Knee pain? It might be time to see your physiotherapist.

When it comes to knees they can be downright painful, and stop you from doing the things you usually enjoy.

Knee pain is one of the more common reasons we see people at Pilentum. It can range from mildly annoying, to making it difficult for people to walk, interfering with their activities during the day, and interrupting sleep at night. There are multiple causes of knee pain, some are due to sudden injuries, others creep up slowly, leaving you with no idea how you came to be hobbling. In this article I’ll discuss one condition that may lead to knee pain, Patellofemoral joint osteo-arthritis (PFJ OA).

What is PFJ OA?
The patellofemoral joint (PFJ) is the joint between the back of the knee cap (Patella), and the thigh bone (Femur). When you bend your knee, the patella runs in the groove in the thigh bone. This acts as a pulley, giving our leg more power when we walk, run or kick. Osteoathritis (OA) is when the cartilage, which protects the ends of bones wears down.

How common is it?
It affects 25% of Australians aged over 20 years old
70 % of people with knee pain have PFJ OA.

Am I at risk of PFJ OA?
Having sore knee caps (Patellofemoral Pain), when you were younger, that is not well managed, puts you at risk of developing PFJ OA. Other things that put you at risk of PFJ OA include

Being older than 40
Crunchy sounding knee caps when you bend or straighten (crepitus)
Previous knee surgery (Anterior cruciate ligament repair or meniscal repair)
Patellar dislocation
Being overweight.

Can I reduce my risk of getting PFJ OA?
The good news is YES! While you can’t slow the passing of birthdays, you can focus on the things that can be managed.

Try to reduce weight gain, even aim to lose a little weight. A dietitian can help with an achievable plan.
If you are younger and you have patellar femoral pain, physiotherapy treatment can help reduce you current pain, and decrease the risk of it progressing to OA.
If you are considering knee surgery, ask your surgeon about any future risk of developing PFJ OA.

I’ve been diagnosed with PFJ OA, can anything help?
Absolutely! Physiotherapy can help reduce symptoms, and improve outcomes. I will arrange a treatment management plan that involves a range of strategies, including,

Knee taping
Manual therapy
Exercises to strengthen your lower limb, hip and knee muscles
Education and home strategies.
Podiatry assessment by Michelle to see if some shoe inserts, or orthotics may help.

PFJ OA is not a diagnosis to be afraid of. With a good plan, some strengthening exercises and other strategies it can be well managed, and you can get back to most, or even all of your usual active life!

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Wellness for Busy Women


We are excited to be hosting the first “Wellness for Busy Women” event in Port Adelaide at the British Hotel on July 12th. Tickets are only $28 and include cocktail food as well as the opportunity to hear some great speakers.

Wellness for Busy Women

It doesn’t matter if you are twenty something or ageing gracefully, working a full time paid job or working in an unpaid one, we are all busy. So what does “wellness” mean and why is it important for busy women? Hear from industry professionals who themselves are trying to fit it all in and network with other local busy women.

The first Port Adelaide “Wellness for Busy Women” conference is delivered by the team at Pilentum Physiotherapy in partnership with the Northern Business Women’s Network


5:30 Registration and networking
6:00 Welcome – Kate Newman – G & K Newman Plumbing
6:05 “Balance is not just about work and life” Megan McDonald – Physiotherapist
6:20 “Busy feet can still be happy feet” Michelle Gregg – Podiatrist
6:35 Shoana McManus – Human Resources Professional, Hamilton Pearce Business Solutions
6:50 Questions and panel discussion
7:10 Canapes and networking
8:00 Close

Ticket price includes cocktail food

Build your local network and gain some knowledge and advice from professionals.

GandK Newman Plumbing

Northern Business Women's Network.




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Easter Trading Hours 2017

We will be closed for the Easter break but Michelle will be back on board for Podiatry Appointments on Tuesday April 18. Megan will be on holidays for a little longer so Physiotherapy appointments will resume Wednesday April 26.

Have a happy easter


Ingrown toenails….what a pain!


Ingrown toenails are not just the curse of adolescent boys, in fact they are a very common problem for all (ahem) walks of life.   Causes include improperly trimmed toenails, very curved nail edges, shoe pressure, sport, accidents or repeated trauma to the feet from daily activities. A predisposition for ingrown toenails may also be inherited (thanks Mum).

Pain in the sulcus (the fleshy bits at the side of your nail) can also be caused by a corn or callous under the nail edge.

Most cases are managed conservatively by visiting your podiatrist regularly but unfortunately, some require minor surgical correction.

Most people think that this requires a trip to the GP but did you know that Podiatrists are fully qualified to perform the procedure and the surgery can be conducted very easily in your podiatrist’s clinic using a local anaesthetic.

So what exactly is an Ingrown toenail and how do I know I have one?

First, believe me when I say that you’ll know if you have one!

An ingrown toenail is classified as a nail that has pierced (or is pressing against) the adjacent skin of the toe causing pain and inflammation and sometimes infection.

The first thing you will notice is pain or discomfort ranging from moderate to excruciating.

Other signs to look out for include:

  • redness of the skin around the nail
  • bleeding
  • pus
  • heat
  • hypergranulation tissue (red, sometimes shiny and soft looking flesh that is above the level of the surrounding skin)

If the toe omits an odour, has green pus or is hot to the touch, contact your GP as soon as possible as these indicate infection is present.

Surgery may be required when an ingrown toenail repeatedly becomes infected, is painful, the sufferer is unable to wear shoes or the condition inhibits work, sport or other activities.

Nail surgery performed by podiatrists
One of the most common nail procedures is called a Partial Nail Avulsion. The procedure is usually performed in the same room you see your podiatrist and patients are able to walk immediately afterwards.The procedure itself is performed under local anaesthetic via an injection to the toe to numb the area. The anaesthetic will most often wear off in a few hours.

Once numb, a tight elastic ring called a tourniquet is applied to the toe to control bleeding and maximise the anaesthetic in the area (always a good thing) and the toe is prepped to minimise the risk of infection.

When it is confirmed that the area is completely numb, the portion of nail to be removed is then gently lifted, resected and removed without the need to make any incision to the toe and without the need for stitching. Both sides of the nail may be removed this way at the same time. If it is necessary, the entire nail can be removed.  This is usually done when the nail itself is deformed or thickened to prevent further complications later. A chemical is applied to assist in preventing nail re-growth.
Once the procedure is completed, the tourniquet is removed and a sterile surgical dressing is applied. If everything goes to plan, the whole thing will be over in less than an hour and the majority of patients are able to walk immediately afterwards, however assistance getting home is strongly recommended.

ingrown toenail

This sore toe is a real example of an ingrown toenail.

What happens after the procedure?
The Podiatrist will see you the next day for a check and will give you full instructions on how to look after the toe at home including dressings and what to do if you become concerned.
Minimal pain relief medication is required – you can discuss this with your podiatrist as some medications are not suitable pre or post-surgery.

What are the potential complications?
As with all surgery, complications are possible and your podiatrist will discuss this in full with you to ensure that you are making an informed decision about your care. However, as long as the procedure is carried out by a professional and follow up instructions are followed, complications post this type of procedure are minimal.

The most common risk is postoperative infection, which is treated easily by antibiotics.  All nail procedures have been associated with a slight chance of recurrence. Your podiatrist can advise you and manage these and other complications that may occur.

If you have podiatry cover with your health fund, part of the cost may be covered but as individual funds differ, ask your podiatrist for a list of codes and you can ask your health fund in advance and avoid unwanted costs.

Finally, your podiatrist will never recommend surgery if they feel it isn’t in your best interest. We are here to help so if you have any questions please contact us on 7099 8112 or pop in for a chat.  Don’t forget you can book appointments online at www.pilentum.com.au

Is it time for your annual health fund checkup?

Private health cover gives us reassurance that we can get treatment for our health when we need it. But it can be expensive, and it often seems that how much we pay for it goes up every year.  How can we be sure that we’re getting the best value for our health dollar? There are some easy steps to take to check the health of our Health Funds.

  1. Annual Health fund check up.

    The Australian Private Health Ombudsman  recommends checking your health insurance policy at least once a year. Compare it to other policies provided by your current health fund, and even other health insurers.  Does the cover meet your needs? Do you need glasses, obstetrics, joint replacement or cardiac surgery cover?

  2. Know your Limits.

    Different health funds calculate limits on “extra’s” benefits, in different ways. They may pay a set dollar amount or a percentage.  Check that the extra’s that you are paying for are extra’s that you need.

  3. Bali or Barcelona?

    If you’re planning a big sabbatical or gap trip overseas for longer than three months, you need to manage your health fund. Health insurance won’t help you overseas, you’ll need travel insurance.  Some health funds will allow you to suspend your cover, and return without waiting periods. Others will impose waiting periods for certain treatments. If you don’t suspend your insurance policy, you’ll need to maintain payments while you’re away.

  4. Baby shower, 21st or swinging single?

    Relationship and family circumstances change from time to time through everyone’s life.  Check how appropriate your fund is if you find yourself in a new relationship, your child becomes eighteen or leaves home or you are planning a baby.  You’ll need to revisit your fund if you are newly separated.  Contact your health fund as soon as possible when your family or relationship circumstances change.

  5. Happy New Year, EOFY or April?

    Knowing when your extra’s cover resets can allow you to get best value from your current cover.  Some funds reset their extra’s cover at the start of the financial year; others reset it with the New Year fireworks in January.  Knowing your reset date allows you to plan physio, podiatry and optical treatments to get the most from your health fund.  April is also a good time to review your cover, as this is when the annual premium increase takes place.

  6. Any discounts?

    Some funds may offer discounts if you’re able to pay more than one month in advance. Typically this is likely to be a year in advance.  You may be able to negotiate a discount, or at least stop your premiums from increasing in this period.  

  7. Preferred Provider?

    A few of the larger funds have Preferred Provider schemes, offering less Gap to pay when you see these providers. Insurance companies promote that their Preferred Providers go through vetting. In Australia, you can be reassured that all Physiotherapists and Podiatrists must meet rigorous standards to attain and maintain our registration with Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency.  Preferred Provider vetting is about payment rules and how many practitioners are in a particular suburb.  You may even find that using a Preferred Provider can deplete your extra’s fund more quickly.  Check that the allied health provider is experienced in your health problem, listens well to your concerns, and is open about their fees.  We encourage you to check the status of any health professional at AHPRA


Checking the health of your insurance is a fabulous step in taking charge of your own financial and physical health.  




Pilentum Physiotherapy and Wellness Clinic

‘at Pilentum we keep you moving’

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New Client Offer and Extended Hours

Michelle has extended her available hours and is now taking podiatry appointments during the following times:
  • Tuesday evenings
  • Wednesday business hours
  • Saturday mornings

If you have never had an appointment with Michelle, for a limited time she will offer a $10 discount to eligible new clients*.

Check Michelle’s availability now.

Megan has also extended her available hours and is now taking Physiotherapy appointments during these times:
  • Monday 8am – 3pm
  • Tuesday 130pm – 8pm
  • Wednesday 1pm – 5pm
  • Friday 8am – 3pm
  • Saturday mornings

If you have never had an appointment with Megan, for a limited time she will offer a $10 discount to eligible new clients*. Feel free to forward this email to a friend. We will offer the new client discount to them as well.

Check Megan’s availability now.

* New Client Offer not available to Alliance, DVA or Medicare clients. Appointment times subject to availability. New Client Offer concludes July 31st.
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Recovery after ACL Injury

“He’s done his ACL”. The dreaded injury of AFL players and skiers alike is also an injury experienced by everyday people, doing their everyday social sport and activity.

The Anterior Cruciate Ligament is a ligament deep inside the knee joint. It stops the lower leg from moving too far forward, at the knee. The ACL, along with other knee ligaments, gives our knees the stability they need for all our movements.

Recovery from ACL injury and reconstructive surgery is an ongoing and important process.

Recent research, published in the Journal of Physiotherapy found that lifestyle modifications, activity preferences and fear of re-injury had a real impact on peoples enjoyment of life, even 20 years after surgery.

Researcher, Stephanie Filbay, suggests that physiotherapists have an ongoing role in working with people after their surgery, to improve quality of life. She suggests, after the surgery and initial intensive rehabilitation, an annual or bi-annual Physiotherapy ACL check up to encourage maintenance of a physically active lifestyle and to prevent prolonged periods of quality of life impairment.