How I avoided complex neck surgery by doing Physio exercise

How I avoided complex neck surgery by doing Physio exercise


picture for Neck blog




A concerned young lady came to see me last year.


Before migrating to Australia, she developed neck and shoulder pain. An MRI revealed a bulging disc and a neurosurgeon told her that it would never get better. She had the surgery on her neck. It went well and her pain settled.


A few years later the pain returned and a new MRI revealed that the disc above her previous surgery was now bulging. Her new surgeon told her that it would never get better and again recommended surgery. She now had a young baby and, although her previous surgery went well, she just didn’t have the time to take off for this.


I assessed her neck muscles, joints and her posture. We made some changes to the way that she walked, worked, and carried herself and her baby. I taught her about the core, started her walking regularly and prescribed an exercise routine for her whole body, including her neck.  She came in regularly to progress her exercise program and the neck pain resolved.


Her latest MRI reveals that the bulging disc has retracted and she doesn’t need an operation after all. This is an excellent example where by simply doing neck exercises and addressing posture and activities of daily life can avoid more complex intervention.



Below is a stretch that is excellent to improve your mid back flexibility prior to commencing any neck strengthening program.

Stretches pic for neck blog


  • While you are on your hands and knees now extend one arm out in front of you
  • You will feel a stretch at the front of the shoulder
  • Now extend both arms out the front and let the mid back (the thoracic spine) gently stretch inwards towards the floor
  • Doing this stretch using a gym ball is a slightly gentler way to stretch the shoulders and mid back


I look forward to meeting you and showing you the 3 Exercises I find to be most effective in the treatment of neck pain.
Alex Sherborne



Did you know that stiffness of the muscles in your neck, shoulders and mid back can cause



Did you know that the upper joints of your neck can refer pain to the front of your face just like a headache?



If you go ahead and google the amount of headaches you could compile a list of hundreds. Physiotherapy will help to assess what type of headache you have and how best to treat it!



Tension can build over time and certain muscles can refer pain to the back of the head, forehead and sometimes even behind the eye. Our posture all day, particularly if you have a desk job can be one the biggest contributors to the cause of your headaches.


Here are 3 Exercises to try at your desk:

HA 3

HA 2

HA 1















If headaches have been a persistent issue for you, book in an appointment with one of our Physiotherapists.

Call us on Ph: (02) 9399 7399 E:

Hamstring Stretches

Are you cheating with your hamstring stretches?

Alex Sherborne, Physiotherapisttouch toes


Consider yourself fit but can’t touch your toes anymore?

Hamstring tightness results from both repetitive exercise and long periods of sitting. Longer, relaxed hamstrings can relieve knee and back pain, posture and can improve your performance when running, kicking or dancing. When it comes to lengthening and relaxing these muscles, I find people are very good at cheating (whether they mean to or not!). We have two hamstring muscles on the inside of the leg and only one on the outside, so people tend to turn their leg out to make it easier.

While you are standing, bend forward and try to touch your toes. Take a mental note of how far you get. Recheck this after doing the stretch below… If you take a few minutes to do this stretch 3 times a week, you will see a huge improvement in your hamstring flexibility over time.

Lying Hamstring Stretch

Lying Hamstring Stretch
Extract New Bodyworks

Lying Hamstring Stretch

Lie on you back with one leg bent and one straight.

Loop a belt or towel around the foot of the straight leg. Use your arms to pull the leg up until a stretch is felt behind the knee – keeping the leg straight. This should be firm, but not painful.

Once the stretch has started to relax in this position, slowly rotate the leg in- you will feel an increased stretch on the inside of the knee, then rotate the leg out to decrease the stretch- all the time keeping the leg up using your belt/towel.

Repeat for 10 – 15 seconds, relax a little, then increase the stretch by moving the straight leg a little further towards your head.

Be sure to relax your neck and shoulders, and keep breathing as you do this stretch.


Call now to book your physio session with Alex Ph: (02) 9399 7399 E:

Gluteals & Piriformis Stretch

Sacro-Iliac Joint Pain

pelvis_sijby Penny Elliott, Physiotherapist


If you have back pain that is not in the middle of the lower back but is slightly to one side, it may be a problem with the sacroiliac joint (SIJ). The usual reason for an ache in this joint is poor alignment because of muscle imbalance. Tight hip flexors and adductors and weak core stability or pelvic floor muscles are usually associated with sacroiliac joint pain. Pregnancy can also cause problems in this joint because of the extra weight it is bearing. In this case a sacroiliac belt can give a lot of relief and stabilise the joint more effectively.


The starting point is to ease the pain with stretching of gluteus maximus, medius, minimus and the piriformis, and then commence stability work. If you feel as though your pelvis ‘goes out’ all the time, or you have pain referral through your gluteals, this stretch can help you stop the pain cycle.


If you have knee pain however, please do not do this stretch, but consult with a physiotherapist.


Sacroiliac stretch

Extract New Bodyworks 2013


Sacro-Iliac Joint, Gluteals & Piriformis Stretch


Place your foot on a bench or up on a high chair. Let the knee drop out a little.

Now bend your supporting leg to take any stress of the lower back and then lean the trunk forward onto the hands until you feel a stretch in the hip and buttock of the leg that’s on the bench.

Hold for about 10 -15 seconds and then repeat on each side for a few repetitions.