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Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
OxPARC

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Physiotherapists

Picture of Julia Smith, Physiotherapist Picture of Jo Sheehan, Physiotherapist

Hi! We are Jo Sheehan and Julia Smith - the OxPARC physios.

Arthritis and other conditions often stop young people from being as active as before. Pain and stiffness may make it more difficult to move affected joints such as knees or wrists. This makes the muscles weaker and tire easily. And it causes someone to slow down and feel less like doing things.

It is our job to help turn this around. We work with our patients to keep them strong and active.

How can we help?

Exercise is very important for all of us. With care, exercise often eases stiffness and pain and helps to keep the body strong, flexible and moving easily.

We look at lots of things with our patients, including:

  • how they move and walk
  • how strong they are
  • how flexible or bendy they are
  • what things they find easy or difficult to do at home and at school.

We then work with our patients to come up with simple exercises that they can do at home.

We can also help our patients to understand how to look after their joints and muscles. For example, we can give advice on how to manage swelling or how to manage something which our patients find difficult.

More about physiotherapy

How do we fit in with the rest of the team?

Other members of the team ask us to see patients to assess and guide improvements in:

  • movement
  • strength
  • stamina
  • flexibility.

Usually we feed back to the team in clinic, or at our weekly team meetings. Please let us know if there are concerns you do not want discussed.

What happens at a physiotherapy appointment?

Usually we will see you in clinic. If we arrange to see you afterwards, the first appointment may take up to one hour. This is because we ask lots of questions. We then check things like strength, flexibility, balance and walking.

We also look at exercises to see if they might help. We go through them and there is always plenty of time to practice them.

There's also time to ask questions too.

We can give advice on things like:

  • setting goals
  • pacing activities
  • managing swelling.

Follow-up appointments are usually about 30 minutes. They are quicker because there are usually fewer questions and movements to check.

Most appointments are in the Children's Unit, which has its own waiting room.