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specialist swimming physiotherapist

Specialist Swimming Physiotherapist


Clinic director, Tom Barton is a highly sought-after specialist swimming physiotherapist.  Working successfully with swimmers requires a deep understanding of this unique and challenging sport.  This understanding comes from clinical experience, time on pool deck, and working with the best coaches, sports scientists and physiologists in the sport.


Experience counts.  Having spent over 20 hours a week for the past 10 years working with swimmers of all levels, you can be confident that you are working with a specialist swimming physio.  Tom has worked with more successful members of the Australian Swim team than any other Australian Physiotherapist over the last 2 Olympic games (Rio and Toyko).


Tom spends time on pool deck on a weekly basis.  In the elite setting this presents an opportunity to learn from experienced coaches and movement scientists.  In the age group setting, it is a chance to see and speak to coaches and athletes about how they are progressing in the water and in the clinic. Understanding a swimmer’s movement capacity on land and in the water, and how that fits with their stoke model is critical.  If you can, bring some footage of you swimming to your appointment – that is always helpful to see!


Weather it is the Olympic games, QLD state championships, or local club competition there is value to see how athletes prepare for racing and respond to the pressure and fatigue of competition.  Over the last 10 years, Gold medal winning coaches such as Stephan Widmer, Michael Bohl, Vince Raleigh and Simon Cusack have all entrusted Tom to look after their swimmers.  In these programs Tom has delivered specialist swimming physiotherapy, pre-swim activation exercises, post swim recovery sessions and strength and conditioning programs.


Tom Barton leveraged his experience to develop the award-winning Q Swim app in 2019.  Q Swim is used in over 30 countries by swimmers, coaches and swimming physios as a screening and educational tool.  Q Swim is a tool designed to help you learn the best exercises to improve your swimming, get you stronger and more resilient to injuries.  Swimming is a fingertips to toes sport.  It is very different to soccer or rugby and the exercises you do should reflect those requirements.


Thanks to recent research, Swimming physiotherapy has improved as our knowledge of the pathology of ‘swimmer’s shoulder’ has changed. If your physiotherapist is getting you and exercise that looks like this…then you should find another physio!


Tom Barton’s recent appointments include:

  • Lead physiotherapist – Olympic Games Singapore Swim team 2021
  • Lead physiotherapist – Australian High-Performance program in Brisbane
  • Senior physiotherapist – Queensland Academy of Sport – Swimming
  • Swimming QLD Facilitator – Talent ID and Regional development programs


Tom Barton continues to be strongly involved in the education of young swimmers and coaches locally, nationally, and internationally.  Through Q Swim and frequent in person workshops Tom is dedicated to improving the basic knowledge and understanding of swimming injury and performance in the community.  As part of his role with Swimming QLD, Tom has travelled across Queensland regional centres for several years delivering this content to young swimmers, coaches and parents.


While Tom is the resident expert when it comes to swimming, the whole team at The Health Collab delivers world leading care for swimmers of all ages and abilities.  If you are interested in learning from the best, book an appointment with us or download Q Swim.