Heaton Moor Physio, Stockport

Physio Stockport: Mark McGillian of Heaton Moor Physio

Physio Stockport: Mark McGillian, Heaton Moor Physiotherapy

We thought it might be fun to have a little interview with Mark, the founder of Heaton Moor Physio in Stockport to see what his motivations are for running his Clinic.

Why did you set up your Physiotherapy clinic in Stockport?

I have lived in Stockport for almost 15 years now and love the vibrancy of the place.

Stockport has a very distinct vibe. It’s really characterised by having fewer big chains and a great flourishing of independent shops such as those in Underbank or places like the Heatons, Romiley and Davenport.

I really wanted to be part of that and so when the time came to start up my clinic, I knew this was the place I wanted to be in.

stockport town hall

Credits: meetinmanchester.com

What particular techniques are you trained in?

Like many physios, I am trained in manual therapy approaches such as mobilisation and manipulation. This is often termed “hands-on” physio. These techniques are great for the relief of painful conditions such as neck pain and low back pain.

However, physiotherapy has evolved over the years and we have discovered that pain and the disability resulting from pain can be dramatically influenced by a number of other factors. Just to mention a few, these could be sleep, stress, and lifestyle. Having an understanding of these broader factors really helps maximise the success of any treatment.

Also, to stay abreast of sporting advances, I have undertaken a Masters degree in Strength and Conditioning. I don’t mind telling you that’s been tough! As a result, I’ve learnt so much from the teaching team at Salford University. My skill set has grown dramatically. Now, it includes advanced assessment of strength and power. I can also build detailed training programmes for any athlete. I’m really looking forward to my graduation this summer!


How do you hope to develop your skills in future?

One of my biggest successes recently was my research project into strength training for the elderly. A bunch of brave elderly volunteers (the oldest was 82!) took part in an Olympic weightlifting training programme.

I would like to repeat that success with another project in the future. Indeed, I believe it is a practical way to hone skills and answer questions. It is great to have the confidence to ask a question such as “how can I make this better” and set about doing it myself. I couldn’t have imagined doing that before doing the masters degree.

Which equipment do you use in your job?

heaton moor physiotherapy stockport

Resistance bands, weights, and loads of guidance and advice.

I’m all about keeping it simple, though. Indeed, most problems do not require complex answers. What we really need to do is a thorough assessment to make sure that nothing serious is going on. Then, we set about challenging the problem area with exercises that are just hard enough to cause change.

The body loves a challenge! It will rise to it as long as it’s within its tolerance. So, from the get-go, exercise will form a key part of your treatment with us.

Which type of patient do you generally encounter in your job?

The people I see most are generally those

Which are the most common medical conditions you treat?

low back painLow back pain! Low back pain is exceedingly common and often not serious at all. Although it can be very painful!

I have great success with my approach to low back pain which can involve some surprising and challenging things. For example, I actually encourage people to pick up objects with a bent back!

As I’ve said before, the real trick is challenge but not overstress the body. This builds reslience and reduces pain.

Almost all our clients will see a marked improvement in their pain, with the majority resolving altogether.

What do you believe to be the latest trends in physical therapy and how do you use them? 

I really strive to be a modern physio at the forefront of our profession.

We are “evidence-based practitioners“. This means that we should only be following the best quality research. The research, however, is showing up some surprising things. The best of these is that “wear and tear” is a terrible way to describe how the body ages! Just having arthritis, for example, show up in an X-ray does not mean that you have to be in pain.

Modern physio is exciting and challenging. Many of our old ideas and practices are being reviewed and renewed. This often leads to great success.

For me, my clients are best served when we view them as a person and not just “a sore knee. Is your knee painful because of your biomechanics? Is it because you’ve had a stressful 6 weeks at work and haven’t been sleeping right? In this case, your post-run recovery could be limited. The answer is often a mix of these different factors. So, if we can identify them all, we can give you massive headstart on recovery.

How do you generally go above and beyond with your service?

Being a local resident, means I can provide flexibility in accommodating the clients of our Physio in Stockport. So, if you can’t make a particular time, we will try to find a slot to fit you in.

I also work very closely people over the years. We develop and adapt rehabilitation and training plans as their life changes. Actually, some of our clients have been with us for over 10 years!

Which tips and recommendations do you give more often to your patients?

Don’t worry and try to keep moving! I know, injury or pain can be scary. Please keep in mind, though, that our human body is amazing at healing.

I have seen some spectacular recoveries in my time as a physiotherapist in Stockport. We should trust the body’s own healing mechanisms more and worry less.

That’s where we come in. Book your physiotherapy initial assessment (10% discount on  if you book online). We will provide advice which gives you the confidence to get back on your feet and get going again. (You can cancel with a full refund up to 24 hours prior to the appointment).

Author Info

Mark McGillian

Lead Physio at Heaton Moor Physiotherapy