Safe hands

The team at City Physio have been attending to those in need of physiotherapy for a collective 23 years.

Team leader Nick Syrett has been a physio for 17 years. He has been at City Physio in the city centre for 10 years! Over this time he has built up a good rapport and support from The Royal Exchange theatre, The Northern Ballet school, Yoga Manchester and the Yoga (and Pilates) lounge to name but a few supporters.

A keen sportsman himself, Nick is a specialist in musculoskeletal disorders (muscle and joint pain), Nick has a special interest in biomechanics (assessing and correcting mechanical faults through structural changes and strengthening the body’s core musculature).

Nicola Shaw has been with City Physio since 2006. Nicola combines her role in the NHS as a spinal specialist (ESP) where she examines patients and lists them for scans/injections or surgery with her role here for City Physio. A keen Yogi for many years, Nicola uses some elements of Yoga practice to treat patients with spinal or shoulder problems.

Bob Johnson has been an integral part of the team for 6 years. A dynamic and extremely personable physio he heads the charts for positive testimonials from satisfied clients. Based in one of Bannatynes gym’s, Bob specialises in post operative rehabilitation, return to work fitness assessments, Biomechanical assessments and uses acupuncture when appropriate. Bob also excels in the use of core stability training to work in unison with conventional physiotherapy techniques aiming to not only ease symptoms but to prevent injury in the future.

Katie Syrett is a recent addition to the team. Katie graduated in 1997 and haswide experience in both NHS and private practice. Since 2005 she has moved into women's health as an area of special interest, after starting her own family. Katie specializes in any musculoskeltal problems associated during and after pregnancy from low back pain to pelvic floor and bladder weakness.

To arrange an appointment or for more information on our physiotherapy services, you can contact us via phone and email:

Telephone: 0844 257 0122

St Ann's Square, 2-4 Exchange Street, Manchester, M2 7HA
Here at City Physio all of our therapists are experienced acupuncturists. While it is largely accepted these days that acupuncture can have significant benefit for chronic problems such as arthritis and persistent low back pain, very few are aware of its value in treating acute sports injury.

There is now a huge amount of evidence supporting the use of acupuncture as an adjunct to conventional physiotherapy techniques. Mobile brain scans and MRI scans enable us to objectively measure the effects that acupuncture has. When piercing the skin the nerve response sent via reflex has an instantaneous effect on the surrounding muscle. At the same time 20 minutes of acupuncture stimulates our adrenal glands to release cortisol, one of our bodies natural anti-inflammatory.

Specific needling techniques have developed over the years to enable us to maximise these benefits. For example:

Four needles surrounding an area of swelling stimulates cortisol production and can significantly reduce that swelling.

Trigger points that have developed as a result of injury, weakness or muscle spasm can be calmed very quickly as a reflex response to treatment.

There are also specific points we can use to ease stiffness and specific points to maximise pain relief.

If you have a sports injury and would like to know if acupuncture and/or physiotherapy can help please feel free to contact us.
Jo Fleming (Nee Thompson) has started to teach one on one or small group Pilates at City Physio. She has trained with Australian Physiotherapy and Pilates Institute (APPI) and completed Matwork one, the class instructor matwork two and later that year (2010) the Antenatal and Postnatal Pilates course.

All of which means Jo is able to help people recovering from low back pain or those who are or have been recently pregnant and feel they are weaker than they were pre-pregnancy. I strongly believe that Pilates can help anyone who wishes to give it a try, it’s an education as well as an exercise regime, helping the intelligent sports person to make the most of their game... and it’s not only for sports people- it really is for anyone to relax and enjoy while building strength and stability throughout the whole body…… and be prepared to feel you exercised the next day!
Nicola has moved from her LA Fitness location and re-located in house at our centrally located St Ann’s Square clinic. Our links with LA Fitness have been maintained. Members will receive a 10% discount on treatments. We continue to cross refer to and with the Personal trainers at the gym.

Swimming is often recommended for patients suffering from lower back pain. The benefits over a land based fitness programme are obvious: the non-impact, weightless environment removes pressure from joints allowing associated structures to relax and compression on the nerves is reduced. Swimming also helps increase blood circulation, thereby increasing nutrient and oxygen supply to areas of damage, aiding the healing process.

However, before you grab those shorts or costume you need to be aware that swimming with poor technique can exacerbate existing back problems. Muscles in the lower back area can become hyper extended due to poor posture whilst swimming. Particularly common is swimming breaststroke with the head held high up out of the water putting sustained pressure on the lower back. Front crawl is an ideal stroke to master for those looking to prevent undue stress on the lower back. 
It is essential, however, that the stroke is technically correct so that the movement through the water is smooth. Unnatural awkward movements in the water can easily damage tissue through the back. Top tips for mastering front crawl are:
  • Think straight lines. As you swim you should imagine that a view from the side (underwater) would show your body position parallel to the water surface; this is achieved by ensuring the face is submerged with the water, the abdominal muscles pulled in and up, and the glute muscles engaged. You should also imagine that a birds eye view of you swimming would show a straight line in the water - i.e. no lateral deviation or snaking.|

  • Roll with it. As you breathe to the side you must ensure this is timed with the roll of the body. Lifting the head or excessive twisting will at best slow you down, and at worst cause damage to cervical vertebrae. Be sure to rotate the head only within the axis of the body keeping the head down as much as possible.

  • Work towards bi-lateral breathing (alternating the sides to which you take a breath). This helps to ensure you have a balanced front crawl stroke.

  • Equip yourself. Goggles are an essential tool but equally short training fins are extremely useful for mastering the correct body position in the water. In more severe cases of back pain using a training snorkel can help reduce the awkward movement of the neck when taking breaths.
We hope you will enjoy your swimming!
If you are suffering from back pain please get in touch with our physiotherapy clinic in Manchester.  Click on Physio to find out more.