de Smit Medical works in partnership with Chartered Physio, Jane Appleyard, to provide informative articles and videos on the topic of the pelvic floor.
Here’s a quick Q&A for you to get to know Jane and her background a little more.
What was it that initially made you want to be a physio?
I wanted to be a physio after going along to a careers evening at school around the age of 13 years! Although my career has taken me in different directions over the years it was the best decision I ever made. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else that brings so much job satisfaction.
You work in a clinic setting and also offer online consultations – Are face to face consultations better than online advice?
I think there is a place for both! Certainly the NHS, independent practitioners and the public have faced huge challenges with Covid- 19 but it’s pushed everyone to embrace the concept of online health consultations. It has to be the way forwards. There is always going to be a place for a physical examination but going hand in hand with this it’s a fact that many women can self assess and self treat under online guidance from a physiotherapist. This has to be a better option that just ‘Googling’ pelvic health issues and spending money on gadgets and gizmos that aren’t going to help!
What gives you the biggest buzz at work?
It has to be putting people at ease – so they can talk openly about personal conditions. Even though pelvic floor issues and continence are talked about more openly people are still reluctant to seek help for themselves. It often takes just a small amount of guidance and a personalised pelvic floor exercise programme to make a huge difference.
What gives you the biggest buzz outside of work?
I love getting out in the countryside. Yorkshire is such a beautiful place to live. The North Yorks moors, the coast and the Lake District are a close by – as are major airports to leave the country for some sunshine! The biggest buzz has to be cuddles from grandchildren!
How would you describe your professional approach?
I think being a physio is embedded in my DNA. Although my speciality is now pelvic floor related I still find myself analysing peoples gait when I’m out and about! My focus is always to come alongside people and ‘help them to help themselves’. I avoid medical jargon and explain in terms people can understand the mysteries surrounding bladder, bowel, pelvic floor and prolapse problems. As a cancer survivor I can know what a challenge illness can be and I hope this gives me a better understanding enabling me to empathise with people I treat.
What 3 words would you use to describe yourself?
I’ve been described as a ‘Little Pocket Rocket’ which refers to my small stature of 4 foot 11 ½ inches (the ½ inch being very important) as well as my enthusiasm and energy for life!
How do you wish to further develop your practice/work?
I want to look at ways of promoting pelvic health so people feel comfortable seeking help. ‘Prevention is better than cure’ so it would be great if everyone looked at ways of addressing continence and pelvic floor issues before they became a real problem. There is so much ‘fake news’ on social media about pelvic health. It’s really important people are given evidence based information but it needs to be packaged in a way that’s accessible and easy to understand. Mini video series, top tips, blog articles and online consultations are the way forward.
What chocolate bar would you be and why?
Probably a Mars bar – it’s an old favourite but the strap line that it helps you to ‘Work, Rest and Play’ is great!