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Top 5 myths about osteoarthritis

“If somebody says they have arthritis they are most likely talking about osteoarthritis. If you are struggling with arthritis or joint pain see your health professional to discuss some treatment strategies suitable for your situation.”

Dr Matt Corbin, Osteopath, Six Core Outcomes

Fun fact: There is more arthritis today than there has ever been and we have never been more sedentary. Perhaps it’s time we stop calling it wear and tear?

Here are the top 5 myths about osteoarthritis.

1. Scans

Scans can not and do not predict your level of pain or disability regardless of how severe the arthritis may appear on an image.

2. rest

Rest or avoiding activities completely can actually make pain worse in the long run.

3. exercise

Exercise is not dangerous. Safe, graded exposure to painful activities can actually help reduce pain by improving your strength, capacity and tolerance.

4. Surgery

Surgery is not the only answer. In fact 20% of people who undergo joint replacements don’t achieve pain relief. Surgery is suggested for people who have undergone thorough non-surgical management unsuccessfully.

5. Pain

Pain does not reflect the amount of damage. Much like on a scan, the amount of damage does not reflect the level of pain. They do not always correlate.

Do I need private health insurance to see an osteo, physio or Chiro?

No. All practitioners can see both private and public patients.

Your health insurance can provide you with rebates when you visit an osteopath, physiotherapist or chiropractor. Check with your health fund what benefits are available.

Interested in Working with an osteopath?

Book an appointment with Dr Matt Corbin at Six Core Outcomes or find your local Osteopath.

What’s the difference between an Osteo, Physio and Chiro?

“The assumption is that the professions are all very different, with various techniques & skill sets. Whilst some subtle differences may exist, the truth is that we are more alike than some (clinicians) might like to admit!”

Dr Matt Corbin, Osteopath, Six Core Outcomes

If you’ve ever wondered what the difference between an Osteopath, Physiotherapist and a Chiropractor is – you are not alone! It can be a confusing discussion within the healthcare system so I can only imagine how confusing it can be for patients just looking for help.

Education & Qualifications

Each profession is registered and regulated by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA).

Each profession is accredited after completing 4-5 years of education at university.

Each profession consists of a mixture of hands-on treatment and rehabilitative exercise designed to help those in pain.

what’s the difference?

It’s important to note that ‘Osteo’, ‘Physio’ & ‘Chiro’ are professions – They’re not treatments or treatment styles. Each is qualified to provide diagnosis, management and prevention of musculoskeletal conditions. 

In the modern age of evidence-based medicine you’ll start noticing that the best practitioners will all practice in a very similar way. The secret is out – Gone are the days where a 5-10 minute appointment for an “adjustment” is considered optimal health care.

Dr Matt Corbin (Osteopath) at Six Core Outcomes using manual therapy for patient.

The real difference comes between practitioners, not professions. 

The best practitioners get you moving.

The best practitioners build confidence, not fear.

The best practitioners get you off the table, and back to the activities you love.

Avoid somebody who spends the majority of time doing things to you, find yourself a practitioner who empowers you with self-care strategies to look after your own body. 

How do you choose the right osteo, Physio or Chiro?

Choose the person, not the profession. To help find your next Osteopath, Physiotherapist or Chiropractor use this checklist to help guide your decision.

Find a practitioner who:

  • Seems genuine, empathetic and understanding
  • Educates, empowers and builds confidence 
  • Works with you to find the right management plan suited to your goals
  • Promotes self-care strategies alongside hands-on treatments
  • Encourages you to ask questions during your appointment.

Do I need private health insurance to see an osteo, physio or Chiro?

No. All practitioners can see both private and public patients.

Your health insurance can provide you with rebates when you visit an osteopath, physiotherapist or chiropractor. Check with your health fund what benefits are available.

Interested in Working with an osteopath?

Book an appointment with Dr Matt Corbin at Six Core Outcomes or find your local Osteopath.

What mental health treatment is covered by Medicare and private health insurance?

Written by Care To Compare

Australians are becoming more aware of their own mental health needs and the needs of their family and friends. A great range of support services are available with or without private health insurance.

If you or someone you know lives with a mental illness a Medicare rebate to cover part of the cost of your appointments with a psychologist might be available.

Does private health insurance cover mental health?

Private health insurance can provide additional support in addition to the rebates you are entitled to from Medicare. It can help you with:

  • In-patient or Psychiatric care generally covers treatment in a private hospital. A Gold level of hospital cover is required for this, there may be a two-month waiting period, but you may be eligible to have this waived.
  • Out-patient or Mental Health care generally covers psychological therapy when or if you are no longer eligible to claim this service with Medicare.

If you need some help to figure out the best health insurance with psychology benefits or psychiatric services please contact our team on 1300 76 76 00.

What is the mental health waiver?

The mental health waiver enables a person with limited hospital cover to upgrade their level of cover so they can access in-hospital psychiatric services without needing to serve the usual 2 month waiting period. Currently, this exemption can only be accessed by each person once in their lifetime.

Generally, you must have served an initial two month waiting period for any psychiatric benefits. Ask our team or your health insurer for the specific details that apply to your cover.

IS THERE SUPPORT AVAILABLE WITH MEDICARE?

When you speak to your preferred doctor they can help coordinate the treatment of mild mental health issues by providing practical advice, referring you to a psychologist or prescribing medication. They may refer you to a psychiatrist. Your doctor may develop a Mental Health Treatment Plan specifically for you. This can provide up to 10 sessions with a mental health specialist subsidised by Medicare. This initiative is known as Better Access.

What public support is available?

ReachOut.com provides free online mental health services for young people and their parents in Australia.

If you or someone you know needs help please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.

DID YOU KNOW?

If you or someone you know lives with a mental illness, a Medicare rebate to cover part of the cost of your appointments with a psychologist might be available.

Care To Compare proudly supports ReachOut.Com

10 tips to help your newborn baby sleep

“Each child and each family is different. Simple, holistic and family centred sleep solutions can provide positive and significant changes in the lives of families.”

Jasmin Kostov, Let’s Sleep

The newborn period is from birth right through to 3 months of age. Arguably, this is one of the biggest periods of adjustment for parents whether it’s your first child or not. You might be surprised to learn that there is plenty you can do in that newborn period to set up great healthy sleep habits.

Read my top 10 tips below to help your newborn sleep as well as possible in the first 12 weeks.

1. Awake windows

When a newborn is overtired they are much more challenging to settle off to sleep. Having a rough idea of how long your baby should be awake before having another sleep is so important. This single piece of knowledge can make for a much easier first 12 weeks. Sadly, most parents are not informed about awake windows. I wish all parents were provided with this knowledge immediately after having their baby. This knowledge can make the difference between your baby fighting sleep or going off to sleep quite easily. Look for your baby’s tired signs and and offer them sleep when you see these signs.

  • Birth – 3 weeks: 40-60 minutes
  • 4 – 7 weeks: 60-90 minutes
  • 8 – 12 weeks: 75-105 minutes

2. Darkness

From 3 weeks of age or earlier if you wish, I recommend offering your baby their day naps and night time sleep in a very dark room. Before 3 weeks of age babies are naturally quite sleepy and don’t seem to phased by darkness or light for sleep. After 3 weeks of age your baby will start to ‘awaken’. The production and secretion of melatonin (the sleepy hormone) is blocked by light and therefore, providing a dark sleep environment works with your baby’s natural hormones to help promote sleep.

A dark room will help your baby settle off to sleep and connect their sleep cycles much easier plus will prevent them waking up early in the morning when the sun comes up. When they’re napping on the go in the car, carrier or pram – don’t stress about a dark environment!

3. Swaddle

From birth right through to 4 months or when showing signs of rolling, I recommend swaddling your baby for all day sleep and night sleep. You can use a muslin/jersey wrap, love to dream, ergo bag or something similar. There are a few reasons for this recommendation.

Your baby has the Moro Reflex (otherwise know as the ‘startle reflex’) that is present until it starts to fade around 3 months and is generally gone by 5-6 months at the latest. Swaddling helps prevent your baby ‘startling’ themselves awake during sleep.

Your baby is used to a cozy, comfy space in your tummy and would have had limited space in their to move around at the end of pregnancy. Swaddling recreates this womb like environment.

Swaddling for every nap and night sleep is a positive sleep association and each time you swaddle them, they will start to associate this with sleep

4. Rough routine from 6-8 weeks of age

I regularly receive questions on what age is the right time to introduce a routine. Around 6- 8 weeks of age your baby will start to develop natural circadian rhythms and their biological clock becomes more established. Food, light and social interaction all entrain or set your baby’s biological clock. For these reasons, 6-8 weeks is a great time to start a loose routine to follow each day. This might include:

  • the same wake up time each day of 7am
  • aiming for 3-5 naps across the day and a bed time of between 6-7.30pm after a nice warm bath and massage.
  • rough times for feeds (3-4 hourly) and fit these in around your babies nap times.

5. Offer your baby sleep in their bassinet from the beginning

You might have heard the saying, start as you intend to finish. If your goal is for your baby to be sleeping in their bassinet or cot for all sleep in a few months time – then it is never too early to get started. In those first 12 weeks you might find your baby sleeps really well in their bassinet or cot for naps and night sleep (yay for you!).

If your baby isn’t as content in their own bed, just start off with settling them for 1 day nap in their cot or bassinet per day. This will help them slowly get used to their sleep environment and before long, it will be totally normal for them. Don’t stress if your baby is enjoying sleeps in the pram, car, carrier, your chest and anywhere other than their bed. This is quite normal and you can work on encouraging them to sleep in their own bed as they get past 3-4 months of age.

6. Upright time and burping during and after feeds

Offering your baby upright time during and after feeds can help aid digestion and alleviate unsettledness due to wind pain. As the day progresses, trapped wind and gut discomfort can worsen simply due to an accumulation of wind. This can play in to that unsettledness in the late afternoon/early evening that is common for babies from birth to 12 weeks of age.

Offer your baby upright time a couple of times during the feed and some back patting/gentle motion side to side and forward and back. Repeat this at the end of the feed and have an upright cuddle for 5-10 minutes after each feed to allow the milk to settle in their tummy before being laid down horizontal. Don’t stress about getting a set number of burps! Just offer them the upright time, some pats on the back and motion.

7. Combination feed option

You may have heard of the ‘witching hour’ or ‘cluster feeding’ in the late afternoon and early evening that is common for newborns. Babies will often feed on and off during this time of day and naturally this can be quite tiring for Mum. An option here for breastfed babies is to introduce ‘combination feeding’. There is a big push currently to ‘exclusively breastfeed’ and whilst I understand the benefits of breastfeeding, I believe parental wellbeing is equally as important. If you’re finding you’re exhausted by the end of the day and your baby is unsettled, there is a possibility this is due to hunger. Breast milk supply naturally is lower in the later part of the day and therefore baby can become a little frustrated and continue feeding on and off as a result.

An option here is to offer a small bottle top up in the evening to ensure your baby has a nice full tummy and therefore will likely settle for sleep a little easier. You can consider offering a small bottle top up from early on (2 weeks onwards). IF your baby has been breastfeeding well, weight gain is not an issue and you’re connected with a lactation consultant or maternal and child health nurse who has been supporting you with breastfeeding. Offering 1 bottle each day from an early age helps your baby get used to taking a bottle, allows flexibility if you need a little break or aren’t able to be with your baby for some reason and my favourite part – partners can give this bottle to baby and be involved in the feeding process. Win-Win.

This bottle could be expressed breast milk or formula depending on what you are comfortable with. If you are going to offer a bottle to your baby, ALWAYS express with a hand or electric pump whilst your baby has the bottle to signal to your body that it needs to create some additional milk. This protects your milk supply and is crucial for combination feeding to be effective.

8. Use a consistent nap time and bed time wind down routine

From birth you can start using a consistent nap wind down routine thats 2-5 minutes long and a bedtime wind down routine thats 10-20 minutes long before you put them down in their bassinet or cot for sleep. This consistent wind down routine will help signal to your baby that sleep is coming.

  • Nap wind down example: When you see tired signs, head into your baby’s room, change nappy, darken room, hum or sing a quiet song, into swaddle and settle for sleep in their bassinet/cot.
  • Bedtime wind down example: 10-20 minutes before bedtime, head into your baby’s room, change their nappy, offer a feed, read a quiet story or sing a quiet song, darken room, into swaddle and settle for sleep in their bassinet/cot.

9. Massage and skin to skin

Massage and skin to skin are both amazing for bonding and relaxation in the first 12 weeks and beyond. Massage can be a great addition to your baby’s bedtime routine. Here’s a great resource for how to get started with baby massage! You can use a natural oil such as olive, avocado, macadamia or coconut oil. Skin to skin helps to stabilise body temperature, regulate blood sugar, establish breastfeeding, reduce crying and pain, boost parent child bonding and basically just gives you all the warm fuzzies!

10. Parental self care

I know it may seem like a total stretch to think you’d prioritise yourself in those first 12 weeks, however i’m here to tell you that it’s so important! Be kind to yourself, seek support, speak with health care providers (MCHN, LC’s, GP’s, breastfeeding help lines), keep open communication with your partner, family, friends. Laughing, crying, waves of emotion, frustration, sadness and feelings of elation are all SO normal when adjusting to have a little person in your life. The challenging times will come and go and the good times will come again. It’s a marathon, not a sprint and therefore prioritising self care from early on will help prevent you from feeling burnt out.

Start small in those early days. Even a 5-10 minute shower all to yourself whilst your partner watches over the baby (you could be a real dare devil and put on a face mask too!). Within a couple of weeks you might feel okay to get out for a walk on your own for 20-30 minutes or go meet a friend for a coffee for an hour. Those pockets of self care over the weeks and months evolve into being the time that you have to fit in what fuels you and makes you feel good (exercise, hobbies, socialising – whatever it is). That’s not to say that being with your baby doesn’t make you feel good – it’s just so key to have a little time out just for you as well.

About the author

Jasmin Kostov is a Registered Midwife, Registered Nurse, Maternal & Child Health Nurse, Infant & Child Sleep Coach and the Director of Let’s Sleep.

DID YOU KNOW?

Asking your private health insurer to remove pregnancy cover can reduce your monthly premiums?

What’s the difference between a dietitian and nutritionist?

Written by
Fuel Your Life

“Dietitians take the guess work out of nutrition. They can not only speed up your progress, but help you achieve things you didn’t think possible.”

Tyson Tripcony, Fuel Your Life

We’re often asked about the difference between dietitians and nutritionists. We get that it can be confusing.

Did you know? A dietitian can work as a nutritionist but a nutritionist can’t call themselves a dietitian without extra qualifications?

Education

Dietitian’s are accredited after completing 4-5 years education at university.

Nutritionists may have limited education or no university qualifications. There is no current regulation over the industry.

Registration

Dietitians must be registered by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency before they can consult in private practice or clinical settings.

Nutritionists can register with the Nutrition Society of Australia and/or the Dietitians Association of Australia. There is no legal requirement to register with either.

Work

Dietitians can provide medical nutrition therapy to their clients and can also work as a nutritionist.

Nutritionists cannot provide medical nutrition therapy nor can they work as a dietitian without extra qualifications.

Rebates

Dietitians are recognised as the only food and nutrition specialist by Medicare, private health insurance funds, NDIS and other organisations.

Nutritionists are not recognised by Medicare and cannot offer rebates through private health insurance funds.

If you’d like to work with a dietitian or nutritionist to help achieve your goals please get in touch with the Fuel Your Life team.

Can I get a rebate for seeing a dietitian?

To find out how you might be able to claim the costs of seeing a dietitian with your health insurance speak with a member of the Care To Compare team on 1300 76 76 00.

5 things to consider when choosing a personal trainer

Written by Jared Adams
Bushido Strength Hub

“Qualifications alone don’t always equal results. Look for a coach that either walks the walk, is able to produce consistent results or better yet, both. This is a good sign they are able to overcome the obstacles you will almost definitely face on the way to your goals.”

Jared Adams, Bushido Strength Hub

  1. Does the personal trainer or coach’s style of training suit you?

I’ve had clients that don’t enjoy my methodology. It’s a recipe for friction down the track and mostly due to a lack of understanding or explanation about your plan. When you haven’t bought into your own plan you’re unlikely to see it through.

This doesn’t mean firing your coach because they prescribe you less carbohydrates or recommend cutting back on energy drinks.

Your plan needs to be something you can not only execute but be excited about. 

  1. Are you prepared to share your real goals or motivations?

Your goals may require more than just a piece of paper with a generic exercise selection and nutrition plan. If this were the case you could employ Google for free. As a personal trainer or strength and conditioning coach it helps to understand the whole picture.

By sharing your goals and motivations your trainer or coach can use their experience to develop the right training and nutrition plan that works for you and your lifestyle.

  1. Are you paying for quality or quantity?

The professional fees you pay a personal trainer or strength and conditioning coach isn’t directly linked to the value they provide. Fitness professionals set their own fees and are often in-line with their qualifications and experience.

Consider why it is you need a personal trainer. Is it to supervise your movements or to coach you to your goals?

With knowledge and experience your personal trainer or coach can help spend less time on problem solving to help you implement proven and established strategies to help you reach your goals sooner.

  1. What will your personal trainer or coach teach you?

The goal of a coach is to educate. You should be able to ask questions and either have those questions answered or be supported to get the answers from a professional with that expertise. Your role as the client should be to have an open mind to information that might sit outside your belief system.

Let’s assume you’ve considered the above points and found yourself a personal trainer or coach of interest. Have you asked yourself why you’re seeking them out in the first place? Is it because what you’ve done in the past hasn’t given you the result you were after?

Stepping outside your comfort zone with your personal trainer or coach might just be the formula you needed to reach your goals.

  1. How will your personal trainer or coach measure your results?

Look for a personal trainer or coach that measures your results in more ways than one. Weight loss might be the initial reason you want a personal trainer or coach however weight loss is the result you get when you accurately and consistently measure all variables of your fitness journey.

Your personal trainer or coach should be helping you with this. In doing so, they are able to predict and plan for weeks in advance rather than guess when that next birthday or wedding is. These measurements should include any or all of the following:

  • exercise plan 
  • nutritional guidance and fluid intake
  • Supplementation
  • sleep tracking
  • scale weight
  • body fat assessments using measures like skinfold tests, bio-electrical impedance analysis or bioimpedance analysis (BIA), photos, etc)
  • recovery using measure like heart rate variability (HRV) and resting heart rate (RHR).

If you’d like to work with Jared or the Bushido Strength Hub team connect with them on Instagram or Facebook.

Can I claim personal training with my health insurance?

To find out how you might be able to claim the costs of personal training or gym memberships with your health insurance speak with a member of the Care To Compare team on 1300 76 76 00.