spiprohealth.com | Sarah Whitehead
SPI ProHealth provides specialised physical therapy services at world sports championships, tournaments, and private therapy to elite athletes and teams.
sports physiotherapy, physiotherapists, elite athletes, philippa stewart, sheilagh anderson, sports physiotherapy international, prohealth asia
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Sarah Whitehead


    • Originally from South Africa, Port Elizabeth
    • Registered Physiotherapist in SPI Physio Team (HK)


    • Treatment services include joint/movement restriction mobilisation and therapy, bio-mechanical analysis of movement restrictions and areas of weakness, appropriate taping and support strategies, movement-based correction, imbalance training, rehabilitation and ‘return-to-play’ fitness programmes etc.
    • Hands-on treatment of high-performing athletes and amateur sports enthusiasts.

1. Tell us about your background in Physiotherapy.

My physiotherapy journey begun in South Africa at Stellenbosch University. This is where I completed a four year degree – a Bachelor of Science in Physiotherapy. As a qualified health profession in South Africa, it is compulsory to complete a year of community service for the government. I was extremely lucky to secure my first choice of placement which was in my hometown, Port Elizabeth.

Here I worked in three different public hospitals on a rotational basis, and I can honestly say it was probably the most eye-opening and incredible life experience I’ll ever have. After completing this year, I moved to Cape Town where I was given the amazing opportunity to work at the Sports Science Institute of South Africa for almost two years. I then moved onto a boutique rehab centre for a year and a half to broaden my career experience. I bid farewell to Cape Town in 2013 and moved back to Port Elizabeth to work for a private practice that was based in a top private hospital, namely St Georges Hospital. At this establishment I filled the role of a senior physiotherapist and treated both out-patients and in-patients of all ages.

During my time in Cape Town and Port Elizabeth, I was involved in various sporting events, which included rugby, cricket, hockey, golf, triathlons and road running.


2. What are your interests?

I love being active and outdoors, with running at the top of the list. Sport is a great love of mine, with rugby being my favourite to watch. Cricket, golf and tennis are definitely up there too. I’m passionate about my family, friends and my faith. I’m also a lover of food, music and anything vaguely sweet.


3. Tell us about a life-changing experience or adventure you’ve been on. 

There are two that stick out in my mind. The first one has to be moving away from home to study Physiotherapy. Not only was it the first time living away from my family, but a good part of the course was taught in Afrikaans. This was a huge shock to the system as I was brought up in an English home. This definitely taught me a lot about myself, challenging me in ways I never expected. However, it just meant I had to work harder and that I couldn’t take myself and life too seriously.

The second experience would have to be my move to Hong Kong. I took the leap of faith in August 2015, all on my own, and what a leap it has been. There have been some testing times but the great ones definitely outweigh them. I’ve learnt even more about myself and life in general. The last 9 months have been filled with incredible growth and adventure, with still heaps more to come.


4. What is your area of expertise?

I’ve been very fortunate in that I’ve managed to gain great experiences in various fields. But if I had to choose an area of expertise, I would say treating and managing active and sports orientated people.


5. What is the most fulfilling part of the job?

To be honest, there really are many – I love my job! But I reckon the most fulfilling part is helping patients improve their functionality so that they can attain personal goals and therefore a better quality of life.