Discs, spinal discs, those spongy, hydrated shock absorbing structures between our bony vertebrae are destined across our lifetime, to fail. Their failure often leads to pain, back pain, and nerve pain, as well as possible sensory changes such as pins and needles and tingling. Their failure can also lead to weakness and this can progress to paralysis. However, sometimes, surprisingly, their failure which can be seen on MRI has absolutely no impact on the body. NO PAIN, NO WEAKNESS AND NO REDUCTION IN FUNCTION AND QUALITY OF LIFE. Go figure…. 

My 16 year son says I need to be able distill my PhD research into one simple sentence. Here goes: I am researching the sideways shape of the spine. I spend hours and hours on the topic. When I am awake, when I doze off to sleep, when I run and when I swim and when I joke with my kids. I think about mechanics and load and tension and angles. Often, these thoughts are discarded, occasionally these thoughts become hunches and rarely these hunches are crystallized to become diamonds.  

A few days ago, some spine specialists in Brazil turned my hunch into a diamond when they published a study in one of the worlds leading spine journals. They established that certain shapes of the spine and pelvis, when viewed from the side, are associated with increased disc degeneration. This was in a population of healthy adults aged around 27 years old with NO back pain. Time will tell if the identified group with an unhealthy spine shape (and degenerating discs) will progress to symptomatic disc back pain. 

Imagine if we could predict who will get disc back pain. Imagine if we could treat the underlying cause of disc related back pain. WE CAN…. 

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Larry is a highly skilled physiotherapist who specialises in treating back and neck pain, postural issues and scoliosis. He is certified in Schroth and SEAS methods and through the Egoscue University. Larry has a background in elite gymnastics and springboard diving and also has many years experience in endurance running and triathlons. His specialist knowledge and techniques have seen him appointed as a gymnastics coach and physiotherapist at both the Olympics Games and Special Olympics.

His passion and driving philosophy is about achieving the best outcomes for his patients utilising an amalgam of the latest techniques and theories while recognising there may sometimes be a need for invasive procedures. Where deemed appropriate Larry will then refer to a specialist. To further his holistic understanding and approach, Larry is currently undertaking a Ph.D. in Spinal Deformity and regularly attends and speaks at international conferences and courses and clinics.

Fun fact: Larry is learning how to surf - so be careful next time you go to the beach! Qualifications: B.Sc (Physiotherapy); M.Sc. (Exercise Physiology); Advanced Certificates in Schroth (BSPTS) and Egoscue (PAS) and SEAS Larry is Level II certified (advanced) in the conservative treatment of Scoliosis based on the Schroth method. The training was conducted by Dr Manuel Rigo of the Barcelona School at Scoliosis Rehab Inc in Wisconsin. He has completed his SEAS scoliosis treatment training at ISICO in Milan. Larry has also spent time working with Dr Rigo in the Barcelona clinic. Larry also has advanced certificates in shoulder treatment, posture alignment therapy and acupuncture.