27 Haven Lane, Ealing, W5 2HZ

Tel: 0208 997 1555

Email: info@w5physio.co.uk

Introducing Shockwave Therapy at W5Physio

July 4, 2021 by  
Filed under W5 Physio News

We’re pleased to announce we’re now able to provide a new form of therapy which can help to improve symptoms in a range of conditions that we regularly see in our clinic. 

Things like tennis or golfer’s elbow, medial tibial stress syndrome, patella tip syndrome, Achilles or calcific tendinopathy, Osgood-Schlatter disease or plantar fasciitis can all benefit from Shockwave Therapy. 

That’s why we were keen to invest in this new piece of technology which produces high energy sound waves to treat long-term pain. Your physiotherapist will administer the sound waves which encourage blood flow and metabolism to your specific area of pain, stimulating your body’s own healing process.  It’s completely non-invasive and reduces the need for patients to take medication or injections. 

We’re now able to offer this treatment alongside more traditional physiotherapy methods and are seeing excellent results with patients experiencing less pain and often a reduction in symptoms after their first session.

A course of between three and six shockwave treatments is advisable. Please ask your physiotherapist for more details or get in touch with us today to see if Shockwave Therapy could help you. 

W5Physio comes to The Gauntlet

July 4, 2021 by  
Filed under W5 Physio News

Exciting news! We’ve teamed up with The Gauntlet Fight Academy and will be running a satellite physio clinic from this venue. Based in Haven Green in Ealing Broadway, appointments will be available to anyone who would like to receive treatment here, although members of The Gauntlet can receive a discount. We’ll be offering the same physiotherapy services, just from an additional venue. If you’d like to be seen by one of our physios at The Gauntlet, please get in touch for more details or to book your slot.

Introducing W5’s Diagnostic Ultrasound Machine

May 20, 2021 by  
Filed under W5 Physio News

We’re pleased to announce that W5Physio now has a Diagnostic Ultrasound machine. Diagnostic Ultrasound, also known as Sonography or Ultrasonography, uses sound waves and frequencies which create images of internal organs, joints, tendons, muscles and blood vessels to provide us with further insight on potential injuries, diseases, etc.

This impressive piece of kit has a wide range of uses in musculoskeletal assessment and guided interventions. We’re always keen to stay up-to-date with the latest evidence-based physiotherapy practice, so it wasn’t hard to see the benefits of this latest investment.  Ultrasound is a natural extension to a clinical assessment and is becoming more and more popular with clinicians including vets, sports medicine doctors and physiotherapists. 

There’s lots of research required and new information to consider when learning musculoskeletal ultrasound.  So, our founder and physio, Stewart, is completing a six month mentorship programme with SMUG (Sports Medicine Ultrasound Group) (https://www.ultrasoundtraining.co.uk/) to hone his diagnostic ultrasound skills. 

Diagnostic Ultrasound will enhance the care pathway provided to patients by increasing diagnostic accuracy, guiding interventions and reducing patient episodes. It will be offered as part of a treatment plan to patients who we think may benefit from the extra insight our sonography machine can provide. Book an appointment with us today.

Here’s Stewart and Greg with a demonstration of how the Diagnostic Ultrasound works:

COVID-19 Update 5th Jan 2021 – we’re open!

January 5, 2021 by  
Filed under W5 Physio News

Following the government’s announcement at 8pm on Monday 4th January 2021, we can confirm that W5 Physio will still be open and able to continue treating under the same stringent cleaning and PPE protocols.  We will however, be keeping a very close eye on the situation and will be monitoring it frequently.

We would like to remind you that not only do we provide face to face treatments (please see our guidelines for keeping us all safe here), but we can offer Video Consultations too for the same price.

We understand that many people are very uncertain about the current climate and may wish to cancel appointments. Please do let the reception team know ASAP if you wish to cancel a session.

Please look after yourselves and keep safe…


We interview Antonis

October 19, 2020 by  
Filed under W5 Physio News

We’re not sure where the time has gone but our physio, Antonis, has now been with W5Physio for a whole year! He qualified over five years ago now and specialises in musculoskeletal physiotherapy. Here’s a little bit more about Antonis…

Originally from Greece, he’s proud to have served in the Greek special forces.  It’s perhaps no surprise then that Antonis enjoys spending holidays travelling back to his homeland, but another favourite holiday destination of his is Cuba. He’s also a huge fan of Greek food and loves to indulge in Italian cuisine too. 

To work off all those Greek and Italian meals, Antonis likes to keep active with martial arts. He’s into BJJ (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu) and grappling. He’s also a fan of running and the slightly more daring sport of free diving! 

Antonis loves working at W5 specifically because of great colleagues and a friendly environment. Like many of W5’s physios, Antonis was first attracted to the profession because of the opportunities it offers in helping to change people’s lives. He claims that the best part about his role is being able to work with people on their musculoskeletal issues, helping them to meet their expectations and reach their goals. He’s committed to, and also really enjoys, spending time improving his skills and is constantly expanding his knowledge when it comes to learning about the human body. 

Although he has a great overall knowledge, specific areas of interest for Antonis include patellofemoral pain, lower back pain and rotator cuff related shoulder pain. If you think Antonis could help with your problem, pain or fitness, get in touch to make an appointment today. 

Running – more than lockdown relief!

October 19, 2020 by  
Filed under W5 Physio News

Running has seen a massive growth in popularity in the last few months; from both the novice to the seasoned runner, as many took the opportunity for socially distanced exercise and much needed respite from the grind of lockdown life. Here in Ealing, we’re so fortunate to have so many beautiful parks and tree-lined streets to map out our routes. We’ve also had the added bonus of predominantly good weather to further entice us into appreciating our surroundings! Inevitably, most running challenges, including the fantastic Ealing half marathon, have had to be cancelled this year (although the 13.1 challenge is happening right now). These events will return, but in the meantime, running can be enjoyed for all the many health benefits it brings. Here we look at just some of them, plus we share our top tips for running safely.

The benefits

  • Running increases longevity. A 2018 meta-analysis (https//bjsm.bmj.com/content/early/2019/09/25/bjsports-2018-100493) found that runners had between 25% and 30% lower rate of all-cause mortality than non-runners. This is due to a number of factors which include an increase in cardiovascular fitness; reduced blood pressure; reduced cholesterol and body fat; better glucose and insulin control, so reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes; better hormone regulation; improvements to bone density; and positive neurological functioning.
  • It has a positive impact on mental health – through the release of hormones and chemicals that promote a sense of wellbeing.
  • It improves immunity. Running has been found to improve the body’s surveillance against disease, lower inflammation, enhance gut microbiota composition, reduce risk of upper respiratory infections and influenza and improve antibody response (https://www.sciencedirect/article/pii/S2095254618301005). There is an important note of caution here however, that extreme exercise can actually lower immunity.
  • It can help reduce the risk of many cancers. A study in 2016 found that runners had a lower risk for developing an incredible 26 different kinds of cancer than low or non-exercisers (10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.1548).
  • It can improve cognitive functioning and help reduce cognitive decline. As running raises heart rate and blood flow, it makes sense that the brain will benefit from more oxygen-rich blood being pumped to it. One study suggests that running stimulates the release of brain-derived neurotrophic factor. This protein encourages the growth and survival of neurons in the brain (https://doi.org/10.1111/ejn.13603).
  • It aids sleep, not only helping you to fall asleep faster but also helps to improve the quality of your sleep (https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/exercising-for-better-sleep).
  • Contrary to popular belief, it can help your back and knees! A study of 44 novice marathon runners found that the condition of their bone marrow and articular cartilage improved and these improvements were sustained for at least six months post-marathon (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32065245). Similar results were found for the lower back with middle-aged long-term endurance runners exhibiting less age-related decline in their lumbar intervertebral disc heights (https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0229457).

Staying on track

Here are our top tips for running safely:

  • Invest in a decent pair of trainers – aside from this outlay, running is a very economical form of exercise!
  • Make sure you warm up and cool down.  A good warm up for running can be as simple as brisk walking for approximately 10 minutes, incorporating some shoulder/arm rolls to loosen your upper body.  To cool down, simply finish your run with walking and stretches as you wish (check out a great article by Tom Goom @running physio, ‘Should runners stretch?’)
  • Pace yourself:
  • Start gently and slowly build up. For the novice, a combination of short runs and walks is a good start (couch to 5K, for example, recommends a ratio of 60:90 seconds run/walk for 20 minutes, 3 times a week, for the first week with gradual progression throughout the 9 week programme). 
  • Let your breathing be a guide as you run. The ‘talk test’ is quite useful – if you feel yourself getting so out of breath you can’t talk, slow down the pace a bit. 
  • Remember rest days are as important as your run days as your body needs time to recover and recuperate from your training. 
  • Do regular specific strengthening exercises. Running obviously works your leg muscles but also involves muscles around your pelvis, core and upper body. There are a multitude of exercises you can do to strengthen your muscles for running and aid your performance, so much so it can be confusing to know which is best. The following three exercises provide targeted specific strengthening that will not only increase your muscle strength but should also help your overall running performance.
  1. The reverse lunge. This is a great hip stabilizer and glutes strengthener and works the hamstring, quadriceps and the core muscles. It’s also kind to the knee joint. Start with high knee position – one knee/hip flexed to 90 degrees. Push other hip forwards as you bring flexed knee back, bringing toe to the floor and bending both knees and then return to starting position. Aim for 2 x 15 reps each side (see Greg demonstrate this on our Instagram page/or alternatively at kinetic-revolution.com).
  2. The split squat. This is a great exercise as it mimics the opposite actions of the hips during running and provides a halfway house between a single leg squat and a normal squat. It works on stability, strength and stride length for runners. It achieves co-contraction of the hams/quads and glutes. Start with feet hip width apart and assume a long stance – one foot forward, the other back. Engage your abs and glutes as you bend both knees, moving straight down so the back knee is almost touching the ground. Keep the knee pointing forwards as you do this. Push up through the front heel back to starting position. Aim to do 3 x 10 reps on each side (again for demonstration of this exercise, see James Dunne @ kinetic-revolution.com).
  3. Modified plank. A brilliant core exercise that is kind for your back. Starting position is on all fours – straight arms shoulder width apart, knees, hip width apart. Engage pelvic floor and abs and lift your knees just slightly off the ground and hold position. Check shoulders remain ‘open’ – i.e. keep the top of the shoulders relaxed. Aim to hold this position for 3 x 20 secs, progressing to 1 x 60 sec hold.
Pilates Plank prep 1 - YouTube

W5Physio is ready to help

We’ve seen that the benefits of running are significant and can be life changing. With the right preparation and attention to maintaining fitness and resilience, running can be enjoyed for many years. 

We hope this has been helpful. Please remember, all the exercises outlined above should be performed pain free. Do get in touch with any questions or queries, and of course if you have any problems, we’re ready to help

Happy running!

We interview Stewart

September 2, 2020 by  
Filed under W5 Physio News

January 2021 will see physiotherapist and company director, Stewart, celebrating 20 years as a physio. As a senior member of the W5 team, he assesses, diagnoses, treats and manages patients on a day to day basis and loves improving people’s quality of life. 

Here, we find out a little bit more about Stewart – both inside and outside of the clinic… 

Stewart is one of the founders of W5Physio and is proud of the close-knit team they’ve grown over the years. “The clinic brings together a great bunch of people in a small space.”

He describes how he gets a real kick out of helping patients to restore function – whether that be standing, walking, running or jumping. “The role also provides me with a lot of variety. I like that I get a fresh challenge every day and to meet new people, too.”

Stewart has a special interest in back pain, motor control and the coordination aspects of rehabilitation. Over the years he’s helped thousands of people back to health, in particularly through his specialisms of sports rehab and ultrasonography. He’s holds qualifications with the MACP (Musculoskeletal Association of Physiotherapists) and is also an MACP tutor. 

But Stewart’s achievements aren’t only professional and outside of work, he’s a proud dad to three beautiful children. Practicing what he preaches, Stewart says running after his kids helps him to stay fit and active. He also enjoys cycling and occasional weight training. But, a balanced lifestyle sees Stewart also enjoying seafood, BBQs and wine with friends and family, and when he does occasionally put his feet up, you’ll find him indulging in a good cop or spy drama or maybe his favourite film: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. 

An interesting claim to fame that Stewart has is that his mum’s side of the family are apparently related to Archduke Franz Ferdinand who was murdered in Sarajevo which led to the onset of the First World War. Sticking to a more low-profile approach to life than his possible ancestors, Stewart’s goal is to continue the ongoing success of W5 and in his own words “to keep being a decent human being.”

You’ll find Stewart in W5Physio’s Ealing clinic most days, supporting other members of the team and overseeing the running of the business with the help of his colleagues. If you’d like to find out more about how he could use his 20 years of practical physiotherapy experience to help you back to fitness, gte in touch with us here: http://w5physio.co.uk/contact-us/

Hamstring Injuries (on and off the pitch)

August 5, 2020 by  
Filed under W5 Physio News

Hamstring problems are common yet complex. Here’s W5’s Stewart with more information…

Co-founder and physio, Stewart

Well, following lockdown, football is finally back on the TV!  I can hear the ‘hoorays’ and the ‘boohoos’ from here. 

As I sat down and watched one of the first returning Premier League games, I couldn’t help but notice the number of injuries! In just over 20 minutes, two players were straight off with muscle damage, which is what prompted me to write this article.

The injuries were nothing unusual – a rolled ankle and a hamstring strain – two problems that I often see and treat in clinic. Although common, hamstring injuries are complex and far from straight forward. It’s not unusual for them to be recurrent and often require professional help, so, whether. a football fan or not, read on to learn more about those troublesome hamstring injuries…

Hamstrings are one of the most commonly injured muscles and are frequently seen in football and other sports because approx. 70% of them occur with high speed running. The remaining 30% normally occur with over-stretching movements*.


As shown in the diagram, the hamstring attaches from the ischial tuberosity to the tibia and fibula below the knee and as such spans two joints. 


The hamstring is an important muscle for high speed running and acts to extend the hip (move the leg behind you) as you push off the ground as well as decrease knee extension during the swing phase and prevent over striding (apologies for the ‘techno babble’ – follow this link for a video which provides a simple explanation: 


An example of hamstring injury 

One of the most famous hamstring injuries involved the athlete Derek Redmond, which happened live at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2G8KVzTwfw). Derek bravely finished the race with the aid of his father. The images of Derek and his father live in the memory of many of us as an enduring spirit of the Olympics.  

Causes of injury

Often there are coordination (the way you move) reasons for hamstring injury which require a detailed analysis of the patient/athlete’s movement to understand where the injury comes from (see here for more detail https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOam2MV3Rrg ). This analysis is ideally completed by a physiotherapist, running coach and strength & conditioning professional in a team-based approach. Traditional strength training alone is often not sufficient in preventing hamstring injury recurrence.

Hamstring injuries are classified into:

  1. Functional muscle disorder: Acute indirect muscle disorder ‘without macroscopic’ evidence (in MRI or ultrasound) of muscular tear.
  • Structural muscle injury: Any acute indirect muscle injury ‘with macroscopic’ evidence (in MRI or ultrasound) of muscle tear.

Structural hamstring injuries take longer to get better than functional muscle injuries and the higher the injury to the pelvis, the longer they take to get better too.

How do we treat Hamstring injuries? 

Well, initially, we call the POLICE…but not to take you away in cuffs!  POLICE is an acronym we use for Protection, Optimal Loading, Ice, Compression and Elevation. Most people in sport have heard of the acronym RICE for managing acute soft tissue injuries but it has now been replaced with POLICE to encourage us to load soft tissue injuries more appropriately to aid recovery. For a more detailed explanation, see Tom Goom’s article which excellently summarises the original work (https://www.running-physio.com/acute/).

Once over the acute phase of the injury, exercises will be prescribed by your physiotherapist to encourage healing, restore a range of movement and strength, and as pointed out above, work on coordination. Three common exercises started two days post injury are shown here, on the BJSM website:

I should mention that the players I’ve witnessed go down with hamstring (and other!) injuries in the first few games since the restart of the Premier League could have many reasons to go off injured; it’s probably not at all down to a lack of exercise during lockdown!! Hamstring problems can occur for many reasons and to people of all kinds of fitness levels, so if you need professional help with a hamstring problem, please do get in touch. We’re here to help! 

*(Posted on June 27, 2013 by Karim Khan.  Originally posted on Running Physio a handy information resource (for both runners and physios) created by @tomgoom

Exercise for the menopause

July 16, 2020 by  
Filed under W5 Physio News

Our physio, Taryn, supports lots of women through the menopause…read on for her top tips for lessening symptoms with exercise.

W5Physio’s Taryn

Menopause…not a word women usually like to hear, but I treat quite a few women in this stage of their lives and have been asked a few times what the best exercises are and how they can stay healthy during this time. 

The NHS website describes menopause as a natural part of a woman’s ageing process, where oestrogen levels start to decline between the ages of 45 and 55. At this stage of life, a woman stops having periods and can no longer become pregnant naturally. This change can be sudden or simply a decrease in the frequency of periods over a number of months – it’s different for every individual. And whilst most women will experience some menopausal symptoms, the severity of these symptoms and the impact they have on everyday life will vary from person to person. 

Menopausal symptoms can begin months or even years before your periods stop. This time is known as perimenopause and generally lasts around four years after your last period, although again, there are no hard and fast rules and some women experience them for longer.

Common symptoms include:

  • Hot flushes
  • Night sweats
  • Vaginal dryness and discomfort during sex
  • Reduced sex drive (libido)
  • Problems with memory and concentration
  • Headaches
  • Recurrent urinary tract infections

Other symptoms that I’m interested in, include:

  • Heart palpitations (could be atrial fibrillation which is an abnormal heart rhythm)
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Mood changes (such as low mood or anxiety)
  • Joint stiffness, aches and pains 
  • Reduced muscle mass

Apart from the above common symptoms, the drop in oestrogen levels associated with the menopause means that women are at more risk of developing:

  • High blood pressure (your heart and blood vessels may become stiff and less elastic which tends to raise your blood pressure)
  • High cholesterol (lack of oestrogen can cause changes in your cholesterol and blood fats. Good cholesterol levels may reduce and bad levels may increase)
  • Diabetes (women’s bodies can become more resistant to insulin which is the hormone needed to convert blood sugar and starches into energy cells)
  • Weight gain (menopause can cause the metabolism to slow and oestrogen affects where woman store fat and how it is burned)  
  • Atrial fibrillation (a faster heart rate can occur, but sometimes hormonal changes can cause a slowing of the heart and heart blockages that can cause symptoms like dizziness)

Managing menopause symptoms

The good news? Cardiovascular exercise and strength training can make positive changes to all of the above symptoms. So, read on to learn more about the benefits of cardiovascular exercise and also look out for my follow-on blog which will include the benefits of strength training during the menopause, complete with some helpful, easy to follow exercise videos.

The benefits of cardiovascular (aerobic) exercise – that’s any exercise that increases your heart rate and gets your lungs working harder – are well known, and advisable for all individuals, not only women experiencing the menopause. Cardio burns calories and uses energy which in turn metabolises fat and preventing weight gain (plus other conditions such as diabetes). It also strengthens the heart, lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, can reduce arthritic and joint pain, and reduces stress hormones through the release of endorphins. These feel-good chemicals should also help you to sleep better.

As you can see, cardiovascular exercise alone can improve a large portion of the symptoms of menopause and that’s why I advise it to so many of the women that I treat. 

Types of cardio exercise

So, what does cardiovascular exercise look like? As mentioned earlier it can be anything that increases your heart rate and gets your lungs working harder, but below I’ve included a list of examples of both low and high impact cardio, depending on your individual strength and fitness.

Low impact exercises:

  1. Swimming
  2. Cross/elliptical trainer  
  3. Cycling 
  4. Rowing machine (or rowing on water)
  5. Walking/strolling
  6. Horse riding
  7. Ballroom dance classes which don’t involve jumping

Medium impact exercises:

  1. Water aerobics
  2. Zumba classes
  3. Aerobics (still no jumping), pilates or yoga (not always cardiovascular but could be)
  4. Brisk walking
  5. Skipping (if staying on your toes and low to the ground)
  6. Hiking
  7. Rollerblading/ice skating (gently)
  8. Cross country skiing
  9. Table tennis
  10. Thai chi

High impact exercises:

  1. Jogging/running
  2. Plyometric workouts (involving any jumping type exercises)
  3. Mountain climbing
  4. Skiing or snowboarding
  5. Racket sports (tennis, racketball, squash, badminton etc.)
  6. Other sports like cricket, football, basketball, netball, karate, water skiing, hockey

So many types of exercise!! Which to choose? But the point is that with so many options, everyone should be able to find a cardiovascular form of exercise that they enjoy and that fits into their lifestyle. Just remember that if you’re not used to cardio, start with low impact and work your way up to a more strenuous workout when your body gets stronger. 

NHS guidelines suggest adults aged 19-64 should aim to be active in some way every day, aiming for 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity a week or 75 minutes of high intensity activity per week. This also applies to women going through menopause and my advice is that it’s vital for women to maintain their health at this time of life in an effort to help prevent the symptoms we’ve explored.  

Although physiotherapy may not seem like your first port of call for menopause related issues or guidance, the physios at W5physio can provide lots of advice and a tailored exercise programme for you to help maintain your health naturally and holistically during menopause.

So, give us a call today (020 8997 1555) and we’ll help you to find enjoyable activities and an exercise regime that will help you to kick menopause in the butt. And remember to look out for my next blog on strengthening exercises to help you through the menopause too. 

Keeping us all safe – clinic COVID-19 rules

May 28, 2020 by  
Filed under W5 Physio News

We’re thrilled to be open again, but to keep you and our staff safe, please remember there are a few rules that we need everyone to adhere to… 

1. Firstly, please book only via phone or email. DO NOT use the online booking system. This is so that we can manage bookings and ensure we have a minimal number of people in clinic at one time and that patients’ arrival and leaving times are staggered. 

2. We’re ONLY accepting card payments which will be taken over the phone.

3. All patients will be required to sign a COVID-19 Consent to Treatment form prior to their session.

4. All patients will be asked to wear a face covering when entering the clinic and to use the hand sanitiser provided on entering and leaving. 

5. Clients will be unable to wait in reception before their appointment time. Please therefore only arrive at the clinic at the time of your appointment, when you will be taken straight through to your treatment room.

6. Unfortunately our toilet facilities will not be available to visitors for the time being.

7. Previously, we have sometimes been able to provide shorts and other clothing for our clients – this will not be possible for now, so please wear/bring appropriate clothing for your appointment. 

8. Online consultations will still be available for our most vulnerable patients. 

Thank you in advance for helping us to run the clinic in accordance to government guidance. We really look forward to seeing you soon. 

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