Name: Lucy Hackney
Occupation: Physiotherapist

What is your educational background?

I have a BA Combined Arts degree with a major in Psychology and a minor in Sociology gained in 1995 and BSc Honours Physiotherapy degree from 2000.

How did you build your success/career to where you are now?
I started working in the NHS and therefore got a very broad base of general medical experience and for the last 14 years I have been specializing with neuromusculoskeletal patients.
Throughout my career I have always practiced ‘Continuous Professional Development’ by attending post graduate courses and furthering my knowledge.
After the birth of my son in 2007 I started to work in private practice as it was more flexible and so when I moved to Barcelona in 2012 I had enough experience to set up my own business.

What inspired you to become what you do?
When I was 15 I did a 2 week work experience placement at my local hospital in the physio department and loved every minute of it.
The variety of work, the interaction with the patients, being able to help people, problem solving, the hospital environment. I just loved it all. And I had a teenage crush on one of the physio’s, along with all his geriatric patients who also adored him!

What does a typical day look for you at your job?
I work part time hours as I have 2 children and so every day is different for me. I can see anything from 1 to 7 patients in a day. I try not to treat more than 6 if I can help it. I also work one evening a week.
Each patient is different, so I might see one patient for low back pain and then next for running related knee pain, and then a pregnant lady with sacroiliac pain.

The variety between patients is what I love about the job and what keeps me on my toes as each patient involves knowing different anatomy and using different problem solving and clinical reasoning.
I also teach one day a week on an International Physiotherapy degree. This is a great privilege as I get to have some influence over future generations of physiotherapists!

What advice do you have for people aspiring for the same career as yours?
You have to be curious and like talking to people and not be squeamish about touching bodies!
The physiotherapy degree is full on in terms of volume of learning and the subject matter so you have to be prepared to get your head down and work hard.

What is the most important thing you’ve learned in your job?
Pain is a great leveler, you can be rich or poor, strong or weak, black or white and you can still get pain.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years time? What are some goals for your job?
In 5 years time I would like to still be treating patients in a clinical setting and also continuing to teach future generations at the University.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
When someone comes in with a problem that has been bothering them for years and they think they just have to put up with it, and then I give them treatment and advice that resolves the problem and therefore improves their quality of life.

Your health philosophy in one sentence?
Variety is the spice of life! Do different types of exercise, keep moving little and often throughout the day, eat mostly well but with occasional treats and always remember to breath.

What are benefits people can achieve from a session of yours?
I always try and educate the patient as to why they are in pain and how they can try and resolve the pain and avoid it recurring. I think when we understand why something is happening, it takes the fear away and helps us to make the changes we need, without worrying that we will make it worse.

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