130 Bank Street
South Melbourne 3205
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Without Limits Health

At Without Limits Health & Osteopathy our highly skilled professionals are dedicated to providing our patient’s with knowledge and tools to succeed in living a healthy well balanced life, to be Without Limits
Melissa’s love of sport is what drew her to the career of Osteopathy. Her passion for helping people through their various aches and pains is what drives her each day in clinical practice. Melissa graduated at Victoria University with a Bachelor of Clinical Science and Masters in Osteopathy. In her masters she investigated the benefits and affects on the body of barefoot and minimalistic shoe running, working with participants from the Western Bulldogs Football Club.

MRI Of My Neck



I injured my neck In the last two weeks of my holiday in Europe this year. Although it would be great to say it was done jumping off a boat into the waters off the Amalfi Coast- it wasn’t. It gradually came on, and I think some pretty dodgy pillows didn’t help either. Chances are I may of had some changes in my neck for a while, but it was this aggravation that caused my pain.

The MRI above highlights a C5/6 disc protrusion, which distorts (bends) and creates narrowing in my spinal cord. In addition there is some degeneration at C6/7. 
The tricky thing with MRI’s are that they show ALOT. How do you know that the findings are actually related to the pain and symptoms you have? In particular when they show things like degeneration. Research has shown that signs of degeneration are present in very high percentages of healthy people with no problem or pain at all. In addition these signs can be part of a normal ageing process.


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Is F45, a cult? Perhaps, but for good reason.

Team training, life-changing is the commonly heard catchphrase upon attending your first F45 class. The music is loud, there is constant movement and lots of people. This high-intensity training has become one of the most popular exercise classes throughout Australia. A class is generally 45 minutes long (as you would assume) and consists of a combination of strength, interval and aerobic classes.
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"I'm having a hard time deciding whether or not to buy this mattress. I think I'll sleep on it"

Koala Mattress and Pillow: An Osteopaths review

Buying a bed can be a daunting experience. Going into shops; lying on one bed, been shown another, and then forgetting what the first one actually felt like? It is not only a mental drain but can be quite a financial strain. Renovating last year made me more thrifty with my money, and lead me to explore this ‘mattress in a box phenomenon’. Another reason was simply laziness. We were just too busy to spend three weekends going around to mattress shops and be shown the exact same mattresses, with different names and under different brands (which made it impossible to price match).

The Koala mattress is light and breathable and not too soft. An issue I had with memory foam previously, as it was too soft and lacking support and latex was too heavy and hot. When you sit on the bed you sink in, but as soon as you lie down you feel reflex support which feels like the mattress is actually lifting you back up. If you love a soft mattress this is probably not for you, but it is a mattress that provides support for the curves of your spine and the pressure areas of your hips and shoulders.

The Koala pillow I purchased next after being so impressed with the mattress.  The pillow’s delivery is just as easy, and as you open the box a mini speaker sings you a lullaby. Now that is a money well-spent gimmick. I’d rate the pillow a good medium-firm with two different sides making the adjustment easy. I’d suggest the higher/firmer side for bigger bodied people, and those that have had similar density pillows before. If you are just starting on your pillow journey (e.g. coming straight from a fluffy down pillow) or a petite frame the lower/softer side would be a better fit. A real positive for me was this pillow didn’t have a ‘structural’ contour (the wave shape you see in other pillows). Often with these, I’d find my neck getting tilted up, and after a night’s sleep, soreness in the base of my skull which occasionally caused headaches. What the Koala does quite well is it has a natural contour, with an increased density around the edges flowing into a more relaxed centre. This allows your lordosis or curve in your neck to be supported.
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Can you Exercise During Pregnancy?

Pregnancy results in a vast array of changes to both our physical and mental bodies. The average weight gain for women is 10-12 kg, however, this weight and load is not just on the belly. This rapid time of change creates alterations to our breathing, flow of blood and digestion of food. Hormonal changes are well known, but our emotional wellbeing and metabolic changes can be just as pronounced.

Exercise during pregnancy is both safe and beneficial for healthy women and their unborn child.

Some of those benefits include;
-Increased energy
-Reduced back and pelvic pain
-Decreased risk of complications (pre-eclampsia and pregnancy-induced high blood pressure)
-Improved posture and circulation
-Weight control and stress relief
-Faster recuperation after labour
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Osteopathy & the Jaw

How much do you enjoy having a cheese platter? I am not sure it’s worth me even answering that question. What about, how much do you love singing in the shower? Imagine if these simple activities became difficult. Normal behaviours of your jaw involve talking, eating and yawning. So, when this joint is not functioning, it can have a significant impact on your daily life.  Dysfunction of the jaw occurs in 25% of the population, slightly more so in women and usually in people between the ages of 20-50 years old.

Anatomically your jaw is referred to as your TMJ or temporomandibular joint.

All pathologies of the TMJ are now termed Temporomandibular Dysfunction (TMD).

What are the symptoms of TMD?
Looks- like limited mouth opening
Sounds- are clicking, popping, catching or locking
Feel- pain when chewing, ache over head, neck and/or ear region

How can an Osteopath help?

The results of manual therapy trials for jaw pain suggest that manual therapy is a viable and useful approach in the management of Temporomandibular dysfunction/TMD. Manual therapy has also been shown to be more cost-effective, and less prone to side effects than dental treatment. (Kalamir, et al., 2007)

There is a link between your neck (cervical spine) and your TMJ. As you open your mouth, your neck extends backward. When you close your mouth, your neck bends forward into flexion. Your osteopath will assess your neck prior to treating your TMJ, as stiffness or restriction in this area can promote pain/TMD.

The treatment and management of TMD involve a multidisciplinary approach, and you will find your practitioner working closely with your dentist. If your pain wakes you at night or intensifies upon drinking hot or cold beverages than your osteopath is likely to refer you to your dental practitioner. In addition, if the pain is throbbing in nature the cause may be related to the tooth and will need further dental management.

Humans move the TMJ 1,500-2000 times daily, which means it is one of the most used joints in the body. Limits in range of motion can be caused by several factors including; muscle overuse, external injury, emotional stress and misalignment of the teeth. Osteopaths tend to work through all the muscles surrounding the jaw as well as others that could contribute to tightness in the area. When necessary we can also treat the joint and muscles from inside your mouth to help reduce compression of the jaw.

Complimentary to dental or osteopathic management relaxation and exercise strategies can play a huge role in managing your pain. I have listed a few useful approaches.

1.    Download the app Calm
This helps you to learn the skill of meditation and listen to sleep stories to help you fall asleep. Decreasing stress levels may help reduce any clenching or grinding that you may be doing

2.    ‘Clucking’
This sound is created by pressing the tongue against the roof of your mouth. This is used to help to breathe. You can try to then maintain this position during normal activity.

3.    ‘The surprised look’
Keeping the tongue on the roof of your mouth slowly open your mouth. You can place some slight overpressure with your hands on the sides of your jaw to create a small downward stretch. Ensure not to push into pain.
Hold for 10-15 seconds, repeat 3-5 times.

4.    Masseter massage
Place the fingers of your hands on your cheeks and gently clench. You should feel some muscles pop up into your fingers. Relax your jaw. Then using your finger pads gently massage these muscles in a circular motion. If you find any tender spots you can hold some extra pressure down to wait for a small release.
About 30seconds - 1minute in total.

You can discuss these and further techniques with your practitioner.

Remember that TMD is a common problem that can be treated and managed just like any other musculoskeletal complaint. There is not one method that suits all approach, which is why it is important to seek support from your local practitioner.

Written by Melissa Arnts who is a practicing Osteopath at Without Limits Health.

Management and Treatment of Temporomandibular Disorders: A Clinical Perspective [Journal] / auth. Wright Edward and North Sarah // Journal of Manual & Manipulative Therapy. - [s.l.] : Taylor and Francis, 2009. - 4 : Vol. 17. - pp. 247-254.
Manual therapy for Temporomandibular Disorders: A review of the literature [Journal] / auth. Kalamir Allan [et al.] // Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies. - [s.l.] : Elsevier, July 19, 2007. - 1 : Vol. 11. - pp. 84-90.
Temporomandibular disorders [Book Section] / auth. Okeson Jeffrey // Conn's Current Therapy 2018 / book auth. Kellerman Rick and Bope Edward. - [s.l.] : Elsevier, 2017. - Vol. 1.
Temporomandibular dysfunction [Online] / auth. Clinical Edge // clinicaledge.co. - September 21, 2016. - January 22, 2018. - https://www.clinicaledge.co/blog/webinar-temporomandibular-dysfunction-with-dr-stephen-shaffer.
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Keeping loose on long haul flights in 4 easy steps!


Aeroplane flights are both an exciting and draining part of any holiday or work trip. Whilst you are at altitude the pressures within the cabin are much lower than you would experience at ground level. This makes it very hard for the body to absorb oxygen into the bloodstream, and can result in swelling in your legs or feet.

Regardless of anything written below the most important thing is to stay hydrated. The Aerospace Medical Association suggests around eight ounces (230ml) of water for every hour you fly. You should be getting up to go to the bathroom, which is a good movement to encourage blood flow back to the heart from your legs and reduce the chances of any clotting or DVT (deep vein thrombosis).

Being immobile for long periods of time can also cause your muscles to get tense and become fatigued, even in the days following your flight. There is nothing worse than starting a holiday stiff, sore and in discomfort but there are a few ways you can try to avoid this.

How to remember these exercises? Just sing the song!

“Heads, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes”


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Breast, bottle feeding and your body

Breast, bottle feeding and your body
A common complaint from new mothers in clinical practise is soreness through the neck, shoulders and upper back following feeding of their newborn. This special time between a mother and their baby is a unique bonding experience, and shouldn’t be disturbed by pain, stress and discomfort.
When you are feeding, you often spend a significant period of time looking down, and holding the baby in your arms. This can place considerable pressure on your neck and create fatigue in your upper arms and shoulders.
I have put together a few go-to exercises that can be done in a small amount of time, with no equipment, (and minimal sleep!)  Thank-you to our lovely Naturopath, Yannick for being our model. Yannick is pregnant with her second child and highlights how these exercises can also be completed whilst pregnant.


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Does your car cause you back pain?

Does your car cause you back pain?

We often place great emphasis on how our desk set up is at work, but how much do we think about our car seat? Recent research has highlighted that Australians spend 4.4 hours a week or 53 minutes a day on average travelling to and from work. The position at which we sit in our car can place excess pressure on certain areas of our spine, which can produce or aggravate pain.



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Getting that ache out of your head

Getting that ache out of your head
Most of us suffer from one type of headache or two throughout our lives, unfortunately headaches have become quite common in today's society; we can blame desk posture for a lot of those complaints, but did you know there are different types of headaches and not all of them have to do with posture?  Below is table of the different types of headaches you might suffer from with a few ways in which to manage them.
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Optimal Sleeping Postures

Optimal Sleeping Postures
Sleeping well is something we all strive for to make us feel better, but it's importance in overall body function is often overlooked. Your ability to heal and regenerate relies heavily on the amount of rest you can achieve. It is interesting to note that lack of sleep can result in;
-Increased risk of obesity, due to the unhealthy balance of hormones which make you hungry
-Difficulty fighting off common colds and infections, due to the inability of your immune system to function
-Lack of repair injured tissue cells, or the ability to boost muscle mass
Poor sleep due to pain is something you can change, this in turn can dramatically improve physical health and wellbeing.

Your sleep position can be an essential component of you getting that rest your body deserves. 
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