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Dr Theresa Burgess

Dr Theresa Burgess

Job title

Senior Lecturer, Division of Physiotherapy


PhD (Exercise Science), University of Cape Town (2009) 

MHSc (Bioethics), University of Toronto (2012)

BSc (Med)(Hons) (Exercise Science), University of Cape Town (1998)

BSc (Physiotherapy), University of Cape Town (1996)


Theresa worked as a clinical physiotherapist in neuromusculoskeletal and sports physiotherapy, in a wide range of clinical settings in South Africa and the UK, before joining UCT in 2004.  She teaches neuromusculoskeletal and sports physiotherapy to undergraduate and postgraduate students, and is the programme convenor of the MPhil in Exercise and Sports Physiotherapy.  Since joining UCT, she has served as Department Research Chair (2009-2015) and Deputy Head of the Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences (2013-2015).  She also serves as the Deputy Chair of the Faculty of Health Sciences Human Research Ethics Committee.  

Teaching areas

  • Neuromusculoskeletal physiotherapy and sports physiotherapy
  • Research ethics

Research areas

  • Exercise-induced muscle damage and recovery, particularly in relation to endurance running
  • Clinical sports physiotherapy
  • Clinical and research ethics


Tel: +27 21 406 6171
Email: Theresa Burgess



Burgess TL and Lambert MI. (2008) Differences in muscle pain and plasma creatine kinase activity after “up” and “down” Comrades Marathons.  South African Journal of Sports Medicine, 20 (2): 54-58.   

Burgess TL and Lambert MI. (2010) The efficacy of cryotherapy on recovery following exercise induced muscle damage. International SportMed Journal, 11 (2): 258-277. 

Burgess TL and Lambert MI. (2010) The effects of training, muscle damage and fatigue on running economy.  International SportMed Journal, 11 (4): 363-379. 

Burgess TL. (2011) Ethical Issues in return-to-sport decisions. South African Journal of Sports Medicine. 23(4): 138-139.  

Jelsma J, Burgess T and Henley L. (2012) Does the requirement of getting active consent from parents in school-based research result in a biased sample? An empirical study. Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics, 7 (5): 56-62.

Lang P, Parker R, Burgess T. (2013) Cervico-mandibular muscle activity in females with chronic cervical pain. South African Journal of Physiotherapy, 69(3): 1-6.