After spotting such a friendly face at the Northcare Medical Centre here in Simbithi Office Park, I simply had to do a little investigating to find out more about our resident physiotherapist, budding Yogi and avid sunset-follower Stella Schroder! Stella always knew she would be a physiotherapist, and after studying in Cape Town and completing her Community Service in the Drakensburg, she moved to Ballito and joined local physio Deane Macquet’s practise at The Well Medical Centre. Being situated so close to the newly completed Alberlito hospital allowed Stella and her colleagues to maintain close working relationships with the orthopaedic surgeons and hospital referrals from them still form a large part of her client base. Due to the rapid expansion of Ballito, Stella and her colleagues had been thinking about opening a satellite branch further north for some time, and Stella describes the year since opening the new practise in Simbithi as one of her happiest so far. One of the things Stella loves most about her work is the diversity of the patients she sees on a daily basis. From Comrades runners and Duzi paddlers to school pupils and the elderly, no two days are ever the same and Stella enjoys the challenge of always being able to work with new bodies!
While many may have the point of view that physiotherapy is largely a corrective therapy, Stella tells me there is an important maintenance component to it that more and more people are fortunately becoming aware of. She hopes to start educating the public more about the importance of listening to the body and responding to the subtle cues your body gives you in the form of pain or discomfort. Since undergoing major back surgery herself, Stella has had to take a break from the more strenuous physical activity (IE Bob’s Boot Camp which she loved!) and has recently started experimenting with different forms of exercise like yoga and stand-up paddling. Although not ideal, the experience has given her the ability to look at physiotherapy in a whole new light and her colleagues support her with regular physio to make sure her back heals and strengthens in the best possible way.
When asked what she loves most about living in Ballito, Stella says she was blown away by how quickly the local community become like family to her, and that whenever shes feeling down all she has to do is watch another breathtaking Ballito sunset to feel like everything is right with the world again. As I drive myself home on a cool Winters evening and watch the last of the suns rays disappear over the ocean, I too am reminded exactly why I chose to live here. Its a pretty cool place to be, isn’t it?