Podiatry FAQs


At Sports Lab we utilise the latest in computer manufactured custom orthoses Sports Lab Podiatrists aim for your new orthoses to last for years and hundreds of kilometers no matter what your sport.

How do I wear in my new orthoses?

We recommend that when you wear in your new orthoses gradually. The Sports Lab podiatrists advise to wear the orthoses for 1 hour the first day and increase by 1 hour each day after that (casual wear).

In circumstances minor discomfort may be experienced initially but after one week you should be wearing your orthoses comfortably for the majority of the day and the you can commence sporting activities.

Should I feel pain or discomfort whilst wearing my new orthoses?

If you have followed the Orthoses protocol and after a week your pain persists or intensifies you should immediately remove your orthoses and contact your Sports Lab Podiatrist immediately.

Will I need new shoes for my Sports Lab orthoses?

Defromed or excessively worn shoes should not be worn with your orthoses as they may decrease the effectiveness of the devices. Good quality footwear are as important as your orthoses when trying to stabilize foot position. Your Sports Lab podiatrist can advise you of the right shoe for your foot type.

If when inserting your orthotic devices in your footwear the shoes feel tight and the feet cramped, extra depth can be obtained by removing the footwears insole.

Can I clean my custom orthoses?

Yes! your orthoses can be cleaned with a damp sponge and deodorants such as ‘Orange Power, Oust 2 in 1 or Glen 20’ can be used to eliminate bacteria, fungus and odors .

Never immerse your orthoses in water or put them in the washing machine or dry them in the dryer, microwave or oven. Do not leave them in the sun or expose them to direct sunlight !

Is there a guarantee with Sports Lab orthoses?

Yes! At Sports Lab, your podiatrists guarantee against the polypropylene shell breaking under normal wearing conditions for 12 months from the initial fitting. If during normal use your orthoses crack, delaminate or unglue we will fix or replace them free of charge. Our orthoses top covers also come with a 6 month guarantee against tearing or ungluing. Any appointment regarding your orthoses within 6 months of their prescription is also complimentary, unless you do not attend an allocated consultation.

Payments and Funds

Our Payments and Funds

Most of our services are covered by private health fund rebates and with the new Medicare Enhance Primary Care Plan, some services are covered by Medicare (terms and conditions apply). In addition, both our clinics are equipped with HICAPS, which allows you the convenience of ‘on the spot’ electronic claims and payment from participating health funds, saving you time and money.

  • Payment is required at time of consultation.
  • 24 hour cancellation notice is greatly appreciated.
  • HICAPS payment facility is available.
  • Eftpos payment facility is available.
  • Credit cards accepted: Visa, Mastercard and AMEX.
Pilates FAQs
  • Wear comfy clothes that you can move in.
  • It is advisable for men to wear bike shorts under their shorts.
  • Towel
  • A pair of clean socks
  • Some water
Why should I do equipment pilates?

Pilates can be done purely on the floor in what is called a matwork class, or can be done with the use of equipment like a ball and foam roller, or large equipment like a reformer or cadillac. With matwork, your own body provides both resistance and assistance for Pilates exercises, affected only by gravity and your body weight. The large equipment, however, with the use of springs, extend the range much farther, offering either additional resistance or support. Exercises can be easier or more challenging, as desired.

Equipment classes also differ to matwork classes, in that they are usually kept to a maximum of 4 in a class, or is even better when it is one to one. In this way, the instructor can make sure you are always in the right position to be able to target the exact muscles required.

Difference between Pilates and Yoga?

The difference between pilates and yoga is that pilates is based on fluid movements rather than held poses. The breathing in yoga is all through the nose, whereas in pilates, the inhalation is through the nose and the exhalation is through the mouth, which enables a better use and strengthening of the core. And lastly, pilates is not connected to spirituality or meditation, it is just a pure and safe method of exercise. However, yoga and pilates definitely complement each other when done on a regular basis.

How often should I do Pilates?

Joseph Pilates recommended you train at least 3 times per week, and based on this, he said “In 10 sessions you will feel the difference, in 20 sessions you will see the difference and in 30 sessions you will have a new body.”
He also said “The mind, when housed within a healthful body, possesses a glorious sense of power” and “Before any real benefit can be derived from physical exercises, one must first learn how to breathe properly. Our very life depends on it.”

Can I get a cardio workout through Pilates?

Yes! Pilates is not only for strengthening your body but is also used to create and maintain flexibility in the spine. It is about precision, control and requires concentration and isolation. Equipment pilates also offers a cardio workout with the use of the Pilates jumpboard on the reformer.

What if I’ve never done pilates before?

If you have never done pilates before, Ariapilates is the perfect place for you. In a quiet and private environment, you can learn all the techniques at your own pace with your own private instructor. Your instructor will give you an initial consultation during which she will check your posture and then devise a program that will suit you and your needs. She will then guide you through the moves safely until you feel secure enough to join a group.

How many private one-to-one sessions
should I do before I can join a group?

Everybody is different and everyone learns at a different pace. We highly recommend you do at least 10 sessions on a one to one basis so you can feel confident on all the apparatus, and understand the technique in order to gain the most benefit during your workouts.

What if I’m pregnant?

If you are pregnant and have done pilates before, then this is one of the most perfect methods of exercise you can do. Your instructor will know which moves are important for you depending on which trimester you are in and will only put you in positions that are safe for you and your baby. Pilates will help ease your back pain, keep you toned and help your pelvic floor remain active which in turn will help during delivery and recovery. And as soon as the baby is 6 – 10 weeks old, you can return to pilates to help get your body back in shape.

Can men do pilates too?

Yes, of course, men can do pilates!  Men need pilates even more than women! Over time, men develop strong rectis abdominus muscles and their transverse abdominus suffer. These are the muscles necessary to support your back, which is why many men suffer lower back pain as they get older and stop being as active as they used to be in their twenties and thirties. Pilates is also especially good for golfers and tennis players, which are both very one-sided activities. Pilates increases flexibility and increases range-of- movement and helps to prevent injuries, especially in professional athletes like soccer and rugby players.

I’ve done matwork, but not the machines.
Do I still need a private session?

Machine pilates is very different to pilates on the mat, although there are many moves on the mat that are derived from Joseph Pilates’ original machine moves. We recommend you definitely do a few private sessions to get to know how the machines work, especially the safety of each one.

My teenage daughter has scoliosis. Can pilates help?

Pilates is all about strengthening the core which in turn supports the spine. People of any age with scoliosis can definitely benefit from pilates as the stronger the core, the better the body will feel. Pilates is a combination of strength exercises and stretches, so the more one stretches, the less strain the body will feel.

What age group is best suited to pilates?

Pilates can benefit people of all ages from teenagers through to 100!

How do the New Health Reforms affect me?

Please note the Private Health Reforms came into effect on 1 April 2019. If you would like to know how these reforms affect you, please ask your Sports Lab Physiotherapist, or for more immediate information click here.

Information on MRI Scans

This FAQ covers information on locations for getting an MRI and what to do once you have booked your scan.

What is an MRI scan and why have I been referred for one?

A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan is important tool in helping to diagnose injuries. MRI uses magnets which are non-radiating (i.e. safe) to construct an image of area of the body being scanned. It takes approximately 30 minutes to conduct each scan (area of body imaged).
MRI scans should not be used in isolation and must be combined with patient history and examination findings. At an appointment your doctor will have determined that an MRI is appropriate from taking a history and examining you.

Are there any risks?
There is a risk that if you have a mobile piece of metal inside your body the scanner can cause it to move. Scan locations will provide a checklist to make sure you have no risk of mobile metal inside the body. In addition, some people get claustrophobia and cannot tolerate lying inside an MRI scanner for 30 minutes (usual duration).

How do I organise an MRI scan?
If you have been referred for an MRI scan then you must book and arrange the scan with a (separate) radiology practice. There are many to choose between in Sydney and you can attend whichever radiology practice you choose as your referral is eligible for all MRI machines. You can make your choice based on:
• Convenience of the MRI scanner to your home or work
• Availability of appointments (some places are more heavily booked than others) 

• Cost of the scan 
and whether the scan is eligible for a Medicare rebate (see below) 

Occasionally a certain machine or radiologist will be particularly specialised to deal with your condition, but for most cases the quality of MRI scans performed in Australia is good on most machines. 

Will I get a Medicare rebate or be able to claim on private health insurance for an MRI?
In Australia, some MRI units/scans are Medicare-eligible and others are not. Dr. Samra can order Medicare- eligible MRI scans for certain conditions. If your scan is performed on a Medicare-eligible unit, this referral would allow you to claim a Medicare rebate. You will not be able to claim on any private health insurance for MRI scans.

How much will it cost?
Medicare-eligible unit: You can claim a Medicare rebate for certain scans. Please ask the radiology practice for the full cost of a scan when you are booking, bearing in mind that you are free to shop around.
Non-Medicare-eligible unit: usually less than Medicare-eligible machines, but with no Medicare rebate available. 
Overall cost around $300.
Workers’ Compensation: insurance companies will cover the full cost but must pre- approve the scan in writing. 

MRI Locations

I’ve booked a scan. What do I do next?
1) You need to book in for a review appointment at Sports Lab Alexandria for Dr. Samra to review the films and interpret the report. You need an appointment for this, as results won’t be provided over the phone or via email. 

2) Please ask for the radiology practice to include a report with the films and/or send the report to Dr. Samra: fax (02) 8580 4899.
3) Bring the films to your review appointment.