Physiotherapy & Innovation
Innovations in Physiotherapy
A blogpost about Physiotherapy & Innovation from Gerard Vehof, my Dutch colleague who is going to organize my Tendinopathy & Performance workshop at Sports Medical Center Amsterdam, on May 13 & 14.
A few weeks ago Nils Oudhuis from Trust Me I’m a Physiotherapist (1) invited me to attend Tim Gabbett’s Workloads & Injury workshop, organized by DenkFysio (2) in Nijmegen (The Netherlands). For anyone who doesn’t know Dr. Gabbett: he has 20 years experience working as an applied sports scientist, worked with international athletes over several Olympic games, holds two PhD’s in Human Physiology and Applied Science of Professional Football, published over 200 peer-reviewed articles, presented at over 200 conferences and continues to work as a sport science and coaching consultant for high performance teams around the world, like FC Barcelona (3).
Main topic of his workshop was the application and interpretation of session-RPE (Rate Perceived Exertion) monitoring to measure the ‘acute:chronic workload ratio’ as a best practice approach to reduce training related injuries. He reviewed terms as ‘sweet spot’, ‘danger zone’ and ‘spikes’ as guidance for appropriate workload prescription, referring to one of his latest publications (4).
He found that appropriately graded prescription of high training loads improve players’ fitness and actually offers a protective effect against injuries due to its mediating effect on the development of physical qualities. He called it the ‘vaccine’ against injuries. (4)
So he advocated a “training smarter ánd harder” policy to “prepare players or patients for the worst case scenario”. He ended his workshop mentioning that data suggests that this approach can lead to greater physical outputs and resilience in competition, and a greater proportion of the squad available for selection each week (4). To achieve optimal results though, he pointed out that optimal communication between the entire performance staff (Strength & Conditioning, Medical and Coaching) is required, to prevent injured players from becoming ‘chronic rehabbers’, referring to players who are exposed to either too low or too high training loads, both leading to poor performance and increased injury risk.
A true innovator in the field of injury prevention and high performance sports! And for me personally a great inspiration to continue working on a new version of the freely available Physio2Go exercise prescription application (5) . He showed that ‘simple’ and pragmatic approaches can lead to game changing insights and benefits.
So recently – having worked for nearly 10 years in the physiotherapeutic industry – I decided to quit my freelance career as MSK physiotherapist to team up with Luca, my professional soulmate since 2012 when we met at Curtin University during the Master of Clinical Physiotherapy. Our collaboration allows us to turn Physio2Go ‘2.0’ (6) into a clinical tool by integrating practical clinical ‘nuggets’ from Luca’s workshops, up to date with the current best scientific evidence.
Who says science is boring?
4. Gabbett, T. J. (2016). “The training-injury prevention paradox: should athletes be training smarter and harder?” Br J Sports Med 50(5): 273-280.