MSc Sports & Exercise Medicine, BSc Physiotherapy
Steph has a Master’s Degree in Sports and Exercise Medicine and has fifteen years' experience as a physiotherapist. She has a wealth of experience treating musculoskeletal and sports injuries, having worked at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, the Defence Military Rehabilitation Centre, as well as in premiership rugby, private practices and the UK National Health Service. She has also worked for county and community club rugby teams, at the London 2012 Olympics and at tennis and basketball sports events.
Working in the military as well as premiership rugby honed Steph’s diagnostic skills as these environments, in addition to regular sports injuries, often produced quite complex cases. It further taught her how to work in the most efficient way to get injuries better as quickly as possible and ready for arduous physical activity through creating robust rehab programmes so that army cadets and players could get back to training without delay. “Having worked under time pressure to get injuries better as quickly as possible for cadets to continue their training as opposed to being taken off the course and for professional rugby players to get back on the field now stands me in good stead when injured runners and other sportspeople ask me for help in reaching their normal levels of performance within a short turnaround time.”
Her work at the Defence Military Rehabilitation Centre gave her valuable experience in rehabilitation for persistent pain and complex regional pain syndrome.
The NHS has taught her to recognise when other conditions may be masquerading as regular musculoskeletal injuries and when blood tests or further investigations may be useful. Here she also gained experience in treating a variety of orthopaedic conditions/procedures including joint replacements, back pain, neck pain, and osteoarthritis.
Steph’s APPI Pilates Pre & Post-Natal qualification has further developed her understanding of the physical changes and demands that pregnancy and having a baby brings and how that applies to exercise.
Steph’s own sporting interests:
She enjoys running and has clocked a sub 20-minute 5km personal best. She also grew up playing competitive tennis at a national level. "I would be training eight to ten hours a week, then playing tournaments at weekends. I know about the blood, sweat and tears it takes to compete at a sport, and the utter heartbreak when someone tells you that your injury needs 'rest'. In fact, getting injured is what led me to becoming a physiotherapist. I therefore make sure that part of any rehabilitation programme I provide includes a carefully considered training programme to maintain as much strength and fitness as possible, as well as graded rehab progressions all the way through to getting back to your sport. I finish off with advice on ongoing maintenance to reduce the risk of injury recurrence in the future. This is for the benefit of both the athlete and anyone they come into contact with... because living with an athlete who can't train is like living with a bear with a sore head!"
With regards to providing online physio treatment, Steph says:
"More and more people are starting to realise that when we provide an accurate diagnosis and give people the right information, advice and practical help, it speeds up recovery from injury, and is far more effective long term that any hands-on treatments. If I were to treat a patient with a hands-on technique for half an hour in one day, that's twenty-three and a half hours that they are on their own managing their injury. Which will have more benefit? The half an hour treatment or the correct self-management plan? It's a no-brainer."
Articles & Videos by Steph