Q&A with Subiaco Sports Massage

Speaking with Clinic owners, Bernd Adolph

Swimmers will be excited to hear Subiaco Sports Massage Clinic will again be providing free sports massage services at the finish line to work through those post-swim aches, as well as discounted treatments in the lead-up to the event. 

The Clinic is once again supporting the Subiaco Sports Massage Steam Team – the so far unbeaten team of six Eamon Sullivan, Travis Nederpelt, Bobby Jovanovich, Mark Riley, Jim Piper and Adam Lucas.

Port to Pub’s Jane Munday spoke to Subiaco Sports Clinic owner Bernd Adolph, who is well known in swimming circles, having been a member of the medical support staff at six Olympic games, and travelled with the Australian Swim team for well over two decades

Bernd, why is remedial massage so important for swimmers pre-and post-event?

Sports massage by a qualified professional offers benefits for every kind of athlete, including elite swimmers. Sports massage is a deeper type of massage that works specifically with overuse and soft-tissue injuries. In the lead up to any big event such as the Port to Pub, training volume and intensity increases. Muscles, ligaments and joints are being put under significantly more load and stress, and subsequently this greater load and volume increases the risk of overuse, or other soft tissue injuries. For open water swimmers, persisting pain longer than 24 hours in areas like the rotator cuff muscles, neck or lower back and hip flexors, are the common early warning signs which should not be ignored.

Challenging yourself to physically improve and increase your performance is always combined with some muscle pain. Although this should not be a persisting pain. In particular, heavy training often shortens muscle tissues and can lead to poor stroke technique, the consequence of this can be injuries such as shoulder impingements. 

By strategically scheduling soft-tissue treatments at times of higher intensity training (as well as before and directly after the event) swimmers can prevent these problems from impacting on their race or becoming a chronic condition. Soft-tissue treatments during the swimmer’s training regime can enable a better swim by ensuring the body is moving well, training is maximised and recovery is quicker.

What do see as the main benefits?

I see the primary benefits as being the ability to:

  • Recover more efficiently from heavy work-out or training sessions
  • Train harder for longer and get fitter faster without the usual injury dramas
  • Reduce annoying muscle pain and other soft-tissue injuries during training
  • Extend your athletic career
  • Achieve your best at crunch time, when it counts.

Muscular health allows top-level athletes to maintain high-intensity training for longer, optimizing the function and range-of-motion which is the springboard to that stand-out performance in competition.

You trained as a physiotherapist in Germany, how did you end up starting Subiaco Sports Massage in Perth?

My qualifications from Germany were not recognised in Australia. Due to my family circumstances -with having small children at the time - I wasn’t able to start a conversion course. For a while I worked as a physiotherapy assistant, until I decided to make the transition to sports massage. I felt there wasn’t enough focus and knowledge surrounding the area, and as a result I founded Subiaco Sports Massage Clinic.

What would you regard as your greatest career achievement?

Being part of the Olympic team six times over, and also attending six Commonwealth Games. Together, they are my greatest achievement career-wise.

You have a busy 2018 ahead – what are your big focuses?

First up, I’m travelling to South Africa and London in January for the Diamonds Netball Quad series. The 2018 Commonwealth Games is a big focus. We have two therapists treating athletes at the swimming trials in February and have two senior therapists treating at the Games themselves. I am also proud to be running with the Queen’s Baton in February for the lead up to the Games.

You have been a legacy sponsor of the Port to Pub event. Swimmers are looking forward to seeing you and the team again. How many staff will you have in the swimmer recovery tent in 2018?

We’re really happy to be supporting the Port to Pub for the third year running. We really enjoy the day and talking to all the swimmers and paddlers coming through the recovery area at the finish line. This year, we will have six therapists in the recovery area – we’re looking forward to seeing you!

You are right behind Eamon Sullivan and his ‘Steam Team’ again, including Travis Nederpelt, Bobby Jovanovich, Adam Lucas, Jim Piper and Mark Riley..how do you think they’ll go in 2018?

This is a very competitive bunch of guys! We have won it twice now, and although the winning margin was very small, I definitely believe they can do it again. Mind you I’ve noticed they are getting older and wider! (laughs)

Dec 14 2017 - 4:30pm