Gemma James is one of our Senior Physios here at Physio Action. In this, the first of 3 posts on various topics, she discusses her specialist areas of expertise and more about her role at Physio Action.
Her specialist area of interest is in movement, biomechanics and performance. She is especially interested in how the body interacts with itself to cause pain, and how making patient specific movement changes can improve not just pain but give people the chance to make lasting changes to their posture and performance.
This interest led her to complete her training to become a JEMS certified practitioner in 2019. JEMS was founded by Joanne Elphinston who is a world-renowned consultant physiotherapist working in elite sport performance in many disciplines.
For more information see https://www.jemsmovement.com/
We interviewed Gemma to get to know more about her training and how it can help, and this is what she had to say.
What sort of patients do I see?
I see anyone and everyone here, but I often see people who have persistent pain that despite a lot of effort have not resolved with the traditional (not typical) physio approach. I also see people who feel they may not move as easily as they would like, or people who feel that there is a specific block to improving their sporting performance.
Last winter, I saw some great patients in the ‘Ski Performance Clinic’. It was fantastic to hear how they had enjoyed their skiing and found that the simple changes we had implemented had given them more balance, power, and confidence on the slopes. I look forward to running it again when we can all get back to skiing!
One of my more unusual patient types are horse riders with performance issues that cannot be put down to the horse. Quite often rider movement imbalances are to blame for altered biomechanics of the horse and training issues, therefore, sort out the rider and you sort out the horse and rider team.
What do I do in a typical session?
No one person moves in the same way, so movement sessions are a bit of teamwork between patient and Physio to discover which movement pattern is affected. I start by assessing the posture and looking at what effect this has on the patient’s biomechanics in the problematic movement. I also take into account the patient’s neuro muscular responses i.e., the way that they move and how this effects performance.
Sessions are backed up with manual therapy if specifically needed to improve the problematic movement patterns. Usually, people are given a 1 or 2 specific things to work on, whether that is to build up strength, reduce tension or just to allow more movement tailoring this to the individual needs of the patient and their desired goal.
So, my first tip towards better movement is….
To achieve effortless balance watch the attached short video to copy the movement sequence on each leg and take note how it felt on each leg
Once you have tried the exercises in the video try this foot activating exercise for 2 minutes….
Use a spikey ball, tumble dryer ball or car keys under your foot to find any tight areas of your foot. If you have a spikey ball, roll your foot over it and press into any tight areas under your foot, if it is very sensitive work to desensitise your foot.
Now, try the same sequence of exercises in the video again and see how it feels now your foot is a bit more awake.
If you think Gemma can help you, call the clinic on 0113 268 7578 to book an appointment or if you would like to chat through your problems to see if this is the right approach for you give Gemma a call, she is more than happy to help.