- Graduated with an Honors Degree in Physiotherapy in London in 2000 and went on to complete a Masters Degree from Leicester in Pain Management in 2008.
- Worked alongside revered consultant spine specialist Mr Nick Birch, at East Midlands Spine for 11 years in the role of Clinical Research Fellow.
- Was a self-employed Physiotherapist at Witty, Pask and Buckingham (Northampton) for 8 and a half years until leaving in May 2017 due to the increased workload associated with developing Team Rehab uk Ltd.
- Has been part of National and International spinal research projects as well as the first self-stabilising exoskeleton (REX)
- He has collated, analysed and presented research data nationally and through Europe.
- He is a multiple published co-author in numerous Medical Journals.
- Has specialist skills and interests in spinal pain but also likes to see the weekend warrior 'athlete', and those of us who are simply wearing out (like his knees)!!
Chris's Professional Story
Chris comes from a small village between Wellingborough and Kettering. He was educated at Sir Christopher Hatton School, in Wellingborough, before moving to London to undertake his Physiotherapy degree at the Royal London Hospital, in association with the University of East London. He graduated in 2000 and went on to work within the NHS, in and around London and Essex, prior to his return to Northampton at the end of 2003.
After developing an interest in spinal problems, especially the lower back, Chris went on to complete a Masters Degree in Pain Management at the University of Leicester. In 2009 he was invited to take up the position of Clinical Research Fellow to Consultant Spinal Specialist Mr Nick Birch at East Midlands Spine Ltd and was there until 2021.
Chris was the primary representative of East Midlands Spine during the EU-funded GENODISC project, which was a multi-million Euro research project run by Oxford University, in association with sites across 9 countries.
This project used cutting-edge technology along with the latest research to investigate the role our genetics play in the degeneration of our intervertebral discs and the possibility of developing techniques such as stem cell therapy to try and slow, or even reverse this process.
Since then he has been co-author of multiple research papers published in world-leading medical journals and has continued to work on several projects with the most recent, pre-COVID, being the Rex Bionics 'Rapper Trial' (At the time was the World's only self-stabilising exoskeleton robotic suit that enables wheelchair-bound individuals to get up and walk).
Throughout his time at East Midlands Spine, he continued to maintain a clinical presence as a sole trader at both Moulton and a leading Northamptonshire Physio Clinic. His main case load is, without surprise perhaps, spine-related disorders, however, he enjoys seeing all musculoskeletal and post-operative cases as well.
In 2015 Chris closed his sole trader company in order to start Team Rehab uk Ltd. This would give him the platform on which to hand-pick the therapists that he felt could deliver the expertise and type of care that he thought should be available to his clients around the region. He is committed to expanding a company that employs only experienced, proven therapists who can deliver effective and appropriate treatment in professional environments.
More recently he became a First Contact Practioner, which is a very involved process of significant extra training both theoretically and practically over 12+ months, to allow him to work independently as a front-line clinician in select NHS GP surgeries as an MS specialist. In addition to this, he is also a qualified assessor, for the FCP professional qualification.
As you can imagine, Chris is very busy nowadays, as the sole founder and Director of Team Rehab uk, and everything that goes along with employment and business growth. He does however reserve time each week to see a small number of private patients in order to put his vast wealth of experience to good use, but he may not be as freely available to new patients, outside of the 'complex spinal assessment' service, as we would like.
Chris is married with a 14-year-old son, living in the Northamptonshire countryside. He has been involved in sport participation throughout his whole life but a significant injury, as a result of training for the rather ludicrous 25km race over Pen'y'fan, twice, ( the Fan Dance) put pay to this. Following two failed knee arthroscopies, he had a half knee replacement in late 2022, undertaken in Stanmore Hospital, by very advanced robotically assisted surgery (MAKO).
Chris Heywood - MSc BSc (Hons) MCSP HCPC reg
Personal (but too personal)
Although he will never be able to participate in sports the way he used to, it does not keep him away from his favorite location and pastime, walking and wild camping up in the Lakes.
Assisting with this pastime is his great pyredane 'son from another mum' who is great company, along with his son (wife not so keen!) The only thing is, that balancing on paddle boards and canoes with a significant extra ballast, who also likes to walk up and down the boards is a challenge for anyone's balance. With chris being 6f2 and 110kg, things in a 1-to-man tent can get a bit tight, although warmth is not so much of an issue!