Overcome pain & injury

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How can you help me with my pain / injury?

Being injured and/or in pain can be scary and deeply upsetting. Our coaching aims to put you back in control and back doing the activities you love.

We do a lot with movement and exercise, including

    • Understanding how you move and how the site of pain affects this
    • Exploring new and different ways to move
    • Creating positive movement experiences
    • Habits and daily movement
    • Strength & conditioning to build tolerance and capacity 
    • Mobility exercises to improve range of motion
    • Gradual exposure to return to sport

We are also huge advocates of holistic health and will help you to explore 

    • Pain science
    • Sleep and recovery
    • Nutrition and hydration
    • Mindset and support networks

More and more research is pointing to the above being key factors in overcoming pain and injury. We’ll help you to get to grips with whichever subjects are needed and how they can benefit you.

The journey out of pain can seem a daunting one. We believe with the right approach, you can be back being active, playing sport and feeling great again!

How is this different from seeing a doctor / physiotherapist / osteopath?

Medical professionals will typically support you in diagnosis, treatment, and getting back to essential activities. This sometimes isn’t enough to get you back to doing the activities you love, playing sport or being highly active. 

This is where we come in. Our coaching is about taking you from initial treatment to longer term, lasting habits that make you feel confident and joyful about being active again.

We love collaborating and are always happy to coordinate what we’re doing with your medical team.

What does the coaching process look like?

The first step is consultation and assessment. This always starts with a conversation, so we can get to know you and understand where you are at. We will do the relevant assessments such as pain screening, range of motion and strength tests.

From here we will make some recommendations, usually in the form of exercises, exploring new habits or perspectives. Every step of the way, we work collaboratively. Together, we explore and decide the what, how and why.

We provide various coaching options. Based on the assessment, we will discuss what would be a good fit for you. In our experience, for most people the timeline for overcoming pain is between 3-9 months.

How much does it cost?

The first session is £70 and will be about 60-75 min. Following on from this, we have various options to suit different people’s needs.

What makes you great at pain and injury rehab?

We’ve learnt about coaching through multiple channels:

Professional qualifications from world class professionals such as Jarred Powell, Greg Lehman, The Chek Institute, Eric Cressey, Precision Nutrition and Kelly Starett. These cover a wide range of subjects including corrective exercise, sports massage therapy, natural movement, mobility, pain science, strength training, nutrition and holistic health.

Self study and keeping up to date with current literature across multiple disciplines.

Practical experience Over a collective 33 years of coaching, we’ve worked with many individuals from many walks of life. We’ve learnt about the practical aspects of rehab and the essentials of tailoring the path to match real world lives. We’re still coaching and learning every day!

Personal experience Each of us have personally been through the ups and down of dealing with pain. This drives us to share what we’ve learnt and help you to get to where you want to be.

What pains and injuries do you have experience with?

We have experience working with near enough every part of the body. We are especially confident with

    • Shoulder injuries, niggles and ongoing pains of all sorts
    • Long term hip, back and neck pain
    • Sport induced wear and tear

If you have questions about your pain or injury, please get in touch so we can discuss your needs.

I’ve had pain in my back/knee/shoulder/hip for many years. I’ve been to various doctors, physios, osteos etc. They have helped but the pain is persisting.

Chronic pain can suck. It’s stubborn, erratic and restrictive. It often doesn’t make much sense and it’s hard to get good results if we only look at it using a conventional medical model. 

More and more research is uncovering that ongoing pain is complex. Many factors influence it beyond a muscle being tight, a winging scapula or damage seen on a scan. In other words, it’s multidimensional…  but the great news is, so is recovery!

There are a myriad of options beyond hands-on treatment, painkillers, and basic repetitive exercises. We especially like the approaches which put you back in charge:

    • Movement techniques you can do anywhere that can modify your pain levels
    • Expanding your movement options to become more adaptable 
    • Comprehensive strength training to increase capacity and resilience
    • Exploring your sport or activity directly so you can get back to doing what you love  
    • Developing healthier sleep, nutrition & hydration habits as this can help with reducing pain sensitivity
    • Making sense of pain, learning when it’s okay to poke into it and when it might be better to back off
    • Challenging beliefs around movement that might be leading you to avoid activity unnecessarily
    • Developing a support network to prepare for flare ups or setbacks
    • Managing your options to better suit your skill level, activities, time and available kit

Overcoming chronic pain does take time, and naturally this varies with each individual. We generally encourage a 3-6 month minimum timeline. This gives these longer term approaches the chance to take hold and produce results. 

I’ve been advised to have surgery. It may be a long time before I can get this done. I would also like to see if there is another option. 

Surgery can be the right choice in some situations. However more and more evidence is suggesting that it could be premature especially with regards to tendinopathy and small to medium muscle/tendon tears.

Here’s an example from a research study (Hallgren 2014) on shoulder pain. Individuals who were on a surgery waiting list were placed in one of two groups, one group worked on mobility and the other strength exercises. One year later, 

    •  80% of individuals in the strength group experienced significant improvements in both symptoms and what they could do, and removed themselves from the surgery list 
    • 40% of the individuals in the mobility group opted out of surgery.

There is plenty of evidence that a non-surgical solution can be very effective. Our alternative to surgery is about combining evidence based solutions such as:

    • Progressive strengthening exercises
    • Building healthier habits, and
    • Education to better make sense of your pain. 

This approach is about making you stronger, healthier, and more resilient. You may find you have a different perspective on whether surgery is needed by the time it comes around. If you do decide to go ahead with surgery, the habits and skills you’ve developed during this time will likely put you in a better position for recovery and healing post-surgery.

I just had surgery. I am doing the exercises assigned by my doctor.

We hope the surgery went well and absolutely recommend continuing to work with your doctor as you recover. Alongside that we can help get you on the path to a full recovery to your sport or activity by looking at the whole picture. We can add any missing pieces to the rehab puzzle from a movement perspective as well as support your recovery practices such as nutrition and sleep. 

Once your time under doctor / physio supervision comes to an end, we can take over to help you keep building on top of the foundation you’ve laid. 

I don’t feel I can participate in my sport to the same extent as before my injury. Can you help?

Sorry to hear that you’re struggling to get back to where you want to be. Injury rehab can be a draining process, physically, mentally and emotionally. 

The first place we’d look is understanding where you currently are in terms of pain, performance and establish where you’d like to be. Then it’s a case of working out which areas we could make improvements and deciding on the best place to begin. 

Through the whole process we will fully support you and do our absolute best to get you back doing what you love, and to the level you aspire to. We’re big believers in the body’s ability to bounce back. With a holistic and individualised approach there’s a good chance you’ll get there and who knows, maybe you can come back even better than before!

I feel like my sport is beating me up. I frequently have pain that limits my performance. 

Feeling a bit beaten up by sport is a common and normal feeling. If we’re going to do things like climb rocks, grapple with other humans or race hard it’s likely we’ll feel a bit sore every now and then.

But when it feels like a constant battle to be pain free, that can be the sign that there’s room for improvement. An obvious place to start is to check that your body is capable of coping with the demands of your sport. In other words do you have the necessary mobility, strength, speed etc. 

Another approach is to look at the bigger picture. Sleep, nutrition and hydration can have a huge influence on how our body recovers. Load management and mindset can also radically change how we approach our training and sport. 

We will support you to explore your options and how to  blend it together in a way that best suits you.

What sports do you have experience with?

We have worked with many sports, and are especially confident with

    • Climbing
    • Jiu-jitsu / MMA
    • Skiing
    • Running (5km to marathons)
    • Golf
    • Team sports 

If your sport isn’t on the list please get in touch with us so we can get some more details and work out if we can help you.

We also provide coaching in strength & conditioning for sport, click here to learn more.
I’m not injured but I am very interested in injury prevention. 

We think it’s great to have a preventative mindset! Whilst we can’t 100% prevent injuries, there are certainly things we can do to give ourselves a better chance of staying injury free. 

We can develop healthy habits and make sure our movement, training, sleep, nutrition and mindset are supporting our activities and sport. These will hopefully keep a lot of injuries at bay, and on a more positive note set ourselves up for better recovery and performance. 

We love the saying… an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

testimonials

“I am now pain free, fit and healthy.”
I had excruciating hip, shoulder and back pain. Because of the pain, I had given up exercise and put on 2 stone… Through the right exercises and stretches I am now pain free, fit and healthy. Ross is the complete package. He advises you on food, sleep patterns, breathing and de-stressing. Ross goes beyond the hour of training and supports you every step of the way, mentally and physically.
Anne + Ross
"...pain free for the first time in over 15 years!!!"
“I’ve suffered with back problems and pains for 15 years… I’d started to believe that this was going to be my lot. 6 months ago it got a lot worse. I was in huge amounts of pain and could barely get out of bed or rollover… From the very start my rehab exercises were tailored towards my injury and my goals… The exercises felt practical, relevant and pain free, giving me the motivation I needed… Ross’s holistic approach made me reassess and improve other aspects too, like food, sleep and rest, which really made a difference…Within weeks I felt the benefits, I was healing physically faster, and could handle more challenging training… I was also surprised at the improvement in my emotional state which really helped me with the recovery. In just a few months with Ross’ help and guidance I have overcome not only my acute injury but also feel stronger and completely pain free for the first time in over 15 years!!!
Hannah + Ross
“I’ve never climbed so strong!”
I came to Ross 6 weeks before a climbing trip to Kalymnos, with a shoulder that hurt and pinched when I lifted my arm above 30 degrees, often called a shoulder impingement and was ready to give up on climbing at all during the trip. Thanks to Ross’s positive attitude, holistic approach and a movement training programme designed specifically for me, I was climbing again within 5 weeks, had an epic trip, and was able to push my onsight grade. He analyses your movement, finds the source of injuries and creates a programme that focusses on weaknesses to align and strengthen the whole body, to solve the injury and make it less likely to reoccur. Even if you’re not currently injured, pay him a visit before an imbalance turns into an injury, I’ve never climbed so strong!”
Selina + Ross
“I can sit on the floor and play with my kids for hours with no pain”
I can touch my toes! That hasn’t been possible for years and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Training with Ross has left me fitter than I have ever been, more flexible than I ever imagined and so mentally and physically strong that my performance in every area of my life has improved. I can sit on the floor and play with my kids for hours with no pain, something I either avoided previously or put up with. Can’t ask for more than that.
James + Ross
"allow me to push past my perceived limits"
Having had hip surgery immediately turned previous trainers off working with me, which had quite an impact on my self confidence and outlook on training as a whole. From day 1 I knew working with Matt was going to be different. I straight away felt completely at ease in his presence, his openness and honesty let me know I could put my trust in him 100%. Matt’s patience and encouragement allow me to push past my perceived limits and achieve results I never thought I would get. Within 6 months of working with Matt my balance, flexibility, and hip pain had improved immensely along with managing to lose weight.
Rosemary + Matt
"I ticked my first and second f7A plus a handful of 6Cs”
My time climbing was characterised by sore shoulders and a recurrent shoulder impingement type niggle.  This meant weeks off climbing at times and certain moves I would totally avoid due to pain… When I went to see Ross, we looked deeper into my injuries and tested my whole body to discover patterns of weakness and strength. The initial phases were about building solid foundations. The exercises were fun and for the most part could be done at home or down the wall with minimal kit. I could finally train well, we added a tonne of strength, like going from 0 pull ups to doing 4 solid, and as a result, during a recent bouldering trip to Switzerland, I ticked my first and second f7A plus a handful of 6Cs, the hardest grade boulders I’ve ever sent so far.
Gabby + Ross
“I felt strong and enjoyed the extra stamina”
I’ve been a keen skier for decades, but with a niggly lower back and a sore shoulder holding me back not to mention a couple of ACL surgeries from my past… within 6 months I was moving better than in decades previously, feeling looser in my neck and shoulders and continuing to get ever stronger lifting weights I wouldn’t have dreamt of picking up. The ski season was great, I felt strong and enjoyed the extra stamina even, though tentatively, going off piste in heavy snow. Lugging skis around has become so much easier and I’ve got rid of my big clunky knee support and now wear just my foam Velcro strapping!
Jane + Ross
“I'm amazed with the results; my hip joints have been less painful this winter”
I’ve been suffering from arthritis since my mid-30’s and use exercise to avoid it getting worse. I’ve trained with Ross for a year now – the sessions are interesting and he still surprises me with new exercises that challenge me rather than just heavier weights. I’m amazed with the results; my hip joints have been less painful this winter, I’m more relaxed and even found I can sleep better. So in a series of small changes, via stretches, breaking full exercises into smaller movements and just making me aware of the situations we have begun to change these imbalances – over the period it has been an amazing difference to my mobility and pain levels.
Paul + Ross
"my very first v3 roof route!"
Xian is an encouraging and supportive coach and teacher. She got me through post-shoulder injury as a Pilates teacher, helping me recognise my weak areas and engage the right areas. Since recovering from my shoulder injury Xian has been coaching me in climbing and I've recently climbed my very first v3 roof route! She holds a wealth of knowledge on climbing technique and makes any problem achievable. I can't recommend her enough! My climbing has improved greatly, my shoulders are engaging in a way that they have never done before, and we have a great time!
Diane + Xian
“I’m now pushing through harder climbing moves without worrying”
“My shoulder had been bugging me for some time. It was getting progressively worse the more I was pulling on… It took a few months to really start being strong enough to take on the higher grades I had in mind, but incredibly I noticed improvements in my shoulder by the end of the first month, less pain and feeling way more solid! The added bonus was my achy back, which I had thought was just the way it is, was way less achy too! The best thing is I’m now pushing through harder climbing moves without worrying about my shoulder anymore.…I was blown away at how much variety and more enjoyable training can be.
Caroline + Ross
"injury-free within three months”
Xian is a very good climbing coach. She wrote me a training plan around four years ago when I was recovering from a finger injury. I had taken 18 months off climbing and still hadn't shaken the injury. The training plan led me to be injury-free within three months and I improved a lot as a climber after following Xian's plan. I think this was because: 1. Although Xian isn't a physio, she seemed to be very interested in reading about injuries, so she knew exactly how to rehab a persistent finger injury.
2. Xian watched me climbing for around an hour, and observed things about my climbing which no one had told me about before. She was clearly very analytical and observant. She then addressed my weaknesses in the training plan.
3. She is enthusiastic and friendly, which helps greatly when working with a coach. Overall, I could not recommend Xian more highly!
Patrick + Xian
"my shoulders and elbows feel better than ever"
I've suffered with elbow tendinitis and shoulders issues for the past 2 years. Climbing and even everyday tasks like washing my face would be something I dreaded due to the constant fear of pain and not being able to push my grade. After working with Ross to address these issues, I am now climbing pain free! This is all down to Ross's holistic approach, targeting not just my injuries, but their actual root causes. Focusing now on general strength training, my shoulders and elbows feel better than ever. I can try stronger, bigger moves, try harder and not have to worry about the niggling voice in the back of my head holding me back. P.S. The unintended benefit of being able to carry my pad without breaking a sweat or even multiple pads, makes long walks in a breeze!
Justin + Ross
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