SPORTS & ELDERLY PHYSIOTHERAPIST
Our very own world-cup winning physiotherapist Jo McGilchrist oversees the sports physiotherapy at Elite Physio.
Jo's a local girl having graduated from St.Georges before doing her junior and seniors in the NHS in London. Alongside this she played rugby for England (63 times!), went to 2 world cups, made 2 world cup finals and won the 2014 world cup in France.
After retiring she successfully applied to the English Institute of Sport for a masters in Sports Injury Rehab which she completed in Manchester. She worked under the Upper limb specialist Ian Horsley and the Lower limb specialist Lee Herrington with GB Taekwando and England Squash fine-tuning their efficiency of assessing hips.
After completing her Masters she moved to Premiership rugby club Gloucester where she was the rehab physio lead. Her duties included the management of senior players including club and international captains, international and Great British & Irish Lions players. She managed both short and long-term injuries as well as providing match day medical for Premiership and European matches.
After this she returned to her roots in women's rugby at Harlequins where she oversaw the management of the whole ladies squad including 16 international players from across European rugby. See what the players have to say here.
Jo's passion for sports physio was ignited when she struggled to get back on the pitch after breaking her collarbone for the third time. This experience taught her much. Firstly she found her mentor who she continues to consult today. Secondly how to load bone to optimise healing, it's very different from muscle and tendon loading! Thirdly why x-rays don't always show problematic healing and fourthly, the effects of alcohol on boney healing (yep, it's not good!).
Jo routinely rehabs elderly patients post-surgeries such as knee and hip replacements. She also rehabs broken bones, falls prevention, post falls and mobility. She is used to clients with many co-morbidities and during the lockdowns returned to Kings College Hospital and the Nightingale to help rehab elderly patients so that they could get home as quickly, independently and safely as possible.
She sights her greatest elderly rehab success as progressing a 100 year old to walking outside with 2 sticks. Can you exceed this rehab triumph?! Her greatest sports physio success was helping a player back on the pitch after he had been out for over a year, had had 2 shoulder surgeries of which the laterjet had 'failed'. They had removed a significant proportion of his bone and cartilage and structurally he would always be at an increased risk of dislocating. We rehabbed him back into premiership rugby and he has not dislocated since!"
In her own time you'll find Jo cycling around London and Surrey. Ironically she sights going up hills more fun than coming down them?!