14 Dec Interview with Ting Ting – THEi Sports Therapist Graduate
Name: Yu Ting Wong, Ting Ting
Institute: Technological and Higher Education Institute of Hong Kong (THEi)
Course: B.Soc.Sc(Hons) in Sports and Recreation Management – Sports Therapy
Name of event worked at: The 30th Mercuries Taiwan Masters Invitational Golf Tournament in Taipei, Taiwan
Duration of event: 26th September to 2nd October 2016
Lead physio: Pär Risberg
Ting Ting all packed with physio equipment at the Hong Kong airport for her flight to Taipei.
As a final year student, I was very glad to have had the opportunity to work with professional golfers at this elite golf tournament. Mr. Pär Risberg, who is a veteran physiotherapist, has been a great mentor to me while demonstrating physiotherapy treatment techniques throughout the trip.
1. What have I learnt?
What’s inside a therapist’s luggage?
- Some things that are quite special include the Spiky ball, which is a favourite amongst golfers for self-massaging on their backs. There’s also Paracetamol which is used in case some players get fever and as a pain killer.
- Typhoon arrived on our first working day, so the practice day was cancelled. Par predicted some players will still need treatment, so we asked the hotel to arrange an empty room for us to turn into a treatment room. The hotel arranged a meeting room promptly after this request, so we set up our treatment tables there and treated 11 players on that day.
- I had more first-hand experience in treating players with spinal injury cases such as bulging disc in the cervical or lumbar spine. While I was treating them, I needed to be more careful and cautious of their conditions.
- Get the most up-to-date common injuries among elite golfers. I did some simple statistics.
|Top||Tight or painful body part|
- Learnt new joint mobilization skills from Pär (e.g. mobilize the joints of thoracic and lumbar vertebras) and passive stretching skills (stretch the sciatic nerve before stretching the hamstring).
2. What problems were treated on the spot?
On the first working day, many players complained about neck, back or gluteal muscles tightness after the long flight.
I performed assessment on them first, such as checking their joint mobility and palpation on muscles to check if there were any abnormality and tight bands.
Depending on their body condition, I applied sports massage, passive stretching and/or vertebral mobilization on them to relieve their tightness and pain. One very useful technique is trigger point release along the neck muscles, erector spinae and quadratus lumborum muscles. I always got positive feedback from the players when I performed this technique on them.
One player suddenly felt dizzy and had difficulties breathing during competition and suffered from heat stroke under the hot weather.
Kept him in a cool place immediately, provided him oxygen treatment and sports drink. He gradually became better, after 20 minutes, he was able to continue his competition. As a therapist, one should always be prepared with first-aid skills.
Round 3 was a very windy day, a player added more wrist extension in his golf swings to hit the ball more solid and low. After the tough day of competition, his forearm muscles (wrist extensor muscle group) tensed up and became swollen. When he came to the physio room he could not really grasp the grip, and I could see how painful it was through his facial expressions.
We needed to relieve his pain immediately to prepare him for the next day’s competition. First we did sports massage on his forearm to release the muscle tension, then we applied cupping to loosen up the fascia. After the treatment the player felt much better, and when he came to the physio room on the next day the swelling and tightness in the forearm muscle was eliminated.
We met a player who suffered from pain on the outer part of his knee on his right leg. After the hip joint range of motion assessment and Ober’s Test, a very tight Iliotibial Band (ITB) was found. It gave him pain on the knee and also decreased his hip mobility.
As ITB is connected to the Tensor Fascia Latae (TFL) and Gluteus Maximus (GM) muscles, we did sports massage on the player’s ITB, TFL and GM, especially using more compression and friction techniques to release the tight spots on the ITB. After he finished the tournament, Par decided to perform dry needling on the ITB and TFL in order to further loosen up these two soft tissues in preparation for his golf tournaments in the upcoming weeks.
3. What have I seen?
This was my first time experiencing a complete 4-rounds golf tournament. It was exciting. Golf is amazing!
4. Whom have I met?
Very friendly Asian Tour staff and international professional golfers from England, Australia, Thailand, Taiwan, India, Bangladesh etc.
We became friends and had dinner together after work. We also promised to meet again in the UBS Hong Kong Golf Open this coming December 2016.
5. What has inspired me?
- Definitely eagerness to learn more in my studies.
- I’ve fallen in love with golf and went to see the Venetian Macao Open two weeks after this tournament trip.
6. Note of Gratitude
It has been such a fantastic opportunity to open my horizons and I wish to express my sincere gratitude to SPI Prohealth Director, Philippa Stewart and Par Risberg for the opportunity to work in this elite golf event.
7. Future Plans
I hope to use my experience in Taiwan to serve more golfers in the UBS Hong Kong Open!