Modern Physiotherapy and Emerging Trends

If you enjoy watching movies then you’ve probably noticed that the future is often painted as a dark dystopian place ruled by tyrannical despots desperately clinging to power as the lights progressively go out. It typically plays out as a modern re-run of the collapse of the Roman Empire and a consequential societal descent into a new dark age.

It’s all wonderfully gruesome and plays to our fears, yet if you look at the trends emerging in our society I suspect an altogether brighter future awaits us.

So, let’s start with a simple question; “What’s caused the biggest change in our society in the last 30 years?” “Easy” you say, “the invention and mass adoption of the internet and cell phone technologies.” That’s right, and we are now seeing physical changes in our environment as a consequence. A good example of this are the changes we see on our highstreets. With anything you want just a click away and delivered to your door the next day or sooner, why bother going to the shops for the stuff you don’t really need, when you can stay home instead and watch NetFlix or play Modern Warfare 2? So, we see shops closing, clearly some fare better than others; clothes shops seem relatively less effected as we like to feel the fabric and try on the clothes prior to purchase. As shops close they are being replaced by an ever increasing numbers of businesses where you physically need to be there such as; cafés or hairdressers. So, the trend is that shops are being replaced with businesses where there is much more social interaction; beauty salons, nail bars, actual bars, street food outlets and so on.

Sheffield Physiotherapy is situated on Ecclesall Road and these changes are occurring in this area at lightning speed. All manner of interesting boutique type shops, selling handmade items that it’s hard to find on the internet are opening, along with art galleries and the like. Clearly physiotherapy fits into this trend well, yet this article is about something subtler than that.

Prior to these changes our highstreets and shopping centres encouraged us to go “leisure shopping” mostly for items with in-built redundancy such as; fashionable clothes and high-tech gadgets. Increasingly however there’s a shift away from the accumulation of things we don’t need, towards experiences and more human interactions. We are therefore becoming more dependent upon one another for the quality of our lives. As this trend continues to unfold I foresee a renaissance in art, theatre and the importance of culture to enrich our lives. The recognition that or health is truly our wealth will progressively become the modern mantra. We’ll want to be able to look, move and feel great as we engage with people more and more. Where once we only worried about having straight teeth, we’ll increasingly want a straight spine also. Great posture will become more highly prized than ever.

Sheffield Physiotherapy is obviously well placed to assist people to become the best version of themselves, as it is perhaps the most innovative physiotherapy clinic in the country. It is already able to offer treatments to restore supple movement to the entire spine via PAMM Therapy; a piece of sophisticated bionic mobilisation equipment. Impossible to achieve by hand alone such technology makes it possible to restore lost movement throughout the spine, improving posture and the reducing the damaging overstrain which is at the root of most back or neck problems.

If I were to write a movie script about a time in the not too distant future I would represent the identikit town centres and shopping malls as the dystopian nightmare and the future as the dawn of a new sense of appreciation of; art, ourselves and the role we play in our communities.


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If you’d be interested in a short video on some of the points I raise in this article again please comment below.


John Wood

Clinical Director

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The Author

Lewis Payne

Lewis graduated from The University of Nottingham in 2013 with a First Class Honours in Physiotherapy, worked as Sheffield F.C.’s first team Physiotherapist, and now runs a leading-edge private clinic in Sheffield. With over ten years of experience, he specialises in manual therapy, advanced technological treatments, and exercise-based approaches, focusing on spinal and joint conditions, sports injuries, and specifically complex spinal issues like disc pathology and scoliosis. Lewis leads in IDD Therapy, performing over 6000 treatments, offers MRI referrals and reviews, and employs a holistic treatment philosophy viewing the body as a Tensegrity structure. He excels in postural analysis, soft tissue release techniques, and prescribes biomechanical corrective exercises to enhance natural movement.