MEET OUR PHYSIO TEAM

Craig Coulson – Elmwood Physiotherapy

So why physiotherapy? Was there a moment you thought, this is for me?

Honestly, I can’t remember exactly what it was that got me thinking about Physiotherapy. I have always loved sport and being active. I studied A-level P.E. at Greenhead College, which introduced me to biomechanics and movement analysis, I guess I was hooked from then.

Where did you study?

Northumbria University Newcastle is where I got my Physiotherapy Degree.

In the early days of your career and studying, did you have any interesting work placements?

I have done placements all over the North East and even as far west as Whitehaven. Experience is so important, seeing a variety of conditions in as many settings as possible, although I am pretty sure I would not have said that at the time. Newcastle was a great city to live in and being dragged away on placement whilst my mates were “out on the Toon” didn’t seem fair.

Where are you based now?

I have my own clinic ‘Elmwood Physiotherapy’, based in Holmfirth.

What do you most enjoy about working in physiotherapy and sports rehabilitation?

Working with people is great, helping them improve and achieve their goals is even better! Exercise is so important for all of our physical and mental health. Helping people understand their bodies and how they work lets them get the most out of themselves. In my world this can be as varied as smashing a drive over 300 yards or simply achieving a sit to stand.

What is the most common injury you come across day to day?

Lower back pain still tops the charts. We were never designed to sit at computers as long as we do (he says whilst sat typing this at his computer)!

How would you best describe the movement of a golf swing?

Depends on whose swing we are talking about?!!! So, I guess ‘unique’! What I love about the golf swing is the incredible club head speeds in contrast to the relative control and slow speeds at your centre.

What would be the biggest piece of advice from a physical aspect you could offer a young golfer starting out?

Get some advice from a health professional who has experience in dealing with golfers. Most keen golfers know they need to work on the physical side of their game but not many know how to make that specific to golf or their own individual requirements. Please don’t just go to the gym and smash out bicep curls!

What inspired you to support the 2020protour this coming year?

Any chance I get to work with Chris is always a pleasure and I know he will do everything he can to make 2020protour a success. The main reason is supporting the concept. I love the idea and will do what I can to help make it work.

Having both worked with golfers from amateur level to European Tour do you see many similarities in body movement?

Body movement is unique to the individual, which is what keeps our job interesting. I have been blown away by what elite sports people are capable of, but also amazed by what they can’t do and still get the job done! One of the tell-tale signs of working with someone who plays a lot of golf is the asymmetry associated with their swing. I still love the idea of Vijay Singh smashing his left-handed 7 iron at the end of a long practice session to try and counter this!

What is your first golfing memory, personal or televised?

My earliest memories of golf were watching Nick Faldo on T.V. My favourite memory was watching the first professional golfer I ever worked with smash one down the fairway off the first tee at The Open. Hopefully I will get the chance to watch some of the other golfers I have worked with tee it up on the 2020protour.


Michael Murray – MM Physiotherapy

So why physiotherapy? Was there a moment you thought, this is for me?

Following a career path into professional football from leaving school at 16, I was introduced to the value Physiotherapy had on treatment of injury, prevention and rehabilitation. At 20 years of age I dropped into semi-professional football and began my degree to become a Physiotherapist. I believed it was the perfect career move for me as it encompassed all aspects of what I enjoyed whilst playing professional sport in regards to strength, conditioning as well as hands on therapy treatment I knew was essential from my own previous injuries. I feel my background has given me a greater understanding of the needs, wants and expectations of athletes. 

Where did you study?

I studied at Salford University via a pathway with the PFA (Professional Footballers Association) on a part time course which enabled me to play football semi-professionally and also work and gain experience working in a gym as a personal trainer. It was a pretty tough four years, as I never experienced the student lifestyle having to work and compete on a part time basis still as a player but it completely worth it.

In the early days of your career and studying, did you have any interesting work placements?

My favourite placements during my Physiotherapy degree were in professional sport but also working in more humble community settings that ensured you can treat and adapt to everyone in any setting.

Where are you based now?

I work out of my private practice with my team in Todmorden, West Yorkshire and also my new clinic in Clitheroe, Ribble Valley. I am proud to have an extensive list of 22 rehabilitation sessions for our patients that we run at our Todmorden clinic every week, including Pilates, yoga, S&C, spin and also reformer rehabilitation sessions. Concise, well directed rehabilitation is the key to recovering from and preventing any injury! 

What do you most enjoy about working in physiotherapy and sports rehabilitation?

I mostly enjoy the outcomes following the process put in place with my patients. Whether the individual has pain or looking at working on a performance related restriction or weakness, the end product and improvements achieved is always the most enjoyable point. Though in professional sport the end product never ends as there is always room for improvement.

What is the most common injury you come across day to day?

Without doubt lower back pain; if I was to give any advice to anyone suffering lower back ache, pain or feel they have issues with their posture, don’t ignore it and source good Physiotherapy input to address your spinal imbalances. Inevitably all spinal injuries are caused by imbalance and it’s a ticking time bomb to potentially a more severe injury, get it looked at ASAP!

How would you best describe the movement of a golf swing?

Kinematic sequence! Helping find the most efficient way to each player’s perfect kinematic sequence is the key part of my role in a professional golfer’s team.

What would be the biggest piece of advice from a physical aspect you could offer a young golfer starting out?

I would advise seeing a golf specific Physiotherapist as early as possible for a screening to ensure you have the correct guidance and tailored exercise programme to address your imbalances. From an early age I would always put emphasis on good mobility and stability to ensure they have the ability to connect and disconnect segments of the body.

What inspired you to support the 2020protour this coming year?

I wanted to support Chris and Adam with the 2020 tour as it’s a superb platform for all professional golfers and also an opportunity to be part of a great team involved with the 2020 tour. I know the importance of Physiotherapy in golf from working with tour professionals. Being on site for pre round treatment and advice at the events will enable the tour to provide more support to its members at each event. 

Having both worked with golfers from amateur level to European Tour do you see many similarities in body movement?

I’d say if anything the similarities fall with the potential weaknesses which are usually around the pelvis and glutes. Tightness is commonly in the posterior chain, back and hamstrings mainly. These two issues work hand in hand and are key to improving for both amateur and professional. Inevitably, each player is unique and individual which is why it’s key to assess and tailor their needs to their swing whilst liaising with their swing coach.

What is your first golfing memory, personal or televised?

It was watching Tiger win the 1997 Masters. I was lucky enough to grow up watching a golden era of golf in which Tiger took the game to a new level and still continues to do. Seeing the sport evolve to a completely new level was inspiring and it made me take up golf and work hard on my own game to get as low as a 1 handicap.

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