I’m Nathan and I’ve been working at Plantagenet Medical as our Physio since the start of 2020 and love working in the community of Mount Barker. As a country kid from the Eastern states I love the open spaces, coastline, mountains, forests and wonderful communities of the Great Southern and feel very lucky to be living in this beautiful part of the world. When I’m not at work I’m often found surfing, hiking, running, studying, meditating or cheering on the Sydney Swans!
QUALIFICATIONS AND EXPERIENCE
Professionally, my life as a Physio started in Canberra in 2015 and have practiced in Hospital Based Orthopaedic and Rehabilitation settings, worked in multiple Sports Rehab/Sports Medicine Clinics around Australia and also have experience with various Neurological and Paediatric rehabilitation populations. Qualification wise, I have a Bachelors Degree in Clinical Science (Osteopathy) and a Masters of Physiotherapy (Graduated mid 2015) and fully registered member of Australian Physiotherapy Association and AHPRA. In 2020 I also became a registered Lifestyle Medicine Professional, meaning that I have spent a large amount of time pouring through the best evidence that exists around diet, sleep, exercise, stress management and mindfulness, alcohol/tobacco/drug harm minimisation, staying socially and intellectually engaged and how these things relate to pain and chronic disease. As other strings to my clinical bow I have done post graduate professional development in: dry needling and cupping, low level laser therapy, Cranio-sacral Osteopathic techniques, and strength and conditioning to name a few.
WHAT CAN PHYSIO HELP WITH?
- sports injuries
- headaches, vertigo/dizziness and neck pain (see innovation section below)
- lower back and joint pains
- neurological conditions like Stroke, Parkinson’s Disease and Multiple Sclerosis
- pre and post operative conditioning and recovery
- chronic diseases like Diabetes, Osteoporosis, Obesity
- occupational and workplace injuries
WHAT SORT OF PHYSIO AM I?
A Good Listener and Communicator - first of all I need to understand your story, what’s important to you and what’s happening with your body and what your goals are (eg. Do you want to play footy or just put your bloody socks on without pain ). Then once I understand where you are at, I examine you and make sure you understand what’s going on in your body, offer a diagnosis and suggestions on how we go about treatment.
Getting Rid of Aches and Pains - I tend to use manual therapy and body work techniques initially for pain management, including massage, joint mobilisation, as well as dry needling (using acupuncture needles to release motor points in tight muscles) and cupping (some of you may have noticed those strange circular bruises on the swimmers at the Olympics recently - that’s cupping). In combination with this II often use Low Level Laser Therapy (cold/near infra red therapy), and taping and braces if and when needed for more severe injuries.
Movement, Control, Strength, Fitness and Sports Specific Training - Then once you can move without acute pain, it’s important to bring your awareness back to controlling your body through movement to prevent reaggravation of the injury and give you a clear, progressive path back to your individual movement goals. If you’re in the early stages or have had a lot of pain, I generally use simple body weight movements early, resistance bands, isolated muscle activation cues (using real time Ultrasound for feedback in clinic when needed), then depending on your goals - gym based training, agility and loading programs. For those of you who are Tech Savvy I use a Free App that goes on your phone so that you have videos of your home exercises, you can let me know in real time if there is pain or if you have questions, AND it can remind you to do your exercises (if you choose to allow it).
For Injuries and Post Operative Recovery - it obviously varies upon your injury or operation, so first it’s important we get an accurate diagnosis and have clear communication with any other treating professionals involved (whether they be your GP, surgeon or other allied health professionals). Then, it’s important you understand how to manage and support, protect and maintain the injured area in the initial phase (which may mean supportive devices like slings, crutches, bracing or taping), before gradually start to retrain your strength, proprioception, power, agility and functional or sports specific tasks as relevant to your individual needs and goals. Along the way we will use appropriate pain management tools as discussed above.
INNOVATION, CURRENT INTERESTS, TOOLS, GADGETS, POINTS OF DIFFERENCE AND ALL THINGS EXCITING
Neck Gym and Training for Headaches, Neck Pain and Whiplash - If you have had recurrent headaches and neck pain that goes away with treatment (eg Chiro, Acupuncture or Physio) then comes back within days or weeks then this is something to consider. Maybe you aren’t so good at controlling your neck and head, and with that 10 kilo melon flopping around up there is there any wonder your neck gets inflamed? There is some increasingly good evidence that retraining cervical proprioception (being able to accurately move you head and neck) is an effective way of reducing neck pain, headaches and even helping with vertigo. The challenge with something like this is a) we all think we are great at it because we compensate with out eye movements b) it ’s a bit hard to test and train. Alas, using laser pointers attached to a headband, in combination with clinically proven wall charts we can both assess, train and track movements of your head and neck. As you improve your neck stability, evidence suggests your pain is also likely to subside.
PhysiApp - this is the app and online exercise prescription program I use. It allows you to have videos of your exercises, whilst also allowing me to send you questionnaires regarding your pain so we can track your progress over time. If you really want to engage with the app, it will also remind you to do your exercises at a certain time of day, you can tick off the exercises and give me real time feedback and pain scores (which helps with accountability and also allows me to monitor progress with any pain, difficulties or questions you might be having so I can offer tips or variations between appointments).
Real Time Ultrasound - as a new edition to the toolkit I recently purchased a real time ultrasound machine as a way of giving an early indication if there are obvious signs of tissue damage post injury (to aid diagnosis in conjunction with clinical assessment) AND to give you real time feedback when trying to learn how to activate muscles effectively in the course of your rehab. This is relatively quick and easy and happens in the course of your usual appointment.
Lifestyle Medicine Appointments - I am passionate about my health and about helping other people live the lives they dream of. Unfortunately one in two Australians have at least on chronic disease, and yet we have normalised this. If we are honest, we can all be lazy buggers, we all have bad habits and most of the time they feel good… until they don’t. We now have exceptionally good data to show that our cozy little habits are created an epidemic of chronic pain and disease. I invite you to step back for a moment and realise that whatever goal you are busily working on and whatever you value in your life - your physical health and wellbeing is upstream from you achieving that goal and thus must surely be a priority. If you are ready to chat about your life and goals, I can help guide you with evidence based lifestyle changes around: eating for health, exercising, getting quality sleep, managing stress, being connected in community and being clear with your why. Setting goals and having clear intention allows us to wake up every day and make the consistent small decisions that are in line with our highest vales. First we must have the awareness that without our health, our goals can not be achieved.
If you still have questions you’d like to discuss before booking an appointment, please give us a call and our friendly reception staff will put you straight through to me, or I’ll call you back as soon as I can.
I look forward to helping you live pain free and achieve your health and wellness goals.