Matt Butel started Currumbin Beach Chiropractic in 1997. The clinic space was previously a surf shop, an art gallery, swimwear shop and real estate among other incarnations. Ironically, it was the same shop where Matt bought his first fibreglass surfboard in the early 1980’s.
The beach life was always close to Matt’s heart. Aside from the challenge and intrigue of working with the human form, one of the attractions of a private practice in physical therapy was being able to set up somewhere beachside. If it weren’t for the lure of academia and career challenge, Matt may have remained a Gold Coast Council Lifeguard, a role he enjoyed as a holiday temp from school age and throughout his university studies.
A Bachelor of Science in Anatomy and Physiology from the University of Queensland was completed in 1990. A two year Masters in Chiropractic clinical science from Macquarie University and the Sydney College of Chiropractic completed the requirements for professional qualification.
Private practice from 1993 began in a multidisciplinary clinic (Bayside Physical Therapies) where a close working relationship existed with other practitioners such as physiotherapists and doctors. Time spent in this practice and the development of skills required to perform an expanded role with professional athletes has strongly influenced the way Matt approaches his patients. Often described ‘not like other Chiropractors’, Matt has continued to expand his skill set throughout his career to include many treatment approaches rather than trying to apply the same model for every patient. Manipulation and mobilisation of the spine and extremities is often a part of patient care although in many cases stabilisation through strapping, bracing and postural correction is a more appropriate course of action. Some people will respond to dry needling where others may have a better result from a release technique. It’s all about working out the best course of action for a given situation and it’s this sense of problem solving that inspires Matt.
An introduction to event care began in 1992 at the Coke Classic, Narrabeen while compiling data for a university thesis. In his early years of practice Matt worked at various sporting events. In 1994 he worked at the Billabong Kirra Pro and has continued each year to be a member of the medical team for that event which became the Quiksilver and Roxy Pro in 2000. He was also part of medical teams onsite at the Billabong Pro, Tahiti (2001-2005), Quiksilver and Roxy Pro events in Fiji (03, 04, 06 and 2015 respectively), Oakley Pro in Bali (2013), Bells Beach (2015) and Margaret River (2016).
In 2004 Matt became the national team practitioner for Surfing Australia. He has accompanied open teams to the world surfing games in Ecuador (04), California (06), Portugal (08) and Costa Rica (09). Junior world team title campaigns include events in Tahiti, California, Brasil, Portugal, France, Ecuador, Peru and Panama (04-2012). In 2011, Matt also worked in China on the inaugural Women’s world longboard tour event.
As a consultant for Surfing Australia, Matt has created material for and lectured in coaching programs, participated in numerous development and elite programs for junior surfers including the provision of functional screenings for the assessment of desired normal and advanced outcomes.
Matt is involved with numerous sporting clubs and continues to work with teams and event care.