Building the Body’s Core Strength

I’ve learned about the importance of posture, especially how to lift things without hurting my back

Giana Tiropanis, 25, visited physiotherapist Matt McCutcheon at Elevate after she suffered a prolapsed disc. She had been to see an osteopath and nothing improved, so she became desperate, especially when her right leg began to go numb.

“I work in retail and spend a lot of my time on my feet, up ladders, lifting boxes, and moving things around. It’s a very physical job and I was in agony,” the high heel-loving fashionista explains.

When her fiancé’s trainer recommended McCutcheon, the two met for a consult. “Giana’s MRI confirmed a large disc protrusion irritating her L5 nerve root,” says McCutcheon. “We needed to calm down the inflammation, and ensure nothing further was done to irritate the situation.”

McCutcheon arranged for Giana to be massaged immediately. “It’s so convenient having the masseurs on the premises,” notes Giana. “Also, it was great to get instant pain relief, because I was so tense.”

McCutcheon demonstrated a range of exercises for Giana to do twice-daily at home until her next weekly visit. Most of the exercises focused on switching on Giana’s glute (posterior) muscles; strengthening her quadricep (thigh) muscles; and building her body’s core strength.

One of Giana’s least-favourite exercises, she laughs, was bending and straightening her knees in the air repetitively while lying on her back. “That’s a real stomach cruncher, and it burns like hell!” she laughs.

McCutcheon insisted on seeing Giana two days after the initial consult in order to ensure Giana was exercising properly and responding well to the treatment. He subsequently monitored Giana’s progress weekly, and introduced new strengthening exercises at each session. Within a matter of weeks, Giana’s pain had abated, and her right leg was no longer numb.

“Matt has made me more aware of the way I stand, sit, and lift things,” the first generation Australian says. “He’s shown me the correct posture for a lot of situations, and I’m so grateful because I know now how to avoid hurting my back. Hopefully, my back pain is a thing of the past!”

  • Matt McCutcheon APA Titled, Physiotherapist

    Meet Matt McCutcheon, our head Physiotherapist. As well as being a highly skilled and experienced Physiotherapist, Matt is APA Sports-titled and one of the physios for the Sydney Swans AFL team.



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