Category Archives: Neck Pain

Physio for knee problem #02

I returned to John for my third physio session this week and we continued to explore the causes and effects of my postural imbalance.

In the week I had been returning to the gym and found that, whilst there have been dramatic and notable improvements in my squat, which had been fairly reduced before, I was still having difficulty at the very extremes of my movement. I found that, when rowing for example, I was able to achieve a very “tucked up’ position only after easing my knee into the posture over a period of about 30 seconds.

I had also been biking, partly on John’s recommendation, as this allows fluid to flow around the knee and promotes recovery. I am finding cycling to be fine, with no real discomfort except upon extreme hills – which I am still avoiding for this reason. Occasionally I experience stiffness the next day but this is only equivalent to what I experience when sat stationary for an hour or two.
Once again John performed some manipulations, this time on my neck. This was both an alarming and enjoyable procedure; I’ve never heard my neck make so many cracks before, yet I felt as though a lot of built up tension had been released. This too had a remarkable and instantaneous effect upon my flexibility.

Towards the end of the session we practised walking and running. It seems that, due to the muscular imbalance in my body, I over-rely upon my IT band for walking and thus my hip rotates forwards. I was shown how to become aware of this and told to practise on an ergo-rower, treadmill or when walking and running.

Climber’s story #01

I’ve visited John in the past for knee issues but this time I was desperate…..

In this picture; tight muscles and ligaments on the front of the LEFT thigh are forcing the spine to overwork
Back & Pelvis biomechanics causing back and hip pain

It all started last summer on a trip to Montenegro. It was a pretty active trip – climbing mountains, rafting, sea kayaking. Halfway through the trip I started to experience extreme pain in the left side of my ribs and abdomen. The pain was so bad I made two trips to the local hospitals – an interesting but fruitless experience. Back in the UK, I was poked and prodded. An x-ray, ultrasound and bloods revealed nothing. A viral infection of my intercostal muscles was the doctor’s diagnosis. It would pass. I stopped climbing (my favourite hobby) and tried a chiropracter. After a few painful weeks it had receded to a twinge but never went away.
> Then at Christmas my body started to misbehave again. This time the rib pain came back but it was accompanied by the emergence of painful lumps on my left hamstring. What next I thought? I’ve always been a healthy active person, and I’m only 35 but now I was anxious. Back at the doctors I had more tests, more scans, but still nothing. I left the doctors with no diagnosis and no follow-up planned, but still in pain.
> This is the point at which I found myself back at John’s clinic. Perhaps he could help. We discussed my history and my job, which is desk based but involves lots of travel up to London for meetings. The first thing John did was a bit of a mechanical review. He checked my posture. My head is sitting further forward than it should giving me a round shouldered effect. My range of movement rotating to the right is limited and my left hip flexor is really tight. John thought there may be problems at the top and bottom of my spine, both musculoskeletal and nerve related. The side pain could simply be because this is the area that has been forced to compensate for all the weaknesses elsewhere. He even thinks that the hamstring lumps could be the result of toxins being “dumped” here from other parts of my body.
> I was relieved that there could be light at the end of the tunnel. John performed a few manipulations and treatments and there was an improvement in my range of movement by the end of the session. He gave me some exercises to do and was confident that he can help me. But I know I have to put in the work and make the exercises part of my daily routine. We agreed to arrange another session and I left Moti a little lighter and a lot less anxious than when I arrived.

Knee pain not from bad knees #02

Knee pain…not from bad knees:

After practicing dynamic sitting I found out in my session today there is still lots to learn. Engaging the right shoulder muscles, moving my neck back, sitting on my sitbones…

We started with lots of stretching on the neck. For a 22 year old my neck is uncommonly tight, but re-attempting dynamic sitting seemed to make me much less stiff.

My new homework on top of dynamic sitting is to practice stretching my neck- chin to chest, while resting my head on some books. Lots of fun to be had!

Student Discount Physio in Bristol – £33

Discount Physio for Students in Bristol
Discount Physio for Students in Bristol

Student Discount Physio in Bristol

Tins of beans for dinner, studying and recycled toilet paper. Its tough being a student, so we thought we’d make life that little bit easier….

Bring along your student card and receive your physio treatment for as little as £33*.

Book online 24/7 or drop-in in person to the AAA-Physio Clinic @ Moti Running Store, 49 Whiteladies Road (Near The BBC)

*T&C’s apply – Pre-booking & payment essential.
£33 is the price for a 30 minute follow up appointment

Screen shot of the AAA-Physio booking using our online diary
Simple booking using our online diary

This entry was posted in ankle, groin injury, heel pain, Neck Pain, overuse injury, pain – lower limb, Physio in Bristol, Plantar Fasciitis, run off road, Shoulder Physio Expert, Sports & running injury and tagged ankle and knee pain, Bristol half marathon, bristol physio, BS6, BS7, BS8, BS9, groin strain, help with running, Knee Pain, off peak discount, Shin pain and shin splints, sports injury clinic, Sports Injury Clinic in Bristol, student discount physio on by physiojohn.


Posture and stability training for teenagers

These drills from The Running School (R) , have great potential for improving the trunk and lower limb strength and stability in a range of age groups.

I can see this style of exercise being particulary effective and engaging for teenagers. JS Physio MSc

Bristol Physio John Stephenson has been providing movement retraining courses for Health Professionals & Physiotherapists since 1999. He also works on a 1:1 basis with private clients wishing to improve their low back stability and running efficiency. Or for a more gentle introduction, ask about the Walk:BacK & Row:BacK programmes!
Book a consultation or free minute open clinic online:

Student Discount Physio

Tins of beans for dinner, studying and recycled toilet paper. Its tough being a student, so we thought we’d make life that little bit easier….

Bring along your student card and receive your physio treatment for as little as £33*.

Book online 24/7 or drop-in in person to the AAA-Physio Clinic @ Moti Running Store, 49 Whiteladies Road (Near The BBC)

*T&C’s apply – Pre-booking & payment essential.
£33 is the price for a 30 minute follow up appointment

How to keep up with the kids and defeat ageing #1


Runner good technique on hill
Keep on running

Problem – I think I do a good level of exercise, 3-4 hours a week, often including 10-15 miles (running) off-road, I also do circuits at least once a week, in the hope that it will keep the body in shape, and that I can keep up with the kids and defeat ageing, while enjoying the countryside west of Bristol.

However, every couple of years the body rebels and all sorts of random parts of the body rebel. Back – Knees – Ankle – Neck

Treatment – ring John @AAA-Physio and get myself booked in. Somehow he identifies which bits of my back are the root cause and tells me I don’t sit properly at my desk. He also finds aches I didn’t know I had. A few crunches and 24 hours of thinking not much has changed… ..the old body is revived!

1) I really should stretch more often & use free the exercise sheets on John’s website
2) I shouldn’t wait till my backs ceases up or a muscle locks up before seeing John
3) Chasing balls is for dogs and not middle aged men!

Black Cocker Spaniel
Ideal Ball chaser – Spaniel not Human.

Dancing Fit – 1

I’ve been a client of John’s for some years now.  I first went to see John back when he was based at Bristol University’s gym, through a friend’s recommendation (my dance partner in fact!).  I went to see him as I was getting knee pain from training for the half marathon (turned out it was related to my back!).  After that I kept going back to improve my technique for running, but also to help with my dancing.  I was really happy with how it was going and was learning a lot, so I was really gutted when I found out John was no longer working at the University gym

Luckily I tracked him down again (again, through my dance partner).  Just in time too as I was now suffering from back problems.  By this time, I was now working and spending a lot of time sitting in front a computer.   I was also not dancing as regularly as I used to as I was no longer competing (I used to compete as an amateur latin ballroom dancer so was dancing for 2 hours at least 3 times week).   Perhaps it’s just age but I just feel stiffer than I used to be.  With John, we came up with some exercises that I could do, mainly centred around strengthening my core and articulating my spine.

So, I went to see John on Monday after a 6 month gap.  When I last saw John, it was about my neck pain which I had sustained after turning suddenly whilst having my arms stretched out front (OMG, every part of me is just falling apart since I stopped dancing!). I had been meaning to return for a general “checkup” as my neck, although much better than it was compared to when I first went to John about it, was still not 100% back to what it was.  Well another  injury sustained to my neck on Sunday finally spurred me on to make that appointment.  Luckily, I was able to book the appointment late sunday night due to the online booking system John uses.

John worked his usual magic and helped free up my neck and upper spine.  I instantly felt a difference and more free.  John also did his usual test of lifting one leg and then the other and as suspected, the left leg didn’t lift as high (my neck pain was on my left).   This was resolved immediately after treatment – I still find it amazing how instant the result is.  Now I just need to book a follow up appointment……….