PUTTING HER SKILLS TO GOOD USE
Gymnast retired aged 16 due to injuries
AS a talented young gymnast representing Great Britain, Candice Carter had a promising sporting career ahead of her.
So she was heartbroken when, at the age of 16, she was forced to retire from the profession because of an injury.
But now the 30-year-old from Ruislip is putting her experience to good use – as a physiotherapist at Hillingdon Hospital.
She said: “It was tough at the time because gymnastics was my life, but I went on to gain a sports science degree and then chose to focus on physiotherapy.
“It’s a hands-on profession but you can see the positive results of what you are doing, which is rewarding, and I enjoy the interaction with patients.”
Ms Carter took up gymnastics aged five and competed with Great Britain’s junior team before having to retire from the sport.
The physical demands of training more than 20 hours a week took their toll, causing her repetitive back and ankle injuries.
But after completing a sports science degree, followed by a physiotherapy degree at Brunel University, she is now forging an equally successful career for herself at the hospital in Pield Heath Road.
She sees around 20 patients a day at the hospital’s rehabilitation gym, treating everything from whiplash and fractures to back pain and foot injuries, using a range of manipulation and mobilisation techniques.
She is part of an 18-strong outpatient team whose wider department also includes occupational therapy as well as physiotherapy for inpatients and outpatients.
She said: “It does involve some detective work getting to the root of the problem, but that’s what makes it interesting, and patients are often surprised about how the body compensates for an injury by making another part work harder.”
n HANDS-ON: Candice Carter now works as a physiotherapist at Hillingdon Hospital