Time to sit down with Osteopath Dr Jack Saunders

We took some time out to sit down with Jack and ask him the hard questions……

Where did you grow up and what did you enjoy about it so much that it made you consider a return to the country after university?

I grew up in sunny Mildura, until the later stages of my high schooling with Mum, Dad and my two younger sisters. We lived close to the river, spending a lot of time camping, skiing, and tearing around in dune buggies when not playing sports. In year 10 I got the opportunity to finish my education, boarding at St Patricks College in Ballarat. This was a fantastic steppingstone to moving to Melbourne to complete my University training.

My final year of uni was interrupted by the beginning of the pandemic, so as study moved online, I moved back in with Mum and Dad in Mildura at the age of 25. During this time, I was working in the family business, studying online and quickly came to realise how much I had missed living in a rural community. When it came to finally graduating, I knew I wanted to find work in a thriving country town that had a basketball team! I’m thrilled to have ended up in Albury Wodonga. 

What got you into Osteopathy? 

My favourite subjects at high school were biology and physical education, particularly when those subjects taught about how the body works and has evolved. This led to my first foray into university being a science degree with a genetics and physiology major, however I quickly came to realise that jobs in these areas very experimental and theory based. I was much more excited by sinking my teeth into something more practical. 

As I realised this, I met some friends that were studying Osteopathy, and tagged along to some lectures to learn more about what they did. I fell in love with the field immediately and transferred at my first opportunity. I’m very happy I made this decision when I did, as the average Osteopathy course is 5 years long!

Have you had any serious injuries? 

Unfortunately, I have had one major injury. Whilst I was trialling for the U16’s Victorian Basketball team, I was suffering from a common cause of knee pain in adolescent sportspeople called Osgood-Schlatter’s disease. My training load was very high during this time, and on the 3rd day of a 4-day selection camp, I suffered the unlikely complication of the condition, where my patella ligament pulled the top of my tibia off the rest of my leg bone. Interestingly, despite having a broken leg, I experienced no pain at the time and thought I had simply slipped on a misplaced water bottle. 

What rehab did you do and what are you doing now to prevent them from happening again? 

I was privileged to see well renowned knee specialist Cameron Norsworthy who performed my surgery. I was walking less than 24 hours after the op which was an important milestone in the beginning of my rehab. At the time I had little understanding of basic rehab, and very few resources to access in Mildura. I spent lots of time after school walking down to the local swimming pool, sliding off my rigid knee brace and swimming laps. If I had access to exercise specialists at the time, I have no doubt I would have rehabbed my knee injury differently, however I believe I had the best possible outcome by staying consistent, active, and motivated. 

As I have stopped growing, I’m thankful to not have to worry about this particular injury again, but in general I invest a lot of time into physical preparation for both injury prevention and maximising performance. One of my favourite past-times if working out at Anytime Wodonga to help prepare me for work and basketball!

What have you enjoyed about your time thus far at Sports & Spinal Albury Wodonga?

My first 3 months at Sports and Spinal Albury Wodonga have been exciting! One of the best aspects of work is the brilliant team I get to spend my time with every day. Vaughan and the team have built a very supportive environment that allows me to work hard to achieve the best possible results for our clients! Meeting and building relationships with the Sports and Spinal community has been a highlight of my year so far. 

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? 

During the basketball season I spend a lot of time inside stadiums training and playing, so I don’t have a lot of spare time! I do enjoy travelling the greater Hume region, taking every opportunity to stop at cafés to enjoy food and coffee. I also trek back home to Mildura and visit family as often as possible. In the off-season I’m looking forward to having Vaughan teach me how to swing a golf club. 

What is your favourite sport and team? 

Basketball… obviously. Thanks to my Dad being a big Larry Bird fan growing up I go for the Boston Celtics in the NBA. 

Is there anything else we should know about you? 

Nothing particularly, except that I love reading and I’m always down to discuss a good book. 

If you would like to book in with Jack click here or call 02 60211975

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