Spine and lower back pain

‘my back”…

one of the more amazing observations of my massage therapy career has been the commonality of back complaints and the duration with which people have suffered.

In 2015, chronic back pain affected 17% of the Australian population, that’s 3.7 million people who complained of long term debilitating pain originating from their spine. Amongst the sector of 65-74-year-olds that figure jumped to 27%. What’s more, these statistics relate to chronic sufferers, not people who suffer from pain for a matter of a few months.

The effects are the same… it not only restricts movements, cuts into the quality of your normal life, but it also depresses the spirit… everything seems darker.

Massage therapy cannot address many of the effects of chronic back pain, but you, yourself, can do far more about it than you might be aware.

Your spine consists of 26 vertebrae, set about the spinal cord, all of which is supported by a myriad of muscles, tendons and facial tissue. This is a system like no other, all components are interdependent. It evolved that way over a matter of ten million years.

Proportionately, your spine has been part of a dynamic system where the musculature and soft tissue were in constant movement for 80% of every day. It grew to respond to a world of constant demand and constant varying motion…

For the vast majority of our time as Homo, we have walked, and walked, and walked… as a species we are said to be the best endurance walkers on the planet.

Now let’s compare that to your last 24 hours… once you awoke, you stood, then sat for breakfast, then sat to drive, then sat at work, 60 minutes at the gym, then commuted home, then sat for dinner, then sat for entertainment before going to bed.

Not going to work? Australian retirees might not be commuting but they generally do more sitting than when they were working.

Quite apart from the burgeoning obesity epidemic (yep that’s a BMI over 30), the reasons for a population-wide complaint…” my Back”  is two-fold…

We sit too much and move too little!

Why does sitting create backache?

When you are sitting, you are balancing the upper part of your body on your “sits ” bones (the ischial tuberosity).

Imagine that you had a tail.

That tail would be a source of balance for the spine, you would maintain the curves of the spine by virtue of the triangle of support set between the two protuberances at the base of the pelvis and your tail. This arrangement would have a remarkable effect- you would breathe 25% deeper, as your lungs would open; your head would sit back upon the vertebrae, easing neck pain; your nervous system would be able to interact over the whole body, without impingement- you would be very bright, very alive.

Okay, enough with the rose coloured glasses- you don’t have a tail!

This means that in order to achieve the same level of balance, you are required to spend energy balancing on just two of the three points… what happens? you slouch!

When you slouch back in the chair (or the seat of the car) your spine extends, losing the springiness of the secondary curves… your head lolls forward, cramping the lungs, forcing the small muscles of the neck to do the support work; nerve bodies are stretched taut;  the supporting tendons of the back are stretched, the supporting muscles of the chest are locked into a shortened position- you ache!

Want to take charge of your back pain?

Want to breathe deeper, see more, take a brighter aspect to life?

You have a choice… you could grow a tail… in more ways than one, this would change your life.

Alternatively, don’t sit, squat.

When you squat, the function of balance is the job of your remarkable feet. Each foot, by virtue of its four arches, is a very stable pyramid.

People who squat boast less abdominal issues, virtually no bowel cancer, no backache, deeper breathing, better sleep… yep, it’s as good as growing a tail.

If you find squatting a bit challenging (do try it), you prefer to enjoy a cuppa sitting in front of the TV, try sitting up… squaring the shoulders, balancing on the base of your pelvis, pulling your head back so that it sits squarely over the spine.

You might need to get another chair. The effect will be amazing, once you get through the awkwardness of the change.

Yes, you could book in for a massage… every week if you like… but what I do in one hour will not change what you do to your muscles in the other 155 hours of the week. It is you who has the power to address your backache.

So, take action on your back pain… squat…sit up straight… or grow a tail!

Rob H.

Neck and Shoulder Girdle Aches and Pain

The neck is often the one area that hurts more than anything else… as a key element of the shoulder girdle, the seven cervical vertebrae take not only the stress associated with the weight of the skull but also the emotional well being expressed withing the skull…

Neck Manipulation

Remedial massage is a two person dynamic process (you won’t be dozing off to sleep), you will be asked to stretch, hold and resist while the therapist applies restructure. Each step is retested to ensure that progress is made.

At the end of each 60 minute session, you might well find that there’s a peculiar feeling of ‘out-of-body’, while your systems adjust to new positions.

Legs and Feet- the stable base for your whole body

Remedial Massage treatment of foot pain and plantar facilitis

Mobile Remedial Massage Tamborine Mountain

Ida Rolf refers to the feet as the “base of the triangle” she should know… she spent a lifetime researching the interactions of soft tissue anatomy and its reaction to gravity.

Everything originates from your feet, but little attention is paid…until they hurt.

Each foot sports 26 bones… which means that your feet contain 40% of the bones of your skeleton.

to be continued…

Remedial Massage treatment of foot pain and plantar facilitis

Arms and hands- pain and restriction

  Hands and forearms can be so overworked by seemingly innocent activities, the things we love to do… music, art, felting, hairdressing, motor cross, drumming… all these involve repetitive actions by one set of muscles.

The result is overuse syndrome and carpal tunnel syndrome- pain.hairdressing overuse syndrome- hand pain therapy



so what can be done?…

quite a bit actually!

You can take the steps to rest the muscles, apply ice to the painful areas and stretch the affected tendons.

I will commence by measuring the range of motion of your elbow, wrist and fingers, looking for restriction of pain points.

I can use myofascial release techniques to build resilience within the soft tissue, stretching and rotation to align the structures, thermography and  myotherapy to ease the aches- this is a two person process… you will be assisting in all of these movements.

Each session lasts 60 minutes.

And then its back to you… a series of simple exercises designed for your particular issue.

phone 30411328 or use the booking table to secure your appointment

Remedial massage- Test treat, retest


“Where does it hurt?”

Rob Hunter mobile massage therapy Tamborine Mountain
I have asked this so often over the last few years that is has become a byword…but the answers are often very mixed.


“My shoulder…sometimes my arm… when I put my neck just so… here, when I’m driving…”

Before commencing any treatment, your therapist (me) needs to understand a lot about you. So the first part of the treatment is your story… or rather, the story of your body.

What you have done with it, … sports, injuries, major trauma… and what you are doing with it… medication, diet, exercise, treatments. This provides the base line. I will then measure you- your weight, height, waist circumference, blood pressure, how you stand, how you walk, how you move. This provides a very good picture of what is working… and what is not.

A large part of this focuses upon the area of your current complaint. From this context, a list of probable dysfunctions is formulated… then these are also tested with special orthopaedic tests… so that a final short list is devised and the treatment is then formulated… all of this process is discussed with you along the way.

This is not unusual… Remedial massage draws from the disciplines of osteopathy, chiropractic and physiotherapy using the techniques of therapeutic massage to manipulate , stretch and develop soft tissue (muscles, tendons, ligaments and myofascial matrix).

This is a very interactive process. You will be involved in most of the activity
 Neck and shoulders
 Arms, elbows and hands
 Lower back and hips
 Pelvis and thighs
 Legs, knees and feet

This analysis process can take thirty minutes… and for this, there is NO CHARGE.

If you don’t like the proposed treatment, or you feel uncomfortable with the process… we can stop right there.

The treatment will take no more than sixty minutes. It is likely that you will need to continue the work with a short series of stretches and gentle exercises and then I will schedule another appointment (rarely does a restriction respond to just one treatment) set at your convenience. Of course, the second treatment will not repeat the tests, so it will be just sixty minutes.

want to ask about your particular situation? phone 30411328