Working with swimmers requires a deep understanding of this unique and challenging sport, which can only be achieved from clinical experience, time on pool deck, and working with the best coaches, sports scientists and physiologists in the sport.
When you are looking for a specialist swimming physiotherapist, experience counts. Here at The Health Collab we have 3 experienced Physiotherapists who offer exceptional treatment for swimmers of all levels.
Clinic director, Tom Barton is a highly sought-after specialist swimming physiotherapist. Tom has worked with more successful members of the Australian Swim team than any other Australian Physiotherapist over the last 2 Olympic games (Rio and Toyko). Having spent over 20 hours a week for the past 10 years working with swimmers of all levels, you can be confident that you are working with a specialist swimming physio.
APA Sports and Exercise Physiotherapist and experienced Swim Instructor, Vanessa Alvaro, has recently commenced a role in the Swimming program at the Queensland Academy of Sport, fostering collaboration with coaches and support staff to ensure athletes can perform at their peak. With 12+ years' experience as a swimming instructor, her knowledge of stroke development, body control and competitive squad training programs ensures that she understands the demands placed on a swimmer's body.
Physiotherapist and former competitive swimmer, Joe Ferguson is now specialising as a swimming physiotherapist. Incorporating his knowledge of training loads and technique, Joe is here to help facilitate your continued participation. Joe understands the pressures that are placed on swimmers, and so to make life easier, Joe encourages open communications between himself and coaches. He believes engaging with coaching staff not only helps facilitate greater outcomes by utilising coaches skills into the rehab process, but it also helps take unnecessary pressure off the athlete.
Tom and Vanessa both spend time on pool decks on a weekly basis. In the elite setting this presents an opportunity to learn from other specialist swimming physiotherapists, experienced coaches and movement scientists. In the age group setting, it is a chance to see and speak to coaches and athletes about how they are progressing in the water and in the clinic.
Understanding a swimmer’s movement capacity on land and in the water, and how that fits with their stroke model is critical. If you can, bring some footage of you swimming to your appointment – that is always helpful to see!
Swimming is a fingertips to toes sport. It is very different to soccer or rugby and the exercises you do should reflect those requirements.
Whether it is the Olympic games, QLD state championships, or local club competition there is value to see how athletes prepare for racing and respond to the pressure and fatigue of competition. Over the last 10 years, Gold medal winning coaches such as Stephan Widmer, Michael Bohl, Vince Raleigh and Simon Cusack have all relied on Tom Barton as their trusted specialist swimming physiotherapist to look after their swimmers. In these programs Tom has delivered specialist swimming physiotherapy, pre-swim activation exercises, post swim recovery sessions and strength and conditioning programs.
Leveraging his experience, Tom developed the award-winning Q Swim app in 2019. Q Swim is used in over 30 countries by swimmers, coaches and swimming physios as a screening and educational tool. Designed to help you learn the best exercises to improve your swimming, get you stronger and more resilient to injuries.
Thanks to recent research, Swimming physiotherapy has improved as our knowledge of the pathology of ‘swimmer’s shoulder’ has changed. When you choose The Health Collab as your swimming physio, you can be confident that you’re receiving the latest, best practice treatments.
You won’t find a swimming physio in Brisbane who has the experience that Tom has and as soon as you meet him you’ll know you’re in great hands.
Vanessa has been an AUSTSWIM accredited Swimming Instructor for the past 12 years, fostering the development of water familiarisation, body control, stroke development, survival skills, dives, swim for fitness and competitive squad training, across a range of age groups from water babies to adults. As a Sports Physiotherapist in the Brisbane Swimming Hub at the Queensland Academy of Sport, she works closely with strength and conditioning, movement science, biomechanics and coaching staff to provide thorough and holistic approaches to injury prevention and management of elite swimmers.
Joe is deeply passionate about swimming and although he has retired from competitive swimming, he is still often in the pool training for triathlons.
Tom Barton and Vanessa Alvaro continue to be strongly involved in the education of young swimmers and coaches locally, nationally, and internationally. Through Q Swim and frequent in person workshops they are dedicated to improving the basic knowledge and understanding of swimming injury and performance in the community. As part of his role with Swimming QLD, Tom has travelled across Queensland regional centres for several years delivering this content to young swimmers, coaches and parents.
Vanessa has been involved with conducting swim screenings and workshops for school-aged swimmers to promote injury prevention, the benefits of strength and conditioning and appropriate recovery techniques. She also regularly leads pre-swim mobility sessions for adult squads.
Through our unique functional swim screening that you won’t get at any other clinic in Brisbane, Joe can pinpoint impairments in your mobility and strength that might be hindering your ability to maximise your body’s potential. Picture swimming with a handbrake on, no matter how robust your engine, it's bound to be overworked. Joe specializes in removing these metaphorical handbrakes, enhancing your efficiency in the pool and potentially preventing overload to specific areas of your body that could lead to injury. If you're aiming to be the most efficient and fastest version of yourself, schedule a consultation with Joe to discover how you can make significant improvements.
While Tom, Vanessa and Joe are the resident experts when it comes to swimming, the whole team at The Health Collab delivers world leading care for swimmers of all ages and abilities. If you are interested in learning from specialist swimming physiotherapists, book an appointment with us or download Q Swim.