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Your health matters. The services that we offer target a variety of conditions from musculoskeletal disorders to cancer, neurological disorders and more. Here at our ‘Health Matters’ health blog, you’ll find a wealth of information including articles, case studies and health podcasts on a range of such conditions.

Australia’s ageing population means that more Australians are getting hip replacements and the good news is that with improving surgery techniques and rehabilitation protocols, Australia has a high rate of hip replacement success. So, what are the keys to having heathy hips and successful hip replacement recovery? In this article we explore how the hips work, how to improve hip health and how to prepare for and manage hip replacement surgery and recuperation.

What are hips and what do they do?

The acetabulofemoral joint commonly known as the hip joint, are ball-and-socket joints located at the junction of the thigh bone and pelvis. They play a crucial role in various movements and are among the largest joints in the body, supporting a significant portion of a person’s body weight.

Hips enable a broad spectrum of movement in the legs, facilitating activities such as walking, squatting, jumping, ascending and descending stairs, sitting, and any other motion that requires lifting or lowering the leg. Ball-and-socket joints like the hips typically exhibit the highest degree of mobility among all body joints.

The hip joint enables various movements such as flexing and extending the legs, rotating them inwards and outwards, and moving them towards or away from the midline. Despite not having an extensive range of motion, it plays a crucial role in stabilising the connection between the upper and lower body.

The anatomy of hips

Hip Bones:

The bones are commonly known as the pelvis. Within the pelvis, two key components play a crucial role in the hip joint; The acetabulum serves as the socket where the upper part of the femur is inserted, while the sacrum provides support to the lower spine and acts as a connection point for numerous muscles and ligaments that help support the hips.

Muscles of the hip:

The muscles of the hip play a crucial role in both motion and stabilisation, with some performing both functions simultaneously. While over fifteen muscles contribute to hip movement, the following are among the largest and most significant:

The gluteus maximus muscle attaches to the ilium, the largest part of the pelvis, and the sacrum. Its primary functions include leg extension and external rotation. This muscle is crucial for actions such as rising from a seated position, running, and walking uphill. Additionally, it plays a key role in supporting the pelvis and enabling activities like maintaining balance on one leg.

The gluteus medius is the main muscle responsible for hip abduction, which involves moving your leg away from your midline. It also plays a crucial role in stabilising your knee when you need to balance on one leg temporarily while walking or running. Positioned between the gluteus maximus and gluteus minimus, the gluteus medius is essential for maintaining proper hip function and stability.

The gluteus minimus is the smallest muscle in the glute group, attached to the ilium. Its primary function is to assist with abduction, but its main role is to provide stability to the hips during these movements.





Pelvis Anatomy including the Hip


Gluteus Muscles


The psoas major muscle is a significant muscle that connects the spine to the inner pelvis. It plays a crucial role in linking the upper and lower body and stabilising this connection. Additionally, it connects the front of the body to the back. At the hip joint, the psoas assists in leg movement, hip rotation, and provides stability during subtle hip movements.

The iliacus muscle connects the ilium of the pelvis to the sacrum. It plays a key role in leg extension and external rotation.

The piriformis muscle attaches to the sacrum and plays a crucial role in lifting and rotating your leg. It is vital for redistributing your body weight when walking from one side to another.

Nerves of the hip:

The nerves located in the hip region play a crucial role in providing sensation to your legs and facilitating essential functions such as walking and everyday movements. These nerves encompass:

The obturator nerve which supplies sensory innervation to a part of the thigh and serves as a motor input for various crucial hip muscles.

The genitofemoral nerve supplies sensory innervation to the genital area and the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve supplies sensory innervation to the lateral thigh.

The femoral nerve supplies feeling to parts of the leg and controls the movement of the psoas muscle and other significant muscles while the posterior femoral cutaneous nerve supplies feeling to the rear of your thigh.

Sciatic nerve: In certain individuals, this nerve travels above the piriformis muscle, while in others, it goes through the muscle. It plays a role in the movement of your hamstrings. Read our blog about sciatica.

Indicators of potential hip issues

The hip joints are susceptible to both gradual deterioration and sudden trauma. If you experience hip pain or stiffness, these are typically the primary indicators that there may be an underlying issue with your hip. Contact a doctor immediately or visit a hospital emergency department if any of the following occur:

  • You cannot move your leg or hip or you cannot stand or bear weight on a leg
  • You have intense or referred pain in your hip or leg
  • Your hip or leg looks deformed
  • Your leg is very swollen or has become swollen suddenly
  • There is redness around your hip.

Conditions affecting the hips

Arthritis is a prevalent hip condition where the cartilage in the joint deteriorates over time due to usage, leading to bone-on-bone contact, resulting in pain and limited mobility. Treatment options for hip arthritis typically involve physical therapy, anti-inflammatory drugs, and corticosteroid injections. In severe cases, hip replacement surgery may be a necessary option.

Bursitis is characterised by inflammation of the small sacs of fluid that cushion the joints. The treatments for hip bursitis are akin to those prescribed for arthritis. These may include anti-inflammatory medications, corticosteroid injections, and physical therapy. Lifestyle adjustments to avoid activities that aggravate the hip can also be beneficial. In cases where these methods prove ineffective, surgical removal of the affected bursa may be recommended by your doctor.

Avascular necrosis occurs when tissue in the hip dies due to a lack of blood flow, typically caused by injury or tumours. This can lead to the development of tiny fractures in the hip over a period of months or years, eventually resulting in bone breakdown. The primary symptom of avascular necrosis is progressive hip pain.

Ensure your hip health with these tips:

  • Work on improving your posture and maintain a healthy weight
  • Take breaks from prolonged sitting
  • Strengthen your core muscles, including your glutes
  • Avoid high-impact exercises initially and opt for lower-impact movements
  • If you experience pain in your hips, rest and ice packs may provide some relief, but don’t delay in seeing your doctor if pain persists
  • Early intervention is key to preventing potential complications in the future

Hip replacement surgery rehab and prehab


Physiotherapy following a hip replacement can expedite your recovery process. Ideally, it is advisable to consult with one of our physios prior to surgery as well. Physiotherapists are valuable in overseeing and supporting the rehabilitation journey post hip replacement. We develop precise evaluations and personalised programs that align with your functional capacity and facilitate the accomplishment of targeted objectives in a secure and effective manner.


Physiotherapy before undergoing surgery helps to ensure that you maintain muscle strength and range of motion in your joints. Referred to as pre-hab, this practice has been shown to reduce complications and enhance recovery outcomes.

Through pre-hab, you will be educated on movements to avoid post-surgery and be introduced to targeted strengthening exercises for the muscles surrounding the hip joint. Hydrotherapy, which we offer at our Runaway Bay clinic, may also be recommended, offering a beneficial way to experience movement, alleviate pain, and potentially facilitate weight loss prior to the surgery.

Whether you want to get in shape in order support improved hip health, maintain existing good health, prepare for or recover from surgery, our multidisciplinary team of experts is here to help. You can book an appointment with them directly, or request a call by completing the following form, so we can answer your questions and book a time to meet that suits you.


Our Varsity Lakes clinic is home to one of our most extensive service offerings. Located just 500m from Bond University, our clinic offers exercise physiology services, personal training, home visit programs and an extensive range of specialised group classes. From our handy location within Temple Gym, we conduct a range of 1-on-1 and group sessions all tailored to the varying needs of our growing client base.  

From 8 through to 108 – we work with clients of all ages to achieve exercise and well-being goals of all degrees. Find out more about our full suite of services to find your perfect fit below.  

Our Location and Facilities  

Our clinic is located within Varsity Lakes’ Temple Gym, providing us with direct access to state-of-the-art exercise facilities. Temple Gym is quieter than most commercial gyms, offering clients ultimate privacy and comfort during their sessions. It is also fully air conditioned, which is beneficial for our clients with multiple sclerosis that may struggle to regulate their temperature.  

Services We Offer 

Each of our services is designed to integrate as an end-to-end exercise support offering. Whether you’re an up-and-coming sports star, recovering from an injury, or seeking NDIS funded programs – Atkins Health Varsity Lakes can help.  

We often see clients through various stages of their health journey. Our diverse team of professionals allows for efficient and personalised cross-referrals. A client who comes to us for injury rehabilitation with our exercise physiologists may choose to transition into our personal training pathway at the conclusion of the rehab.  

Personal Training (PT) 

Atkins Health has recently welcomed the addition of a qualified personal trainer into our Varsity Lakes team.  

Our personal training and exercise physiology teams will work hand in hand to devise a program that is effective, personalised and expertly backed by both disciplines.  

Our personal training is great for people of all fitness levels. Below are a few of the main reasons our clients have sought personal training: 

  • Accountability: Simply having someone that expects you to show up is a strong motivator  
  • Personalised programming: Receive a fitness program tailored to your specific goals, needs, and abilities. It can also be adjusted based on your progress and feedback. 
  • Proper form and technique: Having an expert overseeing your technique can promote efficiency while reducing the risk of injury  
  • Variety and challenge: Spice things up with an evolving routine and learn new exercises from an expert who is across the latest and greatest exercises  
  • Goal setting and tracking:  Stay focused and motivated with a structured goal map and celebrate your successes along the way. 
  • Education and guidance: Receive complementary education on proper nutrition and lifestyle habits to support your fitness goals. 

Home Care 

We specialise in providing home care services for clients with neurological or accessibility issues, as well as those on Lifetime Care Packages or funded by the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). We can attend homes anywhere in the Gold Coast region – from Tweed Heads to Beenleigh and as far inland as Beaudesert.  

Our home care services focus on the basics of exercise and physical activity, such as bodyweight exercises, or band exercises. We work with you to improve your ability to perform the activities of daily living, so that you can enjoy a better quality of life. Our team of exercise physiologists will create a personalised program that meets your specific needs and goals. 

One of the advantages of our home care services is accessibility. We understand that some clients may find it difficult to access transport or transfer into a gym, which can be a major obstacle to achieving their health and fitness goals. By bringing our services to your home, we take that problem out of the equation and make it easier for you to get the care you need. 

This can also be a great option for respite care for loved ones who are often the primary caretakers for our clients. Our home visits provide caregivers with an opportunity to take a break from their responsibilities, while their loved one participates in an activity that offers cognitive, physical, and social advantages. Our home care visits can also provide a helpful reprieve from loneliness and isolation that patients can often struggle with.  

In addition, we also offer a combination of clinic and home care sessions. This is particularly useful for clients who may not want to come to the clinic too often, but still want the benefits of working with our exercise physiologists.

Classes & Programs 

Our classes adopt a holistic approach to managing neurological conditions. Our certified trainers incorporate exercise, social interaction and cognitive stimulation into our classes to provide clients with the tools needed to manage their condition effectively.  

We prioritise community and strive to create a welcoming environment for everyone. It’s a unique opportunity for patients to take control of their health and wellbeing while connecting with others that can understand and empathise with their experiences. 

Our classes are individually tailored to suit each client’s own abilities and to specifically target certain health conditions.  

Our Varsity Lakes group program includes the following classes: 

  • Squad Atkins – a broad class offering that seeks to improve general fitness, strength and mobility, and can be specifically tailored to target any injuries or ailments 
  • Bone Society – specifically designed to improve bone density and strength, which in turn reduces the risk of falls. Targeting Osteoporosis and Osteopenia.  
  • Mission MS – specifically designed to enrich the lives of those impacted by Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Mission MS combines the benefits of balance, coordination, strength and endurance-based exercises to improve each participant’s ability to execute daily functions. 
  • PD Revolution – designed for participants suffering from varying degrees of Parkinson Disease. The program aims to improve gait, reduce freezing episodes, improve balance, improve fine motor skills, delay the need to increase drug treatment and ultimately regain confidence and independence.  
  • Athletic program – specialised for young athletes looking to improve performance and establish effective long-term training habits and techniques. Is tailored to specific sports and events.  
  • Active Alzheimer’s – Our program focuses on a proactive approach in delaying the need to go into assisted care. The program uses a blend of physical and cognitive activities that vary from week to week.  

1-on-1 Exercise Physiology Sessions 

Our 1-on-1 exercise physiology (EP) services provide personalised and evidence-based exercise programs tailored to your individual needs, goals, and abilities. Whether you’re looking to improve your fitness, manage a chronic condition, enhance sports performance or recover from an injury, working with an exercise physiologist can help you achieve your goals.  

During your initial consultation at our Varsity Lakes clinic, one of our exercise physiologists will conduct a comprehensive assessment of your health history, fitness level, and any specific needs or concerns you may have. Based on this assessment, we’ll devise a customised exercise plan which we will work with you on in the Temple Gym facilities.  

Your exercise program may include a combination of cardiovascular, strength, and flexibility exercises, as well as other specialised exercises or mobility routines.  

Working with a 1-on-1 exercise physiologist can help you improve your overall health and fitness, reduce your risk of chronic disease, and improve your quality of life.

Who We can Help 

We are fortunate to work with clients young and old at our Varsity Lakes clinic. We regularly work with clients for the following reasons: 

  • Musculoskeletal disease or dysfunction (including tendinitis, muscle strain, muscle weakness, deterioration) 
  • Bone Health (including osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, surgical pre/rehabilitation) 
  • Cancer 
  • Women’s health issues (including osteoporosis/osteopenia, pelvic floor, endometriosis) 
  • Neurological disorders (such as Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis) 
  • Mental health conditions (including depression) 
  • Pain relief 
  • Cardiovascular disease 
  • Pulmonary disease (including asthma, COPD) 
  • Learning difficulties 
  • Cognitive disorders 
  • Weight control 
  • Diabetes 
  • Metabolic disorder 

If you’re interested in joining our Varsity Lakes community, pop on by or give us a call to find out more. 


Exercise – it’s like a superpower for our bodies, providing countless benefits for physical and mental health. While weight loss is often seen as the ultimate goal of exercise, it’s important to realise that most of us don’t need to lose weight to reap the endless rewards of movement. 

In fact, many of us who engage in regular exercise do so for reasons that far exceed weight loss. This includes stress relief, improved mood, social interaction, improved cognition, or simply for the enjoyment of movement. 

However, for those who are dealing with weight-related health issues such as obesity, diabetes, or heart disease, weight loss can be an important goal for improving overall health and reducing disease risk. In this blog, we’ll explore the role exercise physiology has in weight loss – particularly for those who may need to lose weight to manage health conditions. 

Weight does not equal health  

Before we go any further, it’s important to realise that weight does not equal health. Using your body weight as the key metric for your overall health and well-being is an outdated and inaccurate measure. There is a growing body of research that suggests weight is not the sole determinant of health, and that people of all body sizes can be healthy.  

That’s not to say that exercise doesn’t play a major role in leading a healthy lifestyle. Exercise offers so many benefits that far outweigh the results on the scales. However, exercising with the main objective of weight loss is rarely necessary or sustainable.  

In fact, a study by the Journal of Health Psychology found that participants who exercised for weight loss were less likely to stick with their exercise program than those who exercised for reasons such as enjoyment, stress relief, or improved health.  

A separate study suggested that those who focused on achieving specific exercise-related goals, such as running a 5K or lifting a certain amount of weight, were more successful in sticking with their exercise program. 

That being said, weight loss can still be a powerful motivator for some people, particularly those who are dealing with weight-related health issues. It’s important for each individual to find their own motivation for exercise, whether it’s improving overall health, reducing stress, or achieving specific fitness goals. 

With so many reasons to get moving, we encourage our clients to dig a little deeper to find their ‘why’?  

Exercise for weight loss 

As we touched on above, there are some cases when losing weight may be necessary to manage certain health conditions. Carrying excess weight can put a strain on many of the body’s systems, including the cardiovascular system, the respiratory system, and the musculoskeletal system. There are several health conditions that can be linked to excess weight, and weight loss may be an appropriate goal for managing these conditions.

These include: 

  • Type 2 diabetes: Obesity is a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes, and weight loss can help improve insulin sensitivity and blood sugar control. 
  • Cardiovascular disease: Obesity is also a risk factor for heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular conditions. Weight loss can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of these conditions. 
  • Joint pain: Carrying excess weight can put extra stress on the joints, leading to conditions such as osteoarthritis. Weight loss can help reduce joint pain and improve mobility. 

How exercise physiology can help with weight loss 

When it comes to weight loss, exercise physiology plays a vital role in helping clients understand the mechanisms by which exercise can help them lose weight.  

At Akins Health, our team specialises in devising exercise programs that help manage conditions such as obesity, heart disease, and joint pain. We work closely with our clients to structure a program that not only promotes weight loss but also improves strength, endurance, mobility and functionality – depending on the client’s unique needs and goals.   

Through our programming, we incorporate a range of different exercises for weight loss that can be effective for managing overall health. Generally, this includes a blend of cardiovascular training, and strength training. Often our clients may be new to exercise. We find pilates is one of the best exercises for weight loss – particularly for those starting out on their exercise journey. 

Pilates emphasises the use of the smaller muscles in the body to support its structure. It is suitable for people of all ages, genders, abilities, and fitness levels, including beginners and elite athletes, because of its low impact nature. Pilates can also be customised for special needs, such as treating clinical conditions. With its focus on the connection between the mind and body and its ability to offer a variety of benefits to individuals at different levels of fitness, Pilates is a highly effective form of exercise. 

In most cases, an exercise plan for weight loss is the result of extensive collaboration between our exercise physiologists and personal trainers. The expertise of exercise physiologists can help personal trainers design workout programs that are tailored to the unique needs and goals of each individual, and how to modify exercise programs for individuals with health issues.  

If you’re interested in incorporating exercise into your weight management plan or improving your overall health and wellness, our team of exercise physiologists and personal trainers are here to help. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and learn how we can work together to help you unlock the joy of movement.  

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