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From Patient to Practitioner – Harris & Ross Senior Physio Sophie Tucker

From Patient to Practitioner – Harris & Ross Senior Physio Sophie Tucker

Harris & Ross Physiotherapist Sophie Tucker is a senior physiotherapist who works out of our Wilmslow clinic, aswell as delivering our physiotherapy provision at Bentley Motors in Crewe. However, her first dealings with Harris & Ross were actually when she was a young tennis player aged 13 years old. It was through her treatment here that she realised a career in physio was something she wanted to pursue, and she not only achieved her dream, but ended up working back in the place that inspired her decision originally!

Sophie has a background in sport, specifically tennis, which she first started playing at the age of 9. Sophie trained at the Northern Lawn Tennis Club, as well as at Bolton Arena, and was part of the High Performance squads at both.

As a junior Sophie was part of the Cheshire County Cup teams at both U14 and U18 age groups. At U14 level she was ranked in the top 10 in the UK for her age group and by the age of 16 was part of the Northern Ladies Team. The team went to the National Team Tennis Finals in Bournemouth where they were competing against some of the top lady players in the UK.

At the age of just 13, Sophie suffered an injury to her left elbow and, being left handed, this took her out of the game for around 6 weeks. Despite receiving treatment from a physiotherapist recommended by a friend, only 2 weeks after returning to competitive play and training, the same elbow injury flared up again. The physio that had initially treated Sophie was unable to fit her in on this occasion and recommended Jeff at Harris & Ross Physiotherapy – which is where Sophie’s patient to practitioner story begins!

“From the first initial physiotherapy assessment with Jeff he made me feel at ease that the elbow could be rehabilitated with manual therapy and exercises. He explained that I had returned to playing competitively too soon and that my elbow just couldn’t cope with the demands of high intensity training on a daily basis. It took a further 4 weeks to rehab.

Unfortunately, the elbow injury flared up again around 6 months later, this time being very painful, the elbow had also locked so I couldn’t straighten it fully, I returned to see Jeff for this issue. In the meantime I had still been seeing Jeff for knee pain, which was caused by my rapid growth spurts. At this point I was starting to find physiotherapy and the biomechanics of the body rather interesting along with how all the anatomy and physiology linked together.

It was decided that I should get a scan on my elbow for which I went to see Mike Hayton, an elbow and wrist surgeon, who decided to inject my elbow with a corticosteroid to try and settle things down. After another 6 weeks of rehabilitation with Jeff, I returned to competitive tennis- by this point I had just turned 15. Unfortunately, the corticosteroid didn’t last long and 4 months later the injury came back again, as a result it was decided that I would have surgery on the elbow.

Post-surgery I was again unable to get my elbow fully straight due to stiffness from the surgery, by now I had decided that playing tennis professionally was probably a no and there followed many conversations on what I should decide to do as a career. Discussions eventually led to the idea of becoming a police woman, I was dead set with this idea until I had a session of physiotherapy with Jeff and he suddenly got my elbow to straighten fully! Jeff explained how this had happened and I was instantly hooked! Jeff recommended that I attended the Gunther Von Hagens’ Body Worlds Exhibition, at the Museum of Science and Industry, so that I could understand how the elbow functioned anatomically and how all the muscles and ligaments attached. This increased my interest in wanting to become a physiotherapist.

From that point on, every time I walked through the doors at Harris & Ross I was dead set that I wanted to work for this prestigious company. The professionalism throughout the company was evident to see and I wanted to be a part of it!

At the end of my physiotherapy degree I had to complete a 4 week placement decided by myself, I sent an email to Jeff and I received a reply asking whether I would be available for a chat. It was decided at the interview that I would come and complete my placement at Harris & Ross, where I would have the opportunity to work closely with their fantastic physiotherapists, getting me ready to start in July when I graduated.

I feel super privileged to be working for, and be part of, such a highly successful and professional company who strive to provide the best care for every patient – be it athletes or the general public. From being the 13 year old girl who came in for treatment, and dreamed of one day working for Harris & Ross, I have now reached one of the goals in my career.”

Sophie’s future plans, working within Harris & Ross, include starting up a specific Tennis Physiotherapy Department. Sophie will provide tailored physiotherapy assessments, treatments and rehabilitation to any level of tennis player – from the general public and once a week/weekend players through to high level junior and adult players. The specific first-hand knowledge that Sophie has of the sport, including her understanding of the demands and movement patterns that the body is required to complete, puts her in a fantastic position to head up this department.

If you would like to book in with Sophie, or learn more about her work history and qualifications, click here to read her profile and  book online below or call us on 0161 832 9000.