Capture d’écran 2017-02-20 à 10.03.03

Helene Simpson 

Helene graduated in 1984 from the University of the Free State. She worked at Conradie Spinal Unit for three years, followed by a year of lecturing in spinal injuries at the University of Pretoria.

She returned to Cape Town in 1989 to pursue her passion for sports related injuries. She completed her honours in Sports Science at UCT in 1990. During this year, she volunteered at the UCT Sports Injuries Clinic. She was employed by UCT in 1992 and set about expanding the practice, by extending the services to all students, UCT staff and alumni. She introduced on-field services at the UCT Rugby (club games and internal league). She also got involved with providing physiotherapy services at the Cape Town Cycle Tour in 1993.

In 1997, the practice became privatised with Helene as the owner physiotherapist. The practice was then opened to the general public as well.

Helene has been determined to extend the knowledge in the rehabilitation of sports related injuries to physiotherapists in working general practice. She has been involved in running SPT1 (established for this purpose) since its inception.

Helene’s main interest in sports related injuries is the treatment and rehabilitation of ankle injuries. She is currently lecturing on ankle injuries to the SPT1 attendees, MPhil students at UCT and MSc Physiotherapy students at the University of Stellenbosch. She is also doing evening lectures and weekend workshops to her colleagues on injuries of the ankle-foot complex.

Having completed her OMT1 in 2010, she focused on ankle injuries and wanted to consolidate her interest and completed her MSc Physiotherapy at University of Stellenbosch (Cum laude) in 2013. She received a Golden Key membership. Her thesis, Physiotherapists Physiotherapeutic Management of Acute Ankle Sprains: A survey of clinical practice in the Western Cape and comparison thereof to evidence-based guidelines, was awarded “best research” by a physiotherapist in 2013. She also published a research article based on her thesis in SAJP: (Volume 70, no 2 2014): Physiotherapy for acute ankle sprains: How do we compare to evidence-based clinical guidelines?

Helene was invited to present her case study (submitted as part of her OMT1 course) at the 5th International Ankle Symposium in Lexington Kentucky in 2012. She was asked by the Ankle Consortium to be a contributing author for the book: Quick questions in Ankle Sprains. Expert Advice in Sports Medicine; What is Cuboid Syndrome? 2015 (Amazon).

Helene enjoys attending orthopedic congresses on the foot and ankle complex to understand the surgical approach in management of ankle and foot complaints. She has recently attended the 6th International Ankle Symposium in Dublin (2015), the International Congress of Arthroscopy of the Ankle (Kwa Maritane, 2015) and COMOC in Cape Town 2016.

She has been a co-presenter at several colloquiums during 2015 and 2016 hosted by Ossur on “How I manage ankle sprains – the physiotherapist’s perspective” in Worcester, Stellenbosch, Cape Town, Nelspruit, KZN, and Eastern Cape.

Helene enjoys staying active: gymming and walking to stay fit for her physically demanding work. She also loves her family (and many pets) and her garden.


Affiliations: Registered with HPCSA, Registered APDL2 physiotherapist with SASP (member of 3 interest groups: OMPTG, Sport and Pain), member of SASMA, member of South African Foot Surgeons Association, member of AFAP in United Kingdom.

Educational Background:
M.Sc. Physiotherapy (thesis) (cum laude): Physiotherapeutic Management of Acute Ankle Sprains: A survey of clinical practice in the Western Capeand and comparison thereof to evidence-based guidelines, 2013, University of Stellenbosch
Completed and passed OMTG 1, Western Cape 2011
B Sc. Med Hons Sports Science (Physiotherapy), UCT, 1990
HDE, University of Pretoria, 1987
B Sc. Physio, UOFS, 1981 – 1984

Contributing author for book: Quick questions in Ankle Sprains. Expert Advice in Sports Medicine; What is Cuboid Syndrome? 2015 (Amazon).
Published research article in SAJP: (Volume 70, no 2 2014): Physiotherapy for acute ankle sprains: How do we compare to evidence based clinical guidelines?

Contributing author for article: Post-treatment Follow-up, Imaging and Outcome scores: Proceedings of the International Consensus Meeting on Cartilage Repair of the Ankle, Foot Ankle International, volume 39, Issue 1 Supplement July 2018

Professional work experience:

1997 – Present Sole proprietor Helene Simpson Physiotherapy in the UCT Sport Injuries Centre: Managing practice and HR, coordinating and liaising on-field physiotherapy for UCT Sport. Arranging journal clubs and ongoing clinical training for team at Sport Injuries Centre. Performing 30 treatments per week – ankle and foot related complaints

1991 – 1997 Chief Physiotherapist at Sports Injuries Centre, UCT: practice management: budget, HR, treatment protocols and treating patients (40 slots per week)

1991 Part time lecturer B Sc Sports Science for the physiotherapy curriculum

1987 – 1990 Physiotherapist in Private Practice, Nicky Ackermann, Cape Town
1986 – 1987 Junior Lecturer, Dept. of Physiotherapy, UP (Spinal Injuries, ICU)
1984 – 1986 Physiotherapist at Conradie Spinal Unit, Cape Town

Lecturing and presentations:
Invited to participate as clinical expert physiotherapist at Proceedings of the International Consensus Meeting on Cartilage Repair of the Ankle, specifically related to topic of post operative treatment, Pittsburgh, USA 2017.
Instructional presenter at SAOC 2018 (CSRI, Pretoria): Does my Hallux Valgus patient need physiotherapy?
Instructional presenter at SASMA congress 2017 in Cape Town: Tips for physiotherapists on management of difficult lower limb tendinopathies – based on current evidence.
Keynote speaker at sympsiom hosted by OMPTG, KZN, November 2017: How to manage the difficult ankle with confidence?
Co-presenter (physiotherapist expert) at Colloquims presented by Ossur on “How I manage Inserrtional Achilles Tendinopathy and Plantar fasicopathy”. Cape Town, Hermanus, Durban 2017
Instructional presenter at SAOC 2017 (Port Elizabeth): Should I manage ruptures of the achilles tendon conservatively?
Co-presenter (physiotherapist expert) at Colloquims presented by Ossur on “How I manage Ankle Sprains”: Worcester, Stellenbosch, Cape Town, Nelspruit, Durban, Pietermaritzburg, Richards Bay, Port Elizabeth, East London 2015, 2016.
Lecture ad-hoc at MPhil course at UCT and MSc Programme at University of Stellenbosch on: Ankle Rehabilitation and Management, Cuboid Syndrome, The Difficult Ankle and The Principles of Rehabilitation 2015, 2016 and 2017.
Lecturer of the Foot and Ankle module (14 hours) on SPT1 2017.
Presenter of 2 day workshops: “Clinical Workshop for physiotherapists on the Ankle and Foot (based on evidence from current literature). Presented 30 + workshops in South Africa (since 2006). This workshop was also presented internationally in Windhoek (3 times; 2014, 2016, 2017) and at Aspetar Hospital, Quatar in November 2018, upon invitation of the Department of Rehabiltative Services.
Speaker at First and Second National Congress of Sports Group of South Africa in 2010 2011, and 2015: The difficult ankle. The unstable ankle. It is not a sprain – so what can it be?
Presenter South African Clinical Sports Medicine Conference 2014: Prevention of recurrent ankle sprains: the evidence?
Presented 6 evening lectures during 2013; Update of evidence based research on Physiotherapeutic managment of Functional Unstable Ankles, Cape Town.
Presented paper at 5th International Ankle Symposium in Lexington, Kentucky: 16 to 20 October 2012: Topic: Physiotherapeutic treatment of Cuboid Syndrome following an acute ankle sprain.

• Awarded membership to Golden Key Society for academic excellence 2014
• Awarded prize for best presentation and best clinically relevant research by a physiotherapist (based on MSc thesis) at University of Stellenbosch Research Day 2013
Courses, workshops, conferences attended
2014 to 2018/ current:
o Attended SAFSA meetings: two per year since 2015, Discussing clinical cases
o Radiology meeting for ankle and foot surgeons and other clinical experts, 2018
o SAOC congress Pretoria, August 2018: Hallux Valgus and other foot issues, 1 day
o Ossur Colloquium: How I manage the OA Knee, August 2018
o Attended Module 3 of Pain: Pain Interventions for Rehab Professionals, by Jacqui Koep and Dr Tory Madden, April 2018
o Optimal Loading in Orthopedic Rehabilitation, 1.5 days, by Arnold Vlok of Optimal Loading, April 2018
o Journal club Sport Injuries Centre 2018 (6 meetings)
o Completed 2 online courses with Physioplus: Chronic Ankle Instability risk identification, The Foot model November 2018
o 1 Day Symposium OMPTG, KZN 2017: Managing ankles – conservatively
o Attended WCPT 2017 in Cape Town (8 CPD points)
o Attended SAFSA congress 25 – 27 May 2017in Sandton, Gauteng (22 CPD points)
o Sport Injuries Centre: Practice Journal Club: lecture on acquired flat foot and midfoot sprains (10 CPD points)
o Completed Foot and Ankle course on-line 2017 by Physiopedia (16 CPD points)
o Attended lecture by Dr G McCollum on Common Ankle conditions, 2017 (2 CPD points)
o COMOC 2016, Day 1 and 2: Foot and Ankle group, 11 and 12 April 2016
o Attended weekend workshop by Adriaan Louw on 6 and 7 February 2016: Therapeutic Neuroscience Education
o Attended 6th International Ankle Symposium in Dublin 16 – 18 October 2015
o Attended International Congress on Cartilage Repair of the Ankle, South Africa June 2015, Kwa Maritane, August 2015.
o Attended National Sports Group Congress 2015, Lagoon Beach
o Attended Modules 1 and 2 presented by national Pain Group of SA: Principles of Pain 2014 and Move the Fear Away 2015.

2011 to 2014:
o Rehabilitation of ankle sprains (Prof Graham Smith) 2014
o Rehabilitation (Helen Millson) 2014
o Evening lectures on “Barefoot running”, Training for Triathlons, Supplements in Sport etc. 2013 – 2015
o Completed OMPTG 1 2013 (Western Province Branch, Cape Town).

2001 – 2013
• Attended a variety of workshops:
Pilates, SIJ, lumbar stability, Cranio-sacral therapy, Nags and Snags, Pilates on the ball, kinetic activation and control (2 courses), Muscle Activation etc.
• 2008 Kinesio Taping: David Parish 2-day workshop
• 2009 Anatomy Trains: Thomas Myers 2-day workshop
o Chronic Low Back Pain: Dr Peter O’Sullivan 3-day workshop
• 2010 Tendon Rehabilitation: Jill Cook 1-day workshop
o OMT 1
o 2011 – 2013 Rehabilitation of the Hip post-injury and post-surgery (Dr Dower and Marina Wege)
o Rehabilitation of cervical whiplash injuries (Kerry Grierson)

1990 – 2001
• Courses in Physiotherapeutic management: Spinal treatments, management and rehabilitation
• Courses in alternative medicine: different types of massage, Feldenkrais techniques and rehabilitation: Pilates and Yoga
• Attended various seminars by Orthopedic Surgeons on Treatment of range of injuries of sports persons.

Other work experience: Sporting events:
Managed and worked at UCT sporting events and sporting tournaments
Manages physiotherapy services for the Argus Cycle Tour 1992 – 2015
Co-ordinator of SPT1, Cape Town 1998 to 2013.

Posted in Lecturers.