Dr Hilla Sarig-Bahat (front row second from right) with UKZN academics and physiotherapists.

UKZN Physiotherapy International Appeal

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UKZN’s Physiotherapy Discipline recently hosted Dr Hilla Sarig-Bahat, a senior academic from the University of Haifa, Israel.

Sarig-Bahat, who is a musculoskeletal physiotherapist and clinical researcher, heads the Orthopaedic division within the Department of Physical Therapy at the university.

Saria-Bahat sought after an international stage with UKZN physiotherapy for collaborative projects in musculoskeletal therapy. Her areas of teaching in musculoskeletal physiotherapy are knee osteoarthritis (OA) rehab, anterior knee pain, acute injuries, training methods, and neck pain. Her clinical research investigates common health disorders such as chronic spinal pain, movement impairments, and falls.

During her presentation, she shared her research and life’s work with UKZN staff, undergraduate students, as well as clinical supervisors and clinicians. Also, in attendance were Professor Frasia Oosthuizen, and Professor Rajshekhar Karpoormath.

Titled: A Growing Pain in the Neck as a Global Health Disorder, Sarig-Bahat’s presentation cited neck pain as a major cause of disability affecting over 30% of the Western population every year, as well as the prevalence of neck pain. Together with her team, Sarig-Bahat investigates diagnostic and therapeutic solutions for healthcare problems using technological tools such as virtual reality for kinematic analysis of human spinal motion, a smartphone application for balance evaluation, and remote training for neck pain.

Her research involves various clinical populations from young athletes to home-dwelling elderly with spinal pain, vestibular disorders, or imbalance. She also investigates various impairments such as limitations in mobility, stability, or strength exploring other important factors such as social and psychological variables.

She collaborates in the development of new applications for healthcare purposes, the management of clinical studies, and has experience in comprehensive human data collection and its analysis.

Sarig-Bahat presented on Clinical Communication Assertiveness Skills to third and fourth-year students. The presentation focused on communication skills in physiotherapy. She also touched on physiotherapists’ effectiveness and mental health and their clients.

UKZN Physiotherapy Academic Leader, Dr Nomzamo Chemane, thanked Sarig-Bahat, saying the team was happy about the visit and potential collaboration. Karpoormath thanked Sarig-Bahat for choosing UKZN and emphasised the importance of research within the College.

‘We hope to learn from her and vice-versa,’ said Oosthuizen.

‘I love being a member of the global community,’ said Sarig-Bahat in closing.

Words: Nombuso Dlamini

Photograph: Supplied