Here goes nothing, my first blog, about me - simple.

OK, so I have decided to add a blog to the website. This is something new to me, so bear with me and I will do my best not to bore you! I shall endeavor to post regularly with articles that are useful to athletes and people that are in pain. There may also even be the odd article that interests clinicians that happen to stumble upon it. There is an important message however that I will reiterate before each blog which is THIS BLOG IS NOT INTENDED TO REPLACE MEDICAL EXPERTISE AND MY ADVISE TO YOU ALWAYS WOULD BE TO SEE A REPUTABLE, QUALIFIED HEALTH PROFESSIONAL IF YOU ARE UNSURE OF ANYTHING. Anyway, I thought I would start by introducing myself so you know a bit about me. Subscribe to the blog and they will get more interesting........... I promise.

My Name is Josh Congdon and I am a Chartered Physiotherapist. That statement took me 5 years of degree-level study to be able to say, and I am proud to be able to do so. I took a long route into physiotherapy having always wanted to join the RAF as a pilot. I went to 6th Form but left after my first year as I lost focus and interest in the subjects I had taken, this was the point I realised I wasn't going to be a pilot. I made the decision at 18 to go to America and become a soccer coach. I spent just over 18 months between New Jersey and Massachusettes, meeting wonderful people and generally living the dream! While I was in the states I developed patella tendinopathy and saw a physical therapist, where they assessed me and performed an x-ray (I find this strange now knowing what I know now about the limited use of x-ray in tendon issues!). This was my first experience of a 'physio' and got me interested.

This came to an end and I had to come back to the UK and make a plan for the rest of my life. I was lucky and got into Writtle College to study the BSc in Sport and Exercise Performance with just my AS Levels. I really enjoyed this course, and in particular the sports injury and medicine modules which got me interested in becoming a physiotherapist. So, I got experience shadowing some NHS physios and decided that this was what I wanted to do. I applied to Essex University to do their MSc (pre-registration) in physiotherapy, and after interview was delighted to get a place. This 2 years was undoubtedly the toughest of my life, made better by the people on the course. They were a huge support system which I believe is hugely important in all aspects of life - always surround yourself with the right people and you won't go far wrong.

After what seemed like forever, I finally graduated in 2011 and have been registered with the Health and Care Professions Council as a Chartered Physiotherapist since. Initially I worked in occupational health, but this only lasted 3 months. This was not where I saw myself and when I successfully applied for a post in a community interest company which provides MSK service to the NHS I took it. Within this organisation, I worked my way up from band 5 to 6 and am now the center lead physiotherapist at their biggest clinic, responsible for the operations of the clinic and quality of the service provided. I love working within the NHS with the huge variety or clients with different goals, all just as important but so different nonetheless. I really feel that I am lucky to have found a job that I enjoy and do not get that Sunday night feeling.

While working with this organisation I have been very lucky to be able to attend course and conferences led by some of the most influential and knowledgeable people in healthcare, and feel extremely privileged to be able to do so - learning from the masters. I have also been able to engage in other posts while working in this organisation. I spent 2 years working at Ipswich Town F.C, as a physiotherapist for their academy players. I went back as a lecturer at Writtle College, teaching the modules that inspired me for 3 years to the students; and have worked in private practice too. In addition to these experiences, I have also been able to complete a PGCert at Essex University in Musculoskeletal Imaging (ultrasound). Looking back, I have done a lot since 2011!

Outside of work I have always been interested in and played football until about a year ago when I stopped this in order to train and complete my first triathlon. I loved it and would encourage anyone to try it out. I love the variety in the training and feeling of hitting training goals. I never really understood the appeal of endurance sports, but I get it now.

My experience of working in sport both as a coach and physio, my previous degree in sport and exercise performance and physiotherapy degree give me a good understanding of exercise prescription and rehabilitation, but also an appreciation of the importance of getting back to previous activity levels as quickly as possible. I have a strong belief that clients should receive an honest and quality service from a physiotherapist, and that the core of getting better is rehabilitation, not fancy machines! These beliefs are what led me to start Reflex-18. Your body is an incredible machine like no other and my job is to help you keep using that machine to the level you require.................................................. and I love it!