Scientific Board – Euleria Health: let’s get to know Wayne Diesel

scientific board euleria health
Among the members of Euleria Health's scientific board, today we learn more about Wayne Diesel, a renowned Sports Physiotherapist.

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Among the professionals using Euleria Health’s technology to assess the physical status of the athletes they follow, many are achieving significant results with global teams.

Today we gather the testimony of Wayne Diesel, a sports physical therapist active in settings such as American football with the Miami Dolphins, European football with Tottenham Hotspur Football Club and the Olympics. Wayne is also a member of the Scientific Board of Euleria Health.

 

Wayne, how did you build your career as a Sports Physical Therapist and your role on various teams?

 

My passion for sports and my fascination with humananatomy and physiology led me to pursue my first qualifications in Physiotherapy and Sports Science. My Bachelor of Science in Physiotherapy, obtained in 1987, was from the University of the Witwatersrand, and my Ph.D. in Exercise Physiology, was from the University of Cape Town in 1994. 

 

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Studies in Physiotherapy have provided me with the tools and skills to prevent, diagnose, treat and rehabilitate sports injuries, while my Ph.D. in Exercise Physiology allowed me to understand how our bodies respond and adapt to exercise. The combination of these two disciplines provided an appreciation of the important and often overlapping roles of the physical therapist and sports coach in the management of athletes.

Representing my university in soccer on three occasions, including winning an inter-university tournament , and completing grueling ultramarathons gave me an early personal insight into the intense physical and mental demands that athletes respond to in order to succeed. Direct practical experience has been gained over decades of working with elite teams on three continents, including basketball, American soccer, European Football (soccer), rugby, gymnastics, field field hockey, swimming, cricket combined with lead physical therapist roles for multi-code events such as the All African, Commonwealth Games and the Olympics.

 

Sports Medicine is an ever-evolving field, and keeping up with the latest developments is critical to optimizing recovery and injury prevention .

Regularly attending recognized local and international conferences, publishing scientific articles and book chapters, attending comprehensive postgraduate courses, and interacting with leading specialists from many different countries has helped me to provide state-of-the-art treatment to the players under my care.

 

Nearly 30 years of caring for elite athletes has taught me the value of working within a truly holistic interdisciplinary team. At the San Antonio Spurs (NBA), our performance team included sports scientists, strength and conditioning coaches, athletic trainers, psychologists, nutrition coaches and massage therapists certified in Pilates.

During my three seasons with the San Antonio Spurs my role, as Director of Player Care, was to coordinate the performance initiatives provided by the various specialists and collaborate with the Medical Department. Included in my various roles within elite sports teams was significant responsibility for recruiting personnel to fit the culture of the organization. This experience provided an in-depth understanding of the attributes/sets of competencies required of all key personnel within a performance department.

 

Since I retired in June 2021, I have maintained my membership in the Register of Physiotherapists in the United Kingdom and have been appointed as a member of the Wits-Carnegie Diaspora; I provided support support for cyclists from Downhill Mountain of Red Bull in Wales as a performance consultant; I regularly reviewed scientific papers for the International Journal of Human Movement and Sports Sciences

I jumped at the opportunity to join the scientific committee of Euleria Health. My personal goal now is to give back to my profession by lecturing and mentoring young aspiring physical therapists.

 

 

Besides your passion for your studies, what other aspects of your personal life and what passions have you been able to rely on to build your career?

 

I don’t deny that without a loyal, trustworthy and fair personality I would not have won several challenges with myself – And challenging myself is what motivates me the most. Another source of great motivation for me is. Sharing knowledge through lessons-this is what inspires me to be better in my field.

 

Then, I have been happily married for almost 36 years and have 2 wonderful children. Jean, my wife, is a very experienced Physical Therapist who also graduated from Wits and sold her private practice, in 2015, to join me in the United States. Our son, Nicholas, holds a master’s degree in business studies and accounting from the University of Edinburgh and currently works as a business intelligence and reporting manager at Virgin Fly. Our daughter, Christine, a veterinary surgeon who works as an interim veterinarian at clinics mainly for small animals in Wales. 

My family had to agree on several occasions to change cities and continents to support my career progression. I will never forget their personal sacrifices and will remain indebted to their unwavering support without which I would not be in the position I am in today.

 

Thanks in part to your advice, Wayne, lately Euleria Health has added new features to its devices, such as the dynamometer. When you chose to join the scientific committee of Euleria Health,what was your previous experience with biomechanics applied to physical therapy? And what other features of our solutions do you find most useful for the daily work of sports physical therapists?

Understanding and evaluating human movement has always been an integral part of any physical therapy and rehabilitation treatment I have provided. A key aspect of human movement assessment involves obtaining objective measurements, includingrange of motion and force. Having accurate and reproducible objective measurements plays an important role in diagnosis, progression of rehabilitation, and ultimately enabling return to activity.

Of the users who choose Euleria Health’s solutions to measure the movement of their athletes, most are Physiotherapists or Ph.D.’s with already long experience, but who aspire to collaborate tomorrow with leading sposrtive teams.

My dissertation and PhD involved the extensive use of an isokinetic dynamometer to measure force. When I opened my first private Physiotherapy practice, in South Africa, I purchased an isokinetic dynamometer to provide accurate and reliable measurements of muscle strength, as well as a fantastic rehabilitation tool.

Based on my interest in isokinetic dynamometers, I co-authored a scientific publication in 1997 entitled “ Clinical assessment of the low-cost VariCom isokinetic knee exerciser “. During my career with several elite sports teams, we have incorporated many other biomechanical devices such as force platforms, GPS, IMUs, motion cameras, and EMG surface electrodes. More recently, I have found tremendous practical advantages in using a portable dynamometer [HHD] both in the clinic and when traveling with athletes.

My take-home message for any medical personnel who wish to objectively assess their patients is that adding a dynamometer to assessment instruments allows for the recording of asymmetries and the progression of rehabilitation. In addition, a dynamometer is more reliable than manual muscle testing, normative data are often available, and it uses the same test positions used in manual muscle testing. 

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