Category Archives: Head2Toe News

Mel Bowden’s Charity Skydive for Royal Marsden

Charity Skydive

All the team at Head2Toe want to congratulate Mel Bowden for her charity Skydive today. She actually jumped out of a plane from 15,000 feet! The Skydive was in aid of the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust. She joined Steve Brooks Gayton Veterinary Group in supporting a fantastic cause and together they have all raised over £10,000.

They were originally supposed to jump from 10,000 feet but that seemed a bit too easy for Mel and her co divers. They decided to go the whole hog and dive from 15,000 feet, reaching speeds of 125mph.

(Gareth and I were very relieved that Mel chose to take this one for the team)!!

If you or anyone you know would like to donate anything to the Royal Marsden through Mel’s just giving page, follow this link.

JustGiving sends your donation straight to The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity and automatically reclaims Gift Aid if you are a UK taxpayer, so your donation is worth even more.


Thank you for your support!

Xmas Massage Voucher – 10% off at Crawley Head2Toe

Xmas Massage VoucherXmas Massage Voucher 2

10% off Xmas Massage Voucher with new Head2Toe Crawley Massage therapist Rosa Bowley.

We welcome Rosa Bowley to our Crawley Massage team.

At Head2Toe Physio clinics we know that what our Physiotherapists do best is ‘Physiotherapy’. We wanted to offer our patients high quality massage to complement our Physiotherapy and set about appointing dedicated massage therapists. At Head2Toe Physio Clinic Crawley, our massage therapist is Rosa Bowley.

If you would like spoil a loved one and take advantage of our 10% off Xmas Massage Voucher, email us at, call 01293 535884 or contact us here.

Tennis Elbow – inject, physio or wait and see?

Tennis Elbow

How should we manage chronic Tennis Elbow?

Tennis elbow is one of the most common upper limb injuries we see at Head2Toe Physio Clinic. Tennis elbow is really an umbrella term used to describe pain on the outside of the elbow and radiating into the forearm. The complication is that the pain could be arising from faults with various structures, including the neck, elbow joints, muscles, tendons, nerves or a combination of two or more of any or all. In the literature tennis elbow is also known by other names such as lateral epiconylitis, lateral epicondylalgia and lateral elbow tendinopathy.

Patients often describe pain on activities like gripping, lifting, twisting and its not uncommon for pain to be brought on by a spell of digging in the garden, return to tennis after a winter off or a weekend of putting together flat pack furniture!

When do we see patients?

It’s common for our Physiotherapists to see Tennis Elbow patients after a few weeks or months of pain. By the time they get to us, patients have normally rested, iced, taken some ibuprofen and possibly done some daily stretches, especially if they’ve been researching on google beforehand. The most common frustration is that after a period of rest, avoiding sports and heavy work, things start to feel better, only to return with a vengeance once they try to start again.

The questions we get asked are, What is it? Why have I got it? Why will it not go away? Should I take the steroid injection on offer from my GP? Will Physio help?

Whats the current evidence?

In a recent review piece, Bill Vincenzino (2016), outlines some of the current research findings. He notes that research seems to indicate that for short term pain relief, steroid injections work well, with 78% of patients who had a steroid injection reporting good relief at 6 weeks, compared to only 27% in those patients who are careful not to make things worse but essentially just wait and see how things will go (Bisset et al, 2006).

What’s interesting is that at 26 weeks post injection, things seem to be reversing with 45% of injection patients reporting relief compared to 83% of the wait and see group. At 1 year after injection, this had increased to 68% and 90%. This would seem to indicate that any short term gain with injection might well be followed by long term pain!

Studies comparing Physiotherapy treatment (loading exercises and manual mobilisation which the patients can repeat themselves) and injection, showed similar improvements in both groups at 6 weeks (65%) but at 1 year afterwards, the Physiotherapy group reported a 94% success rate (Vincenzino, 2003, 2007). This would seem to suggest that patients who seek Physiotherapy treatment for tennis elbow, make expect similar results in the short term as those having a steroid injection but also make much greater improvements over the longer term.

Why not do both?

To discover whether having Physiotherapy and a steroid injection would offer even better results, Coombes et al (2013) and Coombes (2009) divided patients into 4 groups. One group had a steroid injection, the second had a placebo injection (no steroid), the third combined steroid injection and Physiotherapy and the fourth combined placebo injection and Physiotherapy.

The key findings are that adding Physiotherapy made no difference to the steroid injections short term effectiveness in relieving pain, or indeed the subsequent drop in effectiveness at 26 weeks.

However, at 1 year follow up, there was 100% success in patients who had the placebo injection, compared to 93% who had just the placebo injection. There was only 84% success in the steroid injection group and this did not improve if combined with Physiotherapy.

The study would seem to back up the observation that having a steroid injection for tennis elbow whilst  bringing short term pain relief may well contribute to a longer term pain problem. In addition, patients receiving a steroid injection were much likely to suffer  a recurrence of their pain (54%) than those groups who had just Physiotherapy (8%) or took the wait and see approach (9%).

So whats the answer?

Vincenzino’s conclusion is unsurprisingly that all patients are different. What is apparent, is that steroid injections are clearly not the answer, even when combined with Physiotherapy. In those patients with less severe pain or non heavy manual jobs, the wait and see approach might be advised. Physiotherapy should focus on gradual loading programs (strengthening) and manual techniques which can reduce pain, should be taught to the patient as well.


If you or anyone you know is suffering from elbow pain and would like to have a physiotherapy assessment for suitability of physiotherapy treatment, contact us here.


Bisset L, Beller E, Jull G, Brooks P, Darnell R, Vincenzino B. Mobilisation with movement and exercise, corticosteroid injection, or wait and see for tennis elbow: randomised trial, British Medical Journal, 2006;333(7575):939

Coombes, BK, effect of corticosteroid injection, Physiotherapy, or both on clinical outcomes in patients with unilateral lateral epicondylalgia, Journal of the American Medical Association, 2013; 309(5):461

Coombes B, Bisset L, Connelly L, Brooks P, Vincenzino B. Optimising corticosteroid injection for lateral epicondylalgia with the addition of Physiotherapy: A protocol for a randomised control trial with placebo comparison, Biomed Central Musculoskeletal Disorders, 2009;10(1):76

Vincenzino B, Evidence-informed approach to managing chronic tennis elbow: injections, physiotherapy or wait it out? Intouch, 2016, 155:4-8.


Taekwondo Gold and Bronze for Adrian Groome

Adrian Groome Taekwondo

International Taekwondo event – Team Gold and Individual Bronze at

A huge well done to Adrian Groome who got team Gold and an individual Bronze at the British Taekwondo International Championships.

We have been privileged to work with this excellent committed young athlete through a very difficult last 6 months. Diagnosed with a nerve impingement and hip infection, he thought he would not be able to train let alone compete. With a great deal of hard work he managed to get himself to the Championships and achieve some wonderful performances. We only wonder what he could achieve if he had been able to train throughout the last 6 months!

To top it all off, Adrian has just found out he has been selected for the elite squad!

Adrian is looking for sponsorship to help with travel costs while representing Great Britain in International Taekwondo events.

If anyone would like to help this talented young man, please contact us by clicking this link and we will put you in touch.

Hypnotherapy at Crawley Head2Toe

Crawley Hypnotherapy

Relaxation through hypnotherapy

Did you know that we offer hypnotherapy at Head2Toe in Crawley? Not just for stopping smoking, losing weight or overcoming a fear.

Hypnotherapy has amazing potential which, in the last few years, I’ve been lucky enough to have witnessed first hand as a therapist, both as a Sports Therapist and later as a Hypnotherapist.

Hypnotherapy gives you back the confidence you need to be the best that you can be.

Here are some of the ways hypnotherapy can help.


The most important thing I help you learn is a specific kind of relaxation. A focused relaxation. Turning off that constant voice in your head that creates internal arguments, the one that says things like ‘I can’t do that, I’m not good enough’. With tension comes tense muscles. Imagine how great it would feel to relax enough to allow your muscles to let go too.

I see CEOs who use my hypnotherapy sessions to reduce negative stress, allowing them to become focused and more effective in their job. Regularly gaining further promotions too. Another of my clients has just got to the finals of a national dance competition. She wanted more focus in her movements. A better edge to her dance.


How can hypnotherapy help with lack of confidence or self esteem? The subconscious mind does not distinguish between reality and creating a mental story. Once a client is relaxed I ask them to create a positive image around their confidence issues. This may be asking them to imagine the scene whilst relaxed or another method.

I had a client a few years ago who was so shy I could barely hear him on the phone. Three sessions later this young guy, who initially was too worried to leave the house, contacted me to tell me he’d be using his new found skills and had been on train journeys and talking confidently to all kinds of people.

I was also an extremely shy person and used hypnotherapy to overcome this. Now I stand on a stage and talk to people for two hours with confidence.


People describe it to me as that feeling that can creeps up from nowhere but makes the world feel like it’s closing in around you.

Their heart races, they just can’t catch their breath. Some have even described it as like standing and staring a lion in the face in a room with four walls and no door.

I teach them the amazing and most powerful tool that they already posses, their own breath. Think of it like standing at the door with a bunch of keys wondering which one will work. Without realising that it wasn’t even locked in the first place.

These are just a few of the incredible conditions I get to work with. If you’re wondering if hypnotherapy could help you. Just ask me, I don’t bite I promise.

Becky Wells


Head2Toe Physio Run Reigate 2015

Head2Toe Physio Run Reigate

We did it.  Head2Toe Physio Run Reigate!

After some serious badgering from our patients, we finally caved in and decided to Run Reigate 2015. In normal circumstances we’re the ones giving advice to our patients but this time around we wanted to prove that we could walk the walk and were up for the challenge.

8 of us were running for Head2Toe Physio, although a combination of the mist and the seriously large crowds on Sunday morning meant we managed to lose 2 before the photo! (Sorry Shona and Fiona).

The event set in the market town of Reigate started cold and misty and finished in bright sunshine. Along the way we took in some beautiful country lanes and countryside. The locals were out in support offering a great mix of noisy support and jelly babies. It was nice to see loads of my patients along the way and even more of them running too.

I’m happy to say that we all made it back in one piece and most of us may well be back for another go next year.

World Reflexology Day Special Offer


World Reflexology Week 21 – 27 September 2015.

Amanda Collins works at our Dorking and Leatherhead clinics. Book now to get your £10 off your first Reflexology Treatment.

Call Amanda now on 07971 002323 or email

Potential benefits of reflexology are:

•feelings of deep relaxation
•improves mood
•increased energy levels
•the release of endorphins, the body’s feel good hormones
•improved circulation
•more efficient removal of impurities and toxins
•aids sleep
•helps relieve tension
•a sense that the whole body is in better balance

Reflexology can help treatment people with the following conditions:

•stress & anxiety
•stress related illnesses
•neck & shoulder tension
•back pain
•pain relief
•ME & chronic fatigue syndrome
•digestive disorders, IBS & constipation
•headaches / migraines
•sinus problems

NEW Crawley Massage Therapist Caroline Telfer

Crawley Sports Massage

We welcome CAROLINE TELFER to our Crawley Massage team.

At Head2Toe Physio clinics we know that what our Physiotherapists do best is ‘Physiotherapy’. We wanted to offer our patients high quality sports massage to complement our Physiotherapy and set about appointing dedicated Sports massage therapists. At Head2Toe Physio Clinic Crawley, our new Sports massage therapist is Caroline Telfer.

Caroline retrained as a massage therapist in 2012 after a successful corporate career.

Her interest and subsequent career choice stemmed from her personal experience of the effectiveness of sports massage therapy to manage muscular pain, sports injuries and enable optimum training.
During her time as a student at NLSSM she developed an extensive tool box of both foundational and advanced massage techniques which she has expanded through an annual program of continued professional development (a minimum of 40 hours per year).
Hands on skills and a natural talent for problem solving have enabled her to excel at assessment and evaluation of her clients, as well as their treatment.
A lifelong cyclist both on and off road and a keen masters swimmer; Caroline’s experience of participating in these sports has informed the treatment of the many swimmers and cyclist she has met in her clinic and through an extensive event work programme. She brings her passion and knowledge of these sports into her work, and working relationships.
Caroline finds that the satisfaction that comes with delivering a treatment plan that allows a client to realise their goals is highly motivating. She says ‘’My work whether it is with a sports team, in a clinic setting or at major events provides a unique buzz and set of challenges; a mix that means it is always interesting. But by far the best and most enjoyable aspect of my work is seeing the smile on the client’s face as they get off the couch, move with ease and realise they are no longer in pain’’.

If you or anyone you know would benefit from a massage whether it be for stress relief or a sports massage pre or post sport contact us now.

Crawley Yoga – Got Back Pain – try Yoga?

Crawley Yoga

Why have we got Yoga at Head2Toe Physio?

One of the reasons we were so keen to get Crawley Yoga into Head2Toe Physio, is that it often forms a perfect next stage for our patients following their Physiotherapy. Whether we are treating patients for Low Back Pain, Neck Pain, Repetitive Strain Injuries or Sports Injuries, Yoga targets so many of the areas people need to improve to stay pain free or reduce their pain levels further in the long term.

We have classes aimed at those who are starting exercise for the first time in a long time, and classes for those who think they are ready to push themselves a bit further!

At Head2Toe Physio Crawley we work closely with Debs our Yoga instructor to make sure classes are safe for our patients, and where needed help adapt poses for some.

Is Yoga going to be good for me?

Well you won’t know if you don’t try will you? We have taster sessions for those who want to try it before committing too much and If you would like to talk to Debs or any of the Physiotherapists about it before booking on a course, please contact us.

There is definitely evidence that Yoga does a lot of people a lot of good:

The US based National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health have carried out a number of studies which suggest that carefully selected poses may act to decrease pain, and increase function, in those patients with Low Back Pain (LBP). In addition there is evidence that Yoga may contribute to lowering blood pressure, heart rate, anxiety and depression in those patients with Chronic LBP.

In this country, a 2012 study published in Spine Journal carried out a randomised controlled multicentre trial into the effects of Yoga in chronic LBP. Whilst acknowledging that Yoga has been shown to be an effective intervention in chronic or recurrent LBP, this study aimed to investigate its cost effectiveness.

The authors concluded that on the basis of their study, 12 weekly Yoga classes were shown to be more cost effective than usual medical care from a GP, in patients with recurrent or chronic LBP.

It was interesting to note that just as I was about to write this blog post, the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy published a piece on the 13th July with the title “Yoga works for Rehab”. A Physiotherapist in Wigan has been using Yoga for 3 years to treat NHS patients with LBP and points out that Yoga meets all the criteria of the National Institute of Clinical; Excellence guidance that LBP patients should be treated with movement instruction, muscle strengthening, postural control and stretching.

Is it safe?

Whilst their are many types of Yoga, in the US and UK the most common form of Yoga is Hatha Yoga. It emphasises posture, breathing exercises and meditation. There are many types of Hatha Yoga although most tend to be low impact and deemed safe for individuals when carried out under the guidance of a well-trained instructor.

The rate of injury or side effects is low although some people who are pregnant or have conditions like glaucoma, sciatica or high blood pressure should make Debs aware in case poses need to be adapted for them.

Click here for more information on Yoga

If you or anyone you know would be interested in booking our Yoga classes or trying one of our taster sessions please click here.


Ling-Hsiang, C et al, A Pragmatic Multicentered Randomized Controlled Trial of Yoga for Chronic Low Back Pain: Economic Evaluation, Spine, 2012; 37(18):1593-1601.

Oken BS, et al. Randomized, controlled, six-month trial of yoga in healthy seniors: effects on cognition and quality of life. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine. 2006;12(1):40–47.

Raub, JA. Psychophysiologic effects of hatha yoga on musculoskeletal and cardiopulmonary function: a literature review. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2002;8(6):797–812.

Tilbrook HE, Cox H, Hewitt CE, et al. Yoga for chronic low back pain: a randomized trial. Annals of Internal Medicine. 2011;155(9):569–578.

Crawley Yoga Classes at Head2Toe Physio

Crawley Yoga

Crawley Yoga Classes

We are starting two new Yoga classes at Head2Toe Physio Crawley, Gentle Yoga Fusion and Dynamic Yoga Fusion.

Gentle yoga Fusion

Gentle Yoga Fusion leaves out many of the arm pumping push-ups (chaturanga) and focuses on an easy flow pattern with higher emphasis on hip openers and bends, twists and balancing postures.

This practise is a great balance for a very busy lifestyle.

It creates flexibility, strength, balance and alignments.

Power Yoga Fusion

Doing a series of Yoga Poses while synchronizing one’s breathing patterns to each movement is power Yoga, resulting in actions with perfect unity and grace.

The name Power Yoga says it all. It is one of the several types of Yoga that has the same potential of emulating a rigorous full-body workout and promotes mental stability and concentration.

Breath is so important when doing yoga and within this class the Ouja breath will be used to expand the heart rate.

This yoga will burn calories and leave you feeling that you have worked out. There will be a Savasana (relaxation) ending.


Click here for more information on Yoga

If you or anyone you know would be interested in booking our Yoga classes or trying one of our taster sessions please click here.