIDAY, CLOSED
  • Wednesday 28th December 2016: 2.30pm – 7.00pm (Osteo only)
  • Thursday 29th December 2016: 2.00pm – 7.00pm (Osteo only)
  • Friday 30th December 2016: 8.00am – 6.00pm (Osteo only)
  • Saturday 31stDecember 2016: CLOSED
  • Monday 2nd January 2017: PUBLIC HOLIDAY, CLOSED

Back to normal business hours (Osteo and Remedial Massage) from Tuesday 3rd January

Bookings can be made online – visit

  • A member of:
  • Australian Osteopathic Association
  • HiCaps

OA osteopaths must be government registered, meet high professional standards and complete annual continuing professional education to practice.

To make an appointment call 9580 1820 or use our online booking facility >