Home Independence Occupational Therapy Ltd understand the importance of working together with allied health professionals such Physiotherapists, to accomplish the best results for our clients.
Home Independence Occupational Therapy Ltd focuses on falls prevention and reablement. Identifying the benefits of equipment and adaptations to promote independence and enhancing your quality of life at home.
Pauline Koelling, Physiotherapist & founder of Cornerstone Therapies in Leicestershire speaks of her experiences and journey to becoming an experienced Physiotherapist.
Pauline gives advice to those of you experiencing muscular pain and restricted movement.
Journey to becoming a Physiotherapist:
How long have you been a Physiotherapist and what areas have you worked in?
I qualified from Bath University in 1994 as a Chartered Physiotherapist and worked at a big London Hospital called St Mary’s for a few years, graduating to a senior position before moving to the Royal Marsden Hospital. Here I specialised in cancer and rehabilitation. I especially enjoyed working with the breast cancer patients and those with head and neck cancer, as there was much I could do to help them recover movement and quality of life.
After marrying and moving to Leicestershire, I took some years out of work, but once a physiotherapist, always a physiotherapist, and I was fortunate to find myself at LOROS Hospice as a senior physiotherapist once more. Here I worked closely with the Occupational Therapists to enable our patients to get the most out of their potential to live as independently as possible.
Despite our patients being diagnosed with terminal illnesses, they still had a great deal of living to do, and I was able to help with regaining and retaining their strength to walk, manage stairs, and do the things they enjoyed doing with their loved ones.
I find it very fulfilling to help people to manage their pain with manual therapies such as acupuncture and Bowen Therapy, and I am always learning new things.
Where do you work now?
These days I am self employed, and work from my welcoming clinic room at home in Thurnby. My business is called Cornerstone Therapies, and my clients find me mostly via word of mouth. I also work in another private clinic, called Oadby House Clinic one day a week.
You can check out my website at www.cornerstonetherapies.org
What services do you offer?
I offer one-hour appointments in my clinic, so my assessments are unhurried, and we can work out a treatment plan that is tailored to specific needs and issues. My treatments are hands-on and relaxing.
I use a mixture of modalities, selecting whatever I feel will be the most beneficial and easing for the client. I use physiotherapy techniques, acupuncture and Bowen Therapy, and any Myofascial techniques for the release of soft tissues and scars.
Acupuncture is especially useful for treating pain. Also, in my experience it has also been helpful to patients who are breathless due to lung diseases, and for nausea and fatigue experienced by some cancer patients.
I often put together a suitable home exercise plan for the patient, so that they can build on the difference we make in the one-to-one session. Functional exercises are great for people having issues with balance, so I incorporate this into treatment for falls prevention and strengthening.
Can you give an example of physiotherapy in practice?
Yes! I remember one elderly lady who had lung disease and was getting breathless. She came to me for rehabilitation and help with stairs and was using a frame. She had balance issues and fatigue. All her care was focused on her lung problem.
On assessment I saw she had severe restrictions in her ankle due to a 10-year-old surgical scar, nothing to do with her cancer.
I worked on her foot to release the scar, which was causing restricted movement and swelling. After 3-4 treatments, her foot was moving freely once more, which vastly improved her balance and her walking. I think she and her family thought that because the scar was so old, there was nothing anyone could do about it!
She was delighted, and was able to use sticks, and finally go up the stairs once she had regained some fitness and stamina from being able to walk more! And she told me her foot was so much more comfortable.
What advice would you give someone experiencing muscular pain and restricted movement in a joint?
Usually our aches and pains sort themselves out, don’t they? But as we get older, it can take longer to heal. While we are in pain, we change our movement patterns and the way we hold our bodies, which can put more strain on the tissues. More pain leads to more tension, leads to more pain…. etc. Changes in posture or the fact that people are sitting more, as they get older, can lead to joint aches and pains.
Generally then I would advise getting help sooner rather than later, as the longer it’s there, the more difficult it may be to treat (although this is not always the case, especially with scars, which can be 30 years old, and still be very treatable, often quickly!)
I often hear from people after surgery, that, yes, they find the scar uncomfortable or tight, but that this was their expectation, and they don’t think much can be done anyway. Or perhaps their doctor just told them to get on and it would resolve on its own.
They say things like “What else should I expect?” Or “I’m getting on in years, my doctor tells me it’s just age related, so I need to just get on with it!” Or” It’s difficult to know who can help me, and my GP wasn’t able to spend much time with me on this.” Or “I had physio for my joint replacement, but it didn’t quite get me far enough”.
I know that we all get our cars an MOT and a service, so they keep going for longer. Why don’t we all do this for our bodies? Investing some time to keep us fit and moving well, can keep us living fulfilled lives, and doing the things we want to do, like playing with the grandchildren, or walking round the shops.
Contact Pauline at Cornerstone Therapies on 07563 787222, or via email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can contact Pauline Koelling, Physiotherapist at Cornerstone Therapies on 07563 787222, or via email on email@example.com.