Hannah’s in her Prime…

24May - by Tim - 4 - In Club talk

But giving into the nighttime
Ain’t no cure for the pain
You gotta wade into the water
You gotta learn to live again

And reach out for her healing hands
Reach out for her healing hands
There’s a light, where the darkness ends
Touch me now and let me see again
Rock me now in your gentle healing hands

Elton John – Healing Hands

Head Physio at Coventry Rugby Club and Clinical Lead at Prime – Hannah Walker

Whenever I hear mention of Hannah Walker’s name, I often picture her sprinting onto the pitch at the first sign of any injury to a Cov player, more often than not whilst play is still continuing and regardless of how close to the action she is.

First there, committed, professional…

When not administering treatment during a game, she’s often walking the touchline keeping up with the play, constantly scanning the team for any sign that a player’s injured or in distress.

Whenever she spots something off she goes, quicker than a robber’s dog.

She’s also always at hand should there be a significant injury to an opposition player and on several occasions her assistance has been gratefully acknowledged by opposing teams via Twitter on a match day.Several players have been indebted to her quick thinking over the last couple of seasons, as indeed has the odd spectator.

I don’t say this lightly, but in my 55 plus years of watching Cov I am struggling to even remember any previous physios by name, let alone comment on their impact on Cov’s performance over the season and certainly there’s never been one so popular and well-loved as Hannah. That’s not to dismiss the valuable contributions made by previous physios, it’s just a recognition that as a supporter it’s obvious just what an influence Hannah has had on the team over the past two seasons.

I do remember Jackie (sp?) in the Eves’ era, but that was for different reasons…

Cov’s Head Physiotherapist has been a key member of the Coventry management team for the past two seasons and her role in the club’s success is one that shouldn’t be understated.

Like Max Hartman, Head of Rehab and Conditioning, Hannah has worked extensively with players behind the scenes to make sure that injured players are given the best possible opportunities to return to full fitness and she’s helped turn the club’s medical facilities not only into the envy of other clubs in National One, but also put on a par with the best in the Championship as well.

Jon Sharp remarked in his excellent contribution to the CRSC’s ‘In Touch’ newsletter that during a recent visit to the BPA by representatives of the Championship Committee, the Vice Chairman was:

entirely satisfied (with facilities generally) and he had focussed particularly on the medical room

The role of the Supporters’ Club has been instrumental in providing the equipment now available to Hannah and her team (something that has been rightly highlighted elsewhere) but, without her drive and vision, change might have come a lot less quickly.

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Injuries this season to players like Pete White, Heath Stevens and Alex Grove could have resulted in all three being out of action far longer than was the case had it not been for the work done initially by Hannah and her team to get then back on their feet and, following that, by Max and his team to ensure they were ready to return, often well ahead of any initial prognosis.

Hannah has revolutionised the treatment offered by the club to its injured players and long gone are the days when players would have to wait for a hospital appointment before being seen by a specialist following an in-game injury.

And when there’s a serious injury, Hannah will invariably go to the hospital with the player concerned however much of her Saturday evening/Sunday morning that might involve, as well as attend follow-up appointments and meetings with specialists.

Her work with Professor Belli in connection with the RECOS project (REpetitive COncussion in Sport) has been well documented elsewhere and indeed in this blog (Concussion testing – Cov well ahead of the game), and is indirectly helping provide players nationally and internationally with greater protection from head injuries, one of the major concerns of the modern game.

All this and so, so much more.

Hannah’s influence on the well-being of the players, and therefore on the club itself, is massive.

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However, this post is not so much about her work with the club but more the support she is happy to offer to the wider community, including supporters whether young or old, or those in between.

Prime offers the same facilities given to the players ensuring the best care is available.

As well as taking on the role of Head Physio at Coventry Rugby Club, Hannah is also the clinical lead at Prime, a Physiotherapy and Sports’ Injury Clinic based at the Butts Park Arena.

Whilst the title might suggest it’s there solely for the benefit of the young and active, nothing could be further from the truth and given both my mum and my wife have benefited from Hannah’s expertise in recent weeks, I thought I’d unashamedly give both Prime and Hannah a mention.

My mum, a nonagenarian, broke her hip this time last year and, after an unfortunate misdiagnosis, has been pretty much house-bound ever since.

Sue, by her own admission one of the least sporty people you’ll ever have the pleasure to meet, suffers from muscular problems in her neck and shoulders.

Both have seen Hannah on several occasions now and both are really pleased with the progress they are making, so much so that I believe it’s important to flag up the work Hannah does outside of her involvement with the rugby club so that others can take advantage should they so wish. There must be many other supporters, or friends and family of supporters, who would benefit in a similar way but who are probably unaware of Prime or, indeed, of Hannah’s involvement in it.

That said, I know of one or two supporters who have used Prime in recent months and all speak very highly of Hannah and the treatment they’ve received.

Thanks to the Supporters’ Club there it’s a newer, shinier environment

It’s worth mentioning that it is a private clinic, so there is a payment attached to the treatment but having looked around, Prime are extremely competitive and given that it’s Hannah who you’d probably be seeing, the level of expertise is as good as it gets. You know in advance that you’ll be  receiving the highest standards of care available and that ensures peace of mind which is hard to place a value on.

So, if you’ have got any concerns about an injury that won’t go away or a niggling pain that seems to be getting worse and you’ve put off being treated because you don’t fancy the visit to the doctors, the long wait for an appointment and all the hassle of attending an out-patients, then Prime might be the answer you’re looking for.

Parking is easy and, as is the case with mum, if walking is an issue it’s possible to drive up almost to the door so there is minimal walking required.

No long wait, appointments to suit and always that warm and welcoming smile…although don’t be too fooled by the greeting, apparently Hannah is ‘one tough cookie’ according to mum following a particularly demanding session. Obviously Hannah’s work at Cov is a priority but she has time during the week that she can make available to anyone she might see through Prime.

Anyone who suffers from one or more of the following might benefit from a visit to Prime:

  • arthritis
  • back and neck pain
  • whiplash
  • post-op rehabilitation
  • joint problems
  • muscle and/or soft tissue injury

as well as anyone requiring:

  • injury assessment and rehab

In short, anything musculoskeletal (I think that’s the right term!).

In a earlier life, Hannah worked for 10 years in the NHS in Birmingham, providing care for all age groups, from new-born babies to those of a similar age to mum and even older and dealing with all sorts of medical problems, so she has plenty of experience behind her.

Normally, receiving treatment from an experienced head physio attached to one of the top rugby clubs in the country isn’t something that would perhaps spring to mind, but the opportunity is available for anyone who feels it’s time to get something done about an ache or pain that they’ve been putting up with for far too long when really there’s no need.

It’s something of a no-brainer, really.

Getting in touch with Hannah is easy to do – see below. (I asked her permission to write this and she’s said it would be fine to include a contact number/email).

Equally importantly, Hannah has developed strong links with local orthopaedic consultants and can offer advice and recommendations as to the best way of making a referral if that is necessary/required, something which could potentially by-pass long waiting times elsewhere.

It would be good to see more supporters, as well as those in the local community, make use of Prime. Hannah has dedicated herself to the club whilst also trying to develop a career outside of it, and indeed of sport generally, should it ever be needed and certainly it’s great if we can support her in her endeavours whilst also benefiting at the same time.

Her professionalism in her role as Head Physio at Coventry is there for all to see and there must be many amongst the Coventry fan-base who would benefit from that expertise as well…

That opportunity now exists and certainly both mum and Sue are extremely grateful that it does.

I know Hannah would be more than happy to answer any questions about Prime and the services available, so why not get in contact with her on:

07901 910910

or via email:

Hannah@primephysiotherapy.co.uk

Further details can be found via clicking on:

Prime

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Sue wanted me to go for ‘Dem Bones.

You know the one:

The foot bone connected to the leg bone,
The leg bone connected to the knee bone,
The knee bone connected to the thigh bone,
The thigh bone connected to the back bone,
The back bone connected to the neck bone,
The neck bone connected to the head bone…

but I wouldn’t buy it, so here’s Elton John and ‘Healing Hands’

 

 

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4 thoughts on “Hannah’s in her Prime…”

  1. Another really lovely article, informative and with a point behind it. All helping to foster the club and community spirit! On the topic of previous physios though, Hannah has something to follow…. for those who remember Harry Goodman, always on the end of team photos in the 60’s – I have a few, (I’ll dig one out to try on my new wireless scanner.) and post it somewhere. But the point I am coming to is he didn’t need all these new gadgets and training, he had what we used to call the ‘magic sponge’. One wipe from that and most things were cured, bumps, bruises, broken limbs, you name it and within two minutes the player was up and running again. Amazing. I think the ice cold water in the bucket had something to do with it. I’m not sure this regime would be suitable these days though……

    1. Hi Kevin – thank you for your kind words!
      Harry Goodman – yes I do remember the name but would never have done so without a reminder. This might seem an odd thing to write but I have a vague recollection, which might be purely a confused memory, of a sponge man (it might well have been Harry) collapsing in front of the main stand and sadly passing away? As I say, it might just be a confused childhood memory but…
      The magic sponge worked wonders but I’m not sure whether players were rehabilitated quite so quickly back then as they are today without putting them at even greater risk of further injury?

  2. I think CRSC members get a discount on the initial consultation Tim? You are right, Hannah is very switched on during match days and obviously very skilled and dedicated. Physiotherapy seems to have come on a long way in recent years and it is good to see a lot of women are involved in rugby and football. Thankfully, gone are the days when the Physio on match day was a guy with a freezing cold bucket of water and a sponge. The old magic sponge.

  3. Hannah was my choice for club person of the year, she is so aware of how players are reacting on the pitch during the game and is “off” like a greyhound as soon as an injury arises.

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