Interview with Chartered physiotherapist Pam Gardiner

Pam qualified as a Chartered Physiotherapist over 35 years ago and still is passionate about her role working with athletes providing effective injury prevention and rehabilitation strategies. Pam and I paths first crossed when I was a member of the Great Britain rowing team from 2006-09.

Pam says: “I have been involved with the medical support team for the GB Rowing Team as a contracted Physiotherapist since 1996. Initially worked with the junior athletes preparing for the World Championships and Coupe competitions . I then joined the support team working with the senior squads in 2001. Since then I have attended annual training camps around the world, Regattas, World Championships and 3 Olympic Games.”

 

Pam has always been inspired working with athletes who strive for success, she loves working within a squad environment where she is constantly challenged and work with the best of the sports science teams. Dedication and commitment has allowed her to develop an expertise and interest in the role of a Sports Physiotherapist.

 

“Working with the GB Rowing Team has opened up opportunities including Lead Physiotherapist at the Commonwealth Games and London Olympic Athlete Village Clinic where i treated multi- sport athletes including athletics, squash, rugby, volleyball, diving and swimming.” Pam said.

 

In her normal day to day life, Pam runs her own private clinic based in the Wirral where she specialise in assessment and treatment of clients with Musculoskeletal disorders and chronic pain conditions. Her approach is very holistic as she aims to enable every individual to achieve their own potential.

 

Pam says: “Providing a thorough assessment at the initial consultation is the key, followed by effective treatment methods to improve any movement dysfunction. Enable the client to understand their rehab goals so they can therefore make progress is vital. Psychologically it is so important that the client is empowered and confident with the my role in order to have control of their conditions.”

 

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Pam’s skills have developed over the years , and the experiences and knowledge of treating Olympians has enabled her practice to specialise in soft tissue and hands on treatments as well as safe and effective exercise programmes. So you don’t have to be a budding Olympian to benefit from her treatments!

 

Recent fad of ‘cupping’ you may or may not have seen at the Olympics.

 

Pam Says: “‘Cupping’ is an alternative therapy which has been used by celebrities and recently seen on athletes at the Olympic Games. It has been around since ancient times, having started in Egypt, China and the Middle East in 400 BC.”

 

The cups are filled with a flammable substance which once cooled are placed on the skin. As the air cools it causes a vacuum and this draws the skin up inside the cup. The skin reddens as the blood vessels expand, and produce the bruised appearance. The cups are left on the body for 3 minutes, and can be kept still or be moved across the skin surface along the meridian lines, similar to those used in acupuncture.
The theory of cupping is that the cups ‘open’ the body’s energy channels or ‘qi’ and promote healing. While cupping therapy is considered a safe, non invasive procedure as yet there is no reliable scientific medical evidence to support this therapy, but it may have a placebo effect.

 

Pam personally has never used this therapy, and has not seen it used by any of her colleagues so can not comment on its use.

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Top 5 best recovery tips according to Pam are:

 

1. Good nutrition and hydration.

2. Pre activation / good movement awareness.

3. Quality not quantity of exercise.

4. Stretching/ mobility routines.

5. Remember that tissue healing has specific stages so recovery times are dictated by those stages.

 

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