World-class service from PhD physio student
Jul 03, 2017
A PhD student has just returned from working at an altitude training camp in in Flagstaff in Arizona with some of the best athletes the UK has to offer.
Chris Bramah is a physiotherapist in the School of Health Sciences currently working towards his PhD at the University, having already gained a BSc and an MSc in physiotherapy. His studies are focused on the biomechanical characteristics of elite endurance athletes and how to improve running performance with specially developed running drills.
Chris has worked for British Athletics as a physiotherapist since 2014, working with their elite endurance runners at high altitude training camps at places like Kenya and the Pyrenees, as well as at home in the UK.
In the camps Chris looks after GB athletes from 800m runners up to marathon distance runners including ‘double double’ Olympic champion Mo Farah and Laura Muir, who holds European & British records.
He also looks after a number of Manchester based athletes on a weekly basis including Eilish McColgan (international 5km runner), Michael Rimmer (800m runner) and Tom Lancashire (1500m runner).
Chris said: “Working with these athletes and their coaches gives me a great insight into the training demands required to achieve top level running and also challenges me to provide the best possible physiotherapy care.
“Athletes competing at this level demand their bodies to function at 100% to allow themselves to push their physical boundaries in order to compete against the best in the world. At this level these athletes can’t afford to miss time from training due to injury and that requires me to work at my best to prevent any training loss and ensure they are ready to compete.”
As part of his PhD, Chris was integral in getting funding and setting up the University’s running performance clinic, aimed at recreational runners who want to learn more about their running style and how to improve it. It’s the only gait analysis service in Manchester that provides state-of-the-art 3D running gait assessment and the money made from assessments goes back into the University.
This year he’s part of the GB physiotherapy team working at the London World Championships. He’ll be jetting off to the altitude holding camp with all the athletes who have qualified to make sure they’re in peak physical condition for the competition.
Chris added: “I’ve learnt that keeping athletes in a position to perform at their best requires a complex understanding of the individual, their physical qualities, their training and their lifestyle factors that may influence their recovery or injury risk. We've integrated these findings into our assessments at the clinic.
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