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“Regarding Physiotherapy, people tend to focus on and think purely from a treatment perspective. With the majority of situations treatment is a small facet. Management is the keyword. What to do when. What to avoid. What rehab is necessary. These are the factors that ensure success.”

Iain Sykes qualified as a physiotherapist from UCT in 2003. After a brief stint overseas and a year of further studies (OMT1) while working in Durban he returned to Cape Town and joined Helene Simpson and the team at the Sports Injuries Centre on UCT upper campus in 2009.

During his 7 years in the dynamic environment of SIC, Iain honed his skills in effectively managing athletes of all calibres. Being based on campus exposed him to a wide variety of sporting codes including slightly less mainstream  sports such as rowing, powerlifting, climbing, capoeira, fencing etc. This vast diversity of sports brought with them an equally diverse spread of injuries. This diversity and the thought process required, has been invaluable in terms of assessing and successfully managing sport and non sport related injuries.

The most essential criteria in the management of all injuries is to quickly and effectively diagnose the structures involved and the extent of the injury as well as the underlying reason for the injury including: training history, previous injuries, biomechanical discrepancies, equipment etc. Iain’s treatment is focussed on maximum education as to what is going on and the minimum physiotherapy intervention with a marked focus on rehab (also limited to as few exercises as possible!) as well as correction of equipment and training errors. Rather than complete rest, where possible exercise load is modified or exercise dynamics are changed to keep the individual as fit and mobile as possible.

Not everything can be conservatively managed and over the years Iain has developed an excellent working relationship with a number of top (largely orthopedic) specialist if further intervention and investigation is required. He is however in no way directly affiliated to any surgeons.

Iain’s lecturing career has largely focused on post grad physiotherapists and since 2009 has had lectured a number of topics including: taping and strapping techniques, Tendon Pathology and management as well as a number of modules for SPT1 (a year long post graduate physiotherapy course focused on sport). In more recent times Iain has begun to lecture trainers, coaches and as running shop employees to provide greater knowledge in their respective fields. Lecturing, particularly post graduate, involves constantly reading and evaluating the latest research to prevent oneself getting taken to pieces in front of the class! This up to date and constantly expanding knowledge base is integrated into Iain’s daily management of patients.

From a sporting perspective Iain is an avid surfer and runner. He has completed the two oceans ultra marathon twice but is more partial to trail running with a number of longer trail events under his belt including the 2016 Cedeburg Traverse 100km. 

Iain is passionate about Physio and this shines through in his practice. Professionally, he enjoys working with people and athletes of all calibers and from all walks of life. Special interests lie in the management of running related injuries and tendon pathology but as mentioned previously he has a wealth of experience across a diversity of areas and not only focused on the sporting arena.



Iain Sykes (BSc Physiotherapy). Registration: PT0085057

Iain Sykes Physiotherapy. Practice Number: 0640352

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The practice will reopen on 14/01/2021. Please note, I have moved from Vredehoek and am now based at the Sports Rehab Centre, 55 Scott Road, Observatory.