Get to know your physio

Down on the sunny south coast, I was born and raised in the old seaside town of Shanklin on the Isle of Wight. Here I developed a love of being outdoors and a fondness for sport. Whilst cricket was the sport I most excelled at, representing the Isle of Wight at district and county level, I also enjoyed playing football, tennis, squash, badminton, water sports and running. This love of sport and an interest in the human body lead me down the path towards becoming a physiotherapist.

Aged 18 I headed off to the University of West England Bristol to study Physiotherapy. Having completed my degree, I returned home to the Island where I worked for two years at Ryde Physiotherapy and Sports Injuries Clinic. Alongside my clinic work I also built experience in the sports world where I looked after the U16 Vectis RFC team and spent a weekend working with the England Women’s first team. During this time I also acquired a qualification in Acupuncture.

After two years being back home it was time to stretch my wings again, which lead to me moving to London. Here I was fortunate enough to get a job on a mentorship programme where I spent a year under the guidance of fantastic colleagues in a private clinic in Putney developing my knowledge on musculoskeletal and sports injuries. In 2015 I changed roles and moved to the global healthcare provider Bupa. Here, I worked in a number of Bupa health centres across London looking after corporate workers and sports enthusiasts. Bupa provided an excellent platform for me to work first-hand in a multi-disciplinary team, working alongside nurses and sports physicians, adding to my knowledge and experience.

In 2017 my thirst for more knowledge lead me down the post-graduate study path and I enrolled on a Masters course at Queen Mary University London to do an MSc in Sports and Exercise Medicine. Alongside studying, I started working at the prestigious private hospital St John and St Elizabeth in St John’s Wood where I developed clinical, leadership and mentoring skills. Working in the hospital gave me the opportunity to work alongside world class orthopaedic consultants again providing the chance to see the benefits of multidisciplinary working.

Having completed the Masters in September 2019 I decided I wanted to develop my own clinic. My Masters’ dissertation was based around tennis and shoulder pain and I set up a clinic in Bromley Tennis Centre, which was an excellent opportunity to continue my interest in these areas. Currently, I am running my own clinic and working alongside the Move4Sport strength and conditioning team primarily looking after tennis players and swimmers. I have recently become a proud supporter of the charity SportsAid, helping to look after athletes participating in fund raising events, and an athlete sponsorship scheme is currently in development. I also spend some time working in central London at The Octopus Clinic. I am also studying for a Level 4 qualification in strength and conditioning as I develop my practice to include performance coaching strategies alongside my physiotherapy skill set.

My treatment philosophy lies in empowering patients. I like to take the time to discuss the nature and cause of the injury, and to reason how to get better but also how to try to avoid getting injured in the future is paramount to his practice. As highlighted already I believe in the importance of multidisciplinary approach and so am proactive in interacting with coaches, doctors and consultants when needed. I fully understand the impact that injuries have on individuals and so I aim to help you to see the silver linings of injuries and how you can learn from them and turn them into a positive experience.

I hope you have enjoyed getting an insight into my background, and I look forward to working with you in the future. 

       Sam Downer MSc BSc MCSP