PHYSIOTHERAPY

Here at the Ben Fund, we provide physiotherapy support to promote physical, psychological and social wellbeing to our members. Our outpatient clinics are held at various locations across the North West regions including:

  • Lancashire
  • Greater Manchester
  • Cumbria
  • Cheshire
  • Merseyside

Our specialised physiotherapy team offer bespoke treatment programs and interventions to aid in the health of our members using the latest and up-to-date protocols.

At St Michael’s Lodge, based in the heart of the Ribble Valley we offer intensive, residential physiotherapy where we host a wide-ranging exercise class timetable, provide a state-of-the-art gym facility and a swimming pool/hydrotherapy pool.

Please complete the referral form and forward to https://www.thebenfund.co.uk/apply/  . We prioritise applications on the basis of clinical need.

Download Outpatient Referral FormDownload Residential Referral Form

Meet the team

St Michael’s Lodge

Debbie Fagan

Debbie Fagan

Laura Kennedy

Laura Kennedy

Dean Matkin

Dean graduated in 2013 from Staffordshire University with a first-class honours degree in Sports Therapy. He went on to gain clinical experience in several sport environments and taught for 2 years in his field at undergraduate level. Over his career he has developed a special interest in strength and conditioning to help manage and overcome both upper and lower limb MSK issues whilst focusing particularly in the recovery of acute post-operative lower limb conditions. He has experience in the management and care of chronic back pain and whilst working at the Ben Fund, he continues to teach several exercise classes including Pilates. Dean is always aiming to develop training and skills to ensure he provides each individual patient with the treatment that they need. He has also gained post-graduate training in areas such as acupuncture, shockwave therapy and hydrotherapy.

Chris Holmes

Chris Holmes

Kieran Charnock

Kieran qualified as a physiotherapist with a First Class Honours degree from the University of Salford in 2015 following a long career as a professional footballer. He worked initially as a physiotherapist in the NHS gaining a variety of experience and expertise before specializing in MSK conditions, developing a keen interest in both upper and lower limb injuries, spinal rehabilitation and pain management. Joining the team at St Michael's in late 2018 he has further developed his skills in strength and conditioning and teaching Pilates and Yoga. Kieran has completed extensive post graduate training across a plethora of disciplines and uses evidence-based practice to guide his decisions. He will tailor his approach to his clients taking a holistic approach to ensure best possible outcomes.

Green Lane (Merseyside HQ)

Shaun Fieldhouse

Shaun is a member of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy and registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). Qualifying from Teesside University in 1996. Shaun has gained a wealth of knowledge and experience in all aspects of managing muscle and joint problems, having worked continuously in the local NHS, privately and with Professional Rugby League teams. Alongside his work for the Police Benevolent Fund, Shaun continues to work as Clinical Specialist Physiotherapist at Wrightington Hospital, a Centre of Excellence for Orthopaedic Surgery.
In 2006 Shaun successfully completed a master’s degree in Neuromusculoskeletal Dysfunction at Manchester University and more recently Lower limb trauma and Orthopaedics. Working closely with podiatrists and Orthopaedic Consultants, Shaun has specialised in the management of lower limb injuries, combining knowledge of lower limb biomechanics and rehabilitation. This has provided him with an appreciation of all aspects of assessing and managing acute and chronic musculoskeletal complaints and injuries. A strong emphasis is always placed on patient education, which is essential to help sufferers manage their symptoms.

Green Lane (Merseyside HQ) and Progress House (GMP)

Patrick Hoyte

Patrick Hoyte

Winsford (Cheshire HQ)

Ben Croad

Ben Croad

Cumbria HQ

Nina Walkingshaw

Nina qualified in 2000 from the University of Manchester. After completing NHS rotations, she worked for BAE Systems in a proactive Occupational Health role building the Landing Platform Docks and Astute Class submarines in Barrow-in-Furness. This was the start of Nina's great love of Occupational Health which endures to this day. She completed her PgDip in Applied Ergonomics and spent several happy years in a hard hat and a boiler suit, problem solving MSK issues on the build. During this time Nina also completed her APPI Pilates training and ran classes on the shop floor to manage back and arm pain among Welders and Caulkers, and desk Pilates for the office based Designers. From the Shipyard Nina moved to Cumbria Police initially as the Force Occupational Health Physio and then as a split between OHU and the NWPBF. She has also run clinics and projects for Tata Steel the Department of Work and Pensions, BrainChild Developmental Programme and James Croppers Papermill. For the past eighteen months she has also worked in a GP Practice as a First Contact Practitioner increasing access to rapid assessment and treatment for the general population. She is currently working towards BABCP accreditation as a Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist.
Outside of work Nina feels fortunate to live close to the sea and mountains and spends as much time as possible running and surfing. She has three messy daughters, one tidy son, two dogs and a very tolerant chap.

Common Conditions

Below are some of the common conditions the service can assist with but not limited to.

    • Neck and Back Pain
      • Road traffic collision / trauma
      • Postural / ergonomics
      • Chronic
      • Post-operative
      • Sciatica
    • Upper Limb
      • Frozen shoulder
      • Shoulder impingement
      • Tennis elbow
      • Golfers elbow
    • Lower Limb
      • Runners knee
      • Plantar fasciitis
      • Achilles tendinopathy
      • Knee osteoarthritis
    • Prehabilitation and Postoperative Care
    • Pre / Post-natal Care
    • Sport Related Injuries

Treatments

Following a comprehensive assessment an individualised treatment program will be devised to include a strong emphasis on self-management and home exercise program in addition with some of the possible treatments below:

Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy 

(ESWT) is a non-invasive procedure for the treatment of acute and chronic pain of the musculoskeletal system.  The shockwaves used in ESWT develop in the tissue at the point in the tissue where the pain originates from. They cause an improvement in local blood circulation and metabolism.

Conditions such as tennis elbow, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinopathy and calcifications of the shoulder often become chronic conditions. The use of ESWT to safely treat these conditions is supported by a wealth of clinical experience and scientific evidence. In short the use of ESWT in the treatment of chronic conditions is suggested to jump start the healing process and reintroduce the acute phase of healing.

Hydrotherapy

Hydrotherapy allows treatment to be provided in a warm environment which improves soft tissue elasticity while the buoyancy of the water reduces the effects of gravity. This eases the stress on joints and can considerably accelerate rehabilitation times.

Other main benefits of hydrotherapy include:

  • Provides relief from pain, swelling and stiffness
  • Muscle strengthening, maintenance and restoration
  • Accelerated rehab times
  • Improved circulation
  • promotion of relaxation
  • Cardiovascular fitness

Exercise Prescription / Strength and Conditioning Programs

A fundamental part of pain management and recovery is to incorporate an exercise prescribed program. Our team of physiotherapists are experienced at promoting these programs to a wide range of individuals depending on their needs. We focus on movement quality to improve strength and fitness, and in doing so improve active daily living and wellbeing. A key part of strength and conditioning training is fully assessing an individual’s movement patterns to develop techniques and prevent injuries. Strength and lean muscle mass reduces the risk of insulin resistance, a group of risk factors for cardiovascular disease and other factors which can lead to ill health. Strength training doesn’t just increase the strength of our muscles but also our bone health. Strength and conditioning benefits so many areas of not just sport, but everyday life. Incorporating these principles into a structured program can really make a difference in how we perform, move and live.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is used by our physiotherapists to assist in the management of pain and inflammation by stimulating the body’s own healing chemicals in order to aid recovery and enhance rehabilitation.

The practice of acupuncture can affect pain modulation via the stimulation of the brain and spinal cord to produce natural pain relieving chemicals, such as endorphins; melatonin and serotonin to promote wellbeing. These assist the body’s healing process and offer pain relief as a precursor for other manual or exercise therapies.

Common MSK conditions that may benefit from acupuncture include:

  • Arthritis
  • Back pain
  • Muscle cramps
  • Muscle pain/weakness
  • Neck pain
  • Sciatica/nerve root pain

Orthotic/Insole Prescription

  • Foot and ankle conditions along with other lower limb issues may benefit from orthotics to relieve pain and restore function.

Lumbar and Cervical traction

At St Michael’s Lodge, patients often benefit from the use of our Lumbar and Cervical traction unit. This is the process of applying a stretching force to the vertebrae through pulleys to distract individual joints of the spine. This can help ease back pain and symptoms of nerve pain caused by such conditions as sciatica.

One-to-One Pilates 

  • For individuals who are new to exercise, or who have specific physical limitations/requirements, we provide 1:1 Pilates classes to ensure the upmost care and attention.

Classes

Based at St Michaels Lodge in the Ribble Valley, patients have access to several weekly exercise classes in order to improve health and wellbeing. Classes include:

Ai Chi

      • A water-based exercise class designed to improve and encourage range of movement, core stability, circulation, reduce swelling and promote relaxation.

Stretch Class

      • A low impact, low intensity workout to increase range of motion and flexibility. Through a series of stretching exercises, participants will develop breathing techniques, enhance strength, coordination, and cardiovascular health, as well as a sense of physical confidence and overall well-being.

Aqua-Aerobics Class 

      • Water aerobics is the performance of exercise to improve cardiovascular fitness which can also enhance strength and flexibility whilst reducing joint impact in the water.

Pilates (APPI accredited)

      • A series of exercises based around core-stability and neuromuscular control, to help relieve and manage pain, improve health and improve quality of active daily living.