5 August 2022

Updates & Communications
August 2022

  • What's New This Month:
  • Word From Jen
  • Shoulder Physiotherapist Rose Completes Her PhD.
  • Shoulder Joint Injuries
  • Postscript Skiing Injuries
  • Petrol Voucher Giveaway
  • Fast Five With Terri


Jennifer Mathias
MHT Director
Senior Clinician

I don’t know about you, but I am ready for this winter to be over. It feels like it is never going to end. Bring on Spring!

Despite the bitter cold, MHT has been crazy busy with our therapists reporting a steady stream of patients with hand and shoulder injuries and conditions walking through the doors.

And we are pleased to report that our patients and referrers already appear comfortable with the news that MHT has expanded our brand to include Melbourne Hand and Upper Limb Clinic in recognition of our growing shoulder practice.

So, to further celebrate our change of name and our amazing shoulder therapists, we are dedicating this newsletter and all of August to all things shoulder.

Funnily enough (well … it wasn’t really funny), I was thinking about this at my teenage son’s basketball game last week when right in front of me one of the players from the other side slammed into my son and dislocated his shoulder. The opponent’s shoulder was dislocated, not my son’s. My son was fine. You could see that the shoulder had popped out and the poor kid was in excruciating pain. He was wheeled out to an ambulance to be taken to the hospital.

I felt terribly sorry for the player and his mum, but it did give me the idea to include an article in this newsletter about different shoulder injuries, including dislocation.

You’ll also learn about one of our popular shoulder therapists, Rose Alibazi, who has formerly received her registration in Australia as a physiotherapist who specialises in shoulders.

And for Fast Five, we get to know the real Terri Stanley-Clarke, one of our most recognised physiotherapists and shoulder experts.

Lastly, if you missed our petrol promotion, read on. We are giving away a $400 dollar petrol voucher if you like our Facebook page or our Instagram page. Like both and you will double your chances. With petrol prices what they are, who doesn’t need a $400 voucher? The links will be in the story.

And a final shout-out to the newest member of our staff, Lucy Barrett. She’s only been with us for a couple of weeks, but Lucy is winning fans at whatever MHT location she is at. Her Google reviews are amazing. I’m not quite sure what you are doing Lucy, but keep doing it.

That’s it from me until next month.

Shoulder Physiotherapist Rose
completes her PhD.

It has been a five-year journey across two very different nations but MHT's shoulder physiotherapist Rose Alibazi has completed her PhD.

Rose arrived in Australia in 2017 with extensive qualifications in physiotherapy from her native Iran having earned a scholarship to complete her PhD at Monash University. 

She began working at Melbourne Hand Therapy in 2021.

Rose graduated from Tehran University of Medical Sciences in 2011 with a Bachelor of Physiotherapy. Since, she has worked in charities, hospitals and private practices in Iran and Australia. 

Her main clinical focus includes musculoskeletal injuries, rehabilitation of acute conditions, post-operate care, and subacute and chronic conditions.

Her Master of Physiotherapy, completed in Iran, centred on the effects of muscle fatigue on the biomechanics of the shoulder in healthy people and people with hypermobile shoulder.

“In my PhD, I have worked on the effect of strength training of the dominant hand on the left hand and how some areas of the brain which are responsible for movements react to strength training,” she says.

“We were interested to see how we can improve these training effects by stimulation of brain areas or aerobic exercise. 

“We have published 4 papers in international journals as a result of my PhD.”

MHT is thrilled to have Rose’s extensive qualifications, knowledge and clinical expertise recognised by our medical regulator and now that she has completed her PhD we will soon have the privilege of calling her Dr Alibazi.

Whilst working hard on her PhD, she also completed further exams to officially be granted recognition by Australia’s chief medical regulator to practice Physiotherapy in Australia.

“I started  preparing for  the exams in 2019 to make sure I was up-to-date,” Rose says.

“I practised a lot and studied many books using the resources of Monash University because I was a PhD student there.

Although I would think Rose may not want to see inside a library for a while, she has now commenced further research with one of Melbourne’s leading Shoulder Surgeons starting with a literature review on shoulder rehabilitation.

Shoulder Joint Injuries

The Acromiclavicular joint, or AC joint as it is regularly referred to, is the joint at the tip of the shoulder. It is where the collarbone meets the bony tip of the shoulder blade.

The sternoclavicular joint, or, as it is known, the SC joint, is at the opposite end of the clavicle just below the neck. The clavicle is the bone that connects the breastplate to the shoulder.

These two joints form part of the shoulder, alongside the glenohumeral joint (part of the ball and socket joint of the shoulder) and scapulothoracic joint which makes up the final joint of the shoulder.

The AC joint can become painful as a result of various conditions or injuries including osteoarthritis or joint sprains. They can also be commonly associated with other shoulder conditions such as rotator cuff injuries.

The SC joint is less commonly affected as the ligaments surrounding this joint are very strong. It normally requires a high impact trauma such as a fall during contact sport or a motor vehicle accident to damage the SC joint.

These joints can be painful as a result of various conditions or injuries including:

  • Osteoarthritis
    This condition is a result of loss of cartilage at the joint. This is related to degenerative changes and occurs more commonly with aging.
  • AC joint separation
    This is the result of a traumatic incident such as a fall. The joint separation is assessed on X-ray and graded accordingly. The grade will determine whether conservative or surgical management is required.
  • AC joint sprain/ irritation
    Irritation of the joint can occur as a result of repetitive overhead activities (eg painters, throwers)
  • SC joint sprain
    The ligaments surrounding the joint are sprained as a result of a fall or impact injury.
  • SC joint dislocation
    The joint dislocates as a result of trauma. This requires urgent medical intervention
  • Fractures
    Can occur anywhere along the clavicle as a result of trauma (fall, sporting injury, car accident etc)

Signs & Symptoms

All injuries to the AC joint or SC joint will be painful.

With more traumatic injuries such as fractures or dislocations, there can be a visible deformity. AC joint separation will have a step deformity as shown below.

The AC joint separation is graded according to a set classification system known as the Rockwood classification. The grade will determine if surgery is required to stabilise the AC joint. Type 1 and 2 injuries are treated conservatively, type 3 injuries can be treated either conservatively or surgically and type 4 or above are treated surgically.


Physiotherapy treatment is aimed at reducing pain, and restoring range of motion, strength and function in the shoulder complex.

Your physiotherapist will guide you through an appropriate rehabilitation programme that aims to restore the function of your shoulder. Pain management education and techniques will be included in your treatment plan. This may include rest from certain aggravating activities, ice/ heat and hands-on treatment.

Medical management may include the use of medications and corticosteroid injections. Surgery is required for patients with higher grade AC joint separations or for those patients who fail to improve with conservative management.


Injury as a result of a traumatic incident is unfortunately unavoidable. However, for symptoms of gradual onset then you can do the following to help yourself:

  • Temporarily stop any aggravating activities if mild symptoms develop - this may include reducing overhead activities
  • Maintain good posture during daily activities
  • Maintain good strength and mobility around your shoulder joint/muscles
  • A healthy lifestyle and good sleep hygiene are also beneficial to the shoulder complex

Postscript to staying safe in the snow

Wristguards are crucial for all you narly snowboarders out there but, as one family found out, they don't always prevent wrist injuries. Read on to find out more.

If you saw our newsletter last month on keeping injury-free up in the ski fields, you would have read about 16-year-old Charlie who broke his wrist while snowboarding.

Well … we have an update.

Since Charlie’s July mishap on the slopes, his younger sister Bonnie has also turned up on the doorsteps of MHT with … you guessed it … a broken wrist from snowboarding.

And while Charlie injured himself when he snuck out for a quick snowboard without wearing his wristguards, sensible Miss Bonnie, 13, was determined to learn from her brother’s mistake and always made sure she had both of hers on.

And what do you know … Bonnie fell in the same way, on the same mountain and broke the same wrist in the same place as her older brother.


Both siblings suffered identical distal radius fractures – one of the most common injuries for snowboarders.

Always wear wrist guards but remember they are not a failsafe.

Petrol Voucher Giveaway

In case you missed it, Melbourne Hand Therapy is giving away a $400 petrol voucher.

All you have to do is like our Facebook page at and you’ll be in the running to win $400 worth of petrol.

Also, like our Instagram page at and you can double your chance of winning! That’s $800 worth of petrol.

Let’s be honest, with petrol prices as they are and inflation going through the roof, who couldn’t do with a $400, or an $800, boost to their budget?

Plus we’d love to have you on board with our social media so you can follow the work of our terrific team and read all about what we do and how we do it.


Keeping with this month’s shoulder theme, we decided to hand the Fast Five microphone over to our favourite Kiwi and MHT shoulder physiotherapists, Terri Stanley-Clarke.

Terri has over 10 years of experience as a physiotherapist working in Australia, New Zealand and the UK.

Mum to 18-month-old Huxley, Terri loves Melbourne and has even been heard to confess in the MHT corridors that she is starting to understand Aussie rules football. Go, Terri.

What football team do you support and why?

Being from NZ I don't really follow footy. Rugby on the other hand... All Blacks all the way!

What are you reading at the moment?

I'm more of an audiobook person - so currently listening to The Palace Papers by Tina Brown. It's a hard slog but a very interesting deep dive into the modern Royal family.

What is your guilty streaming pleasure?

True crime

What do you do to relax?

Sleep! - I have an 18-month-old.

What was your first job?

It was a pamphlet run.

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