Thursday, 10 April 2014

Jane Dixon's first Blog!

‘Write a Blog’, my boss said.  ‘What’, I said.  ‘Yes – about your last trip to the Netherlands’, he said.  ‘At my age’, I said.  ‘No excuses’, he said!

So here I am, at the tender age of – well we won’t go into that now – writing my first ever blog, about one of my regular trips to Europe.  But a bit of background info first.

Here at Progress, I am the Clinical Specialist Women’s and Men’s Health physiotherapist working at Advanced Practitioner level treating such things as urinary and faecal incontinence, prolapse, erectile dysfunction, constipation etc. etc.  All those problems that people generally don’t want to talk about.  I’ve been specialising in this area of physiotherapy for 30 years now, and teach both undergraduate and post-graduate students.

In 2002, I added a new dimension to the ‘tools of my trade’ and purchased a real-time scanner to enable me to get more in-depth information about the problems I was treating.  In fact I was probably one of the first women’s health physios in the UK to use a scanner.  I have a physiotherapy friend who is also a sonographer, so he put me through my paces and trained me up.  Without going into too much detail, the scanner enables me to watch pelvic floor and core abdominal muscles working, and analyse where things are going wrong.  And so to the reason for my trip.

As you’ve probably guessed, one of the things I teach is pelvic floor scanning.  I started teaching in Belgium in 2008, and in The Netherlands in 2011. The course runs over 2 days and is highly interactive. I wouldn't have it any other way, and it does keep me on my toes.

So my recent trip to The Netherlands was a busman’s holiday.  This time I flew to Amsterdam and took the train to Almelo.  Normally husband, dog and I drive and stay with our daughter who lives in Antwerp.  The dog knows all the ‘necessary’ stopping places en route!  But not this time as it didn't fit with other plans.

The course ran according to plan, with 16 delegates all keen to understand how ultrasound scanning improves assessment and treatment of pelvic floor dysfunction problems.  The physiotherapists are very focused and keep me on my toes with the hundreds of questions they ask.  Discussion is always rife, and I find this very rewarding too.  Not only am I teaching, I always leave these courses having learnt something from my colleagues too.

My trip home was equally exciting.  I had to stay overnight at Schipol Airport, as there were no late flights back to the UK on the Saturday.  So I stayed at the new modular CitizenM hotel. 

Rather than describe the layout, I’ve attached a couple of pictures.  Now it’s not every day that you make your daughter jealous but, well ……. 

I’m off again to The Netherlands in May to teach for two days and, yes, I’m going to stay overnight at the airport!!!

Lauren Bradshaw April Update

Spring is here finally! So a lot has happened since my last posting back in January. First of all I turned the big 30 and was fortunate enough to have multiple celebrations with family and friends which included a posh afternoon tea at the Savoy in London! (Far too much indulgence!) However, birthday week I developed the nasty cough/flu bug much like many of you reading this may have also developed as it seemed to be quite prevalent amongst my patient population and it completely wiped me out from work and indeed my training.
So despite aiming for a PB at the Cambridge Half Marathon unfortunately it was not to be – my heart rate was still far too high and technically I shouldn’t have ran but me being me wanted to push myself and after the first 3 miles felt awful and did not think I would complete the race. I did however manage to finish in a not so impressive time of 1.37 (personally disappointed after having such great training post-Christmas) and subsequently still have the 1 hr 30 to beat (I will do it!) The event was terrific and the weather was absolutely gorgeous – I think most of Cambridge came out on the streets to support the competitors and I was very thankful for the personal cheering I received from my friends and family – it’s amazing what a boost it can give you.

My story only goes from bad to worse however as I the ended up in hospital the following Tuesday and unfortunately had to undergo surgery to remove a cyst – that would explain another level of why I had been feeling so unwell. Another two weeks off from training was really hard to take but I felt really so unwell that I knew it was necessary rest and as most athletes may empathise, it was like pulling teeth! As I started to pick up a little I had a slight concern that I had a Cycling training Camp coming up at the end of my 2 weeks rest. I decided that I would pack my bike and all my kit and head out to Mallorca with Cambridge Triathlon and Cycling Club and just see how I felt. I am pleased to report that with a sensible start of weaning my way in easily I managed to ride everyday an average of 75-80 miles and progressed from strength to strength each and every day finishing with a 100 miler along the North West Coastal road that was full of challenging ascents and descents and forceful winds! I managed to squeeze in a few runs off the bike (otherwise known as a brick session) but my running (despite being my strength) is really not up to par at the moment and has taken the greatest strain from the illnesses I have had. I have however had the chance to really improve my bike strength and know that my running will come back to being what it was, I just need time.
So this last weekend I decided with one week to go until the European Duathlon Championships in Horst that I really needed to get a race under my belt and entered Diss Duathlon. Despite as I previously mentioned not running at my best and still not quite feeling a 100% managed to win my age group and finished 4th female overall. So I have to take the positives of that race and move forwards to Holland where I will be competing for GB in the Female Sprint race on Sunday April 13th. I know it has not been the perfect preparation for such an important race but I feel that I am starting to get my mojo back and will target the World Championships at the end of May as the race to peak for.
On another note, I was extremely honoured to speak at the Royal Society of Medicine in London on Monday 7th April at a conference for Aesthetic Performers and Athletes. I spoke about the uses of Performance profiling for rehabilitation specialists and how I as an ex ice dancer used profiling regularly to help achieve personal goals and achievements. The conference was extremely interesting covering topics from nutrition to strength and conditioning and bone health in sports such as dancing, gymnastics and diving. I hope that more opportunities arise in the future to discuss Performance profiling as it is the foundation of my current Masters dissertation and I am extremely passionate about helping our athletes maximise their performance.

All in all turning 30 hasn’t been so nice to me but I will keep on striving to stay fit and healthy and get my race face back on!

Thursday, 13 March 2014

An update from Tom Quantrell

So I have just spent my 3rd day at the National Sports Centre, Lilleshall with England Hockey on my interview/probationary period. 

2 more days to go and then I find out whether I can call myself an England Hockey physio, another day at Lilleshall in a weeks time and then a final day at Bisham Abbey.

Even if I am not successful I have now just about got a full set of quality people I have spent time shadowing during these days, the head physio for London 2012, the head physio for team GB 2012, the head physio for Paralympics team GB and the head physio for the Glasgow 2014 commonwealths.

Not a bad list of people to spend time and learn from. I will keep you posted, fingers crossed I don’t make an idiot of myself over my last 2 days.

Lauren Bradshaw – Specialist Sports Physiotherapist

Specialist Physiotherapist

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Cambridge Half Marathon 2014

What a glorious day for the Cambridge Half Marathon last Sunday!

We assembled a great team to provide much-needed relief to the runner’s tired and achey legs and backs. 
Sports massage is a great way to deal with post-event muscle soreness, and demand was high.  Our team saw over 150 runners… that’s a lot of calves!!

Everyone was genuinely grateful for the treatment they received, and despite two and half hours of continuous massage we were proud to support all of the runners that were supporting charities.


Here is a photo of most of the team from Sunday!

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Lauren Bradshaw's post christmas update!

Well what happened to January?! Often January can be a month of post-christmas blues and gloomy weather but fortunately for me I was lucky enough to travel to Verbier, Switzerland for my first ever ski trip! If you read my last blog I suggested that I may have some stories to tell from this trip and indeed I do….

So, my entire life I have wanted to go skiing but due to my previous commitments as a competitive ice dancer was not really allowed in case I injured myself (probably a wise move!). Therefore the excitement I felt embarking on my first trip was like a child at Christmas – I couldn’t wait to hit the slopes!
Day 1: I spent on the nursery slope figuring out how on earth to put on a pair of skis and indeed how to learn to stand up from falling over a million times. Using a button lift was also an interesting experience and my they do make your legs ache!

Day 2: I decided it would be a sensible choice to have lessons so stumbled upon a nice instructor who took me down my first blue runs showing me how to link up my turns and control my speed. We had a complete white out that day and so the safety of having an instructor was very reassuring.

Day 3: It was my friends 30th birthday so we had a fun day planned. I spent the morning in lessons with my nice instructor who turned out not to be so nice after deciding he would push my ability and started me on red runs and unbeknown to me took me down some black run! I had learnt to parallel turn, parallel stop and tackle the moguls – I can honestly say I was pretty petrified for most of this lesson but felt exhilarated and immensely proud that I had conquered a black route on my 3rd day of skiing!
I believe that my underlying strength and endurance from triathlon along with my balance and technical ability from figure skating really helped me to pick up skiing so quickly. After my lesson my thighs were on fire and decided to meet my friends for lunch only to discover that one of them had dislocated her knee cap and had been helicoptered off the mountain!! After the trip to hospital to collect the injured friend we decided to put the trauma of the day behind us and get on with celebrating the 30th birthday. We had all packed animal onesies and decided to hit the apr├Ęs ski dressed in our amazing costumes (I was an owl!) –much to the delight of the Verbier nightlife we were a big hit!!!
For the remainder of the week I returned back to the blue and red slopes and consolidated my new found skiing skills and made the most of the catered chalet food, wine and spa facilities!

I have almost definitely caught the skiing bug and I am already hoping that I may be able to sneak in a last minute long weekend before the end of the season and have already starting planning next year’s trip! Over at Progress we offer ski assessments which looking back in retrospect would have been ideal, especially for my friend who dislocated her knee – as ultimately this almost certainly occurred due to a lack of strength and stability.

So what next….?
I have a very busy spring coming up with a cycling trip to Majorca so I have been busy putting the miles in on my bike around the Cambridgeshire, Essex and Bedfordshire countryside along with many a sweaty evening in my garage sat on my turbo trainer (an indoor training system that you attach your bike to in awful weather!).
I really want to build up the miles as we will be averaging around a 100 miles per day on pretty mountainous terrain – therefore I do not want to burn out! I have also been building up the mileage in the running in preparation for the Cambridge Half Marathon on March 9th where I’m hoping to run a PB of sub 1 hour 30 minutes. Progress will be sponsoring the half marathon and offering post-race sports massage so I’m hoping my colleagues can flush my legs out afterwards!!

(Will be nice to be the patient for a change!) I’m also starting to build my swimming fitness up too – however I have a niggling shoulder injury at the moment so I need to make sure I practice as I preach and do my rehabilitation exercises to keep it nice and strong!

Until next time……happy training =)

Monday, 27 January 2014

Cris Kellett gets back on the slopes...

After 20 years of snowboarding I ventured back onto a pair of skis at the weekend. 

I landed at MK Snozone at 0730 on Saturday full of anticipation and trepidation. 

Reassuringly I remembered how to put the kit on, and was comforted that skis now look like elongated snowboards. 

I joined the Ski Performance group, ably tutored by Steve.  Apart from skiing like I did in the 1980's (knees together but without the mullet), I loved it.

Did I fall? Only once when 'not paying attention' on the button lift.  Further strength and balance work, plus some AlterG sessions, should see me set for the real thing in February.

For further information on Cris view his profile at

Friday, 20 December 2013

Lauren Bradshaw – Christmas Update

So it has now been 3 months since I started working as a specialist physiotherapist at Progress. It was a challenge to begin with, relocating to Cambridge from Nottingham, not knowing anyone – but I’ve been made to feel very welcome.

The staff and patients at Progress are a pleasure to work with and I feel I have settled in nicely to the team. Last week I had a fantastic opportunity to spend the day in theaters over at the Spire Cambridge Lea Hospital watching Mr Richard Villar perform numerous hip and knee surgery. It is always incredibly useful for my professional development to witness such procedures – especially as I work with a lot of these patients post-surgery with their rehabilitation phase. It has opened my eyes to the complexity of the distraction technique of the hip and I will now have an even greater understanding for my patients rehabilitation.  

Me at the start of my last race of the season
Me at the start of my last race of the season
Outside of work I have joined the Cambridge Triathlon Club which I must say has been a real asset to my training and competing and I have again met some wonderful people and made some incredible friends. 

I have had a hectic year with competitions this
season and I am proud to say that I finished 6th at both the 2013 World and European Duathlon Championships. I have since qualified for the 2014 Euro’s and Worlds which will be taking me to Holland and Spain during late spring/early summer next year. I finished my season this weekend with an off road duathlon as part of the Midlands Off Road series and I am happy to say that I won 2 out of the 3 events to take the overall title! So now it is time for me to relax a little and enjoy Christmas (although anyone that knows me well will know I find it hard to sit still and I will be running on Christmas day!). 

Off Road Duathlon Awards with Adam of One Step Beyond
Off Road Duathlon Awards with Adam of One Step Beyond
 Training must go on for next year so I am busy planning the 2014 season which will see me return back to triathlon to complete the Vitruvian a half ironman distance race in August at Rutland Water. I am also traveling to Majorca for a week of cycling with Cambridge Tri to help increase my bike fitness – I hear there are a lot of hills out there which is great as Cambridge is as flat as a pancake and unfortunately not ideal for hill training!

I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy new year and look forward to providing my next installment of news which may or may not have some interesting stories from my skiing trip to Switzerland – who knows!