Featured News | 7th September 2007

Getting you on the mend

It's not just the Nottinghamshire players at Trent Bridge who have access to the best physiotherapy and rehabilitation treatment.

The general public can also be assured of top-class professional assessment, treatment and advice if they visit the Physiotherapy and Sports Injury Clinic at the ground.

Chartered Physiotherapist, Sheila Ball, who has 34 years of experience working with elite athletes and sportsmen, runs the clinic.

Her team specialise in musculo-skeletal problems and can offer the latest treatment to help a smooth and rapid recovery.

The clinic can also help people recover from more general injuries such as whiplash, repetitive strain and post-operative conditions, offering ongoing in-gym rehabilitation support and creating a programme of exercises to follow.

Sheila is a well-known figure to many Notts supporters, having acted as the team physio from 1985 to 1998, moving to take over at the clinic when it opened.

During her professional career the importance of physio treatment for the players has grown and grown to the point where current team physio, Craig Smith, who took over in 2004, has a wealth of technical data and support staff to call on.

It's all a far cry from her early days at Trent Bridge and she said: "In those days I was working on my own looking after the First XI, Second XI and the Colts teams, while treating injured players at the same time.

"When there was a home game I was expected to treat the opposition players if they had a problem, but then I might have to head across to wherever the Second XI were playing to check on them as well.

"Things did improve with time - in 1991 we began working with Loughborough University's Sports Science department for pre and post-season fitness testing and winter training programmes, while the importance of food and nutrition and psychology reports were gradually introduced.

"Visual testing and assessment of field of vision was undertaken by Simon Falk, an Optometrist from Leeds. The trends have continued to evolve but the basics and fundamentals of what we do are unchanged."

In recent years the growth in interest in general fitness and health, and the explosion of information available on the Internet, have led to a greater awareness of physiotherapy treatment and the need to recover properly from injuries.

But that doesn't necessarily mean that Sheila's job has been made any easier, because as she explained: "People may well research their injuries online before they come to see us, but they don't always diagnose their problem correctly.

"It has helped us in the sense that people are more aware of how their body works, but sometimes they can get the wrong vibes about an injury which we then have to educate them about."

Sheila anticipates that physiotherapy will continue to evolve to include Extended Scope Practitioners in the future, to promote a more of an 'all in one' service, with increased power to offer scans and injections treatments that are currently administered by hospitals and doctors.

"Physiotherapy courses are certainly becoming more extensive in their training, with more optional areas than ever that could eventually become standard practice," she added.

"Some of the Premiership football clubs have their own x-ray machines or even their own MRI scanners, so that could become a more widespread practice with improvements in technology.

"For our part, we are always looking to see the clinic progress. It would be fantastic if any future redevelopment plans at Trent Bridge gave us room to expand and have our own exercise studio or even a hydrotherapy pool to run our rehabilitation programmes.

"We are however very proud of the services that we offer here and people can be assured of getting the best possible treatment."

For more information on the Physiotherapy and Sports Injury Clinic  or to make an appointment please contact Rosemary Baldock on 0115 982 3038.

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