Welcome Podiatrist Ana Downey-Smith to The Pedaler.

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We are very excited to introduce the newest member of our team Ana Downey-Smith. Ana kicks off next week at both our Milton headquarters and at North West Physiotherapy Everton Park. She has been working over the past few years in Bathurst and is looking forward to the challenges and opportunities presented by working at The Pedaler.

Ana grew up in Central West NSW and studied a bachelor of podiatry through Charles Sturt University completing her studies in 2013. Initially she started her career in a public hospital in Sydney working with a prosthetics and orthotics team, then returned back to the country. Ana is currently studying a degree in Sports Medicine through the University of Melbourne, expected to be completed by December 2019.

Ana is qualified in dry needling, trigger point therapy and soft tissue mobilisation. This helps to provide an in-depth treatment with longer lasting results. Ana also has a keen interest in biomechanics and alignment. After several years of experience in private practice, Ana has clinical skills with people of all ages and health types, but particularly enjoys working with children, teenagers and athletes.  

Ana prefers to take a holistic approach to treatment, focusing on more than just the areas of pain. She also has over 6 years experience making and prescribing orthotics, as well as adjusting or modifying and fitting shoes and cleats. Ana and her husband have been long-term members of cycle clubs in Central West NSW and you will often find them around the local cycling crowds. 

During spare time Ana enjoys mountain biking, hiking with her 2 dogs and travelling.


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The Pedaler Podiatry now at Keperra and Eatons Hill

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After joining forces with North West Physiotherapy Everton Park, we have now added North West Physiotherapy Keperra and North West Physiotherapy Eatons Hill to the network. It’s been an enormous pleasure working alongside the Physiotherapists at North West and we can’t wait to get the ball rolling at the two new locations.

We will be providing the same high quality The Pedaler Podiatry services to these locations with all orthotic manufacturing still running through our own The Pedaler / Cobra9 Lab in Nundah. This allows complete control over the entire orthotic process from start to finish and provides all North West patients with the same 2nd set no gap policy for repeat clients we offer at The Pedaler.

For clients who want access to our bespoke Cobra9 Custom Cycling Orthotic services, there are now 4 The Pedaler locations spread throughout Brisbane where you can be cast and be fitted for these devices. Our headquarters for Bike Fitting and workshop services will remain at The Pedaler Milton, although basic bike fit assistance can now be obtained in all 4 locations.

For clients who want access to our bespoke Cobra9 Custom Cycling Orthotic services, there are now 4 locations spread throughout Brisbane where you can be cast for these devices.

We are very excited to be looking after more of Brisbane’s community with this expansion.

Big thanks to Roger and Roneill from Everton Park, Tim from Keperra and Ben from Eatons Hill for helping establish this relationship.

Services available at North West Physiotherapy

  • Sports Podiatry

  • Running Assessment

  • Cycling Assessment

  • Diabetic Assessment

  • Paediatric Podiatry

  • Cobra9 Cycling Orthotics

  • Prescription Orthotic Therapy

For Bookings, please contact North West Physiotherapy and select your location.



Common question number 1. Do I need a new shoe or a cycling orthotic to help my foot pain?

When we have clients book an online appointment at our Milton headquarters, or in one of our satellite locations at North West Physiotherapy, the most common added note to the booking is “I’m not sure if I need new shoes or whether the problem is coming from my feet”. This is an entirely appropriate question to ask and one which requires a little bit of analysis on our end to work out a solution. However there are a few clues as to where your problems are coming from.

Typically as we progress through the sport of cycling, our duration and frequency of activity increases. The toughness of the terrain also changes enormously as our confidence grows. I’m often surprised how quickly some riders progress from beginners to Gran Fondo warriors! (You know who you are guys) Cycling is certainly a sport that rewards you for your endeavours. That said, as we build our volume of riding the risks of developing issues with our shoes also grows.

Typically feet begin their pathway to pain insidiously. The exact timing isn’t always clear yet once a pattern emerges, the trend becomes very strong. That said if you change your shoes and the pain commences it’s highly likely the shoes are responsible! Aside from that simple scenario shoes can still be to blame if your volume increases to a point where you begin to feel discomfort on longer rides.

Some signs that it is likely the shoes are causing the problem are:

  • Numbness in your toes or the ball of the foot on longer rides

  • Isolated pressure points in the upper of the shoe

  • The sensation that your feet are swimming in the shoe causing your toes to claw down

  • Heel slippage

  • Reaching the limit of tension on your closure system (either maxed out or dialled in)

  • Red marks on bony prominences after your shoes come off

  • A sloppy foot feel inside the shoe

  • Pain which has gradually emerged as a shoe has become older and more worn out

  • Painful toes especially the little toes

  • Sore bunions on the inside or the outside of your foot

There are instances where the foot pain is caused by both foot issues and the shoe being inappropriate. In these cases working on a solution for both will likely get the best outcome. Generally when we do this we will tick off one box at a time to ensure we are getting an outcome clearly defined by the variable we have changed and avoiding confusion. I also find many clients who typically wear orthotics inside their normal shoes benefit somewhat when we create a cycling orthotic solution as well.

In either case, if you are getting pain in your feet when you ride, let us know and I am confident we can find a solution. All our shoe fitting takes place on the indoor trainer to ensure we are spot on and ready to roll. We also have a fantastic relationship with Lake Shoes internationally and Cobra9 Cycling Orthotics that allows to create awesome solutions for all cyclists.

Nathan White Podiatrist

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EARn Your Aero

PART 1:

Muscle Flexibility and Spinal Mobility

The optimal time trial position in cycling is one that best balances your body, your bike and your event distance. Once these 3 factors have been addressed, you have a baseline in which fit progressions can be made over time to achieve an optimal aerodynamic position. It is important to remember that the best cyclists in the world have been working on their aero positions for many years. You too need to earn your position. In working towards optimal aero you need to be aware of, and address, your muscle flexibility, spinal mobility, off the bike strength, current positional sustainability, training capacity/history as well as your event requirements.

A reminder of the ‘simple’ requirements of aero

What can you do ?

Firstly, Here are some simple tests to work out what needs some attention…

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Test Your Range

Firstly, you must simply test your range of flexibility through the hamstrings, calves, glutes, back and shoulders using the forward bend test.

Make sure that you have both feet planted on the floor firmly, and your legs are straight. Make a note of how far you are from the floor and the main areas that you feel tightness.

Next, we will do a Spinal Mobility test. This is a combined measure of muscle flexibility, spinal mobility and ability to control your pelvic and spinal position.

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Part 1:

Rest your hands on a table or chair with your feet shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent and a flat back. If is not possible to flatten your back, try to identify the muscle group that may be restricting you. Again, this will generally be hamstrings, calves, glutes, back and shoulders. If you are easily maintaining a flat back in this position, move on to Part 2…..

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Part 2:

Progress to resting your elbows on a table or chair with your feet slightly apart and knees slightly bent. Now can you straighten your back?

Again, identify the muscle group that may be restricting you. Again, this will generally be hamstrings, calves, glutes, back and shoulders.

Let’s start with some basic exercises….

Note: These exercises should be completed ‘pain’ free. 

In saying that, you might feel some discomfort when completing the exercises with the trigger balls. So start easy and gently progress as able.

Complete the exercises regularly (3-4x/week) to achieve progressive gains over time.

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Hamstring Stretch

Goal: Increase hamstring length to facilitate optimal position on TT bars and reduce spinal stress. Aim for 90 degrees. Hold 30-60 seconds.

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Downward Dog

Goal: Aim for a triangular shape.

Look at yourself in the mirror side on. Which areas are restricting you from looking like a triangle and are likely to be tight? Calves, hamstrings, glutes, shoulders or spinal stiffness?

Identify where these areas of tightness or weakness are. In our model these are the calves, hamstrings, shoulders.

2 x 30 second holds

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Thoracic Extension On Roller

Goal: Increasing thoracic spine mobility.

Equipment: Foam Roller

Keep chin tucked in and gently extend backwards over the roller. Work your way up from the middle of the back to between the shoulder blades

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Thoracic Extension on Double Tennis Ball

Goal: Specific thoracic spine joint mobility

Equipment: Two tennis balls taped together

Keep chin tucked on chest. Start with balls under the middle of the back, gently lean into them to reduce muscle tightness or extend over them gently to mobilise the joint. Spend 15 seconds on each spot or more if needed

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Pec/Chest Stretch on Foam Roller

Goal: Improve thoracic spine extension

Equipment: Foam roller or rolled up towel

Keep back flat on roller and chin tucked in, take arms out to ‘surrender’ position. Hold for 30 seconds or longer as required

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Posterior Shoulder Release

Goal: Reduce tightness at the back of shoulder to improve range of motion in TT position.

Equipment: Spiky ball

Locate sore areas and apply desired pressure on ball until soreness reduces. Move around armpit and back of shoulder to locate tight areas. Work for up to 5 mins.

Remember: everyone has different levels of flexibility. Some people are naturally flexible while others require significant time spent on stretching to achieve noticeable changes.

Happy stretching and stay tuned for Part 2: Muscle flexibility and Spinal Mobility cont…

Brissy is getting cold! Keep Your Immune System Boosted!

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With a lot of endurance events on over the cooler months up here in the Sunshine State, it is important to be aware of your energy levels in order to maintain a strong immune system.

Here are some pointers from Tara, our Dietitian, for keeping your immune system in check in the lead up to race day.

Eat well. A balanced diet is going to support your training and event prep. Enough fuel, fresh food and plenty of colour from vegetables to receive antioxidants is a great start.

Sleep. Make sure that race nerves/ excitement don’t affect your sleep pattern, as this can suppress the immune system.

Don't skip your recovery meals. Even when tapering before an event the nutrition supporting our recovery and replenishing our stores is still very important. Carbohydrates especially help lessen the negative effect stress hormones have on the immune system.

Supplements. For people putting their bodies under high amounts of physical stress, there is a place for a vitamin C, zinc and echinacea supplements.

When looking to build a balanced diet, make sure you are packing in the following vitamins and minerals -

Vitamin C: oranges, kiwifruit, berries, potatoes.

Vitamin E: avocados, almonds, seeds, oats, brown rice

Magnesium: wholegrains, nuts, seeds, leafy green vegetables

Zinc: eggs, turkey, almonds, cashew nuts, oysters

Iron: lean red meat, lentils, chickpeas, cashew nuts, dried apricots, wholegrain bread

B vitamins: lean meats, dairy products, whole grains. (Vitamin B12 is only found in foods of animal origin, so vegans may need to take a supplement or consume foods fortified with vitamin B12)

Omega 3 fatty acids: salmon, mackerel, anchovies, trout, sardines, fresh tuna, ground flaxseed, chia seeds, flaxseed oil, walnuts, pumpkin seeds.

Probiotics: Live yogurt, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, sourdough bread, miso soup

CLICK HERE to book in and see Tara for a Dietitics Consultation




Drink Up Buttercup!

By Amie Donlan, Remedial Therapist

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If you have ever had a massage from me, or any other therapist for that matter, then one of the phrases you have almost certainly heard at some point is “make sure you drink plenty of water over the next few days.” It’s not just a helpful tip from a friendly face, it actually relates a lot to your treatment. Let’s delve a little deeper.

First off, regardless of having a massage, you should be drinking water anyway, and probably more than you already are.  Most people don’t drink enough. Plain old, pure water is what it needs to be. None of this “well, there is water in my coffee, so that counts” (or any other daily drinks of yours). Look it’s a coffee from the 4064 boys next door, we might let that slide - but make sure you’re topping up the H2O levels accordingly.

SOME SCIENCY STUFF COMING UP… Just how much should you be drinking?  There are Nutrient Reference Values advising that adult men should drink 2.6 litres of water per day (about 10 cups) and adult women should drink 2.1 litres per day (about eight cups). But these figures are based on the average weight of men and women, so if you’re under or overweight you may consider adjusting your water intake. A general rule of thumb is approx. 35 millilitres of fluid per kilogram of body weight.

Now that you know how much you should be drinking, how does it relate to massage?  First I will talk about healthy vs unhealthy muscle tissue. When your muscles are healthy (hydrated) they feel soft, almost spongy and allows blood to flow freely throughout the vessels.  Unhealthy (dehydrated) muscle tissue is the type that is causing you pain. It is tight, feeling more compact and restricted in movement. What this also means is it also restricts the amount of blood flow and lymphatic drainage through the tissue (by constricting the capillaries).  If you are not getting a good amount of blood flow through an area, this decreases oxygen and nutrient exchange, as well as allowing metabolic waste to build up and become stuck within the tissue. Our bodies are the bloody masters of adaptation, and because of this your blood will go find other, less restricted paths around this area.

When you are having a thorough, deep tissue massage, these areas of restriction and muscle tension are usually the key focal points. The massage therapist is working to break down the adhesion’s that have formed in the unhealthy tissue and BOOM, allowing increased blood flow, increased movement, and restore the muscle to a much more healthy state.  STAY WITH ME… What happens when you open up these areas is that the metabolic waste that had been trapped due to lack of blood flow is now released and on its way out through the lymphatic system. Nutrients and oxygen are being delivered to the muscle at a faster rate, and this all uses water from your bloodstream, which may give you a feeling of dehydration, or thirst.  Similar to why you need more water when working out, your muscles are using more oxygen, and water is necessary for this exchange (so it gets used up faster). An increased amount of metabolic waste is being processed and filtered through the kidneys, which makes them have to work harder and is also using… more water.

If you have ever experienced feeling slightly nauseous, developed a headache, or flu-like symptoms after a massage, this is mainly due to the increased amount of metabolic waste being transported out. Drinking more water after your massage can help reduce those symptoms, or even stop it from happening.

So, it is true you should drink water after massage in order to re-hydrate because your body is using water at a faster rate, but the key is to be drinking enough water EVERYDAY, whether you get a massage or not.  Water is vital for every function that occurs in the body, and necessary to maintain healthy, hydrated muscle tissue.

Book in to see Amie for a massage now!

EOFY Health Funds Reminder - Use it before you lose it

Carbon Fibre Orthotics for running and cycling

Carbon Fibre Orthotics for running and cycling

It’s approaching Jun 30 and for those with health funds that turnover at the end of the financial year, now is the time to ensure you get that last massage, physio, dietetics or podiatry appointment in before it resets again on Jul 1.

It’s also a good time to remind our loyal clients that everyone who has had orthotic therapy with us previously is entitled to one fund only (no gap) set of orthotics a year using the same foot molds. If you are in doubt, fire us an email and we can let you know when you last reviewed with us for your cycling, walking, running or pressure relief orthotics.

If you are after a second set, contact us with your name, details and orthotic request and we can ensure we have the whole process finalised before June 30. If you have other queries, call us on 07 31296331.

The Pedaler Health Milton

Massage / Podiatry / Physiotherapy / Nutrition / Exercise Physiology

Why we stopped putting shoes in our retail space.

Recently we discussed our move to exclusively selling Lake shoes, alongside this shift we have been gradually removing the shoes from the shelves and providing a more intensive shoe fitting service for clients. This might seem confusing and counter intuitive, but there is a good reason why we have done this and the results are encouraging.

Lake CX402s on the feet of Josh Amberger - Photo Mark Fountain

Lake CX402s on the feet of Josh Amberger - Photo Mark Fountain

Cycling shoes are notoriously difficult to fit well. Heavy, unforgiving materials in the uppers combined with stiff soles and a tight fit often cause compression and areas of irritation. As well as this the aesthetics and marketing hype of new products can override good fitting principles and leave customers uncomfortable and unhappy in the long run. When attempting to get the fit right, we have found that professional ‘screening’ of the feet and lower limbs contribute enormously to satisfactory outcomes. At The Pedaler we have experienced Podiatrists with enormous cycling knowledge who have this process perfected.

At The Pedaler we have experienced Podiatrists with enormous cycling knowledge who have this process perfected

Initially we ran a more typical bike store set up. We stocked shoes on shelves and encouraged cyclists to try shoes on with the assistance of our staff. Sometimes the outcomes were satisfactory and in others, less so. Sometimes wasn’t good enough for us, so we decided to only sell shoes once a Podiatrist had given the fit their tick of approval. With this more thorough approach to the process the outcome was always satisfactory.

Hence, we embraced that outcome and changed the way we fit shoes. Rather then have a client spend 45 minutes trying on a range of shoes and becoming increasingly confused, we conduct a foot screening and assessment session with our Podiatrist to guarantee the fit. There is a consult cost for this, but that’s the price for an expert opinion.

This process also enables us to procure any style, size, colour and width option in the ENTIRE Lake range. That’s pretty damned special given just how extensive their range of shoes are.

This also enables us to procure any style, size, colour and width option in the ENTIRE Lake range!

So if you want a pair of guaranteed comfortable shoes, it pays to book in and make a time to get it right.


Lake CX332 paired with COBRA9 SemiPro

Lake CX332 paired with COBRA9 SemiPro