• Weekend Walk-In Injury Clinic Update

    Due to popular demand we're continuing our Weekend Walk-In Injury Clinic beyond the winter sports season - but only on Saturdays and at our Sports Medicine Clinic (not the Exercise + Rehab Centre).

    If someone is injured on a weekend and requires injury assessment and management, but doesn't need to go to or want to wait in an emergency department, they can drop in to:

    Alphington Sports Medicine Clinic
    339 Heidelberg Road, Northcote
    12.30 - 5pm Saturdays (until early November)

    Injuries are assessed by a Physiotherapist.

    No appointment is needed, but if possible please call ahead on 9481 5744.

  • Cooking With Kristen - Loaded Sweet Potato

    Kristen Papathanasiou is our Accredited Practising Dietitian and an Accredited Sports Dietitian.

    Loaded Sweet Potato

    Serves 4-5


    • 2 large sweet potatoes cut in half lengthways
    • 500g lean beef mince
    • 1 400g can of red kidney beans OR black beans
    • 1 400g can of diced tomatoes
    • 1 red onion finely chopped
    • 1 Tb smoked paprika
    • 1 Tb cumin
    • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
    • Salt & pepper
    • Tasty cheese, grated


    1. Pre-heat fan oven to 200C.
    2. Roast sweet potato halves in oven for 40 minutes or until cooked all the way through.
    3. In a pan, fry off the onion and spices in olive oil.
    4. Add mince and cook for about 3-5 minutes. Once meat has turned almost completely brown add the tinned tomatoes and beans and let simmer with the lid on for 15 minutes.
    5. Once the meat is cooked, spoon the mixture over the cooked sweet potato halves, top with cheese and bake until cheese is melted.
    6. Serve with greek yoghurt or home-made guacamole.

    This can make for a perfect vegetarian dish too - just leave out the mince!




  • Focus on: A Podiatrist’s role in knee pain

    Are your feet affecting your knee pain?

    Knee pain, specifically patellofemoral joint (PFJ) pain is a common condition seen by clinicians affecting all kinds of people from elite athletes, to more sedentary individuals. The condition accounts for 20-40% of all knee complaints. Whilst there are multiple ways to manage this kind of knee pain, one key area often overlooked is how the feet are influencing the condition.

    The condition typically presents with pain at the front of the knee, where the articulation of the knee cap and thigh bone (femur) align. With movement of the knee the kneecap needs to slide and glide over the thigh bone in a specific groove, think of it like a tram on tram tracks. If the knee cap is not sliding over the groove due to misalignment and ‘maltracking' pain will present. Many patients describe the pain when squatting, taking the stairs or bending their knees.

    There are many factors which can lead to the ‘maltracking' of the patella, yet one area to be strongly considered is looking at lower limb and foot alignment.

    In treatment, muscle imbalances are typically addressed which may involve strengthening work and exercises, however it's important to consider if your foot alignment influencing your pain.

    In 2018 the Journal of Gait & Posture published a paper examining the use of foot orthoses in the treatment of PFJ pain, they concluded that addressing foot alignment through foot orthoses affected knee mechanics through altering ground reaction forces. Whilst this is only a small piece of the puzzle in PFJ pain research, in my experience as a Sports Podiatrist addressing patient's foot posture (amount of foot pronation) with either prescribed orthotics or even with something as simple as footwear changes has had some great results in managing knee pain.

    At Alphington Sports Medicine Clinic our Podiatrist can perform a comprehensive biomechanical assessment, focusing on your Gait (the way you walk), lower limb alignment and your foot posture. From there, they can advise you on ways to improve any postural deficits providing you with footwear recommendations and, if required, manufacture custom orthotics which may help with your knee pain.

    Zoe Giacobbe - Alphington Sports Medicine Clinic Podiatrist.

    Citation: Burston. J, Richards. J, Selfe. J, 2018, The effects of three quarter and full length foot orthoses on knee mechanics in healthy subjects and pattelofemoral pain when walking and descending stairs, Gait and Posture,62 p518-522.


  • Paediatrics Abroad

    Our Paediatrician, Dr Peter Barnett, spent the month of April volunteering at the Lao Friends Hospital for Children in Luang Prabang, Laos.

    He was there with his wife Megan (a Neonatal Nurse) and other volunteer doctors and nurses from Australia, England and the US. He said it was an amazing experience and what made it even more rewarding was the fact that they weren't just offering their services for a set amount of time - instead they were there in more of a consultative role to upskill local doctors and nurses so as to improve the ongoing services that are available for patients.

    Funded purely by donations and sponsored by Friends Without A Border, an American based foundation, the hospital provides free medical care and health education to children in northern Laos. They have started a developmental clinic for children with development issues (e.g. cerebral palsy etc) to help them achieve better outcomes. And also run a clinic for patients with Thalassaemia, who require blood transfusions on a monthly basis to be able to live normal lives, something we in Australia could take for granted as it would be available to us.

    Any medical or nursing volunteers with paediatric experience are welcome, as of course are donations. https://fwab.org/laos/



  • Part-time Podiatry position at Alphington Sports Medicine Clinic

    We're looking for an experienced Podiatrist to join the Alphington Sports Medicine team.

    A strong knowledge in biomechanical assessment, orthotic prescription, footwear advice, nail surgery and general foot care is essential. Preference will be given to podiatrists with 3+ years experience.

    The contracted position will be for 2 to 3 sessions per week (5 to 6 hours per shift) with some afternoon/evening sessions required.

    Please send further questions and applications (including a cover letter and resume) to Dr Gaylene McKay, Managing Director at gaylene@alphingtonsportsmed.com.au or post/deliver your application to 339 Heidelberg Rd, Northcote, 3070.

    Applications close Monday 28 May 2018.


  • Cooking With Kristen - Easy Cheesy Muffins

    Kristen Papathanasiou is our Accredited Practising Dietitian and an Accredited Sports Dietitian.


    Easy Cheesy Muffins

    These savoury muffins make for a nutritious lunchbox snack that the whole family can enjoy. They can be a great way to sneak in extra veggies for those more fussy eaters.

    Makes about 12 small muffins


    • 2 cups cooked quinoa
    • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
    • 4 whole eggs, whisked
    • 2 medium zucchinis, grated
    • Salt and pepper to taste


    1. Pre-heat oven to 180C.
    2. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.
    3. Pour mixture into a lined/greased muffin tray.
    4. Bake for 15 minutes.


  • Weekend Walk-In Injury Clinic Re-opening Saturday 7 April

    The winter sporting season is upon us again and as such our Weekend Walk-In Injury Clinic is re-opening - with a few changes.

    If someone is injured on a weekend, and requires injury assessment and management but doesn't need to go to or want to wait in an emergency department, they can drop in to:

    Alphington Exercise + Rehabilitation Centre
    376 Heidelberg Road, Fairfield
    12.30 - 5pm Saturdays and Sundays
    (from 7 April until September 2018)

    Injuries are assessed by a Physiotherapist.

    No appointment is needed, but please call ahead on 9482 5211 if possible.

    There are no onsite X-Ray facilities available.

    Remember, we can help with injury prevention as well as recovery and take care of both sporting and non-sporting medical and rehabilitation elements. And we are open for normal appointments on Saturday and Sunday mornings too - you can view the full list of our services here.

    Phone us if you have any questions or would like to make a regular appointment.

    Please note: as a private practice we do not bulk bill

  • Focus On: Paediatric Sports Medicine

    "Children are not just small adults" - how often have you heard this bandied around? But it is true!

    There are specific injuries and illnesses that occur in children that do not occur in adults and vice versa. Thus when having your child evaluated for a sporting injury or ongoing pain issue, these need to be taken into account. Common adult issues are uncommon in children (until their late adolescent years) e.g. rotator cuff injuries, plantar fasciitis etc.

    Many times parents come to me stating that they thought the pain their child was having was related to "growing pains". Certainly children can have pains which are non-specific during their growth years but these tend to be intermittent and generally not affect their functioning at sports. Some children that are "double jointed" or very flexible will also have these non-specific pains. Ongoing pain and particularly associated with swelling or inability to complete their sport should be evaluated.

    Children do have issues related to their growth - because as they grow they generally become stiffer and less flexible. Their bones grow faster than their ligaments and muscles and thus where the muscles / tendons insert onto the bones, this can cause pulling and thus pain. The common conditions around this process is Osgood Schlatters (insertion of the tendon just below the knee) and Severs (insertion of the Achilles into the heel bone). There are a number of other areas that can be affected as well (e.g around the hip, knee and foot). These conditions are generally seen when the child is going through their growth spurts (e.g. severs 8-12 yrs and OS 10-16 yrs). These conditions will cease to be a problem when the child stops growing. The main stay of treatment is an accurate diagnosis and explanation.

    Concussion is an evolving issue in sport and particularly among children. It is important that if children are diagnosed with a concussion that they have a graduated program of returning to school and sport and clearance prior to returning to sport. Royal Children's Hospital fact sheets for parents explain this process and are based on expert guidance and world processes. There will be an App coming in the next few months which will incorporate this process for trainers and parents - HeadCheck 2.0 - Due for release in April 2018. If you are concerned that your child is not recovering as you might expect then evaluation is essential so that a tailored process can be undertaken to return them to sport and school. Going back too early is the cause of ongoing issues.Issues of Bow legs, Knock knees, intoeing, flat feet etc are all normal aspects of growth and generally do not need intervention such as orthotics and braces. Evaluation around why the child's structure of their legs looks abnormal is important to make sure that intervention is not required. Generally if the structure seems to be getting worse then evaluation by a paediatric musculoskeletal specialist should be considered. They will generally reassure you about the growth or organise follow up in the future.

    I wish your children all the best in their sporting activities and at Alphington Sports Medicine Clinic we aim to diagnose your child's problem and implement a treatment program if required.

    Dr Peter Barnett, Paediatrician

    For more information on Dr Peter Barnet visit our Practitioner Page and call us on 9481 5744 if you'd like to make an appointment with him.


  • Cooking With Kristen - Vegetarian (Bean) Wraps

    Kristen Papathanasiou is our Accredited Practising Dietitian and an Accredited Sports Dietitian.

    Vegetarian (Bean) Wraps

    Eating less meat is not only good for the environment, it does wonders for your health too!

    A diet high in meat, especially processed meats (beef, pork, sausages, cold meats) has been shown to increase the risk of obesity, heart disease, and some cancers.

    To keep your health in check, and keep cholesterol levels down, aim for at least one meat-free meal a week by swapping fatty proteins for nutritious plant based alternatives like legumes, tofu or vegetables.

    Try my meat-free burger patties.

    Just 1 of these wraps provides you with over half your daily fibre requirement and 4 serves of vegetables (you should aim for 5+ serves a day)!

    Beans are a good alternative to meat as they are low in fat, high in protein, and a good source of iron.


    Bean Patties

    • 2x 400g can of four bean mix
    • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
    • 1 egg
    • handful of parsley, chopped
    • 1 clove garlic, grated
    • 1 tsp cumin

    Grilled Vegetables

    • zuchinni
    • capsicum
    • eggplant

    To Serve

    • hummus
    • tzatziki
    • rocket
    • wholegrain pita wraps/tortillas/rolls


    1. Pre-heat oven to 180C, fan forced grill. Coat sliced veg with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and grill for about 5 minutes either side, or until slightly charred.
    2. Mash beans in a large mixing bowl. Add egg, breadcrumbs, garlic, parsley, and cumin, and mix. Season with salt and pepper.
    3. Form into balls and flatten into patties. Make sure the patties aren't too flat as they will collapse in the pan.
    4. As the beans are already cooked they won't take long. Cook for about 3 minutes either side or until golden.
    5. Serve on a wholegrain wrap with grilled veg, hoummus and/or tzatziki, and rocket. Top with chilli sauce (optional).

    Serves 4

  • Dr David Bolzonello appointed Melbourne Football Club Senior Doctor

    Unfortunately we are no longer offering our Sport & Exercise Physician Service at Warringal Medical Centre.

    Why you ask?

    Because Dr David Bolzonello will now be spending his Monday mornings with the players at the Melbourne Football Club where he's been appointed as a Senior Club Doctor!

    But don't worry - appointments are still available with him at our Clinic on Mondays (pm), Tuesdays (pm), alternate Thursdays (pm) and Fridays.