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Iona Mccusker

Fitness and wellbeing are, and have always been at the core of my lifestyle, but this was invigorated during my studies. I have played football my entire life, but on my placement year in Australia with the Brumbies, a super Rugby Union team, I fell in love with rugby. Since then I have committed a lot of time to conditioning myself, and inevitably getting bruised and battered, for the sport. In the process I have gained a first-hand understanding of how the body needs to move, and the demands contact sport requires.

On my placement year I had the opportunity to work with Australia’s international rugby doctor and multiple physiotherapists, who taught me a variety of skills that have directly enhanced my knowledge and ability to assess and treat individuals. During this time I discovered just how connected the body is, and as a result, how vital a comprehensive history and assessment is. I strongly believe that if you are not an athlete but you train as though you are, optimising recovery and maintaining your body is essential with massage therapy. I have worked with International and Elite athletes as well as the general public of all ages, and every individual is unique, which requires a specific tailored approach to reach and maintain short and long-term goals.

I have previously worked at the London marathon and Obstacle Course Race nationals providing massage to finishers. Many finishers were first time runners and others were regular marathon doers, but the need for treatment remains the same.

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I have just graduated from The University of Hertfordshire in Sports Therapy. Something quite unique about Sports Therapy is the in-depth strength and conditioning module, a particular interest and passion of mine. Specifically, being able to see the benefits a tailored programme can make on performance for athletes of all sports. Especially within rugby, it is essential to know the speed of the sport, types of force required and the muscles and movements individuals will use. Most importantly being aware of the common injuries in order to try and reduce the risk.

In the last year I have worked pitch side for Charlton F.C academy boy’s teams and Old Albanians RFU men’s team. I have also been able to apply my skills assessing and treating university staff and athletes at the university clinic. I have previously worked with the women’s performance basketball team where I dealt with and managed injuries at training and court side games during the season. This time allowed me to work with different injuries all over the body, including fingers, shoulders and ankles. I also observed the surgery of Dr Rashid Abbas at UCLH hospital in London which allowed me to see the detail and damage done during surgery and just how important rehabilitation is for the physical and mental self.

I was then lucky enough to spend a season with the Brumbies, a Super Rugby Union team in Australia. Here I worked as part of a close knit medical team, having a list of athletes to assess and treat during the day. Part of the day was spent outside leading rehabilitation with those returning from injury, as well as observing training and those recently returning from injury. I was heavily involved with initial testing and also weekly throughout the season. This involved a countermovement jump, 20m sprint and sometimes 1 Repetition maximum bench press and squat. I was fortunate to get the opportunity to observe Dr Kevin Woods’ surgery at Canberra Hospital. Dr Woods is an orthopaedic surgeon who is well-known for specialising in shoulders and knees. I completed a Level 1 Sports trainer and first aid course which enabled me to work with the Brumbies junior squad. I travelled with the squad and two other medical staff to Brisbane for several competitions where I worked pitch side, allowing me to explore the different types of injuries junior athletes have, as well as having to adapt my communication style to younger patients.

More recently, I did a working placement with Old Albanians RFU men’s team, whilst also playing for the women’s side. Assessing, treating, and planning rehabilitation allowed me to integrate evidence based practice to enable safe and effective injury management. For training and games taping was done only if clinically reasoned. I also covered pitch side and was exposed to several trauma scenarios whilst in a team and on my own. These experiences have had a positive impact on my communication with colleagues, coaches, paramedics, parents and the athletes.

BSc (hons) Sports Therapy


Sports massage

Manual therapy

Electrotherapy (Ultrasound, Interferential, TENS)

Rehabilitation (Exercise, stretching)

Strength and Conditioning

I am interested in Strength and conditioning and how different modes of manipulating training can improve multiple fitness components at different times when necessary. Injury prevention is a huge factor on the philosophies of strength training. Similarly, I am keen on exploring and perfecting load manipulation when training for general health and fitness, as well as training for an event. I enjoy pitch side injury management and the intense environment of dealing with such injuries and trauma in the safest, fastest, most efficient way possible. Something I would like to explore more is the injury risk female athletes may be at during different menstrual cycle phases and how this can be reduced with tailored training periodisation. I believe a multidisciplinary approach is essential to diagnose and design the best approach for each individual.

Book an appointment.

To discuss how Iona Mccusker may be able to help you or to book in for an appointment, please fill in the following form and we will be in touch soon.

If you have any questions, you can also call us on 0800 0724 012.

Book an appointment.

To discuss how Iona Mccusker may be able to help you or to book in for an appointment, please fill in the following form and we will be in touch soon.

If you have any questions, you can also call us on 0800 0724 012.

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