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Francine St George

Director / Physiotherapist / Sports Scientist

MSc (Med), BSc (Anat), PGD Physio, PGD Sport Sc, Cert Acup, Certified Neuro Athletics Coach
Francine founded PPFC in 1999.

She completed a Bachelor of Science (Anatomy), a Post Graduate Diploma in Physiotherapy, a Post Graduate Diploma in Sports Science and a Master’s in Medicine. Francine is a published author of five books, her most recent “The Back Pain Handbook”.

With over 40years of clinical practice, Francine has travelled and worked with an extensive list of elite sports teams globally. Francine has also travelled extensively teaching Physiotherapists, Osteopaths, Dentists, Exercise Physiologists, and other health practitioners, locally and internationally.

What inspires you about being a Physio?

We experience so many different aches and pains in our bodies and we all respond, heal and cope with pain in different ways.

In each treatment session my goal is to not only ease a patient’s pain (that’s actually the easy part!)  but to identify why the pain is there and provide exercises and a treatment plan to help prevent it from recurring. To see a patient smile and experience the ‘light bulb’ moment at the end of treatment, when pain has plagued them for often many years – is incredibly rewarding.

It is also very important to me that a client has fun doing their daily exercises. I be sure my client learns some cognitive exercises, so they can monitor their own progress and see immediately how quickly they are improving!

Why did you write The Back Pain Handbook?

I love to dance…30 years ago, I sustained a hip, leg and sacroiliac joint injury in a dance class. I needed to markedly alter my lifestyle and learn how to manage and allow my injury to heal, while still continuing to keep active and fit. Experiencing this personal injury has provided me with a deep empathy for anyone who endures pain.

As the technology and research has evolved, we understand much better how the brain reacts both physically and emotionally to pain. I wanted to share this exciting new knowledge with patients and anyone who is interested in overcoming their back or neck pain. This is a lot of information to cover in a Physio Session.  I wrote the book for both my patients, and Physio colleagues, to assist with making their job a little easier.

Using The Back Pain Handbook with my patients, I have seen first hand how it accelerates their recovery. They are empowered with the knowledge of practical tips and strategies of what to do to overcome their pain …  it certainly makes the many hours of writing it worthwhile!

What are some of the highlights of your 40 year career?

In the first phase of my career, I had amazing opportunities to work with elite athletes in a number of sports including, Rugby, Athletics, Hockey and Gymnastics. I worked with the Australian Medical Team at the Australian Commonwealth Games, and also at two World University Games (Canada and Japan).

In the 1980’s I was also involved in training Fitness Instructors both nationally and internationally as the overwhelming popularity of gym and fitness classes took off! I bring this wealth of experience to my patient assessment, diagnosis, and training sessions today. It has also provided me with the confidence to work with people no matter age, level of fitness, career or status.

Treating a few international movie stars has been an intriguing experience as well!

What does being a Certified Neuro Athletics Coach add to your Sessions?

Every athlete is continually challenging themselves to be faster, more agile and be able to perform under stress. I bring the skills that are used with elite athletes and alter these, so they are appropriate to my client’s level of fitness and goals. For those who do recreational fitness or keep fit daily I call this Neurofitness. Research has shown that doing specific cognitive exercises can improve memory and focus, as well as improve overall stability and balance. The good news is that you will see results very quickly, as well as they are a lot of fun to do 


What keeps you passionate about training Physios, health professionals & others at PCAA?

Having seen a diverse range of Musculoskeletal injuries and pain combined with research and postgraduate study has allowed me to identify a solution for even the most complex of problems. Or if it cannot be solved with Physio alone, then we can determine who to refer to and how to work as part of a team to find a solution.

I established Physiotherapy Coaching Academy Australia to assist Physios, particularly newer graduates, to share this skill base. I am still passionate about helping people and I want to be able to teach and help them develop further skills, to assist with making their job a little easier.

Tell us something that your clients may not know about you?

I play a little piano most days and swim in the ocean as part of looking after my own health and fitness. It gives me great joy to see my roses keep appearing each year as I nurture and look after my garden!

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