How I became more effective.
Practising as a physiotherapist since I qualified in 1996, I was following the same path as everyone else. Over that time I had become stale and disillusioned. Although I was doing what I’d been taught and was told I was doing it well, I felt that my treatments were ineffective and the results and outcomes were poor. I had always secretly believed that physiotherapy could be more effective.
Then it all changed. In 2009, whilst as owner of Exeter Physio, I was introduced to an alternative way of working that made sense of all my frustrations of being a physiotherapist and it was all backed up by science and research.
I began to practise differently and saw dramatically improved results. Patients were getting better so quickly they didn’t need more than one or two sessions and they were able to maintain their own wellness. I felt really embarrassed about the treatment I had been “selling” up to then. I couldn’t continue to practise in the same way, I had to change.
At a stroke all the ineffective, dependency-creating treatments were out:
- Core stability
- Taping / strapping
- Myofascial tissue release
- Stretching / foam rolling tight tissues
- Insoles and orthotics
These are all short-term treatments that help create a fear of pain and a lack of confidence. They can provide short term relief, but as they don’t address the true drivers of someones symptoms, they require return visits for more short term symptom relief treatments. Now I knew they could be replaced by an empowering, research-based and patient-focused method that dramatically reduced the need for treatment. And yet it also provided long-lasting improvement and lower costs.
Since that epiphany I have focused on developing skills that benefit patients and dropped all the unnecessary, unhelpful and costly treatments. The new approach, cognitive functional therapy (CFT), shows great promise in helping people who suffer from musculoskeletal pain and disability. It is a powerful solution to both short term or long term problems.
B.Sc. (Hons) Physiotherapy 1996 at the University of Birmingham
Worked in the NHS until 2001
Worked in private practice from 2001 to present
Worked with high-level sports teams:
- European PGA Golf tour over five years
- Exeter Chiefs RFC over five years.
Played county cricket with Worcestershire, Hampshire, Gloucestershire and Somerset County Cricket Clubs.