Prepare your body for ski season

Asia is quickly turning into a world leading ski resort destination. Japan has always been on the radar for powder hounds but with the 2018 Winter Olympics in Korea and 2022 Olympics in China, Asia is building more world class ski resorts than ever before. There are currently 568 ski resorts operating across the mainland and it is estimated this will rise to more than a 1000 by 2022. This opens up further short haul options for ski bunnies in Hong Kong. 

Hamish Dickie, is a physiotherapist at Hong Kong Sports Clinic and arrived to Hong Kong from beautiful resort town of Queenstown, New Zealand. He was a part of the New Zealand medical team at the 2018 Olympics in Korea. In this article Hamish will share his insights to how you can make you and your family’s ski holiday more enjoyable but most importantly injury free! 

How do injuries occur and what are the most common?

A recent study conducted over 5 years discovered the majority of injures happened via falls which accounted for 74% of all injuries, followed by collisions (9%) and jumps (5%). The most common injuries were to the knee (36%), followed by the back (18%), wrist (14%), head (11%), shoulder (11%), ankle (6%) and collar bone (4%). 

How do we prevent injuries?

Appropriate screening

Hamish works with 15 athletes who are in the Park and Pipe high performance program and regularly tours with the group to North America, Europe and parts of Asia. The high risk, high demand sports meant the group of athletes lost 840 days of training and competition to injury last year. Every athlete undertakes regular risk analysis where athletes are scored on a number of categories including neuromuscular control, strength and landing patterns just to name a few. Hamish can personally take you through these screening profiles so an appropriate individualized program can be developed specifically for your needs. 

Strength and Conditioning

Obviously the stronger and fitter you are the less likely fatigue will play a part in your injury. Skiing and snowboarding have specific physical demands and movements and the team at Hong Kong Sports Clinic can help you with a strength and conditioning program to meet these demands. 

Previous injury

The biggest predictor of injury is previous injury. Therefore if have an old niggling injury come in and get it sorted out by the staff at Hong Kong Sports Clinic before you head away on holiday. Comprehensive rehabilitation of injuries is the cornerstone of staying injury free while away. 

Finally – have fun! As the options for us in Hong Kong continue to grow for short haul ski options, enjoy the wonderful new terrain and environments on offer.

ACL Reconstruction – They aren’t all the same!

Each orthopedic surgeon has their specific way of doing an Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction (ACLR). I think it is important to ask your doctors (It is important to get more than one opinion when considering this surgery) the following questions:

How many ACLR’s do you perform annually? 

I think this is an important question because if you are a semi/professional sports person or if you are doing sports that involve pivoting, changing of direction or jumping (soccer, basketball, field hockey, martial arts) you need to give your knee the best chance going forward if you would like to continue with the sport you love and avoid re-injury or chronic pain.

Since I tore my ACL in November 2018, I have consulted with 4 different orthopedic surgeons. The first two doctors I saw told me they only did 20-40 ACLR annually, the third and fourth doctors were doing 100-140 annually. The varying number of surgeries has nothing to do with their expertise but more to do with sporting population size etc. For example, Australia has the highest numbers of ACL reconstructions annually. But Australia is also one of the most active countries in the world, so that makes sense.

Which graft type do you use? 

When this injury does occur, the athlete has some serious decisions to make including which graft to choose for the reconstruction. Often, people leave that decision up to the orthopedic surgeon without really analyzing if it is best for their lifestyle, age and goals.

Next, I would like to explain the difference between an autograft and an allograft. An autograft is your own tissue. An allograft is the tissue of a cadaver.

The most common choices are a hamstring tendon, patella tendon, quadriceps tendon autograft and a patella tendon allograft. It is important to discuss these options in detail with your surgeon. The research and debate between the hamstring and patella autograft will continue, as there is a lot of research going into the re-injury rates as well as post-surgery pain. I decided to go with the hamstring autograph. Its known to be very painful and it has lived up to that reputation. But with correct management, 8 days post-op I am already off the analgesics.

END.

– Cardeux Nel, Physiotherapist

Joseph March
Founder and Physiotherapist

After graduating from university in Australia, Joseph had solid exposure in a wide range of areas including professional sports, neurological, pediatrics, gerontology, and rehabilitation.

Joseph has over a decade of experience in Hong Kong, specializing in rehabilitation of musculoskeletal and sports injuries. He has treated issues related to pregnancy, desk jobs, as well as the unique injuries that come with a variety of athletic pursuits.

He has partnered with the Hong Kong Football Club as the performance squad physiotherapist, as well as the Hong Kong Ballet as the consulting physiotherapist.

Joseph’s hobby outside of work is the pursuit of a better functioning body. This has led him to delve deeply into many types of exercise and performance training. He has years of experience in Olympic weight lifting, movement training, powerlifting, yoga, pilates and strength, and conditioning. Through his own journey, Joseph has positioned himself well to understand other bodies and across a wide range of exercise and sport.

In the past Joseph competed at a high level in football and long distance running.

Cardeux Nel
Senior Physiotherapist

Cardeux represented South Africa and attained her first karate world championship medals at the age of 11. Cardeux’s other sport of interest is field hockey, which she has also played at a national level. From a young age, she attended physiotherapy to enhance performance and recovery. Understanding the importance of this stimulated her to pursue a career in helping others.

After graduating from The University of The Free State in South Africa, Cardeux spent a few years working in private practice as well as gaining experience in sports physiotherapy. She assisted with the Springboks in the lead up to the 2015 Rugby World Cup and worked at the Comrades Marathon for 4 consecutive years.

Cardeux’s treatment is focused on exercise, education and a holistic therapy approach. As a keen trail runner, she specializes in performing full running assessments, both clinical and video. She has also completed her post-graduate course in Dry Needling which she provides as part of her treatments.

Cardeux spends her time off continuing to pursue sports-related endeavors. She is captain of the Valley Premier women’s field hockey team, coaches running, and manages the Hong Kong Sports Clinic running team. She also extends her passion for the sport by giving back, as a member of WISE HK – Helping empower, educate and connect women and girls through sport in Hong Kong.

Elaine Leung
Principle Chiropractor

Elaine completed her chiropractic training at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia with a Bachelor’s degree in Chiropractic Science and Master’s degree in Chiropractic. She then moved to Hong Kong to pursue her career and to promote the importance of health and the work-life balance.

Coming from a family of martial artist and traditional Chinese lion dancers, Elaine also developed an interest in Muay Thai, BJJ and weight training. This of course also comes with some injuries which have always been managed with chiropractic.

Her long interest and love for animals have then lead her to complete a Certificate in Animal Chiropractic in the USA to enable her to provide care for animals as she does for people. She is passionate about getting people (and animals) out of pain and living their lives to the fullest.

Emma Piachaud
Senior Physiotherapist

Emma returned ‘home’ to Hong Kong in 2011 after having spent her childhood here. She completed her Bachelor’s Degree (Hons) in Physiotherapy in the UK and has subsequently worked in the UK, France, and Hong Kong in a variety of settings, including the National Health Service, private hospitals and clinics, and a ski resort.

Emma is a keen sportswoman, which has led to a natural interest in sports injury rehabilitation and exercise-based therapy where she has completed many postgraduate courses specialising in manual therapy and core stability retraining. These have been in areas such as the lumbopelvic complex and thoracic rib cage and their combined effects on the musculoskeletal system. She has used this knowledge when treating clients, from elite athletes with chronic overuse injuries to postnatal women returning to sport.

Emma is available to assess and manage all musculoskeletal conditions including neck and back pain, sports injuries, thoracic and ribcage issues, and post-surgical rehabilitation. In addition, Emma has a specialist interest in treating specific problems related to ante and post-natal women, including pelvic girdle pain, rectus diastasis, mastitis, and assisting in return to sport and fitness.

Katia Kucher
Principle Nutritionist

Katia is a nutritionist with a Precision Nutrition certification and NASM Sports nutrition certification. Katia has also been a fitness, road, and trail running coach for many years. Her focus is on finding the ideal personalized diet plan to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Her other certifications include NASM Personal Trainer, PTA Global Personal Trainer. She also does corporate talks and presentations about nutrition and fitness.

As a nutritionist, her goal is to create a personalized nutrition plan and diet to help clients reach their health and fitness goals, or resolve any health issues. The key is to find a healthy, balanced, life sustainable diet that is adaptable to the client’s body type, metabolism, and lifestyle. For athletes, she creates nutrition programs to improve their performance, strength and endurance levels, and promote faster recovery.

Her background also includes helping clients dealing with injuries, by recommending a diet and specific foods that follow the healing phases to help with the healing quality and speed.

If you find it challenging to find a proper diet that will help you reach any of your goals, Katia can help you achieve your goals or help with any health issues, by recommending a diet you will enjoy and be able to maintain.

Taras Makarenko
Principle Osteopath

Taras is the Principal Osteopath with the Hong Kong Sports Clinic, where he specialises in mechanical pain associated with sports injuries, “desk-bound” related back pain, and nerve entrapment syndromes, like sciatica pain.

He has post-graduate training in both pre and postnatal as well as infant and newborn treatments. His experience includes over 6 years as an independent osteopath, working with multi-disciplinary fields alongside general practitioners, sports doctors, and physiotherapists to provide a higher level of effective recovery for his patients. He has engaged with high-level athletes in the field of tennis, soccer, rugby, field hockey, basketball, dance, ballet, trail-running, and triathletes.

To achieve long-lasting results, Taras strongly believes that structure and function have to be considered equally. His methodology includes an emphasis on educating patients about their pain, and to consider that effective recovery and treatment extends beyond the therapy room. Education is a key component to treatments when walking with patients for their road to recovery, with a mixture of in-clinic and home exercises (stretches and strength focused) as keys factors to improve symptoms.

A French national, he enjoys the fast-paced environment of Hong Kong, with his two kids and wife his loves alongside a keen interest in tennis and running.

Hamish Dickie
Senior Physiotherapist

Hamish originally undertook a Sports Science degree at Otago University and followed this up completing a physiotherapy degree at the Auckland University of Technology. A proud Kiwi, Hamish has worked with a number of high-performance teams and individuals and was part of the New Zealand Olympic team in 2018 where the team won 2 medals.

The first NZ Winter Olympics medals in 26 years. Hamish is still involved with the New Zealand Olympic program and physiotherapist for the Hong Kong Rugby men’s team. In 2018, Hamish’s wife Alex gave birth to the couple’s first child Charlie who has quickly become the apple of his father’s eye.

Prior to Hong Kong, Hamish and Alex spent a number of years in beautiful Queenstown, New Zealand where he developed the regions first high-performance youth sports academy to progress talented athletes. Hamish has worked in other high-performance programs including the New Zealand Baseball team and has worked at major tournaments such as the New Zealand Golf Open.

He has also worked in house at CrossFit boxes and is enjoying working with the CrossFit and weightlifting community in Hong Kong. Hamish was the physiotherapist for the Hong Kong Cricket Club rugby section in 2016/17 and is an active member of the cricket section where he captains the Optimists Sunday premier league team. An avid fitness enthusiast, Hamish loves all the running options that Hong Kong offers and is an avid runner on the wonderful trails.

Needless to say, Hamish understands sports and has a special interest in biomechanics and strength and conditioning components of rehabilitation. Hamish is also a qualified dry needling technician and uses a number of mobilizations, soft tissue and active release techniques to enhance the recovery process. Whether you’re a weekend warrior, youth athlete trying to reach the pinnacle of your sport or an international athlete Hamish is the right physio for you.

Charles Wang
Senior Physiotherapist

Charles completed his Physiotherapy degree at the University of Sydney, Australia. Charles has a particular interest in the link between biomechanics and injury, especially in the lumbopelvic area and lower limb. As such his treatment approach incorporates manual therapies and exercises prescription to optimise movement patterns and to recover from and prevent recurring injuries.