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Returning to clinic

I am very excited to have a date to restart back in my clinic room- Monday 26th April 2021 (though the current situation has taught us that no plans are certain, I’m very hopeful that Covid won’t derail this!).

Although I have missed seeing people face to face, I have managed to use my spare clinic time to good effect to complete qualifications, access online training and conferences and continue with my own teaching and writing.

The focus has been on:

Acupuncture – gaining my Diploma in Medical Acupuncture and full membership of the British Medical Acupuncture Society (BMAS)  

Antenatal and Postnatal care – MummyMOT training sessions on prolapse and returning to sexual activity postnatally; Teaching on the POGP Childbearing Year course, contributing a chapter for a midwifery textbook and building links with local exercise professionals and midwifery groups.

Pelvic floor and sexual function – continuing my ongoing training post Diploma level with The Institute of Psychosexual Medicine (IPM) – and attending their online study days and the 2-day IUGA International Symposium on Pelvic floor dysfunctions.

Menopause – Teaching on a menopause study day for the POGP and writing an article for JPOGP.

This blog is starting to look and feel like a C.V now!  But I think it is valuable to reflect back and consider the advantages of having more time and freedom to think and develop.

Although I would rather see patients (and my relatives and friends!), this time has helped me develop my practice, and I’ll return renewed and refreshed and with new knowledge and ideas.

Virtual Physiotherapy

Offering a remote option to patients is something that I’ve been working towards over the past couple of years in my NHS role. We began rolling this out (for postnatal mums) in the first 3 months of 2020. The early postnatal period can be such a difficult time to put yourself first, get organised and get out of the house. So these mums have really appreciated physiotherapy where they can stay at home. In our survey the average satisfaction rating so far is 9.6/10.

Introducing virtual clinics as an option has been slow in health care settings. This article from The Independent discusses some of the reasons why this has been the case.

We were lucky. Our experience of running the postnatal virtual clinic enabled us to quickly scale up and transition the rest of the service over to remote clinics, when suddenly forced into this by the current covid-19 situation.

I’ve found it really surprising how much can be achieved over the phone, or with video assessment. Whether screening for urgent medical conditions, offering support and advice, or assessing and directing to appropriate individual support. We can’t do everything we could face-to-face, but it is also a great opportunity to support people in self management and becoming the experts in their own condition. Covid-19 has certainly been a force for change in the progress of virtual clinics and the amount of quality video, phone app and You Tube support that’s suddenly accessible.

Although we don’t have access to NHS Attend Anywhere for our private consultations we do have a range of suitable applications including Zoom, FaceTime or Skype, as well as the trusty telephone.

If you would like a virtual physiotherapy appointment, please contact me for available slots. Further details of the clinic are here.

The Mummy MOT

I am very pleased to be offering The Mummy MOT in Sheffield. This thorough postnatal check reviews a Mum’s posture, tummy and pelvic floor. The aim is to pick up potential problems and enable women to start on appropriate functional activity training. This helps Mums to plan how to safely get back to what they want to be doing – whether it be normal daily activities, or high level sport.

Experienced women’s health physiotherapists have always carried out postnatal assessments and continue to do this to a high standard with, or without Mummy MOT certification.

What The Mummy MOT training adds is a more integrated approach to rehab for postnatal women because it was devised by both a specialist physiotherapist (Maria Elliot) and an exercise professional (Jenny Burrell). It is also great at increasing awareness with new mums, who otherwise tend to put their own health and wellbeing last.

This integrated approach resonates with my own approach.  I have increasingly seen the need to integrate functional exercise within my physiotherapy practice and, to this end, have also become a fitness instructor.

As Mums we needs to move! We need to bend, twist, squat and lift and our rehab shouldreflect this. Pelvic floor exercises alone wont get us there. The Mummy MOT is holistic. It looks at the whole woman and helps move her towards her activity goals.

To support others and keep our busy lives on track, we need to be functioning well, not putting our recovery and rehab to the bottom of the list and that’s where the Mummy MOT comes in.

Further information can be found on my Mummy MOT page here

World Continence Week 2019

It is World Continence Week this week

The aim of this week is to raise awareness of the impact of incontinence and to signpost people to get help, rather than put up with symptoms.

Around 1 in 3 people struggle with urinary incontinence. It has a significant impact on quality of life, impacting on daily activities such as work, leisure and intimate relationships.

It is slightly more difficult to get accurate statistics about bowel incontinence (because people are even more embarrassed about discussing it or seeking help). But around 1 in 10 people admit to problems with bowel control.

The difficulty with not talking about continence / incontinence is that people then lack support with the problem and may not realise that treatment is available.

Training the pelvic floor muscles is the recommended first line treatment for people with urinary incontinence.

Specialist physiotherapists have post-graduate level training in pelvic floor function and dysfunction and will be members of the Pelvic, Obstetric and Gynaecological Physiotherapy Organisation (POGP). They have a number of useful patient leaflets that can be accessed here 

As specialist physios we constantly aim to raise awareness and bust the myths around incontinence – so that people know that bladder weakness is not normal (whatever the Tena adverts may suggest!). Physiotherapy is proven to help. It takes work on your part, but can be very effective in improving or completely resolving symptoms. As the
#pelvic roar slogan says ‘Pants not Pads!’

Bladder weakness isn’t inevitable, nor untreatable, whatever the Tena adverts may suggest.


It is great that pelvic floor issues are finally being more widely discussed in the media. This can only make it easier for people to start to talk about issues and seek help. Hopefully this means problems can be picked up sooner, rather than people waiting decades to seek help, as has been the case in the past.

As well as easier access to good quality information on the internet, there is a range of technology to assist women with pelvic floor rehab. From apps to monitor your pelvic floor exercises such as the squeezy app, to a range of high tech electrical stimulation or biofeedback devices to help with your exercises. It is always best to get a proper assessment from a qualified specialist physiotherapist to fully evaluate your pelvic floor, before deciding to use any devices, to make sure they are suitable.

Don’t suffer in silence or put up with using pads. Find a qualified physiotherapist and start getting help.

You can search for suitably qualified physiotherapists on the pelvic health physio directory 

or by contacting the POGP

I’ve written more information about pelvic floor problems, which you can access on this page  and contact me to find out about assessment and treatment here.