Despite the global pandemic impacting so many businesses throughout the world, Cathryn Clark decided to set up her own private practice physiotherapy business earlier this year to help follow her dream of helping people.
We chatted to Cathryn to find out how her business came about and why she loves running her business in North Tyneside.
Hi Cathryn, tell us a little about yourself
I’m Cathryn Clark and I have just opened Cathryn Clark Physiotherapy, a physiotherapy clinic in West Allotment.
I have a private treatment room, a spacious rehab room and plenty of parking outside. I’ve been a physiotherapist 20 years and started out in the NHS. I moved on to work in a large private practice in Newcastle but decided at the turn of the year to go out on my own.
What’s the main complaint people come to see you with?
I see people with a wide range of musculoskeletal problems. Due to the pandemic, I’ve been seeing a lot of people with achy backs, neck pain and shoulder pain from working at home. Maybe their workstations aren’t quite as good as they were in their office. They’re also sitting for longer.
In an office environment you get up and walk about – to the photocopier, make a cup of tea or go and speak to someone at another desk. When you’re working from home you just sit for longer so I’ve been seeing more and more people with neck, shoulder and back pain from that.
I also have a background in rugby so I see lots of boys and girls, old and young, with shoulder issues, knee problems and other sporting injuries.
It’s quite a brave decision to set up a business on your own during a pandemic – tell us about that?
I think the pandemic gave me some time to stop and think. I was so busy pre-pandemic. I volunteered for Northumberland Rugby Union, I was working for England Rugby teaching first aid and obviously I had my job at the practice too. The pandemic gave me time to stop, think and reflect about what I wanted for the future.
Since the pandemic hit, private practice physiotherapy has been busier than ever. I think that’s due to NHS Physios being moved onto wards to get people home then being asked to treat people who were being admitted with Covid. Unfortunately, the bad backs, necks or dodgy shoulders became lower priority – understandably.
But if you’re the person suffering the discomfort, it’s still a priority. That’s why private practices have become much busier in recent months.
What’s the best part of your job?
It’s probably the same as it was 20 years ago when I first started – I love helping people.
I saw a gentleman recently who’d had a knee replacement just before the pandemic hit. He’d had some physiotherapy and he got his 90° bend, he could do a straight leg raise and he could walk so he was discharged. All he wanted to do was ride his electric bike. He’s spent the past several months stuck in the house doing his daily Boris walk, as I like to call it, and not a lot else. His knee just wasn’t getting any better. He found me through some mutual connections and my highlight of last week was when he came in and told me he’d taken his bike out round the block.
For me, that’s the best part. It’s what I love doing. I love hearing people’s stories and helping them achieve their goals.
Why did you choose West Allotment to set up your business?
My connection with West Allotment started when I was at university. My big brother lived here and I used to come down from Edinburgh and stay with him. He had a full fridge and a nice shower and I actually did some studying rather than going out with all my friends when I was here.
When I moved down here, I moved to the coast and once I’d made the decision to go out on my own, I started searching for units. Pre-pandemic I went to Yoga Hens which is two doors along from where I am now. When the unit came up, I thought it would be a good spot. I did some research about parking, public transport etc and decided it was a great location. It’s just off the A19 and is accessible from Newcastle, from the coast, from Cramlington – it’s just a great spot. West Allotment itself is a fantastic little village – I’ve been welcomed with open arms.
How can people get in touch with you if they need your help?
There are several ways. Visit my website at http://www.ccphysio.co.uk and have a look at the services there. There’s a great big purple button to book online so they can book an appointment that way.
My mobile number is on the website or the practice number is 0191 2665877.