Comprehensive and specialised physiotherapy services

Kevin Durant: when is it too early to return to sport?

As most NBA fans know, Kevin Durant experienced another right calf injury during Game 5 of the NBA Finals, and it is looking like an Achilles tendon tear at this stage. This means that Durant will not only be missing the remainder of the NBA Finals, but potentially a good portion of the next season.

Watch it in slow-mo here

Durant initially injured his right calf over a month ago while playing against the Houston Rockets, and hasn’t played competitively until yesterday’s game. This leads to the question; was he ready to play, and if not why was he cleared by the Golden State Warriors medical staff?

It is not always straight forward when providing clearance for sport following an injury, and it is always difficult to tell if a re-injury or a secondary injury will occur or not. The first thing that must take place after an injury is a comprehensive rehabilitation program. This not only involves exercises to increase joint movement and muscle strength, but must also include sport-specific exercises which replicate the same movements and scenarios that a player will experience when in a competitive environment.

Once a player has completed the majority of their rehabilitation program, it is time to start implementing return to sport testing, which is currently the most valid tool available to determine the risk of a re-injury. These tests are performed by health professionals such as physiotherapists and sports doctors, and involve high-level movements that can assist in determining if an athlete is ready or not. They can also help determine the mental preparedness of an athlete, which may show if an athlete is confident in their own ability to return to sport. This will also ensure that they are not rushed as was the case for Kawhi Leonard when he played for the Spurs.

At this stage it is unfair of the media and health professionals to judge the medical staff of the Golden State Warriors as we currently have no way of knowing if he was ready to return to play or not, or if he was just unlucky. Either way Kevin Durant’s career will likely be seriously affected by this injury, and we hope he bounces back and returns better than ever.

Physio West | Physiotherapy, exercise therapy and massage services in Adelaide, South Australia.If you have recently sustained a sports injury and want to find out more about return to sport testing, come see one of our physiotherapists at PhysioWest who will work with you to get back as soon and as safely as possible.

Published by Spencer Davis, Physiotherapist.

You can book online with Spencer here



The Physio Job You Don’t Want

Picture this; You are working in a practice with no other physios, you’re alone, no support, no mentoring, no one to go to and share you patient wins with. There are times when as a young physio you think, ‘Gee… I would love some help with this tricky presentation’.

You love going to the APA’s PD nights, but you would also love to learn from people every day. Your room is small, possibly even without a window. You have a small area to prescribe exercises which you know your patients won’t do. You are desperate to have a Friday night drink with colleagues. You haven’t had a holiday in ages, and your new roster means you can’t play social netball, soccer, or footy. You don’t even make it to the gym most days and are starting to be the person who will need a physio themselves.

You work, work, work, without someone saying ‘Hey, good job!’, or better still, being rewarded financially. You have this burning passion for physiotherapy, the profession, the patients, and getting great outcomes, but you can feel it slowly dying…

Sounds like you, or someone you know? Don’t let the flame blow out! There are better things on the horizon in practices that are changing the physiotherapy profession for the better!

At PhysioWest we are passionate professionals with a team first mentality. That’s why we provide:

  • Individual light filled treatment rooms
  • 200 sqm of gym space including cardio, weights, open space and Pilates studio onsite
  • Free gym access to all employees
  • Discounts on remedial massage for you and your family
  • Weekly PD sessions
  • Weekly 1:1 mentoring sessions
  • Quarterly Team Pow-Wows
  • Weekly Team Huddles
  • Regular social events
  • Designed roster to suit your life (and no Saturdays)
  • Above award salary package with an incentive package on top
  • Diversity of patients and treatment models, including telehealth
  • Not to mention the best first day!


Contact us now, and change your lifestyle!


Physio West | Physiotherapy, exercise therapy and massage services in Adelaide, South Australia.

Rebecca Clare
08 8352 3582
0405 112 959

Evidence-Based Remedial Massage Therapy

How To Get The Best Out Of It!

Physio West | Physiotherapy, exercise therapy and massage services in Adelaide, South Australia.

Massage therapy is the most popular complementary therapy used by the Australian public. With research in massage therapy gaining significant attention over the last 30 years, clinical evidence exists to support the efficacies of massage therapy on many health conditions, including chronic low back pain. This growing body of research supports massage to become an evidence-based practice.

As a remedial massage therapist at PhysioWest, while pursuing a higher research degree in low back pain, I often wonder what evidence-based practice means in remedial massage. Importantly, what does it mean to you: a person considering remedial massage, or already enjoying remedial massage at our clinic? Let me expand this topic to offer some practical tips to help you get the best out of it!

Evidence-based practice is described as the thoughtful use of the best current evidence in making decisions about the care of the individual patient. In physical therapy, which includes massage and physiotherapy, the approach integrates clinical expertise and takes patient desires, values, and needs into consideration. A study published in the May 2018 volume of the Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice Journal, states that although massage therapists in Australia have very good access to apply research evidence in their practice, the majority do not. Those that do are often those that undertake continuing professional education and are members with reputable Professional Associations.

In addition to research evidence, another form of evidence, often overlooked, is experiential evidence – that is, the clinical experience gathered by the therapist as well as the experience of the person who receives the treatment. Yes, your experience reflected back to the therapist is of crucial importance to getting the best out of evidence-based treatments!

Tips to get the most out of evidence-based practice of massage are:

  • Find and use a clinic whose practices are professionally accredited (e.g. partnered by health funds)
  • Book your massage with qualified remedial massage therapists (Diploma or higher)
  • Ask your therapist what type of massage he/she is trained in? (you want someone who can clearly explain their knowledge as applicable to you)
  • Ask if he/she is a member of an established professional association for massage therapists? (e.g. Massage and Myotherapy Australia, previously AAMT, or the Australian Natural Therapists Association, ANTA)
  • If all is safe and agreeable to your standards, trial the massage and take note of your experience during and after the massage
  • Afterwards, reflect and evaluate your “experiential evidence” on how you felt following the treatment (sometimes, the treatment plan may include 3 or more treatments)
  • Reflect and answer this for yourself: Is this treatment good for me? Trust your experiential evidence
  • If Yes, book another massage with that therapist at that clinic!
Physio West | Physiotherapy, exercise therapy and massage services in Adelaide, South Australia.

Beginning in the Gym? Steps to Success

As a beginner, getting started at the gym is usually the hardest part of meeting your fitness goals. Here are a few tips for beginners to get on track to meeting your goals for the New Year and finally getting started in the gym.

1. Set S.M.A.R.T. goals
Goal setting is vital when you first start going to the gym as it gives you something to work towards. Goals need to be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely (S.M.A.R.T.). It is a lot harder to stay motivated to reach a broad goal such as “I want to get fit” when compared to a S.M.A.R.T. goal such as “I want to be able to do 10 consecutive push-ups by the end of 3 months”. S.M.A.R.T. goals allow you to measure your progress towards reaching your goals, and make any changes to your routine or seek advice if you unsure that you’re on track.

2. Consult with a health professional
Seeking advice from a health professional prior to getting started at the gym is important, particularly if you have a pre-existing medical condition that may be affected by exercise. A health professional such as a physiotherapist can offer advice on how to prevent injury if you have not been in a gym environment before.

3. Have someone look at your form
This step is particularly important if you would like to start lifting weights. It is always a good idea to seek advice from a trained professional such as a physiotherapist, exercise physiologist or a personal trainer at your gym. These professionals can offer you advice on how to perform exercises correctly, and how to prevent injury.

4. Don’t go too hard too quickly
When starting out, a big mistake that a lot of beginners make is lifting too much weight or going too hard too early. It is vital that you gradually increase the weight you lift, the time spent on the treadmill, and the amount of repetitions that you perform. This is to prevent an avoidable injury from occurring from doing too much too soon.

5. Have fun!
A great way to stay motivated for your fitness goals when first starting out is to find an exercise routine that you enjoy. Don’t be afraid to mix up your gym routine with exercises including cardio, resistance training, pilates, Tai Chi, yoga and anything else that you can think of.

If you would like a physiotherapist to set you up for success with a winning gym routine, book an appointment at PhysioWest online or by calling 8352 3582 and get on track to achieving your goals!

Physio West | Core Exercise Class | Physiotherapy, exercise therapy and massage services in Adelaide, South Australia.Physio West | Stretch Exercise Class | Physiotherapy, exercise therapy and massage services in Adelaide, South Australia.Physio West | Mile End Clinic | Physiotherapy, exercise therapy and massage services in Adelaide, South Australia.

Written by Spencer Davis

The forgotten link to athletic success

Are you an aspiring Athlete? You need to read this!

Youth sport and athletic development are two of my greatest passions and being able to work with kids who love their sport and want to chase their dreams is such a privilege. So it’s lucky I live in a sporting nation such as Australia as I have had the opportunity to work with some truly great athletes.


The youth netball world cup was recently held in Botswana and the Australian 21/U team narrowly missed out on gold in a 57 to 60 point match with New Zealand. Now some of the girls in this team would certainly be aiming to get to a professional level but I want to talk about younger athletes and how to help them reach this level or higher.


So let’s talk about Sarah, she is 11 years old and loves netball, in fact she dreams of one day playing for the Diamonds when she grows up. What should her parents, school and coach do to give her the best chance of chasing her dream?


We have all heard it takes 10,000hr of practice to master a skill right? So doesn’t it make perfect sense that for a kid to become a great athlete that they need to start as early as possible?


Well sort of, a child’s brain is full of potential connections that are just waiting to be given the right stimulus to join together and build a more resilient and successful athlete. But there is a big difference between developing an athlete and building a netball player.


Early specialisation is often considered specialisation into a single sport before the age of 12 and can reduce an athlete’s chance of reaching the elite level of their sport compared to later specialisation in the later teenage years. Generally, it is recommend that kids continue to engage in approximately 2-3 different sporting fields to create better rounded athletes. This concept is what underpins long term athlete development. Early specialisation only refines a skill where engaging in a variety of activities helps to build true athleticism.


Another reason to rally against early specialisation is that it can increase the risk of overuse and stress injuries. Missing intended training sessions due to injury is one of the major predictors of failure to reach competitive success at a higher level but for youth athletes the focus should be on the development of the whole person and protecting kids from unnecessary injury.


Being involved in multiple sports also allows kids to grow their social circles and gain many other life skills that may help them well beyond a sporting career but it also gives them more options as they grow up. We can probably all think of someone who was great at a sport as a kid but due to either mental or physical burn out started hating the sport they once loved and gave it up. Developing athleticism also provides transferable skills that can be applied across sporting settings that enables you to try out new sports that others may not even have the confidence to get started on.


Kids are playing less and spending more time in formal organised sporting setting when they do get time to play at all. This is the opposite of what we want for youth athletes they should be engaging in diverse movements and leaning transferable sporting skills in their younger years. So while Sarah may love netball we should be encouraging her to participate in as many other sports as she can even if it is just to try them for a short period to provide her with a new learning opportunity.


Ultimately athletes who are missing the foundations of athleticism are not just missing a link to their performance and well being they are missing the foundation on which they can grow all their other athletic skills. While changing the system in which a youth athlete trains and performs may be impossible in the short term. Connecting with a uniquely skilled coach or physiotherapist to help establish a long term athletic development pathway is far more practical and will help prepare a growing athlete for all the challenges they have ahead.


At PhysioWest we can assist you to reach your potential and unlock the forgotten link! Make an appointment today by calling 8352 3582 or book online

Physio West | Physiotherapy, exercise therapy and massage services in Adelaide, South Australia.

Published by Sam Stewart, Physiotherapist, PhysioWest



How to prevent injuries during netball finals

September is just around the corner, and we all know what that means…



For those of you that belong to a sporting club or team, September can be one of the most exciting times of the year. Whether you’re a player gearing up for your chance at victory, a coach finalising your team strategies for the win, or a spectator making arrangements to support your favourite team, it can be a month full of determination, anxiety, optimism and hopefully joy and excitement when your team wins!


For me, finals are coming up in a couple weeks, and I’m seeking my second grand final win in a row for the Moonta Netball Club. The only thing more motivating than reminiscing about last years victory would have to be the recent under 21 Netball World youth cup, with Australia dominating throughout the tournament only to be defeated by the arch nemesis New Zealand by 3 goals!! The disappointment felt for these girls only makes me more determined to win.


One of the most disheartening events during finals time is injuring yourself in one of the final games of the round or even worse, the semi-final! The rate of injury for netballers is 14 injuries per 1,000 hours played with the most common being knee and ankle injuries. I have been unlucky enough to have sustained ankle injuries in more than one semi- final, and reluctantly had to sit on the bench to watch my team win the grand final without me. I wouldn’t wish this on any player, which is why I have come up with a few tips and tricks to help prevent injuries in the most important games of the season!



  1. Make sure you warm up properly

There’s nothing worse than admitting to your physio that you skipped the warm up at training or a game, right before you injured yourself. Heading towards the end of the season, players and coaches often move through the warm up quickly, or skip it all together in order to spend more time on “important” things like game play and tactics. A good warm up should consist of exercises and drills that target the four key elements associated with an increased risk of injuries in netball – take off, landing, deceleration and change of direction. If you’’re not sure what exercises or drills are best for injury prevention, Netball Australia’s Knee Injury prevention for Netballers to Enhance performance and Extend play (KNEE program) was developed to provide education and specific warm up drills and exercises to prevent lower limb injuries, in particular – the dreaded ACL injury! Speak to your physiotherapist to find out more information about the KNEE program, and how to implement it into your teams warm up.


  1. Hold off from buying new shoes for netball finals

I know some players or parents of players that have a tradition of buying new netball shoes right before finals. It can be motivating for the player, and yes – it may feel like you can run faster and jump higher with your brand new shoes, BUT… there is evidence to suggest that >50% of players injured whilst playing netball were wearing brand new shoes, or relatively new shoes. New shoes can decrease your body’s awareness of where the foot is, and therefore reduce your ability to correct your foot position to prevent injury. If possible, try to wear your new shoes to a few trainings first to wear them in before wearing them in a game, or save your purchase for next season!




  1. Wear appropriate ankle supports for training AND game

Physio West | Sports Physiotherapy | Physiotherapy, exercise therapy and massage services in Adelaide, South Australia.Ankle injuries are one of the most common injuries in Netball. You may have already sprained your ankle once or twice before. Having a history of ankle sprains or instability can increase your risk of re-injury. Wearing an ankle brace or taping your ankles can assist in preventing sprains in Netball. If you already tape your ankles or wear a brace, finals time should be no different – even if you have felt confident throughout the season. Better to be safe than sorry! If you are unsure about how to tape your ankle properly, speak to your physio. When it comes to tape vs brace… it comes down to personal preference as both have been shown as effective.


  1. See your physio about any niggling pain or injuries

If you have any ongoing pain or injuries that you have been pushing through, or trying to manage during the season, come and speak to us! We want you to play finals as much as you do, and can offer advice or hands on treatment to help you improve your performance and finish your season to the best of your ability. Seeking prompt treatment for injuries will not only enable you to start your rehab sooner, it will ensure you reach your full potential and ultimately make sure your team gets the win!


If you are about to embark on a finals campaign come and see us at PhysioWest at our Mile End or Salisbury clinics

Published by Megan Jones, Physiotherapist, PhysioWest

Joel Selwood’s ankle injury explained

As the Swans increased their top 4 hopes after beating the Cats last Friday night, it was the sub-plot down at Geelong that made all the headlines in Saturday morning’s newspaper. Inspirational captain, Joel Selwood, hobbled off in the third quarter, picking up a nasty ankle injury.

It has since been confirmed that Selwood sustained a “syndesmosis” injury, ruling him out for the remainder of the home and away season, and a doubt for finals. A dagger to the heart of many Geelong fans I’m sure. So what is the “syndesmosis”?

An ankle syndesmosis injury is often called a “high ankle sprain”. It refers to the ligamentous structure or fibrous sheath which holds the two bones of your leg together (the tibia and fibula). The syndesmosis is commonly injured under an extreme dorsiflexion and external rotation force (wedged rotation), as Selwood found with his foot wedged under Franklin on Friday night.  This forceful compression causes the two bones of the leg to wedge apart, compromising the syndesmosis.

Like with any ligament injury, their severity is graded. Unfortunately for Joel, surgical intervention was decided, indicating a high grade injury or rupture to the tissue. This surgery usually involves pinning the two bones together, allowing the ligament to scar over in a shortened and stable position. For the average punter, 3-6 months rehabilitation is recommended, but at the elite level the boundaries are always pushed.

So will we see Selwood again this year? The Cats doctors and physios will be optimistic of Selwood featuring in their finals campaign, but it will certainly be pushing it. This is not your classic ankle sprain so caution must be taken.

This time last year, the Bulldogs Tom Liberatore missed 4 weeks with the same injury, before playing four weeks of finals and lifting the Premiership. Stephen Coniglio of GWS however hasn’t been as lucky, missing 6 weeks at the start of this season followed by 10 weeks mid year after re-injury in his second game back. Cats fans will be crossing their fingers for a Liberatore story here.

If you have injured your ankle, be sure to consult with your physio.  As in Selwood’s case, it may be more complex than anticipated, and a thorough assessment and rehab will minimise the risk of ongoing troubles in the future.


Our team at PhysioWest are skilled in the assessment and rehabilitation of ankle injuries. If you or someone you know is suffering from an ankle injury be sure to book online today!

Physio West | Physiotherapy, exercise therapy and massage services in Adelaide, South Australia.

Prepared by Matt Nowosilsky, Physiotherapist, PhysioWest

The Unexpected Challenge

Think Tai Chi is too easy…think again!


Tai Chi is often misinterpreted as being an exercise for older people only.

Not true! It is great for everyone.

In fact, a session of Tai Chi is the equivalent to 30mins of gentle cycling or gentle gymnastics.


There are many forms of Tai Chi, PhysioWest focus on ‘Tai Chi for Health’ which is aimed at improving your strength and endurance, posture and breathing pattern. It also centres around improving your coordination, flexibility and balance. So why not wake up with us on a Wednesday morning?


Picture this …You move your weight into your right foot then you lift your left heel up off the ground. You engage through your tummy, breathe in then breathe out as you lift your foot. You hold that left foot up in the air and hear the count of “10… 9… 8…” as you keep holding. Your right leg starts to quiver. You remember you are tensing your shoulders, so you consciously relax your shoulders and stop clenching your face.  You are asked to bend your right leg a little more, which will make it easier to balance, but also makes your right leg work hard!


After your leg exercises in standing, you are encouraged to take a seat. But don’t put your feet up and relax, there is still more to do! We aren’t just sitting down so you can take it easy. We are sitting down to mimic the position you will be in later that day when you are sitting at your office desk, driving, eating dinner or watching television this evening. You will be asked to focus on your breathing and experiment with getting a bit more flexibility in your mid back as you hold a series of poses.


You will be given homework – exercises you can easily repeat later that day for lasting benefits.


Are you an

  • office worker who sits ALL day? This class is perfect. Before long you will be doing your chin tucks as your write emails without even knowing it.
  • tradie who spends more time standing at the work bench? Don’t worry, you will have standing exercises as well; this might alleviate any aches or pains you experience as the day drags on.
  • mum, dad, aunty, uncle, brother, sister or grandparent who spends time sitting on the floor with your kids? Of course there are easy mat exercises you can take home with you as well.


See we told you it was great for everyone!

Does this sound like a class that might interest you?

A class that will make you work?

This class will help to improve your posture, flexibility, coordination and strength.

Join us for 7.15am Stretch and Tai Chi with Laura Wednesday mornings. Book now online or by calling 8352 3582.

Physio West | Physiotherapy, exercise therapy and massage services in Adelaide, South Australia.

Published by Laura Hundertmark

Physiotherapist, PhysioWest


Physio West | Workplace Injuries & Motor Vehicle Accidents | Physiotherapy, exercise therapy and massage services in Adelaide, South Australia.

Mr/Ms Injury Prone – is this you?

I was that guy….

The one at soccer training always running laps on my own, rehabbing my hamstring strain as I watched the team train from a distance.

I was fragile – breaking down as soon as I tried to make my return in what always seemed to be too early.

But it felt good, I would try and convince myself, as I returned to square one and started the long road to recovery again.

Every team has that guy or girl. The trick is making sure it’s not you!

We can help you with that ….

Hamstring strains are most common in sports that require running at high speed. Over 80% of hamstring strains result from the running action at high speed. In 2015, hamstring strains were the most prevalent injury in the AFL, with 94 hamstring injuries across the competition that season.

Strains of this nature are commonly stereotyped to the fossil of the team – the veteran who has lost their flexibility and should have considered retirement 5 years ago. However, recent evidence suggests that the key indicator for minimising risk of future hamstring strains is eccentric strength, regardless of age. (Good news for the veterans out there)

As with any soft tissue strain, a specific and clearly mapped out gradual return to sport is essential in minimising reoccurrence. Training at high loads is rarely the problem. Instead, it’s how you return to these high loads that leaves people susceptible. Taking a controlled and measured approach is key, as it allows you to achieve specific milestones to be fully cleared for match-day. Make sure you tick all the boxes.

In my experience, the hardest part of all this is managing your emotions. Pressure from your mates or the coach, as well as your desire to play, can often lead to cutting corners or rushing back. Time heals, so make sure you stick to the plan and achieve the key milestones, despite what all the voices around you may be saying.

As hard as it can be, see through your rehab with your physiotherapist to ensure you don’t find yourself back on the treatment table trying to work out where it all went pear shaped.

If this all sounds too familiar, our physiotherapists at PhysioWest can help identify your problem and set you on the path to long term change. Book online or by calling 8352 3582.


Physio West | Physiotherapy, exercise therapy and massage services in Adelaide, South Australia.

Published by Matt Nowosilkyj

Physiotherapist, PhysioWest

Concussion in sport – who should I see?


Not a topic we often like to talk about but in reality it happens more than you think

AND you don’t have to be knocked unconscious to suffer a concussion.


I’m sure we have all cringed watching the footy when there is a big clash of players tackling in a pack or going up for a courageous mark. There have been some sickening blows televised over the years, but what about the ones that go un-noticed?


Approximately one third of athletes who play contact sports may have had a previously undiagnosed concussion. Whether it was a ball to the head, a knock on the ground, or a heavy bump, concussions can be easily missed. Given their seriousness, managing them appropriately is vital.


Obvious signs can be picked up in the moment, such as a loss of consciousness, loss of balance, and confusion. Despite this, not all concussions will present this way, and many can often be more subtle symptoms.

These include:

  • Mood swings,
  • fogginess,
  • neck pain and
  • nausea (along with a list of other symptoms) can also indicate concussion.


No concussion should be taken lightly, as they all have potential of a more significant brain trauma – scary I know. Similar to pregnancy, because you are 10 weeks pregnant doesn’t make you “a little pregnant”. You are either pregnant or not. No ifs or buts.  You can’t just be a little concussed, you either are or you aren’t.


Youngsters are particularly important, as their growing brains need more time to recover. Any child or adolescent under the age of 18 should wait at least 3 weeks before medical clearance and return to sport after being diagnosed with concussion.


A thorough assessment should be carried out to establish a baseline of your concussion as soon as possible, to help outline the most appropriate management. A gradual return to sport program is then implemented, to ensure a safe return once symptoms have cleared.


So if you or your child have copped a head knock on the weekend and are feeling a bit off, speak with one of our physiotherapists today. We take the time to walk you through an assessment, and refer on to a medical doctor or emergency department where appropriate.

Physio West | Physiotherapy, exercise therapy and massage services in Adelaide, South Australia.

Published by: Matt Nowosilskyj

Physiotherapist, PhysioWest