Geoffrey Fong Osteopathic Services Camberwell

Call 03 9888 6877  |  Monday – Friday 8am – 6pm
Saturday 11am – 2pm

Geoffrey Fong Osteopathic Services Camberwell

Call 03 9888 6877 | Monday – Friday 9am – 6pm
Saturday 11am – 2pm

7 Tips To Survive A Long Haul Flight

By |2019-07-04T11:40:10+10:00July 4th, 2019|Back Pain, Knee Pain, Neck Pain|

Are you planning on a taking a flight overseas for say 12 hours or more and have concerns about whether you will make it without a whole lot of back or neck pain? Here are some tips to help make it easier.
Let’s plan ahead.

  1. Get a neck pillow
    Firstly, can you sleep on a flight. If you can make yourself comfortable. Grab a neck pillow so that your head stays in line with the rest of your body.
  2. Ask for a Complimentary Pillow and Blanket.
    Check to see if you are being offered a pillow (you can use to pillow to support the small of your back) and or blanket during your flight. Cover yourself up if you can.
  3. Move or Shut Off The Overhead Fans.
    Careful where you point those overhead fans. If they focus a beam of cold air on your neck, then you can end up with a wry neck.
  4. Get Some Ear Plugs And An Eye Mask
    If noise affects you, carry ear plugs or get noise cancelling headphones. If light disturbs your sleep get yourself block out eyeshades.
  5. Ask If There Any Empty Seats
    To make life even more comfortable ask if there are any rows of empty seats. If you are lucky you can spread out and lie flat across them.
  6. Ask For A Bulkhead Or Emergency Exit Seat
    Sometimes it is possible to choose a “bulk head” seat where there isn’t a seat in front of you. You just have to be physically fit and prepared to help others get out of the plane if it has an unexpected landing.
  7. When Awake Get Up Every Now And Then And Go For A Walk
    If on the other hand you can’t sleep on a flight, make sure that you get up periodically e.g. each hour or two and go for a walk around the aircraft. Do some gentle stretches while standing. To make this easier choose an aisle seat or ask for a bulk head seat as above.

The above will help you both to prevent problems and make your flight more comfortable. Enjoy your holiday or business trip with one less thing to worry about. If you need help before your flight to make your back stronger and suffer less pain, we can help with a program, especially if you have a long lead time before the flight. Often clients have come to me soon after they have booked their flight a year in advance. We work together to ensure that they are fit for the trip.

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Back to School: Bags

By |2019-05-07T15:57:27+10:00January 26th, 2019|Back Pain|

Is your child looking awkward while carrying their school bag?

As time goes on kids seem to carry more things. Books, Musical Instruments, Phys Ed and Sporting Gear the list goes on. And this heavy weight can impact their posture and back health.

When I went to school I was in the Army Cadets for four years.  We went on outdoor camps and carried various pieces of equipment to stay out overnight. There were heavy loads. To go on long distance walks or exercises I quickly realized that I needed to learn how to carry things efficiently to reduce fatigue.
Things may have changed. But, just in case they haven’t, the best foundation is to learn how to carry your load ergonomically or with the least effect on your body.
This is so important for school kids.

Watching your kids do a short walk with their loaded backpack or school bag before school starts can be a great way to gauge how well fitted the bag is for them. Ask your child how their pack feels. Have a look at how it sits on them. If they feel the need to take it off very quickly there may be issues with how they are wearing it. Listen carefully if they talk about sore shoulders, neck, lower back or headaches. These are some of the signs that can come from an ill-fitting pack.
Thankfully, there has been a lot of thought put into school bags. It’s better if you can go with the backpack where possible. To start with adjust the straps so that the bottom of the pack sits above their bottom. If they come with the waist strap, this is great when things get heavy. It takes some of the load of your child’s shoulders.

Check the shoulder straps to see if there is webbing that allows a chest strap. This can also take pressure off their shoulders.

Packing the bag.
Place heavier items at the bottom of the pack and closer to the spine where you can. E.g. Books and shoes. This helps to centralize the mass.
When your child’s pack fits well, they will be more comfortable, and it is easier for them to carry it. They will have less pain and aches, so that they can get on with their learning and enjoyment of the school year.

If after trying a few of the measures above, your child still doesn’t look comfortable or is suffering from problems in their neck, shoulders or lower back.  You may have questions or feel that there is something else that needs to be addressed, we are only too happy to help. If you like you can take pictures of your child with the back pack on from the side, front and back and email them to us. This can give us a way to do a basic postural assessment.

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When the Rubber Side Goes Up: Recovering From Motorcycle Riding Injuries

By |2018-10-04T14:59:28+10:00October 4th, 2018|Back Pain, Knee Pain, Neck Pain|

There is nothing quite like the exhilaration of riding your motorcycle along your favourite road or track. If the rubber side goes up, you may bounce. A motorcycle injury is never fun. Your body can either absorb the energy in the muscles, tendons and ligaments or break bones. Even after your bones have healed there can be pain or restriction coming from your injured muscles and tendons. This is where we can help in your rehabilitation.

For other riders, they suffer for less obvious reasons. The more common reasons that riders come in to have treatment for include: lower back ache, pain and stiffness. Neck and shoulder pain after long sessions on the bike. Some riders have elbow and forearm pain that can make twisting the throttle or using your clutch painful. Knees can be sore because of the strong contractions involved in changing direction.

An Osteopath helps back aches and pains with a combination of loosening the back muscle tension and gentle techniques where you are in control of the forces to get the joints moving again. No sudden, unexpected manoeuvres. Back problems for a motorcyclist often occur in the “transport” or straight sections of a ride between the “twisty roads”.

Very often problems have knock on effects. When you have spasm in one area, the sections above and below the site are forced to take on some of the duties.  They compensate for the injured area. If things go on for a while, those areas start to complain and can get sore. In the case of the lower back, the thigh and hip muscles can get overused. When the thigh muscles get tight, it can affect the knees.

When your shoulders and neck are sore it can make head checks hard. As well as that it may make heavy braking and cornering difficult. This affects your safety, let alone taking away your enjoyment. Sometimes it can give you headaches. Working on the muscles around the neck, gently stretching and getting you to contract and relax the muscles helps mobilize the little but very important neck joints.

If you have sore elbows, it could be a number of things. You may have old injuries or your posture on the bike. This is where squeezing the tank is very important. It means that you take more of your body weight on your lower limbs as opposed to supporting your weight on your wrists.

Your body is like your motorcycle in that it is a physical structure and mechanism. If it gets knocked out of shape or alignment it needs tweaking, tuning or maintenance to bring things back to normal. Things don’t get better by themselves. In fact they can progress and get worse.  It’s important to do something at the right time as opposed to leaving them. This is very important with a new injury. We help to return to you to where you where before the injury. In the case where you have had an injury for a long time, it takes time to help the body know what normal feels like. There are times when consistent treatment over a longer period helps to make you feel even better than you have been in a long time. You actually feel fantastic.

You may be affected by something other than this when you ride your bike. If you have any questions about what we can help with please ask us.


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Getting your body ready for your holidays

By |2017-10-27T13:03:20+11:00October 23rd, 2015|Back Pain, Pain Treatment|

Many people, especially those who are involved with School or University think of the school holidays as the time to take a break. They’ll be here soon. In fact: two months. If you want to be physically ready to go on holidays, it’s time to get things into shape.

Interestingly, this year, there has been a lot of Australians heading overseas. I have been helping a lot more people in the preparation for travels overseas for the Northern Hemisphere’s summer like the 50th Anniversary of Disneyland and cycling through the South of France. In addition, there were client preparing for the ski season and driving through the outback in Australia and New Zealand.


Sometimes, people leave it to the last week or two before they depart. Unfortunately, this may mean that they are still recovering while they are away. Miracles do happen, but there are no guarantees. So, if you are having queries about muscle or joint problems, please get in contact now to make recovery before your holidays more likely.

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