Thursday, 16 August 2012

Craniosacral - could this treatment benefit you?

Craniosacral Therapy is attracting increasing interest for its gentle yet effective approach, working directly with the body’s natural capacity for self-repair to treat a wide range of conditions.

The name comes from the bones that help to make up the system – the skull including the face (the cranium) and the spinal column which extends to the sacrum.

The Cardio-vascular and respiratory systems (heart and lungs) are ones familiar to most of us, and like them, the cranio-sacral system also influences many body functions.

What happens during treatment?
Craniosacral therapy is a gentle technique. Benefits can be gained by applying as little as 5 grams of pressure (or the equivalent of the weight of a 20p piece).

At your first appointment you will be asked a range of questions about your health to establish whether your problem is likely to benefit from CST.

Treatment takes place with you fully clothed and normally with you lying on your back. Sessions can last from 30 minutes to 1 hour.

How does it work?
The positive effects of CST rely in the body’s ability to correct things that may be going wrong within itself. The light touch improves the movement within the cranio-sacral system, which can help release tight structures and promote the body’s healing.

Will it help me?
Because CST helps your body in healing itself, the scope of what you feel and the type of problems it may help with is very wide indeed. However, the majority of patients report an improvement in their symptoms - some after one session, others after several.

What can CsT help with?

Some of the most common difficulties that CST may help are:
·         Longstanding pain
·         Low energy levels
·         Migraines and headaches
·         Jaw problems (temporo-mandibular joint)
·         Neuralgia
·         Menstrual/menopausal problems

CST can also be very useful in newborn infant and childhood problems, for example:
·         Colic
·         Hyperactivity
·         Feeding/sleeping

Craniosacral Therapy has a very high success rate.
·         Increased sense of relaxation
·         Improvement of the symptoms you came to see the practitioner about - quite simply, you get better
·         Improvement of other symptoms. E.g someone coming for treatment for a bad back can find that, as well as their back pain easing, the migraines they have had for years have got better
·         Change in behaviour patterns
·         Greater capacity to manage life in general
·         Better management of specific disease symptoms
·         Reduced stress
·         Improvement of psychological issues
·         Reduction of effects of past trauma
·         Improved sense of well-being

For the minority, where rapid results cannot be achieved, we can refer you for the following:
·         MRI and other scanning
·         Consultant opinion
·         Ergonomic advice
·         Work-place assessment
·         Rehabilitation facilities

If you would like to make an appointment with Vicky Smith, please contact our Durham, Newcastle or Gateshead Clinic. If you are unsure whether CST is appropriate for you either speak to your Connect Physiotherapist or call our reception team and ask about Craniosacral therapy.

Contact details
Newcastle Clinic t: 0191 213 5116
Gateshead Clinic t: 0191 491 1808
Durham Clinic t: 0191 491 1808

60 minutes £80.00
30 minutes £46.00

Monday’s 5.30pm - 8.00pm
t: 0191 491 1808

Low Fell

Wednesday’s 5.30pm - 8.00pm
t: 0191 491 1808


Saturday’s 9.00am -12.00pm
t: 0191 213 5116

Visit our website -

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Chapter 3 - Has Graeme got talent?!

Well Hockey has started and you may have seen me at the first game- always bad news for someone. I always had the reputation - "not on my shift" in rugby but first game of Olympics blows that. Had 4 hours sleep on Sunday night sorting things out but hopefully there will be a happy ending.

The village is full now; even the Yanks are here - but no GBR athletics yet! Breakfast with Ryan Giggs and Craig Bellamy is commonplace. No sign of USB yet!  We did however have the Queen visit the Hockey accommodation with Prince Philip and Princess Anne. Sadly my Royal appointment will have to wait as her visit coincided with the Hockey Medical meeting so I missed it.
Wasn’t the Opening Ceremony Fab?! Having expected to watch it on TV from the village, we unexpectedly received the call-up to go and be in the audience - in some ways a better deal than the marching athletes who wait around until 10pm to meet and then waited 2 hours before coming in for the speeches!.

It was as good as it looked. We were behind Mr Bean and right next to Arctic Monkeys / Paul McCartney.  A few celebs came to meet me as picture three demonstrates.  Odd really, I was in Team GB gear and so she was interested in us as the centre of attention. I won’t disclose what she whispered in my ear when she found out I was a Doctor - not at least here!

PS on the team photo I am the parrot!

Dr Graeme Wilkes
Clinical Lead
Consultant in Sports & Exercise Medicine
Connect Physical Health

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Chapter 2 - The 'Doc' report - Olympic Village: High quality H2O

High quality H20
I have been in the olympic village for a few days now and I am now finding my way around. It is becoming busier with more athletes arriving by the hour. We had the GB Official welcome ceremony which I think was broadcast live. I was stood next to Andy Murray 3 weeks after watching him on Centre Court at Wimbledon! Tom Daley is in my block so see him around a lot. Met up with Andrew Sullivan, the GB Basketball captain who I know from his Newcastle Eagles days.

Hockey guys and gals are a good bunch, they have each had a practice match versus New Zealand and the Women have a game tomorrow vs. Germany, again a practice. My main job is filling their water bottles - it’s not all glamorous!

It has been so hot - 31 degrees for the girl’s game. Lots of water-bottle filling! Attached is a picture of the village - very smart and well kept. All the athletes love it. There are street stalls all around with various foods and drinks - all free! It would be very easy to put on many pounds!! Pictures included are of the central area of the village and the hockey stadium - my home for 2 weeks.

I managed to sweet talk my way into the last 30 minutes of the full dress rehearsal for the Opening Ceremony last night - 80,000 people were there - they invited volunteers who weren’t chosen to work. It was amazing, I have pictures but everyone has promised not to send out.

The first hockey mnatch is on Sunday, GB Women vs Japan at 7pm - watch it on the red button!

Dr Graeme Wilkes
Clinical Lead
Consultant in Sports & Exercise Medicine
Connect Physical Health

Monday, 23 July 2012

Day 1 – The ‘Doc’ report from the Olympic Village. London 2012

Our Clinical Lead, Dr Graeme Wilkes was selected as the GB Hockey Doctor. Graeme will be sending us updates and photos of life at the Olympics.

A room with a view
As I wake up and look out of the window, there is the Olympic stadium in all its glory.  I arrived yesterday with the GB Men; The GB Ladies come back in today having had three days here last week. The Athlete village is awesome, with the sunny weather you could be anywhere in the world.

My first visit to the Dining Hall was an experience. It takes a full 3 minutes to walk end to end and it’s a square! MacDonald’s in the corner which is free but no chips!!

Picture of view from our apartment attached. The GB Headquarters is naturally placed with best outlook. We have unique access to our own Performance Centre/ Medical Quarters which is huge - no other nation will have such a facility - another advantage of home nation.

Today there are three training sessions and I will get my first experience of the Hockey stadium with its pink and blue pitch!

Can’t wait!!!!

Dr Graeme Wilkes
Clinical Lead
Consultant in Sports & Exercise Medicine
Connect Physical Health

Monday, 16 July 2012

NEW facilities - Durham Physiotherapy & Sports Injury Clinic

NEW £6.7m Facilities @ Maiden Castle – Home to our Durham Physiotherapy & Sports Injury Clinic!
Location: Graham Sports Centre, Maiden Castle. Durham. DH1 3SE
Call 0191 491 1808
Open to the Public and Students
Originally opened in 1997 by Kenny Dalglish, the Manager of Newcastle United FC at the time, our Durham clinic is located within the Graham Sports Centre at Maiden Castle, on the Southern edge of Durham city.  The University owned Graham Sports Centre has recently undergone a major transformation following a £6.7 million investment.  The brand new facilities in the Graham’s Sport Centre were officially opened by the Minister for Sport and the Olympics, Hugh Robertson, MP, on Tuesday 21st February 2012.

Connect’s Physiotherapy & Sports Injury Clinic is accommodated in 3 state of the art individual treatment rooms and our clinicians also have access to the excellent rehab facilities and gym, making it the leading sports injury and physio clinic in DurhamPlease contact our friendly, knowledgeable reception team to discuss how our chartered physiotherapists and clinical specialists can help with all your Durham physio needs!

Services include:
·        Physiotherapy (All musculoskeletal conditions – all ages & levels!)
·        Sports Injury
·        Acupuncture
·        Kinesio Taping
·        Injection therapy
·        Rehabilitation
·        Deep Tissues Sports Massage
·        Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massage
·        Podiatry
·        Core Stability Classes

0191 491 1808
Visit the 'Clinics' page on our website to register for £5 discount of your initial physioterapy appointment:
(View a video of the new facilities via our website blog page - PhysioTube)

MSK (Musculoskeletal) Evening Seminar - Cervical Spine Assessment

MSK (Musculoskeletal) Evening Seminar: CERVICAL SPINE ASSESSMENT: ‘An Evidence Based Approach’

Topics include:

  • Cervical Artery/VBI
  • Upper Cervical Instability
  • Cervical Nerve Root Impingement
  • Cervical Facet Joint Pathology
Date:Tuesday 21st August 2012

Time:6.00pm – 9.00pm (refreshments provided)

Venue:Trinity Church (Opposite Connect Clinic). High Street, Gosforth. Newcastle. NE3 4AG
Alex Seward, Clinical Specialist in Physiotherapy. Connect Physical Health
Cost: £30 payable at time of booking.

Places are strictly limited to 15 due to the practical nature of the seminar.

To book: Contact Vera Nichol on 0191 213 5116 or via email

ESP MSK (Musculoskeletal) Interest Group

Connect are pleased to announce the details of our MSK Interest Group tailored specifically to the needs of ESPs or Clinical Specialists.


·       To understand differential diagnosis of pathology that can arise as a result of “inversion injury”

·       To recognise when to refer an acute ankle sprain for an X-ray or to Trauma Orthopaedics for suspected fracture based on knowledge of Ottawa Rules

·       To gain greater insight into when to escalate patients care and when/what to image if not making adequate progress after ankle sprain

·       To understand predisposing factors of patients who develop CAI and neuromuscular factors associated with ankle instability recurrence

·      To encourage re-evaluation of rehabilitation of first time ankle sprains and CAI patients to reflect research into physiotherapy practice

·       To understand the different surgical options

Tuesday 31st July 2012

6.30pm – 8.00pm (refreshments provided)

Trinity Church (Opposite Connect Clinic) High Street, Gosforth. Newcastle. NE3 4AG

Mr David Townshend, FRCS (Orth) Consultant Trauma & Orthopaedic Surgeon. Northumbria NHS
Health Care Trust.
Aimee Robson, MSc, MCSP, Clinical Manager, Connect Physical Health

£10.00 (payable at time of booking)

To book:
Contact Vera Nichol on 0191 213 5116 or via email

Monday, 11 June 2012

Get your go faster stripes this summer with Kinesio taping...

Connect are one of only a handful of clinics within the North East offering this innovative new taping technique.

Made popular by David Beckham, Lance Armstrong and the Serena Williams the tape is now synonymous with elite athletes wanting to manage injuries whilst still competing.

Kinesio taping works by 4 main functions:
  1. PAIN- Reduces pain by taking pressure off pain receptors
  2. LYMPHATIC- Eliminates lymphatic fluid haematomas beneath the skin
  3. JOINT - Adjusts mis-alignment to ais fascia and muscle function
  4. MUSCLE- Reconditions abnormal tension and strengthens the muscle.
Kinesio is effective for a range of sporting injuries including achilles tendonitis, plantarfasciitis, knee pain, tennis elbow and back pain. Your clinician will fully assess your injury and in addition to kinesio taping may offer a variety of treatments such as acupuncture, electrotherapy, massage and manipulation.

So whatever your injury, Connect's Physiotherapy & Sports Injury Clinics will have you strapped up and back in the game in no time!

Gosforth - 0191 213 5116
Durham & Low Fell - 0191 491 1808

Nick Livadas BSc MSc
Senior Physiotherapist & Approved Kinesio Practitioner
Connect Physical Health