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Flawless Supports for Contact Sport
New World wide innovation from New Zealand physiotherapist for players in contact sports. Unilateral and Bilateral shoulder braces are now a realistic alternative to shoulder surgery thanks to developments by Flawless Motion.
By: Delyth Morgan-Coghlan, Let Me Out Ltd
The neoprene, perforated shoulder braces were developed by physiotherapist Margie Olds as a result of extensive overseas study and a request from athletes for something better than was traditionally available. On her return to New Zealand after five years in the British Olympic programme working with the British Canoe team including the Athens Olympics, Margie was able to develop,trial, and test the brace.
The catalyst to developing the brace was in wanting to find an alternative to surgery for a young football goal keeper who had suffered from repeated shoulder dislocations. Having failed to find a suitable shoulder brace in New Zealand she set about developing her own.
After two years of prototypes and testing the ‘uni lateral’ brace and ‘bi lateral’ brace – the only brace for both shoulders available Worldwide – were put it into production and now players are starting to see the benefits of this new form of protection.
One such athlete is George Pisi, 22 year old Auckland Blues full back. He has been plagued with injury over the past 18 months with two shoulder operations on his left shoulder.
He will return to the field this season after a 6 month period of rehabilitation and has found the brace invaluable.
“It definitely gives me added confidence going into full contact and although it is only part of the solution, mentally I’ve got it there and that helps. I’ve given myself a long rehabilitation period this time and I’m feeling a lot stronger. I hope to get consistent rugby now without having to think too much about it. But I’ll definitely be using the brace for that added protection and will be working hard on listening to my body to prevent injuries in the future.”
But the brace is also being recommended by specialists as an alternative to surgery. Hannah Porter, a Silver Fern centre in her late 20’s thought her playing days were over last season when she dislocated her shoulder in a test match against Australia. She’d previously undergone surgery on her other shoulder and having to go under the knife again was a daunting thought.
Her surgeon Stu Walsh came to the rescue and recommended Flawless Motion’s brace as an alternative and has been able to return to play.
For Hannah, it has meant being able to compete at international level for a little while longer whilst feeling confident that she won’t be injuring herself again.
“The brace is really comfortable. I’ve been wearing it for 7’s trials for the World Cup in Dubai and it’s made it possible for me to continue playing at the top level. I’ve tried other braces in the past but none of them have worked for playing. Strapping only has limited value because the tape stretches during the game and loosens”.
A number of other high profile players worldwide are making the most of this innovative product including players in the super 14 and international arena.
The same is the response in the South Island according to Christchurch physiotherapist Grant Chittock of Injury Solutions Clinic. He says, “I’ve seen a lot of braces come and go over the years but the feedback from my patients is that they prefer Flawless Motion as it’s so comfortable to wear”. Chittock looks after a number of rugby clubs including Marist Rugby, Shirley and Christ’s College and even though it’s not scientifically proven he adds “from my experience no one wearing the brace has dislocated a shoulder whilst on the field of play which says a lot”.
The added advantage, as far as Chittock is concerned, is for those thousands of players in the lower leagues who have to pay for their own strapping. “That can add up significantly during the course of a season but one brace from flawless motion can keep you going for the entire season”.
Flawless Motion will be continuing to fine tune the brace to ensure the best comfort fit possible, especially in the heat of the match environment and clinical trials at Auckland’s AUT Health & Rehabilitation Research Centre are underway with a French sports scientist.
For further information or more images contact Flawless Motion on: 021573422 or go to www.flawlessmotion.com
Notes: Photo opportunities with George Pisi and Hannah Porter available on request.
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About Flawless Motion. New Zealand based physiotherpy company dedicated to advancements in treatment. Physiotherapy teachers of latest techniques in treating injured shoulders. Teaching in New Zealand and the UK.