Arthritis and Water Exercise

Arthritis is a general term describing many conditions that cause pain, stiffness and often inflammation in one or more joints. Gentle regular exercise can improve an arthritic joint by nourishing the cartilage and easing stiffness. Warm water exercise is particularly helpful, because your body weight is supported and the resistance of moving through water boosts muscle strength and endurance. Activities such as walking through water can exercise the joints without placing them under strain.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between Swimming and Hydrotherapy?
Hydrotherapy is special exercises performed in warm water (34°C). It is enjoyable and especially helps people with arthritis because the joints can be exercised while the weight of the limbs are supported by the water. Hydrotherapy is a safe form of exercise after joint replacement as well as for people with back pain.
What happens on my first visit?
You will be seen by a physiotherapist, who will ask you questions about your general health and assess your physical problems. This initial assessment will take 30-45 minutes. You will not be required to go into the pool on this visit.
Will I required a swimming costume?
You will require either a swimming costume or shorts and T-shirt, your own towel and poolside shoes for your comfort.
What if I can't swim?
You do NOT have to be able to swim to do hydrotherapy. The pool is purpose built and is quite shallow so you can exercise well within your depth. Buoyancy aids may be used and there will be a physiotherapist in the pool. Even if you have a concern about water, you should try hydrotherapy as almost all people find the warm water very soothing and enjoyable.
How do I get into the pool?
To enter the pool, you need to walk down a few steps holding onto a rail. For people who can not manage steps there is a mechanical hoist that will lower you into the water. There is a rail at the side of the pool for extra support.
Are there any side effects from Hydrotherapy?
Hydrotherapy is one of the safest treatments for arthritis and back pain sufferers. The warmth of the water and the exercise may make you feel a little tired after your session. THIS IS NORMAL. Water is available pool side should you require a drink during your session. We recommend you drink one cup of water on completion of the class.
When is Hydrotherapy not appropriate?
With some medical conditions hydrotherapy may not be suitable, these include:
  • Wound/skin infections
  • Unstable blood pressure
  • Incontinence
  • Acute urinary infection
  • Viruses/stomach upset
  • Chest infections
  • Elevated body temperature
You must tell the physiotherapist if you have any of the above conditions or if you feel unwell on the day of your class.


  • Patients with Angina NEED their medication poolside
  • Patients with Pacemakers NEED consent from their cardiac specialist
  • Patients with Asthma NEED their Puffers poolside

shutterstock_80099077Gentle beginners with modification for those with chronic problems

A beginner’s class is held on Monday evenings from 6pm to 7pm. - for those who would like to try Yoga for the first time or those wanting to get back into Yoga. The beginner’s class is suitable for the elderly, those with limitations because of injuries, high blood pressure and aches and pains. Men are most welcome. Bookings are required.

Equipment-PilatesRemedial Equipment Pilates

(4 max taken by a professional physiotherapist) Pilates is an exercise technique, which focuses on gentle strengthening, balance and flexibility. It is an ideal rehabilitation tool, incorporating postural re-alignment with spinal stability. It is suitable for ALL ages and is great for general body strengthening and toning. Pilates can help with spinal pain, pre-post joint surgery, incontinence, osteoporosis, ante and post natal exercise. Pilates also decreases the risk of injury and depression. Equipment sessions are either one-to-one or up to four maximum in a class. As postural re-alignment changes gradually with repetition and correction, it is recommended to invest in 10 sessions as a minimum. Please bring gym clothes, towel, socks, water bottle.

Mat Group Pilates

( taken by a professional physiotherapist ) This class is also suitable for all ages and health fund rebates apply! No prior assessment required. This is a good workout and anyone is welcome. We do not recommend this class if you are In pain. Maximum 10 per class, bookings essential. Please bring gym clothes, towel, socks, water bottle.

What is Clinical Pilates?

Joseph Pilates established the Pilates method as a physical training tool in the 1920s. Following World War 1 he began using his Pilates exercises as effective rehabilitation for sick and injured soldiers. He also designed unique exercise equipment that we use today. Upon moving to the USA his exercises were embraced by the community. While he died in 1967 his methods have continued to be used throughout the world for training a wide range of people from high level athletes and dancers to working adults and the elderly.
Clinical Pilates today:
Physiotherapists have integrated current scientific research looking at safe and effective remedial exercise with the traditional Pilates principles of concentration, breathing, centering, control, precision and flowing movement to form the clinical Pilates practice we use today.
The Classes Will:
  • Target underlying structural and biomechanical imbalances resulting from:
    • Muscle imbalances
    • Weakness
    • Poor posture
    • Acute or chronic injury
    • Lack of body awareness
    • Pregnancy
    • Overtraining
  • Use intelligent exercises that incorporate both static stabilisation and dynamic control of movement.
  • Provide benefits to new exercisers, those rehabilitating from injury and elite athletes.
  • Provide a safe and effective ante and post natal workout.
  • Progress exercises to meet the specific needs and goals of clients.
  • Include exercise modification to enhance individual recovery.
Important Notes:
Wear comfortable clothing, bring water and for hygienic reasons please bring a towel and socks to each class. Bookings essential, as we work ONLY with small numbers in our classes for optimum supervision. 100% cancellation policy – 24 hrs notice of cancellation is requested.

Class Structure

Equipment class:
  • Maximum of 4 participants
  • Individual program - for remedial rehab or a good work out
  • Initial Private Assesment - 1 hour is a prerequisite
  • Use of reformer, trapeze table, wanda chair, foam roller, fit ball, magic circle, small weights, cardio equipment and more.
Mat Class:
  • Maximum 10 people
  • Group class program - a good workout
  • Use of Pilates accessories: foam roller, theraband and small weights
  • Duration 1 hr


Pregercise classes for pregnant women assist women to stay fit during pregnancy in preparation for birth. The classes include remedial exercise in our onsite indoor hydrotherapy pool and dry land fit ball exercise. These classes are taken by a physiotherapist and ideal for women suffering with lumbopelvic pain. We recommend an initial consultation with our women’s health physio for any pregnant woman experiencing lumbopelvic pain. At focus on physio pregnant women are also able to do pilates classes in which mat and equipment exercises are prescribed which are suitable for pregnant women. More Info on Pregercise

Falls-Prevention“ON YOUR FEET – GET UP & GO"

(This class is ideal for the elderly with balance, strength and mobility issues) You do not need a doctor’s referral to attend this class. The minimum age requirement is 50 years. On your first visit you will be individually assessed by a physiotherapist - the appointment will take 1 hour. You will then be assigned to a group suitable to your abilities. Classes are held two times per week for 5 weeks. At the end of the 5 week period you will be reassessed by your physiotherapist. You will be given home exercises to reinforce the program. Comfortable gym clothes are recommended.
Have you fallen? Are you scared of falling?
Focus on physio conducts physiotherapist supervised exercise classes aimed at the prevention and treatment of balance, strength and flexibility deficits which can cause falls and inujury. Every year 1 in 3 older Australians experience one or more falls. The effects of a fall can create loss of confidence in mobility and daily activities – even fractures and hospitalisation. As we approach our later years there are many age related changes that affect balance and mobility. Such things as –
  • Dizziness
  • Decrease in reaction time
  • Poor vision
  • Loss of muscle strength
  • Decreased flexibility lIncontinence
  • Loss of confidence
Aims of Falls Prevention Classes
  • Assess mobility, balance, strength & flexibility
  • Improve balance
  • Improve muscular strength
  • Improve walking ability and speed
  • Have Fun!
Who can attend these classes?
Anyone over the age of 50. You do not need a doctor's referral.
What happens on my first visit?
You will be individually assessed by a physiotherapist. This assessment will take 1 hour. You will be assigned to a group suitable to your abilities.
What do I wear?
Comfortable, loose clothing ... eg tracksuit, T-Shirt and joggers.
How often do I need to attend classes?
For best results we ask that you attend twice per week for 5 weeks. At the end of this period you will be reassessed by your physiotherapist.


(To be conducted in our heated hydrotherapy pool) Hydrotherapy is special exercises which are performed in warm water, at 34° C. It is enjoyable and especially helps people with arthritis because the joints can exercise while the weight of the limbs are supported by water. You will need to bring swimming costume or shorts and T-shirt, plus your own towel and poolside shoes. You do not have to worry if you are unable to swim. The pool is shallow so you can exercise well within your depth. To get into the pool there are a few steps and a side rail you can hold onto. If your unable to manage steps there is a mechanical hoist that will lower you gently into the water. There is always an assistant by the side of the pool. We recommend you drink 1 cup of water on completion of the class. On your initial appointment you will be seen by a physiotherapist who will ask you questions about your health and asses your problems. The initial assessment takes 45-60 mins

mat-group-pilatesFor a good workout

( taken by a professional physiotherapist ) This class is also suitable for all ages and health fund rebates apply! No prior assessment required. This is a good workout and anyone is welcome. We do not recommend this class if you are In pain. Maximum 10 per class, bookings essential. Please bring gym clothes, towel, socks, water bottle. More Info

ParkisonsDo you know someone with Parkinson’s Disease?

It is estimated that there are between 50,000 and 100,000 people living with Parkinson’s Disease in Australia. Physiotherapy is a useful treatment tool to help manage the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease.
Benefits of Physiotherapy for Parkinson’s disease include:
  • Improved function mobility- with walking, in/ out of bed, sitting down and standing up
  • Improved posture
  • Improved fitness
  • Improved flexibility
  • Education and advice regarding common problems associated with Parkinson’s disease eg: Freezing, difficulty turning, difficulty initiating/starting movements, tremor
  • Exercises and home program for balance, strength and flexibility
  • Prescription of aids or assistance devices as required

shutterstock_65966629“BE PREPARED" - to prepare you for your joint replacement surgery

Following total joint replacement surgery, the main rehabilitation continues by you at home. However, we are here to help! We recommend a follow up within the first 6 weeks. This enables us to upgrade the exercises given to you in hospital, review your walking and check you are achieving optimal range in your new joint replacement. Hydrotherapy is a great way to prepare for surgery as well as facilitate strength and flexibility after your joint replacement. Our focus is on joint protection. The stronger the muscles are, the more protected the joint is and the weaker the muscles are, the greater the load on the joint. This all leads to SUCCESS AND A GREAT NEW LIFE!

So you are having a Joint Replacement?

Elective joint replacement is now very common and an accepted way in the treatment of end stage arthritis. People who require a joint replacement often experience severe pain and reduced mobility. This has a direct impact on their quality of life. Pre-operative physiotherapy helps you to prepare for your upcoming surgery. 1. Exercises to improve muscular strength 2. Walking aids/equipment for home post surgery 3. Increased confidence 4. Breathing exercises Physiotherapists visit you in the hospital to get you up and about safely. The main rehabilitation continues by you at home. If your mobility is limited we offer rooms consultations or home visits. A follow up consultation at 6 weeks is recommended to upgrade exercises given to you in hospital, review you walking and check you have achieved optimal range in your new joint replacement. Hydrotherapy (pool exercise) is a great way to prepare for surgery as well as facilitates strength and flexibility after your joint replacement surgery. Our focus is on joint protection. The stronger the muscles are the more protected the joint is and the weaker the muscles are the greater the load on the joint. This leads to SUCCESS AND A GREAT NEW LIFE!

StonesSwedish, Deep Tissue/ Sports, Shiatsu, Hot Rocks, Reflexology, Aromatherapy, Reiki

We specialize in a variety of massages depending on your individual needs and whether it is for an injury or relaxation. For example Aromatherapy is an effective, safe use of essential oils for therapeutic benefits, enhancing the well-being, restoring balance and revitalising the mind, body and spirit. Reiki is a safe hands-on healing treatment that addresses the cause of illness, whether physical, emotional, mental or spiritual. Deep Tissue/Sports Massage is great for people who play regular sport or maybe recovering from injuries. Focus on physio offers pregnancy massage and baby massage classes.


(For suffers of chronic lung conditions) For this class we do prefer a referral from your doctor - not everyone is suitable for this program. We also ask that you bring your latest lung function test results (your doctor can supply you this). Comfortable loose clothing, towel and gym shoes are required. On your first visit we will do a simple exercise test then work out a program based on your ability. From time to time we can redo the test to see how well your going. Exercise training is the foundation of pulmonary rehab. Our program is designed to complement the shorter, more educational programs that are available. It consists of aerobic, strengthing and flexibility exercises. Most programs run for 6-8 weeks. We offer an ongoing exercise class once or twice a week, that you can keep coming to for as long as you like. Research studies have shown that to maintain your fitness and continue to feel the benefits regular attendance is necessary. (Comfortable gym clothes recommended)

Do you get Breathless Everyday?

You are not alone. Many Australians live with chronic lung disease – COPD which includes emphysema, chronic bronchitis, bronchiectasis and asthma as well as restrictive lung disease such as interstitial lung disease. Pulmonary rehabilitation does not have an impact on the lungs themselves, but it can have a dramatic effect on how well we can function with limited lung capacity. Pulmonary rehabilitation programs are now an integral part of the management and health maintenance of patients with chronic lung disease. The Australian Physiotherapy Association advises that exercise therapy, consisting of aerobic exercise (eg cycling/walking) and strengthening exercise, is effective in improving the maximum and functional exercise capacity in patients with COPD.

Frequently Asked Questions

I have been to Pulmonary Rehab programs before, Why should I do it again?
Most other programs run for 6-8 weeks. We offer an ongoing exercise class, once or twice a week, which you can attend for as long as you like. It is well known that on completion of a short program, the benefits you gain will to some degree, wear off over the months or years.
How is your class different from other Pulmonary Rehab programs?
Exercise training is the foundation of pulmonary rehab. We offer exercise only classes supervised by a physiotherapist. It is designed to complement the shorter, more educational programs that are available. It consists of a combination of aerobic, strengthening and flexibility exercises.
What should I wear?
Comfortable, loose clothing and gym shoes. A towel is a good idea to bring as well.
Do I required a referral?
We do prefer a referral from your doctor – not everyone is suitable for the program. We also ask that you bring your latest lung function test results with you (your doctor will have these if you don't).
How good/bad do I need to be to attend?
There is a starting point for everyone. On your first visit we will do a simple exercise test then work out a program for you based on your ability. We can from time to time redo the exercise test so you can see how you are improving.
What happens on my first visit?
You will see one of our physiotherapists who will ask questions about your health, do a simple exercise test with you and set up a program for you.
How often do I need to come?
Our classes are conducted twice a week. You can come once a week or twice a week, whichever you prefer.
How long is the class?
The class is run over one hour, giving you plenty of rest periods for recovery between exercises.
Sport and Leisure activities are very much part of living the Australian Lifestyle. After all being active promotes good health, stress relief and is fun. Sometimes injuries and accidents occur, many of which can be rehabilitated by your physiotherapist. Occasionally it is necessary to have an Orthopaedic or Sports Medicine opinion with appropriate investigations such as XRAYS, CT scans, ultrasound scans or MRI. Whilst physiotherapists diagnose clinical mechanical problems of the body, often a medical diagnosis is recommended by a physiotherapist to clarify the presentation and to optimise appropriate physical management. It is in everyone’s interest to return you to normal living – walking, running, sport, leisure and ADL ( activities of daily living) as fast as possible.
injured-ballerinaCommon Injuries
  • Bruises
  • Ligament sprains and tears
  • Joint injuries
  • Bone injury including fractures
  • Overuse, newuse and disuse problems
  • Spinal injuries
How can you minimise injury?
  • Correct warm up and warm down
  • Protective strapping or bracing
  • Correct footwear and sporting equipment
  • Specific conditioning for your sport or leisure pursuit
  • Good aerobic fitness
  • Good muscle control and balance reactions
Getting back into Action
Following injury or orthopaedic surgery it is important to be progressed through the rehabilitation phase of recovery in order to gain strength, mobility, balance and co-ordination. Your physiotherapist will complete a throughout assessment involving a complete understanding of you lifestyle, goals, timeframes. A physical examination will identify faulty movement patterns and those structures which need treatment. Sometimes it is necessary to involve areas of the spine top and bottom if they are chronic and influencing the biomechanics of good movement. If problems are chronic it can take some time of careful management to overcome them as the healing time of different tissue varies and “mother nature” can take time to lay down structural changes in muscle, ligaments, fascia, neural tissue  and bones. The healing times of different tissues are well understood by physiotherapists. Physiotherapists are highly qualified and trained in the assessment and management of sporting, spinal and orthopaedic conditions.  That is why you see most elite sporting groups have a physiotherapist working with injured players to assist the speedy recovery, rehabilitation and return to sport.
What should I do after and injury?
As soon as possible for 48-72 hours after injury follow the “RICE” method for first aid: Rest: rest from sport and take it easy, use a walking stick/crutches to walk easier and move within limits of pain Ice: as soon as possible apply ice for 20minutes every 2 hours. Apply ice in a damp towel. This is important to reduce pain and reduce bleeding which occurs over a 48hour period Compression: firmly bandage the injury to control swelling Elevation: as much as possible elevate the injury higher than the level of your heart to reduce swelling In the first 48hours post injury avoid: Heat, Alcohol, Running, Massage See your physiotherapist and get appropriate professional advice and treatment  - no medical referral is necessary.
Following orthopaedic surgery such as total joint replacement, internal fixation of fractures or reconstructive ligament surgery your Surgeon will refer you to your physiotherapist when it is appropriate to commence rehabilitation. Acute sports injuries can start early after injury. Physiotherapy intervention early will help to reduce the time your injury is painful, and restricts normal movement. It facilitates optimal repair of injured tissue, with minimal scar formation. Rehabilitation is a gradual process which focuses on conditioning back to normal muscle strength, balance and co-ordination of movement patterns. Hydrotherapy is a great rehabilitation tool following injury, trauma, orthopaedic surgery or neurosurgery and allows early rehabilitation as the body can be unloaded and movement not possible on dry land can be achieved, minimising pain. The hydrostatic forces of water act like a glove of pressure around a swollen limb. This minimises swelling during early rehabilitation. Hydrotherapy, facilitates the confidence to move following major trauma and surgery. At focus on physio our onsite hydrotherapy pool enables us to offer a unique rehabilitation method with disabled access via a hoist if necessary.
Health Rebates
At focus on physio our team of physiotherapists are licensed to practice under APHRA, are members of the APA (Australian Physiotherapy Association) and all have Medicare Provider numbers acceptable by private Australian Health Insurance Companies. Private health insurance funds offer rebates for physiotherapy treatment depending on the level of cover on your premium. Gap fees are paid at the time of treatment.
shutterstock_65884084Back pain is a 'musculoskeletal disorder' (MSD) which also consists of neck discomfort and repetitive strain injury (RSI). Musculoskeletal conditions are a main cause of people taking time off work. Physiotherapy is exceptionally effective with MSDs. In one research, 80 per cent of people who had physiotherapy for their musculoskeletal disorder were able to continue working and did not need to go off sick. Back pain has a wide variety of sources, from attracting a heavy parcel improperly to investing too long in one position. Feeling really nervous or stressed can make your discomfort even worse. It is seldom due to a significant health issue.
How can physiotherapy assistance?
Physiotherapy work wells for handling back pain. If you see a physiotherapist quickly, this can not only accelerate recovery but likewise avoid the problem happening again. A physio will first assess to see if you have a severe wellness issue that might be connected to your back pain. They will then find the reason for your back pain and look at ways to assist prevent further issues. Physios offer a range of therapies that have proven to be efficient with back pain. These include manual treatments, and acupuncture. Your physio will likewise advise you on back pain prevention, postural positioning, suitable exercise and pain relief.

You DON’T Have to LEAK when you laugh, Cough or do Exercise!

shutterstock_57406333Is it a problem?
  • Are you at the back of the aerobics class
  • Watching sport instead of joining in
  • Housebound or decreasing social outings
  • Know every toilet in town
  • Can’t sit through a film ANY unwanted or involuntary leakage of urine is not normal, you can get help.
  • One in Three women who ever had a baby wet themselves.
  • Bladder incontinence affects up to 13% of Australian men and up to 37% of Australian women.
  • Bowel incontinence affects up to 20% of Australian men and up to 12.9% of Australian women.
  • A third of all women suffer bladder control problems and around half of all women in nursing homes are there primarily because their incontinence is unmanageable at home.
In 1998 the World Health Organisation said that “incontinence is a largely preventable and treatable condition”, and that it’s “certainly not an inevitable consequence of ageing”. A recent Australian study found that 84% of women with stress urinary incontinence (leaking with activities such as coughing, sneezing and jumping) were cured with the help of pelvic floor muscle training by a physiotherapist with a special interest in pelvic floor rehabilitation. The average number of visits required was only 5.
What are the Pelvic Floor Muscles?
The muscles that make up the floor of the pelvis, they form a sling that supports the pelvic organs in both men and women. They help you to control your bladder and bowel, they are important for sexual function and they work with your abdominal muscle ‘corset’ to help you stabilize and support your lower back.
What can go wrong with them?
They can become weak and loose and stop supporting your pelvic organs correctly. They can also get too tight causing pain and dysfunction.


What can make them loose?
Pregnancy and childbirth – especially after multiple births, instrumental delivery, perineal tears or large babies. Constipation and straining on the toilet – this can lead to weakening of the pelvic floor muscles which can create a prolapse of the pelvic organs into the vagina. Healthy bowels are an important part of good pelvic floor function. Chronic coughing and/or Repetitive heavy lifting – causes repeated downward forceful pressure onto the pelvic floor muscles. Ageing – muscles tend to weaken with age. Therefore pelvic floor training will help at any age. Obesity and people who are involved in high impact exercise– increases the strain on the pelvic floor muscles. Incorrect sit ups or curl ups or abdominal bracing exercises without involving the pelvic floor. Menopause – due to hormonal changes. Pelvic surgery such as prostatectomy or hysterectomy can result in urinary incontinence which can be assisted with pelvic floor strengthening. We can control them. We can control contraction and relaxation of these muscles. They can be consciously TRAINED like your biceps muscles or your abdominals. And this is IMPORTANT. These muscles ensure you keep control of your bladder and your bowel, and stop descent of your uterus, bowel or bladder into (and outside of) your vagina (this is called a prolapse). It is important to have good bladder and bowel habits and strengthen your pelvic floor every day of your life.
How do I know if I have a problem?
1. If you’re leaking urine when you cough, sneeze, laugh or do any exercise. This is not normal, even when heavily pregnant. This is called Stress Urinary Incontinence. 2. If you have to rush to get to the toilet in time. This is called Urgency. 3. If you sometimes leak when you are rushing to the toilet or before you are ready to void. This is called urge incontinence/overactive bladder syndrome. 4. If you have trouble controlling your bowel movements and wind. 5. If you feel like you haven’t emptied your bowel completely and you feel like you need to strain. 6. If you feel a dragging or heavy sensation into your vagina, or you have noticed a bulge inside or protruding outside your vagina. 7. If you have decreased sexual sensation.
Common MYTHS (taken from the Continence Foundation of Australia)
  • It is always weak pelvic floor muscles that cause problems
  • Pelvic floor muscle exercises are easy
  • I can learn how to do pelvic floor muscle exercises from a pamphlet
  • Doing the exercises don’t work, I’ve tried them and they make no difference
  • You do your pelvic floor exercises by stopping your flow of urine on the toilet
  • I’m too old for the exercises to help
  • The damage has already been done now that I’ve had children, there’s no point in doing the exercises now.
  • I’ve already had a surgery for a prolapse so there’s no point doing the exercises now.
  • You don’t need to do the exercises until after you’ve had a baby.
  • Men don’t have a pelvic floor or need to do the exercises
I want to have some pelvic floor muscle training to remain in control of my life, what do I do now?
A physiotherapist can individually assess your pelvic floor muscle function, give you an individual program, and teach you what lifestyle factors you need to address, including healthy bladder and bowel habit training. It can be interesting to have an assessment done, if you are in any way unsure of whether you are doing your exercises correctly. Many people have difficulty identifying which muscles to exercise. As women in particular, we tend to pass urinary complications off as normal, when it is NOT. Speak out and get some assistance today. The earlier you seek help, the better! It is recommended, that 6 weeks after you give birth, you should have a pelvic floor assessment with a women’s health physiotherapist. If you are unsure if you are contracting the muscles correctly, or would like to know how strong your muscles are and how you could improve, book a session with your women’s health physiotherapist today. CALL NOW!
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focus on physio

194 Ashmore Rd
Benowa, QLD 4217
Phone: (07) 5564 9009

Physiotherapist helping people in Benowa, Carrara, Ashmore, Ashmore City, Molendinar, Southport, Southport Park, Benowa, Bundall, Chevron Island, Isle Of Capri, Main Beach, Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach, Broadbeach Waters, Mermaid Waters, Pacific Fair, Q Supercentre, Clear Island Waters. Act now to improve your physical wellbeing.


Pain Management

Migraine Relief

Family Physiotherapist

Neck & Back Pain