Julia, as the owner and principal physiotherapist of North Down Physio, graduated from the University of Ulster in 1996. After working in the NHS for 7 years in a variety of different settings, she moved to New Zealand for a year where she worked in a busy physiotherapy clinic, specialising in sports injuries. During this time Julia was also employed by Christchurch Rugby Football Club, to provide physiotherapy services to their senior squad. Since her return to Belfast she has been based in private practice working with sports and general musculoskeletal injuries.
She established North Down Physio in 2009 as a sole practitioner, and now has a team of expert therapists working alongside her.
The highlights of Julia’s career to date has been working with Team Northern Ireland at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast 2018 and Glasgow 2014. Experiencing the multisport atmosphere in the Athlete Village, Opening and Closing Ceremonies, Medal Ceremonies and eat/sleep/breathing sport for weeks on end was an emotional, exhausting, but totally exhilarating experience that she will never forget.
Julia’s passion for sports physiotherapy was again highlighted as she had the opportunity to work at the London 2012 Olympic Games. Through a rigorous application process, Julia was selected to be a Physiotherapist as part of the volunteer medical team at the Riverbank Hockey Arena. She had the pleasure of working with the athletes and the technical staff of the hockey family… A journey of both professional and personal development on an Olympic scale!
Over the last 10 years Julia has been involved intensively with rugby teams. Finding the time to cover pitchside games, training sessions and clinic based treatment and rehab. Her ‘home team’, as she calls them, are Ballynahinch RFC where she built up a strong and professional Physio service for the boys (and the wider Hinch family!).
Julia has also been the physiotherapist for the Ulster Rugby U19 squad for 8 consecutive years during their Interpro Championships, and provided pitchside physio for the U20’s and U18 as required. Julia also brought a high level of rugby first aid and Physio experience to Sullivan Upper School first XV rugby squad for their Saturday games and Schools Cup run over a 4 year period.
As if all of this doesn’t keep her busy enough, Julia has two wee youngsters at home, Rebecca and Isaac. She certainly needs to be well organised to juggle family life and clinic commitments.
Sarah Key Practitioner
As part of Julia’s continuing professional development, she has specialised in very new and innovative physiotherapy technique that is raising a few eyebrows!
The technique is called “The Sarah Key Method” and Julia was one of the first physiotherapists in the UK to complete the Masterclass Stage 1, 2 and the exam to become an Accredited Practitioner of the Sarah Key Method (APSKM). She has been putting this into practice since 2005, and the results speak for themselves…patients love it!
She has found this method to be particularly effective in the treatment of chronic and acute low back pain, referred pain and sciatica, and thoracic spine and rib pain. She also uses this method to compliment other physiotherapy skills in the treatment of cervical spine pain, hamstring and calf strains, shoulder capsulitis and rotator cuff pathologies.
Teams Worked With
Ulster Under 19 Rugby – Interprovincial Championships
Irish Under 21 Ladies Hockey – European Championships
Ulster Senior Ladies Hockey – Interprovincial Championships
Ulster Under 21 Ladies Hockey – Interprovincial Championships
Ulster Junior Ladies Hockey – Interprovincial Championships
Ballynahinch Rugby Football Club – All Ireland League
Ards Rugby Football Club – All Ireland League
Sullivan Upper School – 1stXV Rugby
Special Olympics – Athlete Support
Member of Chartered Society of Physiotherapists (MCSP)
Member of Health Professions Council (HPC)
Accredited Practitioner of Sarah Key Method (APSK)
Member of Physio First (OCPPP)
Member of Association of Chartered Physiotherapist interested in Sports Medicine (ACPSM)
Member of Acupuncture Association of Chartered Physiotherapists (AACP)
Member of British Association of Sport and Exercise Medicine (BASEM)
Member of The Physiotherapy Board of New Zealand