All posts by Vaughn Bolack

Knee Osteoarthritis… Is Surgery The Only Option?

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Knee Osteoarthritis.. Is Surgery The Only Option 

So you have been told you have knee arthritis. Will you need a knee replacement?

The answer is a resounding NO! In recent years there has been a shift towards conservative management of knee osteoarthritis (OA).


Why Conservative Management?  

Conservative management (chiropractic, physiotherapy, exercise physiology) of knee OA in some but not all cases can be as effective as Arthroscopy for the reduction of osteoarthritic knee pain.  Certainly knee arthroscopy can be fantastic when applied to the appropriate knee injury. A bucket handle meniscus tear is one of these instances.  


Knee Arthroscopy

Knee arthroscopy is effective for pain reduction in some but not ALL osteoarthritic knee cases. There are concerns that arthroscopy is being  performed in patients where the research has shown that weight loss and exercise may be just as effective.

Orthopaedic surgeon Professor Ian Harris has voiced his concerns about the increasing number of knee surgeries. He is questioning if surgeons are performing arthroscopy for knee pain in pain presentations where the research indicates that the outcomes may similar too conservative interventions. Following the links below to read more on. this topic. 

There was also an SBS insight episode dedicated to knee surgery and the non-surgical management strategies for knee osteoarthritis. 

watch it here

So What Can We Do?

An osteoarthritic knee thrives on less load, and more support. We can achieve this in 2 ways.

1. Lose Weight  

Losing weight reduces the load on joints and connective tissue. A 2005 study found that in obese patients a 3kg reduction in weight would reduce knee pressure by up too 12kg.

2: Exercise

Like weight loss, strengthening the knee will reduce pressure on the knee. To begin with,  building strength and endurance will be slow, with only slight changes in pain. After about about 2 weeks you notice improvements in the intensity of pain, which will steadily improve over a 6 – 12 week period.  


To begin walking may be a little painful. But eventually it will more comfortable. Walking  moves  synovial fluid around the joint. Thinks of synovial fluid  as nutrients for joints and cartilage. Walking also builds muscular strength and endurance burns calories and improves mental and cardiovascular health.

To begin aim for a 20 minute walk at a moderate pace. As your knee becomes more comfortable start to increase both the length of the walk and intensity. Begin to challenge the knee with some small hill

Supine Knee Extension Exercise

Supine knee extensions are a safe strengthening exercise that place minimal strain on the knee. 

1. Lay on your back with a rolled towel under your knee

2. Press the back off the knee into towel

3: Straighten the leg by lifting the foot keeping the back off knee pressed into the towel.

4. Hold this position for 15 seconds, lower leg to start position and rest for 10 seconds.

5. You will feel the quadriceps muscle (the big muscles above the knee) fatigue 

6. Repeat for 5 repetitions.  If Pain is greater than 3/10 during exercise and last for 24hors please seek the advice of a health professional. 

The key point to remember that surgery is not bad. It helps a lot of people suffering from knee pain. However in many knee OA cases conservative management with treatment and exercise can be as effective and cheaper.  

If need further advice for knee pain associated with knee pain, call 0404404103 or book online at

What is Sports Chiropractic?

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What is a Sports Chiropractic


Sports Chiropractic is a branch of chiropractic that  blends traditional chiropractic methods, with muscle release, dry needling, strapping and exercise rehabilitation.  Sports chiropractors work closely with physiotherapists, sports doctors, and specialist to keep active people active. Sports chiropractors, are trained in the management of neck, back, hip, knee, ankle,  shoulder, elbow,  and wrist injuries.

The association overseeing the professional competency  of sports chiropractor is Sports Chiropractor Australia (SCA).The common thread of all SCA members, is the passion of keeping active Australians active. The vision statement of SCA is.

“To enhance the health of physically active Australians through chiropractic care and to increase integration and cooperation with others in sports healthcare”

2018 Sports Chiropractic Symposium Gold Coast


April 2018 saw the gathering of  sports chiropractors, for the 2018 Sports Chiropractic Symposium. The theme for the seminar was assessment, treatment and management of arm wrist and elbow injuries . We where lucky enough to learn from sports chiropractor Ed Trimmings, who is part of olympic gold medalist Valerie Adams consultancy team.

The weekend was the first step in a 3 year process for the  International Federation of Sports Chiropractic (FICS) ICCSP qualification. ICCSP  is the minimum qualification required to be part of a sports chiropractic delegation at an international event such as regional and world championships, the world games or the Olympics.

Both SCA and the International Federation of Sports Chiropractic ensure that there members deliver the highest standards for injury management.



What is Dry Needling, how is it different to Acupuncture

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Dry needling and acupuncture, the needles look the same, but how are the different? The common denominator between each technique is the very fine needles.That’s where the similarities end.






Acupuncture is  used by practitioners of traditional chinese medicine.  Acupuncture is used to treat a large scope of conditions ranging from infertility  to high blood pressure.

An acupuncturist will determine the positioning the needles your symptoms, based on your complaint.  The needle positioning is determined by 12 meridian pathways. The needles are  placed at specific  meridian points, which correlate to specific body systems and internal organs.

Dry Needling

Dry Needling is the use of acupuncture needles to decrease the tone and tension of muscles and fascia. It is  effective for the treatment and relief of pain associated with musculo-skeletal pain and sports injuries such as low back and neck pain. Dry needling is a technique used by chiropractors and other health professionals.

Dry needling is based on western anatomical and physiological principles. Dry needling has numerous benefits;

  • increase blood flow at site of injury which will increase healing
  • a neurological response which will cause the release of pain inhibiting hormones
  • reducing muscle spasm
  • reducing pain

Dry needling is most effective when is used in conjunction with other treatment techniques, such as chiropractic joint manipulation/ mobilisation, myofascial release and exercise rehabilitation. It is effective for the treatment of tension headaches, neck pain low back pain, sciatica and sports injuries.

Vaughn Bolack- Fluid Chiropractic

What are those bruises on Michael Phelps shoulders…Cupping Therapy!

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What are those bruises on Michael Phelps shoulders…Cupping Therapy!

So you have been enjoying watching Michael Phelps create history at the Rio Olympic games.. But what is with those crazy circular bruises over his back and shoulders,  The answer is simple, Cupping Therapy.  And his chiropractor Kevin Rindal is responsible for the bruises!

Phelps cupping

What is Cupping Therapy?


Cupping therapy is an an old chinese technique. A therapist applies suction cups to your body, a pump is then used to create a vacuum. The vacuum causes the skin to be drawn into the cup.

This process is thought to draw blood into the tissue, along with stretching and contraction of the muscles. This increase in blood flow to the tissues is thought to, speed up the healing process,  reducing muscle soreness and increasing recovery time.

cupping image


Does It Work?

Ask the chinese therapist and they would say yes, and  by the look of Michael Phelps shoulders so would he. Scientist’s  however, are yet to conclusively prove any know effect. This does not necessarily mean that they don’t have an effect.

For more information about cupping therapy read this article



Fluid Chiropractic

Strengthening The Core, How, What and Why?

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Core Stability: Why Is It Important and How to Strengthen it?


Following on the last post on improving spinal flexibility, the next step, in improving spinal health and particularly lower back health for back pain sufferers is too wake up those sleeping abdominal muscles.   The ‘Core’ group of muscles refers to the group of muscles that surround the abdomen and lower back. ‘Stability’ refers to using the activation of these muscles to provide active support and control for spinal movement.

What Are The Core Muscles?


The core muscles encompasses a group of deep and superficial abdominal muscles. These muscle  form a canister of support for the spine, particularly the lower back and pelvis. These muscles include the diaphragm, transversus abdominus, multifidus, and the pelvic floor.


Image result for core stability muscles






Why is ‘Core Stability’ Important for Low Back Pain?


For sufferers of low back pain, the  strength of  the core is not the issue. Awakening the core muscles will provide the support to  spinal tissues and help reduce back pain. Often in episodes of low back injury the rest involved with the injury will causes our ‘core stability’ muscles to have a holiday. Having an active core musculature has shown to assist support and control of the lower spinal vertebrae and the associated soft tissues.    We don’t need to hit the gym to wake these muscles up but some simple gentle exercises can ‘wake’ up the core muscle. A couple of minutes of exercise can be enough to manage the pain.

Two Safe and  Easy Core Stability Exercises



The plank is the ‘old faithful’ of core stability exercises. It easy to perform, and very effective for awakening the core muscles.

Here is how it is done.

  1. Place the Elbows on ground directly under shoulders.
  2. Place Knees on ground
  3. Keep hips, pelvis, trunk off the ground, in the plank position. Avoid letting the abdomen and spine sag towards the floor
  4. Keep hips, spine and trunk and neck  in alignment
  5. Hold for 15 seconds, repeat 3 time.
  6. With practice you can increase the time of the hold
  7. If experiencing any back pain stop.


3: Bird Dog:

The bird dog is another simple core exercise that combines, muscle activation, endurance and balance



  1. Start in the  ‘Table Top’ position with hands under shoulders and knees under your hips.
  2. Move your right leg back, by dragging your knee back until the knee is straight, keeping the leg inline with the torso and the pelvis level.
  3. Try not to let the pelvis twist, keeping it level, do not let spine and abdomen sag towards the floor.
  4. At the same time move the opposite arm forward, again keeping in line with your body, until arm in fully extended and level with the shoulder.
  5. Hold the extended arm and leg in this position for 1 sec
  6.  Slowly bring the arm and leg to the start position, and repeat 3 times.
  7. Repeat with opposite arm and leg.
  8. Stop if experiencing any pain

Great Gentle Exercises that Improve your Spinal Flexibility

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Great Gentle Exercises that Improve your Spinal Flexibility.


Spines are designed to move, bend twist and  work. Guess what happens when  we  spent more hours sitting than moving .We shorten our muscle length, thicken our ligaments, and reduce the overall capacity of joints to move.  Combine this with our muscle fibre becoming less elastic as we age, stiffness is the end result.

So What Can you Do?
Sit less, move more!
  • Try these 2 gentle stretches to get you moving again!
Cat/ Camel Stretch
  • Perfect beginners stretch. Mobilises, the spine, imbibes healthy nutrients into the joints and discs. An oil change for your spine.


Image result for cat camel stretch

  • Get down onto  your hands and knees, with your hands under your shoulders and knees under your hips  in the table top position.
  •  Tuck your chin onto your chest ,  round your back towards the ceiling until you feel a stretch in your lower, middle and up back (see  picture). Hold  the stretch for 2 seconds. Try to  exhale as you  do this movement.
  • Taking a breath in, drop your stomach and spine towards the floor, whilst looking up at the roof (see picture).  hold for 2  seconds. The stretch should  be felt in the muscles of the lower, middle and upper back adjacent to the spine.
  • Repeat the movement, 5 time in each direction.
  • Stop the stretch if it causes any pain.
Kneeling lunge Stretch
  • Great Stretch for opening the hips after a long period of sitting.

Image result for kneeling lunge stretch

  • Kneel in the lunge position with left knee , resting a towel or pillow. The right leg is forward as pictured with the right foot flat on the floor.
  • Your back should be straight and you shoulders directly over your hips
  • To begin stretch, lean forward with the right leg/knee, remember to keep your back straight, and shoulders over the knees. Try no to arch the back
  • The stretch will be felt in the upper thigh and front of the hip of the left leg.
  •  Hold a gentle stretch for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat both sides aim to do 3 times daily
  • Stop if you experience any pain

Both stretches are a great way, to improve your spinal flexibility. These exercises are so important to a healthy spine given to nearly every patient we see at Fluid Chiropractic.


Stay tuned for more stretches next week.

Do All Chiropractors Use The Same Treatment Techniques?

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Do All Chiropractors Use the same treatment Techniques?


No, no and no. There are literally thousands of chiropractic techniques out there that chiropractors can learn to aid in the diagnose and treatment of  neuromusculo-skeletal conditions.

A common thread between all chiropractors in Australia, is the 5 years university training, necessary to become a registered chiropractor and a primary health care professional. Once graduated however Chiropractors can choose out of thousands of different techniques to aid there existing skill set.

The  techniques used by chiropractors depend largely on their treatment philosophy. At Fluid Chiropractic, we use a variety techniques that aim to increase joint movement and range of motion.  To do this a combination  of joint mobilisation, manipulation, muscle stretching and dry needling can be used. This combination of techniques is referred to as diversified practitioner within the profession. Examples of other common chiropractic  technique systems include Gonstead, Sacral-Occipital Techique and Applied Kinesiology



Joint mobilisation, is the use of gentle stretching movements and resistance, applied specifically to stiff joints, that can increase joint movement and decrease muscle stiffness. Osteopaths refer to joint mobilisations as muscle energy techniques, however they essentially the same method and have the same result and joint movement and muscle tone. More information on other chiropractic techniques can be found on this link

Common to all chiropractor is the knowledge to accurately diagnose and manage musculo-skeletal conditions, including both spinal and sports injuries.



Low Back Pain

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Low Back Pain: What to do when you injure your lower back!


Low back pain, can be caused by any irritation of the tissues of the lumbar spine and pelvis, including joints, muscles, ligaments, intervertebral discs, nerves, bones and tendons. The location of the pain and the type of pain, can vary between what anatomy is irritated and severity of the irritation in the spine. For example, Compression of the sciatic nerve, can cause regional pain in the lower back, but can also cause a referred pattern of pain anywhere from the low back, hips,  buttocks, legs and feet.

When suffering from an acute episode of low back pain, it is important to remember, that most episodes of low back pain resolve in 6 weeks. An episode of low back pain  will not equate to a life long low back pain.

So What Can you Do When you injure your Low Back?
  • Ice: Ice is an easy way top help ease the initial onset of pain. It is important to start as soon as back pain starts,   within the first 24 hours of injury, for a period of 15 minutes on 30 minutes off.


  • Heat: After the initial 24 hours of injury, a combination of heat and ice therapies can be used.  Alternating between 15 minutes of icing followed by 20 minutes of  heat  should be continued for the 2- 4 days post injury.


  • Keep Moving:  To often people with low back pain are advised to rest. In a lot of acute low back injuries, bed rest will only slow your recovery. Good advise is too keep moving. Gentle movement such as walking keeps the muscles that support the spine awake and firing. Keeping the muscles awake is an integral part of  a speedy recovery.


  • Follow the ’30 Minute Rule’ For Sitting : In many new low back injuries, sitting down really aggravates the pain. If you have to sit down follow the ’30 minute  rule’ for sitting.  Get up  out the chair and move, every 30 minutes. This will make a big difference to how you feel at the end of the day, and will help speed  up your recovery


  • Get an Opinion from a health care professional; Getting quality advise from a tertiary trained health professional, will help guide in the right direction for recovery from a low back injury. There advise  should a diagnosis,  pain management strategies, postural advise and corrective exercises.             



Is my Neck causing my Headaches?

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Causes of Headaches

Headaches are often multi-factorial in cause. Neck stiffness, stress, hormones, dehydration, foods can all be triggers that can lead to headaches. The most common type of headache seen in Fluid Chiropractic is cervico-genic or tension headache.

Cervico-genic and tension headaches are caused by stiffness and dysfunction in the joints and muscles of the neck. See the nerves from the upper neck communicate with the nerves of the face and skull. Muscle Tightness and poor joint movement from the neck and jaw can refer pain to the head and skull and can be felt as a headache.

Signs that your neck is causing your headaches are:
– Neck movement aggravates your headache
– Headache is eased by pressure at the base of the skull
– On the days away from your desk, the headaches are lighter.

How Can Fluid Chiropractic Help?

The first step is to accurately diagnose your headaches. If the cause is not  joint or muscle related we will send you off to your GP for further examination. Otherwise we will provide a treatment plan, that  uses a variety of techniques, including:
– Mobilisation of stiff joints
– Headache relief exercises
– Dry needling to improve muscle flexibility
– Postural and ergonomic advice

Vaughn Bolack- Chiropractor

What Is Arthritis

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What is Arthritis?

Arthritis is often referred to as a single disease. In fact, it is an umbrella term for more than 100 medical conditions that affect the musculo-skeletal system, specifically joints where two or more bones meet.

Arthritis-related problems include pain, stiffness, inflammation and damage to joint cartilage (the tissue that covers the ends of bones, enabling them to move against each another) and surrounding structures. This can result in joint weakness, instability and deformities that can interfere with the most basic daily tasks such as walking, driving a car and preparing food.

There is a widely held belief that arthritis is simply a consequence of age, the pain of growing old. But it is not a natural part of ageing. In fact 2.4 million of all people suffering from the disease are of working age.

Research suggests that early intervention can delay the onset of the disease and may reduce the number of cases of osteoarthritis by about 500,000 within 15 years.

How Can Chiropractic Help?

As Arthritis is a joint problem, increasing joint movement can be achieved by using techniques such as joint mobilisation, stretching, dry needling and muscle release Increasing joint movement is important for imbibing healthy movement promoting nutrients into the joints and intervertebral discs. It also promotes the movement of synovial fluid within the joint. Synovial fluid acts as a lubricant for the joint surfaces, allowing smoother movement and healthier joints.

With Osteoarthritis joint movement becomes reduced. Chiropractic treatment focus on creating movement in stiff vertebral joints. As well as helping with movement, it helps with the imbibing of synovium within the joint capsules, and stimulate pain inhibiting chemical from the brain.

What Can You  Do? 

Move, move move and move some more. Healthy joints love to move, it provides lubrication and nourishment to joints, as well improving emotional well-being. Regular chiropractic can improve your joint movement and health, and regular exercise such as, yoga, pilates, swimming, walking surfing, cycling, weights all help to improve joint health and manage the pain caused by arthritis.


More information can also be found on the arthritis website


Vaughn Bolack- Chiropractor