Sophia von Burg
- BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy (UCL, UK)
- Registered Physiotherapist (HK)
- Member of the UK’s ‘Better Clinician Project’
- Pilates Plus Practitioner
- Posture & Movement Dysfunction
- Chronic Pain
- Rehabilitative Strength & Conditioning
- Certified Onero™ Bone Density Practitioner
Experience & Background
I graduated from University College London in 1995 and took my first job with the National Health Service at The Middlesex Hospital. As a junior physiotherapist I rotated through the specialties of respiratory intensive care, geriatric care, neurology and musculoskeletal outpatients. Experience in these areas solidified my desire to focus on the musculoskeletal field.
I arrived in Hong Kong and took a physiotherapy role at The Matilda Hospital where I worked in maternity, postoperative inpatient and general outpatient care. I then decided to focus on movement dysfunction. Over the next four years I trained in and worked with rehabilitative Pilates exercise. I trained with the BET Pilates technique, Dance Medicine Australia, and the Australian Physiotherapy and Pilates Institute. During this time I was lucky enough to act as a clinician in a research trial investigating the effect of exercise on low back pain. I took annual trips back to the UK to further my professional development and there took numerous courses in all areas of movement dysfunction. At this time I also had the opportunity in three consecutive years to work at the Hong Kong Open with elite men’s tennis.
In 2000 I moved to Switzerland for six years and worked in private clinics in both Geneva and Neuchatel. I was fortunate enough to learn from Master Pilates instructor Donna McLean and further my BET Pilates training.
I returned to Hong Kong in 2006 and continue to work with rehabilitative Pilates as a senior physiotherapist. Since my return I have continued my learning, most notably in the Pilates sphere with Elizabeth Larkam and by honing my skills in gait / running biomechanics and in the treatment of chronic pain. I commenced work at Posture Plus in 2015 and continue to search for new and interesting ways to help my clients.
In 2020 it was becoming clear to me that a piece of the puzzle was missing. Movement dysfunction training was getting my clients better but not the best they could be. I undertook a postgraduate course in strength and conditioning for therapists from the UK which opened a door for me to bring robustness and resilience to my clients.
This strength and conditioning knowledge led me further, past the benefits to the muscular system and mental robustness to the added benefit it has on bone density. I came across the 2017 research from Griffith University in Australia about heavy resistance and impact training for improving bone
density. Until then no one had heavily loaded humans with low bone density for fear of injury, but these series of trials did with impressive results. To this end in 2021 through Bone Health Asia I became the first practitioner in Asia of the OneroTM programme. This programme is based on the protocol of the Australian trials. I am extremely thankful that we now have an exercise based system to address low bone density and can bring hope to those, of the world’s aging population, who suffer with osteopenia and osteoporosis.
The multifactorial nature of chronic pain also fascinates me. The idea that long term pain does not originate in the tissues that hurt but is influenced by how we think and feel, by our social situation and a multitude of other influences. It is the brain’s plasticity that opens so many more doors in the ways that chronic pain can be treated.
As a member of the UK’s “Better Clinician Project”, a collection of like-minded health care professionals guided by two of England’s leading physiotherapists, I have the opportunity to stay abreast of the current clinical evidence base with weekly online reviews of the latest research findings and monthly tutorials on specific musculoskeletal diagnoses.
I am a keen hiker and trail runner and regularly participate in races around Hong Kong.
I would love to explore further the effect of loading on bone, perhaps through research or collaboration. More studies are needed to solidify our knowledge in the area and bring more diversity into the treatment of osteopenia and osteoporosis.
I would also like to delve deeper into chronic pain. It is an immense area that we are still learning about. A better understanding would help me in all aspects of my practice.
My mission is to use evidence-based physiotherapeutic exercise and education to help build emotional efficacy, and psychological and physical robustness in both my bone density and chronic pain clients.
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