In the second in a series of case studies, the FHT looks at how sports therapy has helped real life client Kevin.
To promote the health benefits of different therapies and direct people to the FHT’s independently Accredited Register when looking for a therapist, the FHT has launched a new campaign called ‘My therapist helps me…’, which draws on the experiences of genuine clients. To support each of the campaign’s adverts, the FHT is publishing case studies about the clients featured, to highlight how their therapist has helped them to live life to the full. Here you can read…
Kevin is 55 and lives in Belfast with his partner. He works as an Employer Engagement Officer with USEL, a not-for-profit organisation that employs, supports, and trains people with disabilities.
Kevin is a sports and fitness enthusiast. Over the past 40 years he has competed in badminton, athletics, rugby, volleyball and hockey. He also enjoys occasional water skiing, jet skiing, wind surfing and scuba diving, and regularly goes skiing with friends.
Tell us about your sports therapist, Nick, and your first treatment…
‘I help to run a rugby team in Ulster, which focuses on developing players who are relatively new to the game or have felt excluded in the past. Nick joined the team and it was clear we had a lot in common – from our diverse interest and participation in sport, to helping to support others for a living.
‘My first session with Nick involved a really detailed assessment. He asked me lots of questions and carried out different tests and exercises to check my muscle strength, range of movement, and so on. He identified a hip impingement, which was being further aggravated by general wear and tear in the area. Nick worked on my hip mobility, using a range of techniques to improve my range of movement. He also massaged my quadriceps and surrounding muscles, and gave my body a general MOT. At the end of the session Nick showed me some exercises to use at home, between treatments.
Tell us how Nick’s treatments have helped you
‘My body has had some knocks over the years and I have a few injuries that raise their head from time to time. In particular I have osteoarthritis and sciatica, and both have been treated with anti-inflammatory drugs. In the long run, I will need a hip replacement but until then, I need to deal with pain and mobility issues, which is where Nick has been a huge help. He spends a lot of time working on my hip area, where I have an impingement issue, and also takes me through strength-building exercises to improve my range of movement. He’ll use other techniques, too – like taping, dry needling and cupping – if it will help a particular injury or problem I have.
‘General maintenance and injury prevention is also important, especially for a body that’s regularly put through its paces (something I also try to encourage in my team mates). For me, this involves having monthly leg, neck and back massages. Nick literally helps to keep my body in the best shape possible, so that I can keep playing the sports I love.’
‘In the long run, I will need a hip replacement but until then, I need to deal with pain and mobility issues, which is where Nick has been a huge help.’
How does Nick help you between treatments?
‘He will often send me diagrams and reminders of exercises I need to be doing between sessions. This helps to make sure I’m doing the exercises properly when he’s not there to guide me, and without this ‘homework’, recovery can take much longer. Nick will also ‘check in’ with me now and then, to see if I’m doing OK. He’ll also chat to me on the phone or online if I have any queries or I’m starting to feel demotivated. This can make all the difference if I’m starting to flag.
What are the qualities about Nick that make him a good therapist?
‘I have total confidence in Nick – he’s extremely knowledgeable and professional. Knowing that he is listed on an accredited register is also very encouraging and important to me.’
To find a therapist like Nick, visit www.fht.org.uk/findatherapist