Our Approach


Using the best clinical diagnostic skills implemented by experienced physiotherapists with B.Sc and M.Sc Physiotherapy degrees (University of Stellenbosch)


The movement dysfunction and/or pattern contributing to / causing the injury. Detailed muscle length, control and strength testing. Movement analysis: running, cycling etc.


We aim to optimally enhance and “kick start” the healing process with up to date treatment principles.


What can YOU do or change to prevent injury and to function optimally?

We implement rehabilitation specific to your needs.

Orthopaedic and sport physiotherapy practice in central Stellenbosch.

Christoff Smit and Elrika Havenga completed post graduate studies in orthopaedic manual therapy. We are equipped with experience and the most up to date clinical diagnostic and treatment skills.

We are passionate about helping everyone to move and compete at their best.



We love running 😉

We compete regularly as endurance runners, and we understand the physics of running. You are faced with forces of about two and a half times your body weight while you run. For this you need more than just endurance!

It is a skill to hold the body stable during the stance phase of running, and it requires a certain amount of muscle length, strength and control.

Have an issue? We’ll sort it out!


Now available to order online!

Running essentials is a short “rule book”, or “compass”, on running conditioning. It is a concise guide to understanding, evaluating and improving the most important physiological and bio-mechanical components of running. It includes prevention principles and guidelines for long term running improvement. This is a practical book by a physiotherapist who helps runners to perform at their best every day.

Available at our practice, below, or click the button to order your copy now:

Christoff Smit Physiotherapy, 76 Andringa Street, Stellenbosch, Tel: +27 21 886 9899

R200 / copy (+ postage, S.A. only), while stocks last!


Sometimes we enjoy getting out there and making things happen.
Play Video

Dynamic Stretches for Runners (Video 1)

This is video one of a two part series on dynamic stretching and functional strength training focused on runners.

Play Video

Functional Strength for Runners (Video 2)

This is video two of a two part series on dynamic stretching and functional strength training focused on runners.

Play Video

References for Scapula Stabilisation

This is a video for my (or any) patients to use as a reference for stretching and functional strengthening of their scapula.

Play Video

Reference Exercise Circuit for Runners

This is a video for my (or any) patients to use as a reference for the functional strengthening of their running related muscles and so improve their running.

Play Video

Squat Therapy

The value of using squats for mobility, posture and strength. Advice from a physiotherapist.

We are just as passionate about getting you back on the road or trail as you are!

There are multiple factors that can prevent you from enjoying your running.

Spotting the weak links

We do not only clinically diagnose and treat the injury, we look for the “weak links” in the chain. The “links” that prevent you from running that PB or completing your first marathon.

Ascertaining relevance

The information overload regarding “the best” stretches, exercises and shoes a runner should use can make it very difficult to discern between what is bogus and what is relevant to you.

The person from whom you seek help must understand the importance of your running to you. It is patently ridiculous to accept advice from someone, who is antagonistic or indifferent to your running in the first place.

- Tim Noakes


Re-evaluate your cycling by getting a custom bike fitment done

So it’s as easy as riding your bike…or is it?! The physical challenges facing a cyclist every time he or she gets on the bike is very different from any other sport. We understand these challenges. Cyclists are prone to certain injuries and areas of weakness, but they often appreciate the value of bike fit and supplementary exercises only when an injury comes along.

So what does a physiotherapist know about bike fit; because we sure don’t learn about bike fit at university!

Christoff has been in love with cycling and bicycles for more than 20 years, but for the last 10 years he has also been involved in treating and bike fitting cyclists of all abilities. 

A major part of resolving a cycling injury is looking at what happens to the cyclist on the bike. That’s where his research and experimenting with position started. The principals we use are based on a sound knowledge of body mechanics rather than measuring a couple of angles while someone is on a stationary bike. Using a generic rule based on angles for everyone is simply too one dimensional.


Our services run deep and are backed by many years of experience.

Christoff Smit

Christoff received his B.Sc Physiotherapy degree (Stellenbosch) in 2003 and his M.Sc Physiotherapy degree (Stellenbosch) in 2008. He has been working in orthopaedic private practice since 2005 and Christoff Smit Physiotherapy has been in Stellenbosch since June 2007. Christoff is a competitive runner, cyclist and triathlete. He has successfully completed ironman triathlon events, the Cape Epic, marathons, ultra marathons and many other races. He also coaches the professional trial runner AJ Calitz. Because of his interest and experience in sports medicine, the practice looks after the physical well being of many professional and recreational athletes.

Christoff is passionate about treating and rehabilitating any orthopaedic injury. Back, neck and shoulder injuries are just some of the injuries treated on a daily basis; whether it is sport related or not. Christoff has helped out as a part time lecturer in biomechanics at Stellenbosch University and has presented workshops and clinics on running injuries and related topics.

Tarrin van Niekerk

Tarrin graduated from the University of Pretoria in 2007. She completed her certificate in Orthopaedic Manipulative Therapy (OMT) in 2010 and her Diploma in Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (Dip MDT) in 2019. She has been working in private practice since 2009, focusing on orthopaedic, sports and chronic pain conditions.

A passionate advocate for physical activity, she enjoys helping people become healthier and happier through movement. She offers a thorough assessment and treatment plan to get to the root of why the patient is hurting, how to relieve it, how to recover their normal function and prevent future episodes. She encourages patients to become active participants in their rehabilitation so they can return to normal activities and sport a lot sooner.

When she’s not working, you’ll find her out running on the trails. Tarrin is a competitive ultra trail runner and has raced and adventured across South Africa and abroad. She is also a running coach and the founder of TrailPhysio Coaching, where she works with road and trail runners of all levels.


Talk to a specialist and come and see us!


Please phone to make a booking or enquire about availability, or e-mail for general enquiries – thanks!

TEL: (021) 886 9899