The Reliance GP Blog

Stay Healthy

6 Tips to prevent Sports Injury

Missy Tysoe August 30, 2017

Safe Sport – How to prevent injury in 6 simple steps

Who doesn’t love sport! We do! Probably because of the endorphins (happy hormones) released in your brain from doing exercise – but we will save that for another day. Unfortunately, sport comes with the risk of injury.  The good news is, 50% of sports injuries are preventable – that’s half if you do the maths!

Sports injuries are caused by direct impact, or the overuse of, the body part than it is structurally “designed” to withstand. There are two types of sports injuries: acute and chronic. An injury that occurs suddenly, such as falling and spraining an ankle, is known as an acute injury. A chronic injury on the other hand, is caused over a longer term overuse of the muscle or joint.

The most common injuries are;

  • joint sprains— knee, ankle, shoulder and finger injuries
  • muscle strains—hamstring, calf, quadricep
  • tendon injuries—achilles, patella and gluteal tendon pain
  • bone overuse injuries—such as ‘shin splints’ or stress fractures (particularly in the lower limbs. The impact of repeated jumping or running on hard surfaces can eventually stress and crack bone
  • mild concussions – symptoms include dizziness, headache and memory loss

6 Steps to avoid sports injury

Most sports injuries are caused by shocking the body by not warming up before strenuous activity. Other causes of injury are the incorrect use of equipment and insufficient safety precautions. Competitive or professional athletes are most at risk as their intense training regimes can strain certain muscles through overuse.
It is difficult to prevent all injuries due to the unpredictable nature of sports but it is possible to take these steps and reduce your risk of an injury.


Warm Up

The warm-up is the most important and effective way to reduce injury because it gradually increases the blood flow to the muscles, which in turn increases flexibility and reduces the risk of strain.
A good warm-up session be at least 5-10 minutes long and involves gently stretching muscles or softly exercising (walking or jogging). It is best to start the warm-up slowly and build up gradually to a more brisk and energetic pace i.e. walking briefly before building up to a jog.
Once you’re warmed up, you can do some gentle stretches to lengthen the muscles and tendons. Pay particular attention to the muscles you will be using most during your sport or exercise (i.e. focus on legs for soccer, or focus on arms/shoulders/core and back for rowing. Most sports will incorporate many muscle groups).


Fuel your body with the right things

The body performs at its optimum level when it is hydrated, so drink plenty of water.
Once again, everyone is unique and you need to ensure you are getting what YOUR body needs. I keep a food diary of what I eat (I use an app called Myfitnesspal, which counts macros as well as micronutrients). I like to think of this as a fuel gage, like we have in the car, it helps me see what type of fuel sources might need topping up. On days where I am training strength and lifting heavy weights for example, I try and get as much magnesium as possible to help with muscle recovery. Magnesium can be found in dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds and fish. Many women are low in iron, and I find my iron levels fluctuate with my hormones – so on days where I am feeling light headed I will aim to eat food sources rich in iron – red meat, seafood, beans, and dark leafy greens. If I am preparing for a sprint training session, I will try and increase my Vitamin B intake for high energy levels – mostly found in animal products like meat, poultry and seafood. It is also available in supplement form.
Everyone is different and over time you will get to know what your body needs. Reliance offers dietary advice via our nutritionist, call 43 041 333 to see a GP and get a referral.


Use  protective equipment

Protective equipment is important to prevent injury and ranges for each sport – it might be the right helmet for biking, a mouth-guard for football, shin pads in hockey, boxing gloves or protective head gear, or even simply the right shoes for running. The correct shoes can offer support to the foot and ankle, helping to prevent twisting and injury.
Everybody has a unique bone structure, and in some cases (like my own) you may need to see a podiatrist or chiropractor to assess your posture, knees or feet and ensure you are wearing the right equipment, shoes or orthotic shoe inserts for your body. Allied health professionals are available at Reliance – call 43041 333 to see a GP and you can get a referral to our podiatrist, chiropractor, physiotherapist or x-ray services all under the one roof.
Protective head gear is obviously extremely important, as helmets protect the skull and the brain from damage. This is vital in contact sports where the head may be knocked and risk concussion or serious head injury.


Get your technique right

By practicing good form and technique you can reduce the risk of injury to muscles, tendons and bones. You should consult your coach, a PT or a physiotherapist to ensure you are using the right technique to get the most out of your body with the least risk of injury. This is also important in the gym, where incorrect form can lead to repetitive strain or injury. It also helps with the skill and ability to help you excel at what you’re doing.


Know your limits 

It’s important to listen to your body and know your physical limits. When first start something new like a new sport, your body may not be used to using or stretching the muscles required, so build up your pace slowly. If you are injured, give your body time to recover and seek medical advice as to when you can return – you will do your body more harm than good by training on an injury, and it may lead to long term irreversible damage.

Cool down

While warming up increases blood flow, cooling down helps eliminate waste products like lactic acid which can build up and cause pain after an intense game or work-out. After your game, spend at least 5-10 minutes walking (or another soft exercise) to return your heart rate to a normal pace. The cool-down also helps your blood flow return to normal and replace oxygen and nutrients. This is essential for muscle recovery.
After walking you also wish to do some gentle stretching exercises to lengthen the muscles and maintain your flexibility and agility (which is vital in some sports). This may also prevent muscles feeling stiff and bulky as they increase in strength and size.


Medical attention for any injury is vital – visit an emergency department for urgent matters, or for mild injuries come and see a doctor. At Reliance we have a range of allied health professionals available under the one roof at both our Wyong and West Gosford clinics with access to chiro, physio, podiatry, nurses and xrays. We also have the excellent GP Dr Fady Malak with a background in orthopedics, who specialises in sports injury and his consultations are fully bulk billed. Call 43041333 to book. 

Author: Melissa Tysoe


Reliance Health Staff & Medical Practioners

Australian Physiotherapy Association – Sports Injuries Retrieved 30 August from website

Sports Medicine Information How can I avoid a sports injury?  Retrieved 30 August from website

American Medical Society for Sports Medicine Overuse injuries, burnout in youth sports can have long-term effects (2014) Retrieved 30 August from website


Comments Off on 6 Tips to prevent Sports Injury

Tags: bone bursitis gym health injury joint muscle muscle tear prevention sports injury tendon tendonitis warmup workout

Too much of a good thing: Antibiotic Resistance

Missy Tysoe August 10, 2017

Antibiotic Resistance

What are antibiotics?

Antibiotics are medicines used to treat bacterial infections occurring in the respiratory tract (chest, throat, sinus), urinary tract (UTIs), wounds, and other various infections. It is important to note that antibiotics can only kill bacteria, and therefore treat infections, but cannot be used to treat viral conditions. Common forms of antibiotics are; Penicillins, Tetracyclines, Cephalosporins, Quinolones, Lincomycins, Macrolides, Sulfonamides, Glycopeptides, Aminoglycosides, and Carbapenems. These may be made in different forms under different names.


How do antibiotics work?

Antibiotics work by blocking vital processes in bacteria, killing the bacteria or stopping them from multiplying. This helps the body’s natural immune system to fight the bacterial infection. Different antibiotics work against different types of bacteria.


What is Antibiotic Resistance?

Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria changes in response to (or more simply “gets use to”) these medicines. These changes allow the bacteria to survive or ‘resist’ the antibiotic, so that the antibiotic no longer works to kill the bacteria or stop them from multiplying. The more antibiotics are used, the more chances bacteria have to become resistant to them. As more antibiotics stop working against bacterial infections, doctors will have fewer antibiotics to use. Many common infections may eventually become untreatable with medicines.

What are the consequences?

Antibiotic resistance is one of the greatest threats to global public health today, as infections become harder to treat than those caused by non-resistant bacteria. A growing list of infections – such as pneumonia, tuberculosis, blood poisoning and gonorrhoea – are becoming harder, and sometimes impossible, to treat as antibiotics become less effective. Without action, we are heading for a post-antibiotic era, in which common infections and minor injuries can run rampant.

Antibiotics may also effect the bacteria in your stomach, which can interfere with digestion of other medicines such as the contraceptive pill. It is important to discuss any medications with your doctor before taking a prescription of antibiotics. Other long term side effects of antibiotics may include tooth discolouration, or in rare cases, a lowered immune system from a decrease in white blood cells. The likelihood or severity of these side effects may depend on the main ingredient, the frequency of use and the patient’s existing medical conditions.


Prevention and control

Antibiotic resistance is accelerated by the misuse and overuse of antibiotics, as well as poor infection prevention and control. Steps can be taken at all levels of society to reduce the impact and limit the spread of resistance.

To reduce resistance, we must stay informed about the prescription and use of antibiotics. Behaviour changes must also include actions to reduce the spread of infections through vaccination, hand washing, practising safer sex, and good food hygiene.

To prevent and control the spread of antibiotic resistance, individuals can:

  • Only use antibiotics when prescribed by a certified health professional.
  • Never demand antibiotics if your health worker says you don’t need them. There are actions that you can take to reduce the chance of resistance developing.
  • Take the prescribed dose and complete the whole course of treatment prescribed by your doctor. Even if you are feeling better, taking the whole course reduces the chance that some bacteria will survive and become resistant.
  • Don’t share antibiotics with another person. This is important because the type of antibiotic may not be targeted to the bacteria causing their particular infection.
  • Don’t keep leftovers. The dose and amount leftover may not be enough to destroy a new infection – creating more opportunity for resistant bacteria to develop and multiply.
  • Prevent infections by regularly by washing hands, preparing food hygienically, avoiding close contact with sick people, practising safer sex, and keeping vaccinations up to date.


Reducing antibiotic resistance is everyone’s responsibility. Speak to your GP before taking antibiotics, to make an appointment call 43041 333 or book online via the appointuit app



Resources: World Health Organisation

Beating Bowel Cancer – Don’t wait until it’s too late

Missy Tysoe February 6, 2017

Beating Bowel Cancer – DON’T WAIT UNTIL IT’S TOO LATE

February marks Bowel Cancer Awareness Month. Bowel Cancer is the second most common cause of cancer related deaths in Australia. Around 15,000 people are diagnosed each year. There are both modifiable (things you have control over) and non-modifiable risk factors. Non-modifiable risk factors include; age, family history and pre-existing medical conditions. The good news is; medical check-ups, diet and lifestyle can be modified to reduce your risk, as outlined below.


The Digestive System

The GI tract (gastrointestinal tract) is the system of organs which processes nutrients (vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats, proteins and water) from foods and then passes waste out of the body.

The GI tract is made up of the oesophagus, stomach and the small and large intestines. The colon and rectum together are known as the large bowel. The colon absorbs water and the rectum passes waste through the body.


What is Bowel Cancer?

When your doctor talks about bowel cancer (also known as colorectal cancer or colon cancer) they are referring to cancer of the colon or rectum.

Most bowel cancers develop from tiny growths called ‘polyps’. Not all polyps, known as adenomas, can become cancerous (malignant). Over time some polyps can become cancerous.

Cancer can narrow and block the bowel or cause bleeding. In more advanced cases, the cancer can spread beyond the bowel to other organs.


What to look out for.  

SYMPTOMS of bowel cancer

  • A persistent change in bowel habit, such as looser, more diarrhoea-like bowel movements, constipation, or smaller more frequent bowel movements.
  • A change in appearance of stools.
  • Blood in the stool or rectal bleeding.
  • Anaemia, unexplained tiredness or weight loss.
  • Abdominal pain.

Reduce the Risk.  



If you are experiencing any symptoms of bowel cancer, or are at risk due to age or family history, please see your Doctor for initial screening or refereal. Call  4304 1333 to make an appointment

Author: Melissa Tysoe | Stakeholder Engagement & Marketing Officer | Reliance Health


For more information and downloadable fact sheets, visit

Healthy smile, healthy you: The importance of oral health for good health

Missy Tysoe August 4, 2016

Healthy smile, healthy you: The importance of oral health for good health

It’s dental health week (1st August-7th August)

Blog (2)


Research suggests that the health of your mouth mirrors the condition of your body as a whole. For example, when your mouth is healthy, chances are your overall health is good, too. On the other hand, if you have poor oral health, you may have other health problems.

Many conditions cause oral signs and symptoms

Your mouth is a window into what’s going on in the rest of your body, often serving as a helpful vantage point for detecting the early signs and symptoms of systemic disease — a disease that affects or pertains to your entire body, not just one of its parts. Systemic conditions such as AIDS or diabetes, for example, often first become apparent as mouth lesions or other oral problems. In fact, according to the Academy of General Dentistry, more than 90 percent of all systemic diseases produce oral signs and symptoms.

Your mouth as an infection source

If you don’t brush and floss regularly to keep your teeth clean, plaque can build up along your gumline, creating an environment for additional bacteria to accumulate in the space between your gums and your teeth. This gum infection is known as gingivitis. Left unchecked, gingivitis can lead to a more serious gum infection called periodontitis.

Bacteria from your mouth normally don’t enter your bloodstream. However, invasive dental treatments — sometimes even just routine brushing and flossing if you have gum disease — can provide a port of entry for these microbes. Medications or treatments that reduce saliva flow and antibiotics that disrupt the normal balance of bacteria in your mouth can also compromise your mouth’s normal defences, allowing these bacteria to enter your bloodstream.

If you have a healthy immune system, the presence of oral bacteria in your bloodstream causes no problems. Your immune system quickly dispenses with them, preventing infection. However, if your immune system is weakened, for example because of a disease, oral bacteria in your bloodstream (bacteremia) may cause you to develop an infection in another part of your body. Infective endocarditis, in which oral bacteria enter your bloodstream and stick to the lining of diseased heart valves, is an example of this phenomenon.

Plaque as a cause of common conditions:

Long-term gum infection can eventually result in the loss of your teeth. But the consequences may not end there. Recent research suggests that there may be an association between oral infections — primarily gum infections — and poorly controlled diabetes, cardiovascular disease, preterm birth etc

Poorly controlled diabetes. If you have diabetes, you’re already at increased risk of developing gum disease. But chronic gum disease may, in fact, make diabetes more difficult to control, as well. Infection may cause insulin resistance, which disrupts blood sugar control.

Cardiovascular disease. Oral inflammation due to bacteria (gingivitis) may also play a role in clogged arteries and blood clots. It appears that bacteria in the mouth may cause inflammation throughout the body, including the arteries. This inflammation may serve as a base for development of atherosclerotic plaques in the arteries, possibly increasing your risk of a heart attack or stroke. Some research suggests that people with gum infections are also at increased risk of heart attack and stroke.

Preterm birth. Severe gum disease may increase the risk of preterm delivery and giving birth to a low birth weight baby.

Problems with the heart and other major organs. Mouth infections can affect major organs. For example, the heart and heart valves can become inflamed by bacterial endocarditis, a condition that affects people with heart disease or anyone with damaged heart tissue.

Digestion problems. Digestion begins with physical and chemical processes in the mouth, and problems here can lead to intestinal failure, irritable bowel syndrome, coeliac disease and other digestive disorders.

Sleep disorders. Your teeth may be a major cause for lack of sleep and disturbed sleep, Reliance Sleep Study Clinic is open to help solve your sleep/ health issues, contact the sleep clinic today. Call 02 4304 1333 and book in for a consultation with specialist sleep expert Dr Mark Levi.

Blog (3)

What you can do

Seeing a dentist regularly helps to keep your mouth in top shape and allows your dentist to watch for developments that may point to other health issues. A dental exam can also detect poor nutrition and hygiene, growth and development problems and improper jaw alignment. Provide your dentist with a complete medical history and inform him or her of any recent health developments, even if they seem unrelated to your oral health.

At home, you can practice good oral hygiene:

Brush twice a day for at least two minutes, using fluoridated toothpaste.

Floss daily to remove plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach.

Eat a healthy diet to provide the nutrients necessary (vitamins A and C, in particular) to prevent gum disease.

Avoid cigarettes and smokeless tobacco, which are known to contribute to gum disease and oral cancer.

Visit the dentist regularly for cleanings and exams. This is one of the most effective ways to detect the early signs of gum disease.

You can also discuss with your GP if you have any concerns, call 02 4304 1333 or visit



Prevent cervical cancer – Why you need a pap smear today

Missy Tysoe June 23, 2016


Prevent cervical cancer, get a pap smear today.

Ladies, when did you last have a pap smear? If you can’t remember it has probably been longer than 2 years and you should consider making an appointment with your GP.


What is a Pap smear?

A Pap smear is a simple test to check your cervix to make sure it is healthy. Your cervix is the opening of the uterus, and is at the top of your vagina. A Pap smear takes only a few minutes and is an effective way to prevent and detect cancer, abnormalities and other infections.

Sometimes the cells of the cervix change from healthy to unhealthy (abnormal). A Pap smear can find abnormal cells before cancer develops.

What causes cervical cancer?

An infection with a virus called HPV (human papillomavirus) is the cause of almost all cervical cancers. There are over 100 different types of HPV. A few of these types are known to cause most of the cervical cancer cases in Australia. HPV is very common. Most people (four out of five) will have HPV at some time in their lives.

In most cases, HPV clears up by itself within a year. Sometimes the virus can stay in your body longer, and can lead to cervical cancer. This usually takes a long time – about 10 years. A Pap smear every two years can find cell changes caused by HPV before they turn into cancer. Your doctor or nurse can then make sure your health is monitored and that you get treatment if you need it, so you can stay healthy.

Who needs a Pap smear?

All women between the ages of 18 and 70 who have ever had sex should have a Pap smear every two years.

Some women may think they do not need a pap smear, but it is important to be checked even of you think you are not at risk. Doctors are often asked by the following groups if they need to be tested;

  • Women with only one sexual partner. Even if you have only ever had sex with your husband, you should still have regular Pap smears. If you have ever had sex, even with only one partner, it is important to keep having Pap smears every two years.
  • Women who have had a hysterectomy (removal of the uterus). You might still need to have Pap smears depending on the type of hysterectomy you have had. Talk to your doctor about what is best for you.
  • Women who have been through menopause. Yes, the risk of getting cancer in the cervix increases with age, even after menopause.
  • Women with irregular bleeding. If you have any unusual bleeding or discharge from your vagina, see your doctor as soon as possible.
  • Women who have had a vaccine that may prevent cervical cancer. Yes, a vaccine is available that can prevent infection with the types of HPV that cause most cases of cervical cancer. Regular Pap smears are still essential as the HPV vaccine does not protect against all the HPV types that can cause cervical cancer.


If you can’t remember when you last had a Pap smear, each state and territory has a register where the results of your Pap smear are recorded. A reminder letter will be sent to you when you are overdue for your next Pap smear or follow-up treatment. If you do not want your information recorded on the register or to get reminder letters, tell your doctor.


How is a Pap smear done?

You can ask for a female doctor if this helps you feel more comfortable. You will be given a few moments privacy to undress, and you may leave your top half covered. Next the doctor will use a speculum (medical instrument) so your cervix can be seen more clearly. Some cells are gently wiped from your cervix with a small brush or spatula (a small plastic or wooden stick). The cells are placed on a glass slide and sent to a laboratory where they are looked at under a microscope.

Remember, for the person doing the smear, this is just part of their everyday work and they are not embarrassed. The procedure might be a bit uncomfortable, but it shouldn’t hurt. If it hurts, tell your doctor straight away.

What about the results?

When you have your Pap smear it is important that you ask your doctor when and how you will find out about the results. Most results are normal. If your results are not normal this does not necessarily mean you have cancer. Certain types of abnormal cells may need to be treated by a specialist. A positive pap smear result means that early changes to the cervical cells are detected. Over time these changes could progress to cancer, so depending on the exact changes detected, treatment or further monitoring will be recommended.

Sometimes women at higher risk may need to have Pap smears more often. Make sure you talk to your doctor about what is best for you.

Where can I have my Pap smear? You can make an appointment with our Reliance doctors, call 0243 041 333 or book online

More information on HPV and vaccination is available on the Immunise Australia Program website at

A positive pap smear result means that early changes to the cervical cells are detected. Over time these changes could progress to cancer, so depending on the exact changes detected, treatment or further monitoring will be recommended.


Authors: Dr Rodney Beckwith, Melissa Tysoe

  • Easy online booking available anytime

    For your convenience and ease we have an online booking system to enable fast access to our services 24/7. If you are booking from a smartphone or tablet, download the Appointuit app to enable online booking. Try it here today

    Make an appointment

  • This development is supported by financial assistance from the Australian Government under the GP Super Clinics Program.

  • Help