Let me Re-Introduce myself
My name's Maxine. I am a Chartered Physiotherapist, have been for almost 11 years! And I also specialise in Veterinary Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation. The past year has been slightly crazy to say the least, whilst most others have not been working due to the pandemic I have been on maternity leave, pretty good timing in the grand scheme of things, now life is beginning its gradual return to norm, it is time for me to get back to work as well. So I would like to take this moment to to re-introduce myself. Here is a short interview all about me! Enjoy!
Where did it all start?
Well, I wanted to work with animals, but didn't want to be a vet and I would never have made it as a groom due to my terrible plaiting/clipping general lack if tidiness! At the time my horse was undergoing treatment for annular ligament desmotomy (then later a superficial. . .and then a deep, flexor tendon tear) so I was hugely involved in her rehabilitation and I absolutely loved it!
Then, one day at school I was scrolling through the jobs list on the school computer (after inserting the floppy disc. . . .Yes I am old!) and I found an article on Veterinary Physiotherapy. The vet treating my horse advised the best route to do veterinary physiotherapy would be to do human physio first. So I thought fair enough, I like sport, I could do that. I applied to 6 Universities and failed to get into any of them (I somehow got a U (as in UNGRADED) on my Biology exam). So never one to give up hope, I worked for a year as a rehabilitation assistant, before completing an Access to Science course before finally getting into the University of Brighton in 2006.
What qualifications do you have?
I qualified as as a Chartered Physiotherapist in 2009. I worked at the University Hospitals of Leicester for 3 years, completing my junior rotations in MSK, Neuro, Respiratory, Medicine and Elderly Rehab. From there I decided it was time to do my MSc in Veterinary Physiotherapy and joined the course at Hartpury College, then underseen by the University of West England in 2012. Gaining my Post-Graduate Diploma in 2014 and joining ACPAT. After that I took a year out to practice, working with a well known Veterinary Physiotherapist in the Rutland area as well as at Dovecote Veterinary Referral Hospital. Before returning and completing my MSc Research project, which can be found here https://www.huntshillphysio.co.uk/blogvetphysio/archive/2015/11 and gaining my MSc in Veterinary Physiotherapy in 2016. I am also a member of RAMP (Register of Animal Musculoskeletal practitioners) and HCPC (Health Care and Professionals Council)
What are the similarities and differences between working with different species?
I think you would be surprised at the amount of similarities there actually are. The basis of our anatomy is the same, the make up of our tendons and muscles. Tissue responds in the
same way between the species. Where it becomes difficult is in prescribing exercises. In people we can be so specific with the targeted muscle groups, we can tell people not to go over a certain amount of pain and make sure that it is adhered to. In animals however our exercises are often much more global, we have to rely on owners to be aware of the smallest changes in behaviour and modify our treatment in accordance to that. There is also far more research in human based therapy. As a Chartered Physiotherapist we pride ourselves on being evidenced based, and whilst there is a growing body of evidence for physiotherapy in veterinary practice it is still tiny by comparison to human practice. As a result of a lot of my work is extrapolated from my knowledge as a human physiotherapist to apply appropriately to the animals.
What species do you like to treat the most?
I get asked this quite a lot. I actually enjoy having the variety. I like the challenge of having to apply my knowledge in lots of different ways. I like the autonomy we have when treating people, I can assess diagnose and treat all in one session, I like that I can be targeted with my prescribed exercises and I like that exercises are often adhered to. I love being around horses and I find it really satisfying that a lot of muscle spasm can often be reduced in just one session. I also like that on sunny days I can be outside with the horses, and on rainy days I can be inside with people or dogs. With dogs I often find results can be seen quite quickly, they may go home lame one week and the following week are sound, making my work really satisfying.
What are the good bits and what are the bad bits?
My passion is rehabilitation. I love seeing the progression of my rehab cases and I love being able to give reassurance and motivation to owners. I also love seeing my regular clients and hearing about the fun they have been having with their horses or dogs. I hate the flies in the summer and I also hate getting cold. So if you see me in the winter I am often bundled up to the eyeballs to keep warm, in the summer I will bring a waft of fly repellent with me!
What challenges do you face when rehabilitating a horse, dog or person?
Rehab always comes with its challenges. I think we often expect it to be an easy straight road from start to finish, but its really more of a country lane with lots of bumps and bends along the way. People often have periods of becoming disheartened because it never happens as quickly as we would like, but at the end of the day we are dealing with bodies not machines and whilst there are small things that we can do to help promote and speed up healing a lot of it is time, patience and perseverance.
And finally how do I get in touch if I am interested in getting my animal treated?
You can get in contact via Facebook @huntshillphysio, you can email me on firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a call on 07779003359 I will be happy to answer any questions you may have. You can also keep up to date on Instagram!