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For the latest information about COVID-19 vaccines head to our COVID-19 website page.
Winter 2021
In this issue:
  • Flu and COVID-19 Vaccines
  • Kyneton Clinic expansion
  • Osteoporosis, tips for healthy bones
Welcome to your Springs Medical Community Newsletter
Friend of Springs Medical, we're excited that you've joined us. Thanks for subscribing!

Our aim is to provide you with quality health and wellbeing information and to keep you up to date with what's happening at Springs Medical's Daylesford, Trentham and Kyneton clinics. Our team is here to answer any questions you may have about our newsletter. We'd love to hear your ideas for future topics. Please contact us at newsletter@springsmedical.com.au. We look forward to hearing from you.

From all of us at Springs Medical, thanks so much for your interest in joining our community.

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Protecting our community:
flu and COVID-19 shots




Lee-anne Potter
Springs Clinical Team Leader
Nurse Immuniser

Springs Medical’s Flu Immunisation Clinics have been successful this year with a fantastic uptake by the community.

We are delighted to inform you that currently there are no waiting lists for our Flu and COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics.

People who wish to have a flu vaccine at Daylesford, Trentham or Kyneton can make an appointment with their GP or book a place online.

Springs Clinical Team Leader and Nurse Immuniser Lee-anne Potter urges all people to get the flu vaccine this year, including babies over 6 months of age. ‘We could be in for a bad flu season this year and we want everyone to be protected.’

This year’s flu vaccine rollout has gone without a hitch and is readily available for anyone wishing to be vaccinated.

Please note, you should leave a gap of at least a week between receiving your COVID-19 and flu shots. Please speak to your GP if this is an issue for you.

Special risk groups are eligible to receive the seasonal influenza vaccine for free under the National Immunisation Program. Book an appointment to discuss your eligibility with your GP or visit the State Government immunisation information page. Flu vaccine is free for all infants and children from six months to under five years, and all people aged 65+.

COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics

Our COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics continue to operate Saturdays and Sundays at Daylesford and are expected to run until the end of the year and possibly into 2022.
 
We have an adequate supply of COVID-19 vaccines and have now begun administering second-round vaccines.  
 
Recommended vaccines for people aged 60+ (AstraZeneca) and those aged 40 – 59, or meeting other eligibility requirements for Phase 1a and 1b (Pfizer), are now available at Springs Medical Daylesford.  

Eligible people who wish to receive their first dose of their recommended COVID-19 vaccine can book online now.  Please check your eligibility here before booking your appointment.
 
If you've had your first COVID-19 vaccine at Springs Medical, we'll contact you with details of your second dose appointment.
 
Vaccines are also available at vaccine hubs in Ballarat and Bendigo for people aged under 60 who meet the required criteria.

Should you have concerns about receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, we highly recommend you speak to your GP to receive accurate information from a reliable source. This will help you make the best decision for you.

Should you be experiencing cold or flu symptoms, please do not attend any of our Clinics. Instead, phone the relevant Springs Clinic to reschedule your appointment.

We require all patients attending our Clinics, including Vaccination Clinics, to wear a mask.

Springs Medical has been working closely with our community supports, including Central Highlands Rural Health, Southern Grampians and Hepburn Shire Councils and local aged-care facilities, and meeting together weekly to see how best we can get flu and COVIC-19 vaccines to everyone in our community.​
Head to our YouTube Channel for COVID-19 Immunisation videos

Are you at risk of osteoporosis?
Take care of your bones now
and reap the rewards later




Justine Stevenson
Springs Clinical Wellness Coordinator

 

Did you know your bones are a living tissue? They need regular exercise to build strength, just like your muscles. A healthy balanced diet and active lifestyle can set you up for better bone health as you age.

This is important because a third of people aged over 65 fall every year, with six percent of those falls causing a fracture that may lead to long-term pain and reduced independence.

At Springs Medical, our doctors, nurses and allied health staff are here to support you in taking action to maintain healthy bone density and reduce your risk of falls. Your GP can assess your bone health risk factors and refer you to have a bone density scan if appropriate.

We also arrange for the MeasureUp Bone Density Bus to visit our Clinics to make it easier for patients who need to have their bone density monitored regularly. We will advertise when the bus is next due ahead of time so you can book in.

Bone fractures in the elderly are mostly due to osteoporosis, and typically involve the spine, wrist and hip bones.

Osteoporosis is a disease where bone structure becomes weaker and less dense, with an increased risk of breaks. The word osteoporosis has Greek origins and means porous bones.

With severe osteoporosis, your bones may become so fragile that they may fracture spontaneously or with a minor stress such as bending or coughing. After the break heals, you may experience chronic pain and a decreased ability to carry out your normal daily activities. You are now also at higher risk of more fractures.

While looking after your bones throughout your life is important, some people are at increased risk of osteoporosis because of their family history, gender, age, medical conditions, medications and lifestyle habits.

Osteoporosis has been called a ‘silent’ disease because typically it has no symptoms and you may be unaware your bones are fragile until you break a bone.


Osteopenia is a less severe bone condition than osteoporosis, where slightly lower bone mineral density is usually diagnosed by a DEXA (Dual-Energy X-ray Absorptiometry) scan. Not everyone with osteopenia will develop osteoporosis, but it’s a warning signal to take action to reduce your risk of osteoporosis.

Risk factors for developing osteoporosis include:

  • gender. Being a woman, especially post menopause. Men are at greater risk when aged 70 +.
  • age. Human bone density peaks between 25 and 30 years of age. Bone loss then occurs more quickly and bone growth slows.
  • body size. Slender, thin-boned people are at greater risk because they have less bone to lose.
  • family history. Your risk may be higher if your parents have osteoporosis or have had a hip fracture.
  • hormone levels. Low oestrogen levels post menopause in women and low testosterone levels in men
  • diet. An inadequate intake of dietary calcium and low vitamin D levels
  • certain medical conditions and treatments, such as:
    • endocrine and hormonal diseases
    • thyroid disease
    • diseases that affect the body’s ability to absorb nutrients such as Crohn’s disease, coeliac disease and other inflammatory bowel conditions.
    • rheumatoid arthritis
    • some cancers
    • HIV/AIDS
    • anorexia nervosa
    • chronic liver and kidney disease
    • surgical removal of the ovaries
  • certain medications. Long-term use may increase your risk of bone loss and osteoporosis:
    • glucocorticosteroids and adrenocorticotropic hormone used to treat conditions such as asthma and rheumatoid arthritis
    • cancer medications containing hormones
    • antiepileptic medications that treat seizures and neurological conditions
    • protein pump inhibitors that treat reflux by lowering stomach acid
    • selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors used to treat depression and anxiety
    • thiazolidinediones used to treat type 2 diabetes
  • lifestyle factors, including:
    • smoking
    • alcohol consumption (more than 2 standard drinks a day)
    • inactivity
    • excessive caffeine consumption

Springs Medical’s Clinical Wellness Coordinator, Justine Stevenson, advises people at increased risk of osteoporosis to speak with their doctor about ways to maintain bone health and prevent falls. Your doctor may check your vitamin D and calcium levels and refer you for a DEXA scan to check your bone density. Your GP may also refer you to an exercise physiologist to help you with weight bearing exercises or resistance training to improve your bone strength. Medication is also an option for some people.

Activities such as tai chi, Qigong, Pilates and yoga are great for bones and promote better posture and balance which can reduce your risk of falls.

A DEXA scan is the most reliable way to diagnose osteoporosis by measuring your bone density, usually at the hip and spine. Justine says the test is a short, painless scan and may be covered  by Medicare.

You may qualify for a Medicare rebate for a DEXA scan if you:

  • have been  diagnosed with osteoporosis
  • have had one or more fractures due to osteoporosis
  • are aged 70 or over
  • have a chronic condition such as rheumatoid arthritis, coeliac disease or liver disease
  • have taken glucocorticosteroids for a long time

Your doctor will be able to tell you if you are eligible for a Medicare rebate. You can still have a DEXA scan if you do not qualify for a rebate, but there will usually be an out-of-pocket fee.

Weight-bearing activities such as brisk walking, jogging, tennis, dancing or basketball encourages healthier bone density and improves your balance so your risk of falls is less. This type of exercise does not ‘treat’ established osteoporosis. Non-weight-bearing exercise such as swimming and cycling are excellent for fitness but do not promote bone growth.

Strength (resistance) training is also important for bone health. It can maintain or even improve bone mineral density. Justine says an exercise physiologist can recommend appropriate exercises and specific techniques. She says a weekly mix of strength training and weight-bearing exercise is ideal: ‘Aim for 30 to 40 minutes, four to six times a week. Exercise for bone growth needs to be regular and varied.’

Sources of Calcium
Dairy foods have the highest levels of calcium, but Justine says there are many other food sources such as sardines, spinach and almonds. If you’re unable to absorb enough calcium from your food, your doctor may suggest taking a calcium supplement.

‘I’ve seen people who’ve sought to lower their cholesterol by lowering their dairy intake, but you still need to have a good intake of calcium through other foods or supplements,’ Justine says.

Sources of vitamin D
Having enough vitamin D is important because it helps you absorb the calcium your diet. We get most of our vitamin D from the sun and there are recommendations about how much sun exposure is safe for sufficient vitamin D production. Vitamin D is also found in small quantities in fatty fish, such as salmon, herring and mackerel, liver and eggs. Most people are unlikely to obtain adequate amounts of vitamin D from food alone. Speak to your doctor if you need to restrict your sun exposure and are concerned you’re not getting enough vitamin D.

Justine is passionate about people taking action to support their bone health because she’s seen the devastating impact osteoporosis can have on people’s lives. ‘Now’s the time to get serious about protecting your bones, before it’s too late,’ she says.

Resources:
Healthy Bones Australia: https://healthybonesaustralia.org.au/osteoporosis-you/diagnosis/
Better Health:
https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/osteoporosis

Justine’s top tips to prevent osteoporosis
  • eat a healthy, varied diet with plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables and whole grains
  • choose calcium-rich foods
  • ensure you’re getting enough vitamin D
  • quit smoking
  • limit your alcohol consumption
  • limit your caffeine consumption by limiting caffeinated drinks such as coffee, tea, cola and certain popular energy drinks
  • do regular weight-bearing and strength-training activities and exercises
Have you seen our fab new Clinic extension at Kyneton?
Springs Medical's Kyneton Clinic is located at 89B Piper Street, close to schools and shops. Onsite parking is available at the rear of the Clinic with walk-through access.
Introducing our new Exercise Physiologists
We are delighted to welcome Exercise Physiologists Jack and Jake to Springs Medical. Both are currently working in our Spring In Your Step Team with SIS Wellness Coordinator and Nurse Millie Gellatly.
Jack Clark, Exercise Physiologist
Jack has a Master’s degree in Exercise Physiology from La Trobe University and has a keen interest in exercise and education-based cardiac and pulmonary condition management and rehabilitation. His interests also include: management of cancer and treatment related side effects; musculoskeletal rehabilitation; and functional-based exercise and rehabilitation. Jack is also an avid footballer and enjoys all aspects of health and fitness.
Jake Dwyer, Exercise Physiologist
Jake holds a Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science and a Masters of Applied Sport Science from Deakin University, and a Masters of Exercise Physiology from Latrobe University. Jake is experienced in physical testing and prescription of aerobic, muscular strength and balance exercises for chronic conditions or injuries. He's keen to work with people of all ages and abilities to help them manage their condition and improve their quality of life.
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Medical Subeditor: Dr James Smith, Director, Springs Medical
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