Posts by John

New Podiatrist uses latest foot technology

Matt graduated from the University of Plymouth in 2019 with a BSc Honours Degree in Podiatry. Having spent over 1,200 hours in clinic across his degree, Matt has demonstrated that he can perform at a very high level consistently. Fresh out of university, Matt is up to date with current practice and research and is a fluent welsh speaker. Matt has played professional basketball for the Plymouth Raiders and currently plays basketball for the Welsh national senior team; subsequently, he has a keen interest in musculoskeletal podiatry and sports injuries. He uses the latest foot plate technology as used by the Welsh Rugby team as shown on the video above. It takes 100 pictures per second in live time and allows Matthew to give you the best foot analysis possible.

He has worked in musculoskeletal podiatry since graduating. Due to Matts athletic backround, he understands injuries from an athletes perspective.
Matt holds POMs-A and POMs-S entitlements meaning that he can administer and supply prescription only medication and anaesthetic.

He is available every Tuesday at Rothery Health Sports Injury at our Saundersfoot Clinic

E mail [email protected]

Acupuncture benefits

What is it?

Electroacupuncture is similar to acupuncture, a widely practiced form of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Acupuncture involves the use of thin needles to stimulate specific pressure points linked to unwanted symptoms.

In standard acupuncture, one needle is used at each treatment point. Electroacupuncture is a modified form that uses two needles. 

A mild electric current passes between these needles during treatment. This current generally applies more stimulation to acupoints than needle twirling or other hand manipulation techniques an acupuncturist might use.

Acupuncture Pembrokeshire

Uses of acupuncture

Acupuncture practitioners – sometimes called acupuncturists – use acupuncture to treat a wide range of health conditions.  

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) provides guidelines for the NHS on the use of treatments and care of patients. 

Currently, NICE only recommends considering acupuncture as a treatment option for:

Acupuncture is also often used to treat other musculoskeletal conditions (of the bones and muscles) and pain conditions, including:

  • chronic pain, such as neck pain
  • joint pain 
  • dental pain 
  • postoperative pain 

Speak to your acupuncturist at Rothery Health or book a consultation

Back pain Pembrokeshire

Back pain is very common and usually improves within a few weeks or months.

Pain in the lower back (lumbago) is particularly common, although it can be felt anywhere along the spine, from the neck down to the hips.

In most cases the pain is not caused by anything serious and will usually get better over time.

There are things you can do to help relieve it. But sometimes the pain can last a long time or keep coming back.

How to relieve back pain

The following tips may help reduce your back pain and speed up your recovery:

  • stay as active as possible and try to continue your daily activities – this is 1 of the most important things you can do, as resting for long periods is likely to make the pain worse
  • try exercises and stretches for back pain; other activities such as walkingswimmingyoga and pilates may also be helpful
  • take anti-inflammatory painkillers, such as ibuprofen – remember to check the medicine is safe for you to take and ask a pharmacist if you’re not sure
  • use hot or cold compression packs for short-term relief – you can buy these from a pharmacy, or a hot water bottle or a bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a cloth or towel will work just as well

Speak to us at the clinic if unsure

Neck Pain Pembrokeshire

There are two levator scapulae muscles—one on each side of the neck—that attach to the top four transverse processes and go down to the shoulder. This muscle can become tight and may be tender where it attaches to the shoulder blade. Stretching this muscle can play a role in reducing neck pain. 

The levator scapulae stretch can be performed while sitting or standing as follows:

  • Lengthen the muscle by raising the elbow above the shoulder at the side to stretch.
  • In this position, first rest the elbow against a door jamb. This action rotates the outside of the shoulder blade up and the inside of it down, which lengthens the levator scapulae muscle.
  • Next, turn the head away from the side that is stretching and bring the chin down, stretching the back of the neck.
  • Hold this for about 30 seconds to a minute. Speak to us at the clinic if you have neck pain

Why does self isolation brings mental strain & anxiety to elite athletes?

The spread of COVID-19 is changing life for billions of people around the world. Many are adapting to periods of self-isolation and finding creative ways to stay fit, but the enforced changes may also result in increased sedentary behaviours – which can contribute to anxiety and depression.

This may be especially the case for athletes, who are already more likely than the general population to experience a mental health disorder during interruptions to their career – usually due to injuries or retirement. So given that most sport has now been cancelled or postponed and athletes are having to train by themselves – sometimes using novel methods – the current restrictions may be more difficult for athletes to handle.

Blogs designed to help athletes cope during these emotionally challenging times have skyrocketed. Specifically, football clubs have been urged to support their players’ mental health and some national governing bodies – organisations that govern and administer a sport on a national basis – have created videos to help coaches and athletes deal with self-isolation. Sport psychologists in the UK and abroad have also been inundated with athletes contacting them for support.

But so far none of these responses have identified why athletes might be more at risk than the general population during self-isolation.

Why are athletes vulnerable?

What all of us are experiencing right now is a transition. Defined as a critical life event, a transition challenges our assumptions about ourselves and requires us to make changes in our behaviours and relationships.

Elite athletes spend many years forming an “athletic identity”. This is defined as: “the degree to which an individual identifies with the athlete role”. This athletic identity serves athletes when they are fit, healthy and able to pursue their goals and ambitions. But when they are unable to engage in such self-defining activities, this over-identification with the role of athlete can make them vulnerable.

As former England rugby player Jonny Wilkinson once explained:

“When you’re not doing what you are known for, not achieving the goals you set for yourself, what value do you have? My whole identity used to be through rugby, so as soon as you cut the rugby, you have no identity left. I didn’t know what I was, who I was. If affirmation comes from points you kick, what are you when you can’t kick? Who are you?”

The athletic self

This commitment to an athletic self often begins at a young age. Athletes begin to sacrifice other types of identities available to them in their pursuit of sporting success. So, over time, they become what’s known as “role engulfed” as other identities, that might have helped to create a more multidimensional self, are sacrificed.

This habit was noted by former footballer turned film star Eric Cantona, who said:

“Often there are players who have only football as a way of expressing themselves and never develop other interests. And when they no longer play football, they no longer do anything; they no longer exist, or rather they have the sensation of no longer existing.”

There are currently many thousands of elite athletes worldwide who can no longer use sport to support their athletic identity. These athletes are unable to train to the same intensity and access the same equipment and facilities required for them to maintain elite levels of physical and technical performance. They are unable to achieve their goals.

They are also socially isolated from teammates, staff, entourages, and a fan base who support their sense of athletic identity. And as research has identified, it is likely that as a result of becoming “role engulfed” many of them have not spent time developing interests or friendships outside sport.

Sports hypnosis can help with anxiety by a qualified Clinical Sports hypnotherapist. We are able to offer a 30 min free Skype or Zoom consultation at Hypnotherapy Wales to see if we are able to help

e mail us [email protected]

Anxiety attacks in Ironman Competitions

As an Iron-man triathlon competitor myself and now as a Clinical Sports Hypnotherapist and Psychotherapist based here at Rothery Health Pembrokeshire ,I am more aware now of the situations which can cause anxiety in triathlon competitions more than ever . For example ‘loss of goggles ‘ ..’fear of failure‘ ….’jellyfish phobia‘….’wetsuit ripping’…..’fear of drowning’ ..’mechanicals on the bike‘…’injury’…..etc

Physiological effects could include some of these symptoms: nervousness, trembling, muscular tensions, sweating, lightheadedness, palpitations, tachycardia, or rapid heartbeat, dizziness, chest pain, hyperventilation (over-breathing), epigastria discomfort and feelings of unreality.

Emotional effects include many different feelings, including anxiety, fear, anger, sadness, or frustration. These feelings can sometimes feed on each other and produce physical symptoms, making you feel even worse.

Cognitive effects could include forgetfulness, lack of concentration , things out of proportion

Behavioral effects include either not eating or eating too much. Procrastinating and avoiding responsibilities. Increased use of alcohol, drugs, or cigarettes.

Research has shown that Sports hypnotherapy may help relieve stress, fear, and anxiety. It can also be used to help in coping with the symptoms of panic disorder. … The person will bring awareness to the physical sensations, emotions, and cognitions associated with their attacks, such as chest pain, shaking, and fear

If you have any questions about how Sports hypnotherapy may help you please e mail us at [email protected]

or click on the link below to check out our new website

Neck posture & pain myth !

If you suffer from neck pain, you’re not alone. Spinal pain is one of the leading causes of disability worldwide and its occurrence has increased dramatically over the past 25 years. While most episodes of neck pain are likely to get better within a few months, half to three-quarters of people who have neck pain will experience repeated episodes of pain

It’s often said there are “good and bad postures” and that specific postures can contribute to spinal pain but this belief is NOT supported by scientific evidence. Indeed, research shows that poor sleep, reduced physical activity and increased stress appear to be more important factors.

So despite attempts by health professionals to correct your posture and the use of “ergonomic” chairs, desks, keyboards and other gadgets chances are so-called “lifestyle factors” – such as getting enough sleep, making sure you exercise and keeping stress to a minimum – seem to be more salient in relieving and preventing the pain in your neck.

Although beliefs about posture run deep, science is telling a very different story – and there is a strong challenge to the long-assumed role of posture as a cause of neck pain ! 

Research has also shown that changing the way you sit while working – by altering your workstation – so-called “ergonomic interventions”, have little to NO impact on whether a person develops neck pain. Also, there is little high-quality evidence that ergonomic interventions can lead to a speedier recovery for someone with neck pain.

Speak to the people who know what they are doing at Rothery Health

Knee pain & Acupuncture

Patients with knee arthritis respond particularly well to electro-acupuncture. When knee arthritis is mild or moderate, a limited number of sessions produce very good results. When arthritis is more advanced, or “bone-on-bone,” ongoing acupuncture is needed.

Acupuncture can also be combined with conventional treatments, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs & physical therapy .In addition, acupuncture can provide short-term pain relief until knee replacement surgery is performed.

Acupuncture’s proven benefits

Besides promoting an anti-inflammatory effect, studies show that acupuncture releases endogenous opioid endorphins (the body’s natural pain-relieving chemicals).

Speak to us at Rothery Health if interested in a course of treatment

New Physiotherapist joins team

Our new Physiotherapist at Rothery Health Saundersfoot & Pembroke is Rachel Crowley (BSc Hons MCSP). Rachel is a fully qualified physiotherapist and member of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy. In 2011 she qualified with a BSc Hons in Physiotherapy at Cardiff University. Rachel is also currently completing her Masters degree in Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy at Cardiff University. In 2012 she also trained in Acupuncture for pain relief.
For the past 8 years Rachel has been working in the NHS and is currently working as a clinical specialist physiotherapist where she assesses and treats a wide range of complex musculoskeletal conditions and helps patients manage chronic conditions.
Out of work she enjoys playing badminton, cycling and running. In 2018 she completed both the Wales Sportive and Wales Half Marathon and the Cardiff Half Marathon.
To book her follow the link
Or call our reception team on 01834 813975

10 best kept secrets regarding Back Pain



10 facts about your sleep patterns and back pain

1/ Poor sleep can be a cause of persistent pain in healthy people
Poor sleep increases risk of developing pain. While many realise that being in pain can cause poor sleep, studies now show that poor sleep among people without any pain at all also increases the risk of developing pain

2/ Being tired can give you pain
Sleep is an essential function for survival, like eating or drinking. Therefore, when your body is not getting enough quality sleep, it can react. It does this by creating an inflammatory response which can make you feel sick, tired and irritable.

3/ Poor sleep can lead to persistent pain or recovery delay
The critical role of poor sleep in the development and increasing of pain is only being explored in detail in recent years. Poor sleep can be the cause of an acute pain becoming persistent or recovery delay.

4/ The number of hours sleep needed depends on the person Most healthy adults need between 7.5 to 8 hours of sleep per night to function at their best. For some, less than 6 hours per night can lead to worsening back and/or neck pain

5 /It is not only quantity, but also quality
You should not only consider the length of sleep, but also questions such as ‘do I feel refreshed in the morning, and throughout the day?’ ‘Do I not always need an alarm clock?’ Do I have enough energy throughout the day?’ If you answer yes to these, you probably have enough sleep.

6 /Pain is one of the body’s protective responses to poor sleep
Back pain is typically the person’s body being overprotective due to different factors, such as poor sleep, which makes the body vulnerable to pain. For people who already have pain, it is important to note that the pathways for sleep and pain are linked and affect each other. Thus, poor sleep can turn the volume switch up on pain

7/ Sleep schedule is important
Going to bed at the same time everyday (or most days) is important to establish a routine (the same goes for waking up). This rhythm will help keep you refreshed throughout the day. Sometimes, people in pain go to bed very late, as they seek to make themselves exhausted before bedtime so that they sleep when they go to bed. Unfortunately, this cycle can further exacerbate their pain.

8/ Exercising regularly is a must
Even though exercise has been consistently shown to help both sleep patterns and pain, many people in pain avoid it as they are afraid that it will make things worse. Therefore, you should not fear, exercise, but rather build it up gradually to let your body get used to it.

9 /Boosting mood and reducing stress is key
If someone suffers from stress, depression or anxiety, the chances of them having pain and sleep problems are much higher. Addressing these issues is not always easy. Taking steps to address stress, mood and anxiety could have a significant effect on your quality of sleep and on your pain.

10/ Poor sleep doesn’t always lead to back pain
People can have pain and not have a sleep problem or have poor sleep and not have any pain. However, this shouldn’t make you think that addressing sleep is not important.



15 Knee Pain Do’s & Don’ts

We’ve put together a collection of hints to help with knee pain

1/Do rest a sore knee …Take a break so your knee has time to heal. You’ll only need 1 or 2 days of rest to ease minor knee pain, but severe injuries may keep you off your feet longer. Talk to your Osteopath or Physio if it doesn’t get better after a few days.

2/Don’t stay on the couch too long..Exercise builds strong muscles around your joints, and that helps prevent injuries. Once your knee has had enough rest, get back out there. Low-impact water workouts or tai chi are good options. But don’t overdo it or you’ll risk more pain.

3/Do use ice….Try the RICE formula to treat a knee injury:
Rest for a day or two to heal.
Ice your knee to calm inflammation.
Compress (wrap) your joint for support and to stop fluid buildup.
Elevate it on a pillow or stool to curb swelling.

4/Don’t risk trips or falls ….Wear shoes with good tread on them to cut your risk of a slip. Choose low-heeled ones with soft, rubber soles. Keep your home’s hallways and stairwells well lit, and clear floors of things you could trip over.

5/Do use a cane if you need one .Feel unsteady? Use something to steady you as you move around. Choose a sturdy, strong, light cane with a rubber tip and a handle that’s easy to grasp. Hold it at a 45-degree angle to be sure it’s the right height. Find one in a color or style you like so you’ll be more likely to use it.

6/Do watch your weight …Extra pounds add strain to your knees and raise your risk of painful arthritis and injuries. But even moderate weight loss can make it better. If you need to drop a few pounds, set a goal to lose just 5% of your current weight over the next few months.

7/Do use Acupuncture ..Tiny needles are put into the skin around your sore joint. Research shows it can ease knee arthritis pain, though it’s still unclear how. Look for someone who’s trained and experienced. Many states license acupuncturists.

8/Don’t forget to stretch….The muscles around your knees can get tight, and that can lead to painful injuries. Daily stretches can prevent that and muscle pain. Ask your doctor or Osteopath for easy moves to help you limber up before you walk or do any other activity.

9/Do use heat or cold…If your knee pain flares, try hot or cold treatments. Moist heat is better for pain relief than dry. Soak in a warm bath, or zap a damp washcloth in the microwave. To ease a swollen knee, press a bag of frozen veggies wrapped in a towel against the joint.

10/Don’t sleep in the wrong position..This can make your knee pain worse. Try out different positions, and put a pillow between your knees if you sleep on your side. Don’t prop up a bent knee on a pillow, though — that can make it harder to unbend your leg the next day.

11/Do try a sleeve…Support a sore, weak knee with a brace, sleeve, or tape. Ask a Physio or Osteopath to fit you one or to tape your knee. A simple sleeve that fits over your knee can offer short-term pain relief, too. You can find them at the chemist

12/Don’t wear out your knees…You may get knee pain because you overload your joints. Movements you do over and over again, like go up and down stairs every day, can jar and wear down your knees. But don’t sit for long periods, either. That puts extra pressure between your knee and leg bone that can cause pain.

13/Do support your arches..Choose shoes that support your arches, or get slip-in inserts at your local chemsit. If those don’t work, you can ask our Podiatrist about custom supports.

14/Don’t keep wearing the same old shoes …Shoes can stretch and wear out after a while. Don’t keep wearing your favorite pair after their support and tread have worn out. You may find that new shoes that support your feet and ankles well ease your knee pain.

15/Do talk to your osteopath or Physio…
You don’t have to deal with knee pain alone. Your physical therapist can help relieve the immediate pain

Don’t panic when you receive your Back Scan !

While scans are important to identify serious causes of back pain, such as cancer, infections and fractures, these only occur in a very small group of people (about 1%).
One of the problems with having your back scanned is they often identify things that sound scary but are actually normal and common in people without back pain.
For example, “disc degeneration” and “disc bulges” are very common in people without back pain, especially ageing people.

These changes don’t predict the severity of a person’s back pain or level of activity limitation. However, being told you have “disc degeneration” or a “disc bulge” can lead people to believe their spine is damaged and needs protecting, resulting in a cascade of fear, muscle guarding and movement avoidance.
Most people will have an episode of back pain in their life – a bit like the flu. Like the flu, the symptoms can be severe and distressing, but for most people the pain resolves in a period of weeks. Triggers for an episode of back pain are things like inactivity or unaccustomed activity combined with being tired, stressed, sad and/or run down.
This can result in muscle tension and sensitivity of the spine’s structures. Understanding that having back pain (unless you have had a trauma) usually doesn’t mean the spine is damaged, and that it’s safe to move, keep active, work and engage with valued activities is important to help with recovery.
If your back pain persists and is distressing, seek professional advise from an Osteopath or Physiotherapist to rule out serious causes. If you do get a scan – remember that many of the things that show on a scan are normal and common in people without pain, so don’t freak out.
The most effective things to manage back pain are the things you can do for yourself – good sleep, regular movement and physical activity, manage your stress and keep a positive mindset.
If you get stuck, find a health care practitioner like the ones at Rothery Health Centre & Sports Injury Clinic in Saunderfoot & Pembroke , Pembrokeshire who can coach you to get in control of your back and engage with healthy living.

Osteopath attends training with Leicester Tigers Chiropractor

This weekend Principal Osteopath John Rothery at Rothery Health & Sports Injury Clinic will be attending a Functional Muscle Testing course in Derby over  the weekend of the 12-13th January 2019 in Derby

This seminar will examine the neurological basis for manual muscle testing and present a screening routine as well as a simple concept for using muscle testing in Osteopaths, Chiropractors & Physiotherapists daily practice. The course will look at a new paradigm for understanding injury, which is rooted in well understood principles and research and which offers a different yet very logical approach.

This concept has been successfully used on athletes from a wide range of sports and performance levels including Leicester Tigers Rugby, England Rugby, Chelsea FC, Derby County FC, GB Basketball and the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Polyclinics. However, this seminar is as relevant for non-sporting patients as your athletes and will be a hugely powerful examination tool regardless of  patient base.

The course will be run by Ulrik Sandstrom who graduated from the Anglo-European College of Chiropractic in 1991 and has been involved in elite level sports chiropractic for over 20 years. He is in his 9th season as 1st team chiropractor at Leicester Tigers Rugby Club.
He has worked with a large range of elite athletes from UK Athletics, Chelsea FC, England Rugby, GB Basketball, GB Swimming, Derby County, Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday FC. He was selected to work at the Polyclinic in Athletes Village during the 2012 London Olympics as well as the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. He has a particular interest in delivering an integrated approach through a tight cross professional collaboration.
He has lectured nationally and internationally to sports medics, physiotherapists and chiropractors including Oxford Universty, St Mary’s University as well as several international conferences. He is Master lecturer for the FICS ICCSP sports programme.

Is scanning necessary for Back Pain ?

We used to think that if we got a good enough picture of the spine with scans that it would be a big help in solving back pain. However, we now know that this is most often not the case.

When people have scans for back pain, the scans often show up things that are poorly linked with pain. In fact, studies have shown that even people who don’t have back pain have things like bulging discs (52pc of people), degenerated or black discs (90pc), herniated discs (28pc) and ‘arthritic’ changes visible (38pc).

Remember, these people do NOT have pain! Unfortunately, people with back pain are often told that these things indicate their back is damaged, and this can lead to further fear, distress and avoidance of activity. The fact is that many of these things reported on scans are more like baldness – an indication of ageing and genetics that do not have to be painful.

Myth -Moving will make my back worse

Although it is true that some movements can be uncomfortable when you have back pain, it is well established that returning to movement and work as soon as you are able, is better for recovery and preventing recurrence than bed rest

This is not a new concept by any means but it is an unfortunate misconception which is continues to endure, due in part, to the complex nature of pain #MotionIsLotion

Myth-The perfect sitting position does NOT exist!


Should we all sit up straight? Contrary to popular belief, no specific static sitting posture has been shown to prevent or reduce back pain. Different sitting postures suit different people, with some people reporting more pain from sitting straight, others from slouching. So while slouching gets a bad press, there is no scientific evidence to support this. In fact, many people with back pain can adopt very rigid postures (eg sitting extremely upright) with little variation.

The ability to vary our posture, instead of maintaining the same posture, together with learning to move in a confident, relaxed and variable manner is important for people with back pain.

Psychotherapist joins Rothery Team

We are pleased to announce Lisa Maltby will be joining us this week at Rothery Health . Lisa is specialised in working with bereavement and loss, particularly traumatic and sudden loss. She also has an interest in the recovery process and post traumatic growth and has an interest in how clients recover in terms of physical , emotional and spiritual health and takes an holistic approach to therapy.

Lisa is a member of the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy & has a degree in Psychology from Bath University


New Reflexology massage Therapist

We are pleased to announce Leah Smith will be starting at our Saundersfoot Clinic from the 26th November 2018 . Leah is an experienced Reflexologist and is offering initial 50 min treatments for just £25!

Reflexology may be beneficial in restoring balance and harmony in the body and releasing tension. Practitioners believe that it helps facilitate a deep state of relaxation, calm the emotions, and produce a serene mind. Research studies support many of these benefits.

Many people describe a profound sense of relaxation and increased energy following their session. In addition, specific studies indicate that reflexology may reduce pain and anxiety.



Osteopath gets selected for European Championships

John Rothery Osteopath & clinical lead at RotheryHealth in Saundersfoot,Wales was recently selected for the Medical Team for the European Touch Rugby Championships 18-21 July 18 in Nottingham ,UK.

What is Touch?

Touch, also known as Touch Football or Touch Rugby around the world, is a thrilling sport that allows people of all walks of life to achieve their goals; whether that is the thrill of challenging oneself to compete at their best, the thrill of a fast, skilful and exhilarating sport, the thrill of meeting new people or the thrill of being a part of something that can span a lifetime.

It is one of the rare collective sports that girls, boys, women and men enjoy together and against each other, with our Mixed competitions making Touch very popular for every age category.

Touch, is derived from Rugby league which used a form of Touch for training purposes.  After passing through a development period during the 1960’s, the game became popular during the 70’s and by early in the next decade, was established in all states and territories in Australia as a sport in its own right.

It is one of global Touch’s most prestigious events and this year’s even will be the biggest in its 22-year history. England Touch have a long tradition of hosting high quality events at both local and national level.

The ETA have clear and definitive motive for hosting ETC2018 that will translate into a lasting sporting legacy. England Touch is not just about Touch, but the whole experience and continually strive to improve participation and satisfaction.

There has been a huge growth in Touch within England and Europe. This event will provide the ETA with the opportunity to display their performance both on and off the field.

John was selected as part of a Medical Team to include Osteopaths,Chiropractors,Sports GP,physiotherapists,Sports therapists