Physio Blogfrom the team at South Coast Physiotherapy

James Gasper

James Gasper

Physiotherapist & Director
Sunday, 07 January 2024 21:13

NDIS Update from Raquel Poyser

Over the past twelve months, South Coast Physiotherapy have continued to provide Physiotherapy Services for our valued NDIS clients who now total just under 100.

These services range from providing hands on therapy to advice regarding assistive technology eg, wheelchairs, Ebikes and trikes, blue tooth operated hi lo beds to supporting participants with on land or in pool exercise programs to training for support workers.

Our Physiotherapists work and provide services for our NDIS clients in a variety of settings depending on what suits our clients and their situation best. These places of work may include our clinic rooms in Tootgarook, in a participant’s own home, supported accommodations, Adult Day Programs and in the community eg. YAWA, PARC.

South Coast Physiotherapy clinicians travel far and wide to assist our NDIS clients including Rye, Hastings, Cranbourne and Carrum and locations in between.

Sometimes our Physiotherapists are required to travel further up the train line to places like Mentone if we are meeting with a client at a provider to review and make modifications to their wheelchair.

Our therapists regularly work closely with large therapy and support teams supporting our NDIS clients to optimise their functional outcomes and assist them to work towards their NDIS goals.

At South Coast Physiotherapy we take pride in our work helping improve the lives of people living with a disability and striving to improve the services we offer our valued NDIS clients.

We look forward to supporting more people achieve great things in 2024!


Raquel Poyser 

Neurological Physiotherapist

Sunday, 17 December 2023 10:23

Christmas Opening Hours

From everyone at South Coast Physiotherapy we wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

We will have limited opening hours over this period but will be back to full hours on 8th January.

Sunday, 17 December 2023 10:20

Calf Injuries

From Sam Kerr to Nathan Lyon to Will Skelton - calf injuries plagued our Australian sports stars through 2023.


Injuries to this muscle complex are in fact a very common sporting injury with only hamstrings and quadriceps being more frequently injured in sporting populations. 


The superficial calf complex is known as the triceps surae and comprises of 3 muscles – the gastrocnemius, soleus and plantaris. Interestingly it has been found that injuries to the individual tricep surae muscles can be sport specific with American Football players mostly injuring the gastrocnemius and Australian Rules Footballers mostly injuring the soleus (1,2)


A gastrocnemius strain will occur with a sudden ballistic movement with the knee in full extension. This is because the muscle attaches above the knee joint and is therefore exposed when the knee is fully extended. The injury is more prone in the medial head of the muscle – due to this part of the muscle experiencing more loads.


A soleus strain is often associated as an overuse injury. This muscle attaches below the knee and is therefore loaded with the knee in flexion – although it is also loaded with knee extension.


On examination these tears can have a palpable defect at the site of the tear if they are high grade. They will have pain when stretching the calf and on resisted plantar flexion movements such as performing a heel raise.


These tears are categorized based on the degree of structural damage. Recently, with MRIs being more readily available, this process has become more specific which has allowed medical teams a more precise prediction of outcomes. One example of this is the British Athletic Classification, which is used globally, and groups muscle injuries based on the location of injury and the involvement of different soft tissue structures – along with the degree of structural damage. This is how the medical teams new that Nathan Lyon’s Ashes tour was over but that Sam Kerr had a chance of making the latter stages of the world cup – (Will Skelton new his tournament was over – but this was more due to the Wallabies form than his injury!!).


The rehabilitation of these injuries is split into different phases – with the initial phases focusing on protection and gradual restoration of ankle movement to the final stages of returning to running, jumping and ultimately sport.


Although a clinician can give an estimation of how long it will take an individual to progress through these phases based on the classification of the injury it is important that the individual meets set criteria before moving through the phases. For example, for a calf injury, being able to complete single leg heel raises is important before starting a return to running program in order to minimize the re-injury risk.


Once the patient has returned to their full capacity it is important that they maintain good strength and mobility through their calf complex in order to minimize the risk of future injury. This will often mean continuing with some of the later stage rehabilitation exercises and incorporating them into their training schedule.


Named after the famous Greek Warrior God the Achilles tendon is the largest and strongest tendon in the human body. It is approximately 15cm in length and rotates clockwise up to 90 degrees, running from the soleus and gastrocnemius muscles and inserting into the back of the heel. The tendon is surrounded by a paratenon allowing it to glide back and forth. It is made up of Type I collagen giving it the ability store and release energy so that it can stretch and recoil like a spring in response to the stretch/shortening cycle of the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles – an important action for locomotion.

This unique structure allows the Achilles to withstand fast and dynamic loads, which can be up to 7 x a persons body weight during running and jumping activities (1).  It also makes rehabilitation of this tendon very challenging.

 It is the most commonly injured tendon in the human body and complete ruptures are reported from 11 to 37 per 100,000 population and are currently on the increase (1).

 A ruptured tendon is when there is a complete full thickness tear through the tendon fibres.

 An Achilles rupture will often be a traumatic injury with acute pain and a sudden inability to walk. Patients describe a popping sensation at their heel and a feeling of being kicked.

 For the Achilles this injury has a bimodal age distribution with it occurring in 2 groups of the population – those between 25-40yrs and those over 60 yrs (2).  It is generally an acute injury in the younger group and can be more of a chronic presentation in the older population – although as our aging population strive to remain active we are seeing an increasing number of acute ruptures in this older demographic.

This bimodal age distribution is significant when it comes to deciding on the best management with rehabilitation being governed by the age and health of the tendon. As a physiotherapist rehabilitating an Achilles rupture – both when surgically or non-surgically managed - my rehabilitation program and my expected outcomes would be different for a 25 year old compared to a 65 year old.

 Unsurprisingly a rupture to this tendon is a debilitating injury and rehabilitation is on par with an ACL reconstruction of the knee.

 Management of these injuries have always been somewhat controversial with surgical management being the traditional choice due to the high re-rupture rates and the risks of tendon lengthening in conservatively managed patients (3). However the risk of complications with surgery – including nerve damage, wound infection and scar adhesions - have lead to the pursuit of improved non-surgical management.

Over the last 20 years there has been a development of stricter rehabilitation protocols aimed at restoring tendon function. In particular the introduction of early weight bearing  - this has been shown to promote the synthesis of type I collagen which is vital in restoring the tendons load resistant properties mentioned earlier (4).  When these developments, which have also included functional orthosis and graded angles of plantar flexion, are introduced into non-surgical management protocols they have lead to a reduction in the non-surgical re-rupture rates and an improvement in long term function resulting in higher a return to work and to recreational activities (5,6). 

We are now in a position where non operative management can be recommended for a large proportion of Achilles ruptures knowing that the outcomes will be similar to surgical repairs without the risks of surgery - as long as rehabilitation protocols are followed (7,8).

The development of rehabilitation protocols have assisted both surgically and non-surgically managed Achilles ruptures. These protocols are aimed at stimulating tendon healing and restoring the mechanical properties through a graded program of exercises and activities. These programs will differ from one patient to the next due to age, general health and patient goals – it is therefore beneficial to have an experienced clinician monitoring and progressing these protocols.

Although an Achilles rupture is still a serious injury, which requires a long period of rehabilitation, whether treated surgically or non-surgically, the development of rehabilitation protocols over the last 20 years has meant we are now able to restore the tendon back to withstanding fast and dynamic loads meaning more people are returning to their work and recreational activities.


  1.  Jarvinen T A H et al. Achilles tendon disorders: Etiology and epidemiology. Foot Ankle Clin. 2005
  2.  Moller A et al. Increasing incidence of Achilles tendon rupture. Act Orthop Scand. 1996
  3.  Waterston S, Maffulli N, Ewen W. Subcutaneous rupture of the Achilles tendon: basic science and some aspects of clinical practice. Be J Sports Med 1997; 31:285-298
  4.  Valkering KP et al. Functional weight-bearing mobilization after Achilles tendon rupture enhances early healing response: a single blinded randomized controlled trial. Knee Surg Traumatol Arthosc. 2017.
  5.  Soroceanu A, Sidhwa F, Aarabi S, et al. Surgical versus nonsurgical treatment of acute achilles tendon rupture. J Bone Joint Surg Am 2012;94:2136–43.
  6.  Winson D, MacNair R, Hutchinson A, Owen N, Evans R, Williams P. Delayed Achilles tendon rupture presentation: Non-opertaive management may be the SMART choice. The Foot 2020.101724
  7.  Willits K, Amendola A, Bryant D, et al. Operative versus nonoperative treatment of acute Achilles tendon ruptures: a multicenter randomized trial using accelerated functional rehabilitation. J Bone Joint Surg Am 2010;92:2767–75.
  8. Wallace R, Heyes G, Michael A. The non-operative functional management of patients with a rupture of the tendo Achillis leads to low rates of re-ruputre. J Bone Joint Surg Br 2011;93-B:1362-6


Friday, 23 December 2022 10:24

Merry Christmas

We are having a Christmas break but will back fresh and ready to go for the New Year - Merry Christmas 

Our joint and director, James Gasper, has recently returned from presenting on non-surgical management of Achilles Ruptures to the Australian Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society (AOFAS) in sunny Cairns. 

With the advancements in non surgical management over the last 10 years it is becoming the preferred choice in treating these injuries for the general population with good long term outcomes.

Thursday, 19 May 2022 22:05

Welcome Brigitte

Brigitte has been working here at South Coast Physiotherapy since the end of last year. It has been great having her join the team of which she has already become an integral part.


Brigitte has brought with her a wealth of experience and knowledge. She is a highly qualified physiotherapist with both post graduate and masters qualifications as well as over 40 years experience. 


Brigitte is available for appointments on Wednesdays and Fridays.


Wednesday, 22 December 2021 01:59

Christmas Opening

Merry Christmas from everyone at South Coast.


We hope you all have a happy and healthy Christmas and New Year.


Sunday, 07 November 2021 10:22

Open for routine appointments

We are pleased to announce that we are now able to see all routine patients. 

Masks continue to be mandatory and we have a limit of 4 people in the reception area at one time. 

Thank you once again for your ongoing cooperation throughout this pandemic.

Monday, 28 June 2021 03:52

COVID update - June 2021

We are now seeing all patients following the easing of restrictions after our 4th lockdown. We do still require masks to be worn at all times when in the building.


Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.


Stay Safe


South Coast Physiotherapy

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