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About the IFSPT


IFSPT is a world-wide Federation, recognised as a subgroup of the World Confederation for Physical Therapy (WCPT), representing national organizations of Sports Physiotherapy. The efforts of IFSPT are directed towards Member Organizations and their individual members in serving athletes of all ages and abilities through excellence in education, research, practice, and clinical specialisation. The intention of the IFSPT is to be the international resource for Sports Physical Therapists all over the world.









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Helsinki: Prevention is Mission Possible
By Karl Lochner, Austria

Peter Halen, President, FSPA, welcomes the attendees to the conference. 

For the first time, the Finnish Sports Physiotherapists Association (FSPA) organised a three-day international congress on Prevention: Mission Possible (20 - 22 March, 2015), in collaboration with the IFSPT and the support of the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture.


The congress focused on evidence-based prevention programmes and strategies, and their applicability in high level sports as well as in recreational sports. Conference attendees were offered three daily workshops, in addition to the presentations.

IFSPT President Dr. Nicola Phillips speaks about the importance of return to play decision making. 

The IFSPT symposium was held at the beginning of the congress. Dr. Nicola Phillips, IFSPT president, explained key areas in the IFSPT's current work: obtaining IFSPT accreditation for sports physical therapy, and promoting current publications in the fields of rehabilitation and return to play.

Marie-Elaine Grant discusses the multi-disciplinary approach of the IOC in the Olympic Games. 


Marie-Elaine Grant from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) delivered a presentation of great topicality for sports physiotherapists. Starting with the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, "Sports physical therapy will be used as a generic term for all therapeutic disciplines whose scope of practice is to provide therapy by manual or physical intervention at the Olympic Games." While "chartered physiotherapists or state-registered physical therapists are recognised as the IOC's lead discipline for physical therapies, all other therapies work as members of the team under the supervision of physiotherapy."


Marie-Elaine emphasized the IOC's effort in injury prevention for athletes. Since the Bejing 2008 Olympic Games, the IOC has been publishing its Injury Surveillance Studies. One of the IOC's activities aimed at preventing injuries was offering a free Get Set app (iOS/Android), offering numerous injury prevention exercises for athletes as well as professionals involved in the training process.

Kristian Thorborg, Denmark, reports on ice hockey injuries.

The congress offered a perfect overview of current issues in the whole field of sports Physical Therapy; Mario Bizzini, Kati Pasanen, Nicola Phillips, Sarah Mottram, Ann Cools, Phil Glasgow and others presented the latest strategies in prevention and rehabilitation for lower and upper extremity and spine. Kristian Thorborg, Lee Nobes and Carl Askling reported about current insights in groin and hip injuries that occur in ice hockey and soccer.

Gordon Eiland, IFSPT Treasurer; Nicola Phillips, IFSPT President; Bente Andersen, IFSPT Board Member; Peter Halen, President, FSPA; Marie-Elaine Grant, IOC; Mario Bizzini, IFSPT Board Member; Karl Lochner, President, Austrian Sports Physical Therapy Organization; Karin Trehsolavy, Austria.


Below, some photos of beautiful Helsinki, compliments of Karl Lochner. 

IFSPT Research Project: Return to Play 

A few minutes of your time could mean a lifetime of play for your patients.

This survey has been created by the International Federation of Sports Physical Therapy (IFSPT), in collaboration with Cardiff University. The aim of the study is to compile information on how practitioners make decisions about advising athletes on returning to sport and physical activity following injury (RTP). We particularly want to know whether RTP decisions differ across countries, sports, level of competition and level of practitioner expertise. This information will help us in the next stage, which aims to develop some clinical guidelines for Physical Therapists working in sport.


There are some general questions about where you work, your professional experience and how you would prioritise your decisions. In the final section there are 2 clinical examples, where you are once again asked to prioritise your decisions in those specific scenarios.


Data Protection

For the purposes of this survey Cardiff University is the data controller. All data collected in this survey will be held securely by the survey software provider (University of Bristol) under contract and then retained by the School of Healthcare Sciences, Cardiff University in accordance with the Data Protection Act (1998). Data from the survey, including answers to questions where personal details are requested, will only be used by the principle authors for research purposes and will not be passed on to any other party. All responses will remain anonymous and no individual will be identified at any stage of dissemination.


Cookies, personal data stored by your web browser, are not used in this survey.


Please help us find out more about worldwide return to play decision-making.  


Complete the survey today!

Results of the survey will be presented in Bern, Switzerland at the First World Congress of Sports Physical Therapy. 

The International Federation of Sports Physical Therapy is pleased to announce its participation, in conjunction with the Swiss Sports Physiotherapy Association (Sportfisio) and the British Journal of Sports Medicine (BJSM), the first World Congress of Sports Physical Therapy!

November 20-21 
Expo Bern 
Bern, Switzerland

The aim of the conference is to present the current evidence on Return to Play criteria and guidelines in different areas, where sports physical therapy plays a major role in helping athletes to come back at their highest level after injury or surgery.

A special presentation by Dr. Nicola Phillips, president of the IFSPT, will focus on the results of the current IFSPT project, the Return to Play Survey, which is still open for participation.

To take the survey, please follow this link.

The IFSPT biennial general meeting will also be held in Bern in conjunction with the conference. The general meeting will be held on November 19. More details will follow, but save the date.

The link below will connect you with registration, more information about the conference, accommodations and the city of Bern.

Join us now for the IFSPT General Meeting and the World Congress of Sports Physical Therapy! 

Jodie M. Rock, PT, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT
Charles E. Rainey, PT, DSc, DPT, OCS, SCS, FAAOMPT
1 Naval Special Warfare Group ONE, San Diego, CA, USA

Study Design: Case Series.

Background and Purpose: Myofascial trigger points (MTrPs) are a common occurrence in many musculoskeletal issues and have
been shown to be prevalent in both subjects with nonspecific low back pain and whiplash associated disorder. Trigger point dry
needling (DN) has been shown to reduce pain and improve function in areas such as the cervical and lumbar spine, shoulder, hip,
and knee, but has not been investigated in the thoracic spine. The purpose of this case series was to document the use of DN with
intramuscular electrical stimulation (IES) in subjects with nonspecific thoracic spine pain.

Case Description: The subjects were both active duty military males aged 31 and 27 years who self-referred to physical therapy
for thoracic spinal pain. Physical examination demonstrated thoracic motor control dysfunction, tissue hypertonicity, and tenderness
to palpation of bilateral thoracic paraspinal musculature in both subjects.

This indicated the presence of possible MrTPs.

Objective findings in the first subject included painful thoracic flexion and bilateral rotation in each of these planes of movement.
Pain reduction was observed when postural demands of the spine and trunk musculature were reduced through positional changes.
Patient 1 demonstrated pain with posterior to anterior (P/A) pressure at T9 to T12. The second subject had bilaterally limited and painful thoracic rotation actively with normal passive rotation and demonstrated pain with P/A pressure at T4 to T7.

Intervention: The subjects were treated with DN and IES for a total of two visits each. DN was performed to paraspinal and multifidus
musculature at the levels of elicited pain with P/A testing and IES set at a frequency level of 4 (1.5Hz) for 20 minutes.

Outcomes: Subject 1 reported reduced pain with standing flexion from a 62mm VAS score on initial evaluation to 26mm at his second visit. Subject 2 reported being "quite a bit better" in symptoms on the GROC following his second treatment. His VAS score reported following weightlifting activities changed from 43mm on initial evaluation to 20mm at his second visit. Both subjects also demonstrated a 10 degree improvement in active thoracic spinal rotation (on the right for Subject 1 and bilateral for Subject 2) following their second treatment.

Discussion: Both subjects demonstrated motor control dysfunctions and pain with P/A pressure in the thoracic spine. With the use of DN and IES, immediate reduction was seen in subject perceived symptoms, and pain free ROM was improved. Extended treatment and follow up was not plausible due to the high pace tempo and demands of their operational training schedule. With research indicating the influence of MTrPs on a multitude of musculoskeletal issues and the prevalence of thoracic spine pain, further research is indicated for examining the effects of DN and IES for motor control and painful conditions occurring in the thoracic spine.

Level of Evidence: Level 4

Key Words: Dry needling, intramuscular electrical stimulation, myofasical trigger points, thoracic spine pain

  Link here to full article.

The project was not required to be reviewed or approved by a US Navy Institutional Review Board.

Disclaimer: The opinions or assertions contained herein are the private
views of the authors and are not to be construed as official or as reflecting the views of the Department of the Navy or Department of Defense.

This article is presented with the permission of the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy , and official IFSPT publication. For more information about the publication, follow this link. IFSPT members receive a significant discount when subscribing to this online publication.
Special events and projects are nothing new to IFSPT President Nicola Phillips, with travel ranging from Peru to Nepal to Australia to support her athletes. It was the red carpet beckoning this time...for the SPOTY Awards. This event honors the sports personality of the year in various categories, as well as teams.

The award for Team of the Year at the Commonwealth Games went to Team Wales. Nicki has been an integral part of the medical team for several years. "It was a thrilling night," Nicki says.

A Gathering in New Zealand 
Physiotherapy New Zealand recently held their national conference, of which the SPNZ (Sports Physiotherapy New Zealand, an IFSPT member organization) was featured in their own component.

IFSPT secretary Maria Constantinou and board member Tony Schneiders were invited speakers.

Left to Right: SPNZ Chair Michael Borich; Maria Constantinou, IFSPT secretary; Tony Schneiders, IFSPT board member. 
If you would like to take your skills to the world, this is the pathway you should choose! Registered International Sports Physical Therapists (RISPT) are immediately recognized as individuals possessing the knowledge, experience and skills to work in the worldwide field of sports.

While RISPT status does not license an individual in other countries, it does notify that the individual has achieved the highest level of qualification in his or her country.

Currently, members of the following member organizations are able to apply and receive acceptance immediately.
  • Australia
  • Denmark
  • Ireland: Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists, Level 3 Accreditation in Sports Physiotherapy
  • New Zealand: Complete the Specialisation Pathway through the Physiotherapy Board of New Zealand. Must complete specialisation in the Musculoskeletal Category. Applications for NZ Board MSK Specialty must have a sports focus with evidence provided. 
  • The Netherlands
  • United Kingdom: Continuing Professional Development Level 3, Gold
  • United States: APTA Sports Certified Specialist
Cost for registration is only 50 euros and is good for five years. Renewal is available for 20 euros. A certificate will be emailed to you in order that you may print and display it.

Please note: all registration applications will be processed by the member organization, so please be certain your credentials match those described above.

Register today and be recognized for your accomplishments as an international sports physical therapist!


The 8th World Congress on Science and Football is a multidisciplinary congress focusing on five codes of football: Soccer; Rugby; and Australian, American and Gaelic Football. The congress will highlight the newest research results, methodologies and applied approaches.


The congress, to be held May 20-23, 2015, expects to attract more than 500 participants from all over the world. We hope to gather international scientists from the natural, human and social sciences, as well as practitioners, to exchange knowledge and participate in a dialogue on both mono- and multidisciplinary aspects of football.


We are pleased to announce that the 8th World Congress on Science and Football in 2015 has opened for:

  • Registration for WCSF2015.
  • Submission of abstracts for WCSF2015

Several speakers are confirmed, and abstracts are invited within the overall themes:

  • Physiology, biomechanics and sports medicine.
  • Social sciences and humanities. 

Link here to find out more about the congress' scientific and social programme as well as registration and abstract submission.






World Federation of Athletic Training and Therapy: 2015 World Congress
  • June 20-22, 2015
  • St. Louis, MO USA
  • Hosted By: Saint Louis University, Doisy College of Health Sciences
  • www.slu.edu/wfatt2015
  • wfatt2015@slu.edu
  • Registration opens January 2015
  • Flyer 


Fourth Biannual Sport Physiotherapy Congress

The Juvenile Athlete

  • August 28-31
  • Milnerton, Cape Town, South Africa
  • Sponsored by
  • Sport Physiotherapy South Africa
  • South African Society of Physiotherapy
  • Cost from R3 500
  • For more information, contact Ria Sandenberg at sport@saphysio.co.za


Euro Spine 2015

  • September 2-4
  • Bella Center A/S
    Center Boulevard 5
    DK - 2300 København




Salzburg Sportsphysio Symposium

October 2-3

We are delighted to announce the 4th symposium on Sports-Physiotherapy at the University of Salzburg.

The key-topic - "Sensorimotor-Control-Training" - plays a central role in injury prevention and rehabilitation.

International top-speakers will provide new findings and ideas within oral presentations and workshops.

  • Micheal J. Grey (University of Birmingham)
  • Romain Meeusen (Vrije Universiteit Brussel)
  • Wolfgang Taube (Universite de Fribourg)
  • Nicole Wenderoth (ETH Zürich)
  • Thorsten Stein (Karlsruher Institut für Technologie)
  • Nicola Maffiuletti (Schulthess Klinik Zürich)
  • Christian Larsen (Spiraldynamik Zürich)
  • Robert van Cingel (SMC Papendal)
  • Grethe Myklebust (Oslo Sports Trauma Research Center)
  • Dianne Andreotti Jackson (SMARTERehab)

Registration starts Feb 9th, 2015.

The "early-bird-bonus" will last until April 1st, 2015.




ACPSEM Biennial Conference 2015:  

The Young Athlete


Advances in Sports Rehabilitation: Clinical Reasoning and Practice

First GISPT International Conference

After the success of the Italian edition in 2014, this year Advances in Sport Rehabilitation become an international event focused on physiotherapy and sports rehabilitation. The goal is to make this event, one of the main scientific events promoted with closer collaboration of the International Federation IFSPT, with most important national scientific networks as well as with the support of the national sport federation and, first of all, of Italian Olimpic National Commettee (CONI).

More than 30 speakers, including 10 international guests, will be the protagonists of the two days that will also include the presentation of important results of TURIN POSITION STATEMENT: LCA POST SURGERY REHABILITATION that will see the conclusion of its work the day before the conference.

The event will be enriched by parallel sessions promoted by some partners of the event, as well as by the presence of three poster sessions that will involve the best Post Graduate students in Sport Physical Therapy.

ASR2015 has been included in the events of Torino2015 - Capital European Sports. Next edition will be in 2017 with the aim to link to our conference also the Symposium and the GM IFSPT.

The scientific GISPT week will include by two courses and a free university conference held by some international guests attending the ASR2015.

We also set up a link with the FIRST WORLD SPORTS PHYSICAL THERAPY CONGRESS to be held in Bern on 20-21 November. GIS Sport will organize a transfer to attend this important conference, that will be linked to the Symposium and the GM IFSPT 2015.  


IFSPT 2015 General Meeting and Symposium: In Conjunction with the Swiss Sportfisio Conference Return to Play
  • General Meeting: Thursday, November 19, 2015
  • IFSPT/Swiss Sportfisio Conference: November 20 and 21, 2015
  • Exciting international speakers!
    • Ben Clarsen, Norway
    • Mark De Carlo, USA, former IFSPT board member
    • Phil Glasgow, UK
    • Havard Moksnes, Norway
    • Tony Schneiders, NZ - IFSPT
    • Jan Shrier, Canada
    • Kristian Thorborg, Denmark
    • Tim Tyler, USA
    • Kevin Wilk, USA
    • Erik Witvrouw, Qatar
  • Registration now open. Follow this link.   


Team Concept Conference 2015

  • December 3-5
  • Red Rock Resort and Casino
  • Summerlin, Nevada (just off the Las Vegas Strip)
  • More information available shortly!

Attention Member Organizations:  

Are you sponsoring a physical therapy, sports physical therapy or sports medicine conference in 2015?  

Please send the information regarding your conference to Mary Wilkinson, IFSPT marketing director, for addition to the IFSPT newsletter and website! Newsletters are published each month, so please submit your material as early as possible. You are also welcome to provide updates as your event draws closer!  


Follow this link for the latest WCPT update.

Coverage from the WCPT conference in Singapore to follow in our next newsletter!
 Photos from Around the World 
We often receive photos from our members around the world. So here's an assortment of recent snaps to help you keep track of your fellow members!

President Nicki Phillips traveled to Saudi Arabia to teach, and adapted to the appropriate dress code. One wonders how she got the dagger home on the plane.

Karl Lochner, bored with the snow and the cold, send this one...

Carlo Ramponi of Italy provided this relaxed photograph of the GISSport reunion...

...and of his attempts to teach his children sports at a young age.

The photos became gradually funnier at the Schulthess Klinik when Peter McNair (NZ), Nicola Maffiuletti (SUI), board member Mario Bizzini (SUI) and IFSPT director of marketing Mary Wilkinson (not-so-fresh off the plane) met in Zurich for planning of RTP2015.

A lovely photo of a beautiful beach from board member Tony Schneiders, New Zealand.

Do you have photos to share, especially sports and physiotherapy related ones? Send them to Mary Wilkinson at mwilkinson@opusdesignad.com!