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MusculoskeletalMay 13, 2021

In a PhysioUpdate Q&A, Chris Martey explains how you can learn more about spondyloarthritis

In an exclusive PhysioUpdate interview, with questions posed by editor Ian A McMillan, musculoskeletal first contact physiotherapist Chris Martey discusses his passion for physiotherapy and his plans to share information about managing axial spondyloarthritis. Read more to find out how you can attend his forthcoming online seminar for BRITSpA about spondyloarthritis, free of charge.

Even as a student, Chris Martey was a leader and his passion for physio is undimmed


What is your online seminar for BRITSpA about?

I will deliver an education session on the afternoon of 7 June for the British Society for Spondyloarthritis (BRITSpA), part of its series of free interactive online seminars for healthcare professionals. 

These seminars cover the key areas of identifying, diagnosing and managing axial spondyloarthritis, an inflammatory arthritis which primarily affects the spine and sacroiliac joints. My talk will specifically focus on the non-pharmacological management of the condition.

Physiotherapists will receive continuing professional development points for each seminar and can email the BRITSpA secretary to join: secretary@bristspa.co.uk

How did you get involved with BRITSpA?

I previously worked in a specialist secondary care rheumatology setting as a physiotherapist and this is where I found my love of rheumatology and my special interest in the group of heterogenous conditions that fall under the name spondyloarthritis.

BRITSpA is a collective group of healthcare professionals dedicated and committed to advancing the knowledge and understanding of spondyloarthritis in the UK. I joined BRITSpA as a member and was then fortunate enough to be elected as an executive committee member. The executive committee is the board of directors responsible for the day-to-day running of the charity. 

What does your day job entail?

I work as a musculoskeletal (MSK) first contact physiotherapist (FCP) in primary care, with a special interest in rheumatology. Here, I see MSK complaints presenting to general practice without the need for these patients to see a GP first.

It is an exciting, advanced clinical practice role which allows a great variety of caseload and challenges. Furthermore, as many rheumatic diseases present with MSK manifestations, the role is well placed in picking up conditions which masquerade as musculoskeletal but are in fact linked to a more systemic, inflammatory disease.

I'm passionate about my chosen career and am keen to continue to raise the profile of physiotherapy as I know, and have seen, the positive impact this allied health profession has in people's lives across the lifespan [Chris Martey]We recall you made your mark as a student with the CSP?

I've always been a supporter of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP). When I was a student, I took on the role of South East Regional CSP representative, meaning I was the lead for the CSP student representatives elected from the nine universities in the region. This meant I was on the Student Executive Committee – a UK-wide network of regional leads.

I'm passionate about my chosen career and am keen to continue to raise the profile of physiotherapy as I know, and have seen, the positive impact this allied health profession (AHP) has in people's lives across the lifespan. 

What’s next in your career?

I'm thoroughly enjoying my FCP role and wider non-clinical commitments also, so I plan to remain where I am for the foreseeable future to further develop in my clinical and leadership roles.

What three things make you passionate about being a physiotherapist?

  • physiotherapy gives me a challenging and rewarding clinical career; a healthcare profession with a science foundation
  • the impact that physiotherapy – and the collective AHP workforce – makes in health and care is inspiring and needs to be promoted
  • I value the sense of community and togetherness within the profession and appreciate my mentors who have supported me both clinically and non-clinically 

How do you relax?

I enjoy being active and getting outdoors. I'm currently training for my first half Ironman triathlon event. Long cycle rides, in particular, are my perfect way to unwind. 


Chris Martey, MSc, MCSP, is a musculoskeletal first contact physiotherapist with Sirona Care and Health

 For information about BRITSpA, visit: https://britspa.co.uk

Author: Edited by Ian A McMillan
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