PhysioFettle Physiotherapist Lochwinnoch Physiotherapy From Head to Toe


4th June 2021

Happily working again 2 days a week.....Wednesdays and Saturdays. Masks worn, window open and time to clean and renew as necessary between each patient.

working in lockdown

11th February 2021

I did volunteer to work in NHS initially but they have not been back in touch so thought I would start working from home again following all the professional guidelines. It is now 3 weeks since my first healthcare workers' jag which is good. I have been assessing people over the phone and/or internet then booking people for 'face-to-face' treatments if it seems appropriate. I am keeping bookings well spaced out so I can clean the room and fully open windows in-between. All a bit strange but nice to to be puzzling over people's individual physical problems again and, hopefully, helping!

not been blogging

11th February 2021

Oh dear! not blogged since moving to Scotland which looks like I have not been working at all. I have been working at a nice, part time level. I do enjoy working but there is so many other fun things to do when one is semi-retired so do not want to spend too much time blogging on the computer.

moving to Scotland

26th July 2015

Moving date:21st September. Decided to stop taking on new patients for now.....unless someone has a really peruasive tale to tell.

Great Myofascial course

2nd May 2015

I knew of Howard Turner's work and love the myofascial approach to treatments so decided to attend his day course in March. Did not dissappoint! Lovely flexible, practical approach which gives people like me confidence I am aiming in the right directions. He mentioned an interesting recent trial which showed that, overall, people with tight hamstrings improved more with neck treatments than the ones doing stretches! It is believed to be because of the neural connections in the neck and not very long ago these ideas would have been dismissed as 'unscientific'. Keep an open mind and continually observe and listen!

Off until mid-July

2nd May 2015

Recently had a hernia repair. Back at work mid-July

Awards Ceremony

12th August 2013

Awards Ceremony image

Well why not! I almost did not go down to Brighton to collect my Post Graduate Certificate from my distance learning course but glad we did as we had a fun week staying with an old school pal of Don's. One of the highlights for me was sitting between two Occupational Therapists who had sudied together. One was older than the other and it was nice to hear how the younger one appreciated all she had learnt from her friend. She gave me a safety pin to hold my gown in place and told me how she was going to do locum work after retiring so that she could still enjoy the work without the politics. All in all it feels especially good for people like me to get a Post Graduate Certificate because when I qualified as a physiotherapist it was not a degree course so it gave me a chance to dress up like my children have done! I did learn lots of useful stuff too!

Long time no blog

31st July 2013

Some computer things I am not really into such as facebook and twitter but I should really blog more. Lots happened including an inspiring day course about headaches and acupuncture by George Chia last November. When we got home he sent us case studies to work out a good treatment for which he then commented on and said he was there for any advice in the future so that is nice! Also went to another mini symposium by the amazing Manoj Krishna about spinal care for the elderly which inspired me to write another article for E2D which I shall put in the next blog.

New treatments for Old back pains

31st July 2013

New treatments for Old back pains image

I remember the results of those experimental early days of back operations. It was very hitty-missy with long term prospects rather bleak! Fortunately things have improved greatly in recent years not just because the operations themselves are better but spinal specialists can use diagnostic imaging to help find out the cause of the problem before working out what to do about it. I attended a mini symposium the other week where Manoj Krishna (consultant spinal surgeon who some may have seen at his NHS or private clinic in Teesside) told us about his new clinic in Carlisle, at the Caldew hospital. He has already started consultations by Skype for people with transport problems. The team does like to work with physiotherapists, osteopaths and chiropractors and generally requests x-rays and MRI scans first. He explained the rationale behind various treatment options and recommends operations for about 5% of the people they see. About 25% are offered a spinal injection to get on top of the acute pain, so physical therapy can be more helpful. It is great to know all this is available now but we need to get things in proportion: Most people get some form of back pain in their life and most do not even need x-rays as the spinal structures are usually capable of healing. When I assess patients for physiotherapy I only refer them onto a GP or spinal clinic if there are signs of something I think needs checking or improvements do not follow as expected. My aim is to help people to recover from acute incidents and give advice on how to avoid it happening again but there are always some spines which do not behave! This is when it is reassuring to know we have dedicated spinal clinics now which can diagnose the problem before offering a range of treatment options. I can recommend if you want to know more about spinal problems. Check out the exercise section and read some moving stories by people who have started to enjoy life again after going to a spinal clinic.


19th April 2012

Q: Could my headaches be associated with my neck? By Dianne Allan

A: If it is the type that has been coming and going for a good while I would say ‘most probably’. The human body has some design features which are really ingenious. In a good posture the head balances on the top of the neck with very little muscle work, just try this: • Sit up with your chin tucked in, eyes closed and pretend you are being suspended from the heavens by the crown of your head. • Now try gently rocking your head 1mm in each direction.

Do you get a feeling of how sensitive that balance mechanism is? It needs to be so sensitive to get accurate information from eyes and the balance mechanism in your ears. This is the information which is collated in the brain so that precise responses by delicate muscle control can follow.

BUT, like all sensitive things (including people?) they can get upset and have effects elsewhere. Both the upper part of the neck and the sensory nerves of the head converge on the same control point in the brain. This area is regulated by chemical messages which are affected by many things including hormonal changes, medication and moods. They seem to get so busy dealing with all the information they lose track of where it is coming from. This is an explanation as to how an upset neck can cause head pain. So, usually, there is nothing wrong with your head, there is just TMI (too much information) from your neck! It is always worth exploring this neck factor even if you think there are other triggers for headaches such as sinus problems or food sensitivities because sometimes, once the neck is improved the other factors can become so minimal that headaches do not develop. There are over 200 classifications of chronic headaches such as ‘migraine’, ‘tension-type’ and ‘sinus headaches’ to name but a few. There has been a lot of research into finding the best medication for each type but the cervical spine can be a major factor in all of them. What is more important when using the neck treatment approach is identifying the exact segment which has become ‘stuck’. Since the discovery of dilated blood vessels around the coverings of the brain were observed with migraines It was assumed that this was the cause of migraines but now experiments on measuring blood velocity have shown that this dilatation is more of a result rather than a cause of the head pain and associated symptoms. One of the really great things about approaching headache management is that physiotherapists, osteopaths or similar professionals trained in this area are usually able to tell on the first assessment if neck treatments will be useful even between headaches. For more information have a look at my website where there are links to the sources of this subject with more technical papers if you are that way inclined.

E2D Aging

19th April 2012

E2D Aging image


Sometimes it seems like a person spends 18 years growing up, a few years as a young adult and then the suffering of age related complaints begins. Added to this, over indulgence in alcohol, food and any smoking actually speed up this ageing process.


Some of the effects of Ageing                   Some of the effects of lack of exercise
Increased risk of  Heart attacks        Increased risk of  Heart attacks    
                         “  Poor circulation            “   Poor circulation
    “   Overweight          “   Overweight
    “   Diabetes                “   Diabetes
    “   Falling             “   Falling
    “   Uncontrolled anxiety        “   Uncontrolled anxiety
    “   Resistance to infections        “   Resistance to infections
    “   Osteoporosis            “   Osteoporosis
    “   Osteoarthritis          “   Osteoarthritis

Reduced alertness and concentration Reduced alertness and concentration Takes longer for injuries to heal Takes longer for injuries to heal

It seems that that loosing fitness also speeds up the ageing progress. Good grief! Any good news? Is there a panacea? Well, trials all seem to demonstrate exercise helps reduce depression as well as physical problems such as high blood pressure and back pain so it seems a good candidate. One good thing about aging is that, with experience, it is possible to gain a little wisdom and learn to listen to our bodies telling us what is good and bad for those physical frames we inhabit. It is possible for a well-managed, healthy, elderly body to function better than a sedentary, poorly managed young one. The best exercises for each individual are the ones that person enjoys most. Well, thank goodness! Once we have convinced ourselves we do not enjoy excessive booze, fags and junk food at least we can enjoy our chosen way of keeping fit. Perhaps fell running, golf or Yoga do not appeal but how about walking, line dancing or swimming? It is often worthwhile finding an activity, which complements our habitual lifestyle, for example, a builder may benefit from some specific stretching exercises to maintain muscle balance and flexibility whereas an office worker should look for a more aerobic activity. Modern gyms welcome people of any age and fitness level and instructors will advise on how to use low weights and speeds which keep within the best heart rate range for each individual.

Q: Should we force ourselves to exercise every day as much as possible? A: No, every good yoga teacher will explain how you should tune into what your body needs at that moment in time and it does vary. If you have an infection or acute condition rest is required so that your energies can be channelled into the healing process.

Whichever exercise you choose it is always worth being aware of posture and balance and remember that, although we cannot stop aging, there is a lot we can do to improve the style in which we mature.

E2D Digging

19th April 2012

E2D Digging image


It’s that digging and weeding time of year again. Is your body ready for this? Depends partly on how fit and strong you have kept over winter.

One of the riskiest things for your back is tugging and pulling like this:


So, here are some suggestions to try to minimise strains : • Kneel down on a kneeler and work with small tools • Do not keep in any one position too long • Get someone else to do it • Make raised beds because they are at an easier height to work from and do not suffer from weeds creeping in from the sides • Use an ergonomic tool which can be used without bending and pulling so much.

One ergonomic of these ergonomic tools is the ‘Azada’ which can be seen on line:


  1. It was started by a man called Simon Drummond who bought a house with a large garden but was very disappointed to have to stop shortly after starting digging because of severe back pain. Whilst lying down in his newly acquired property he began thinking back to his travels around the world. He remembered a tool with the blade at right angles to the shaft. The mode of action is quite different to digging with our familiar spade. Instead of pulling and lifting one whacks it in the ground then pushes and levers the soil out. Mr. Drummond set about making one for himself. It worked, he was able to finish his garden and was so delighted he started making and selling a whole range of these tools and given them the Spanish name of ‘Azada’.

Remember, we all have different strengths and weaknesses, the skill is recognising and making the best use of them.

Happy cultivating!

Orthopaedic update

4th November 2011

Orthopaedic update image

Yesterday I enjoyed a day at Richmond organised by Angie who is a North Yorkshire physio who did a speldid job. The slide above is from the amazing Dr. Baxendale from Glasgow university who researches into neural responses. He has taken milliseconds off sprinter's speeds but his work also has fascinating therories on more every day rehabilitation in making best use of reflexes.

The spinal surgeon Manoj Krishna gave an inspiring talk on his pioneering work in spinal surgery and gave examples of how he is continuing to transform people's lives who have suffered years of back pain. His team have spent 10 years developing the website in which his patients can talk to and support each other (link below). He loves to work with physiotherapists for referrals and rehabilitation. He only recomends operations for 10% of the people he sees and said he has never seen anyone with chronic back pain helped by anti-depressents.

29th Sept : SPORTS HIP UPDATE at Wrightington Hospital

29th October 2011

This was a really interesting day of presentations organised by the University of Salford. Wrightington has had a good reputation for hip treatments for many years. The orthopaedic surgeons must be amongst the best in the country. The surgeons were specialists in particular aspects of hip joint problems which can be found in anyone but become more critical in high performing athletes. The physiotherapists who gave presentations worked for professional football and rugby teams. They really get to know their player’s strengths and weaknesses BEFORE any injuries. Through personalised training regimes they have figures to show that many strains can be prevented. I find it reassuring that a lot of the training equipment they use is the freely available stretchy bands and gym balls even though they have the resources of more expensive equipment. What they do use, which I do not have access to, is much more high tech ways of recording specific muscle strength and, sometimes will spend a whole day with one player! I suppose if a player is worth £5,000,000 it makes business sense.

The principle of finding imbalances and preventing injuries must be relevent to everyone even if most of us are not valued in money termes like a footballer.

Application for grant

29th October 2011

Applied for some financial help with my MSc dissertation today through the private physio education fund. The forms are quite long and complicated!

Alexander Technique experience

29th October 2011

The current module I am studying is the subject of ergonomics which I am relating to neck pain and cause of headaches. One system which is almost totally concerned with posture and movement patterns is the Allexander Technique so I decided I needed to experience more at first hand. I had a session with a teacher last week and felt quite tall afterwards! We also had an interesting chat about people's awareness and effects of movement patterns.

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