Meet out therapists

All of our therapists are Chartered Physiotherapists and registered with the Health and Social Care Professions Council (the regulatory body for physiotherapy in the UK).

Each physiotherapist treats all types of musculoskeletal injuries and conditions. You do not need to choose a therapist before booking an appointment. The only exception is Kay Bradley-Higgins, who has a specialsist spinal/chronic pain clinic one day a week at Pennine Physiotherapy.

Karen Hellawell, physiotherapist

Karen Hellawell

  • All types of musculoskeletal physiotherapy from head to toe

Karen founded the clinic with Alison Whitely in 2014, following on from a successful career within both NHS, private practice and professional Rugby League. Karen's philosophy is to help you "be the best you", supporting people of all ages and physical abilities to remain active and continue pursuing the activities they enjoy.

Karen enjoys the challenge of working with sports people to help reduce the risk of injury and improve performance by addressing imbalances. She keeps up to date with the latests advances in physio treatments and is trained to use accupunture as part of her physiotherapy treatments. Karen offers regular bio-mechanical screeening to junior elite tennis players.

Experience and Qualifications

Karen completed her Graduate Diploma in Physiotherapy at Bradford School of Physiotherapy in 1990. She was awarded a Post-Graduate Certificate in Manipulative Physiotherapy by Sheffield Hallam University in 1995. Karen is registered with the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP), Accupuntrure Association of Chartered Physiotherapists (AACP), and The Organisation of Chartered Physiotherapists in Private Practice

As well as holding Senior Physiotherapist roles within the NHS, Karen has been Physiotherapist to the Great Britain Wheelchair Basketball Team, Huddesfield Rugy League FC, Hunslet Rugby League FC, England U16 Rugby League, Scotland Senior Rugby League Squad. She has also worked as a Physiotherpist sceening Team GB cyclists and athletes.


Alan Wood

  • All types of musculoskeletal physiotherapy from head to toe

Alan is a Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist specialising in orthopaedics, lower limb biomechanics and sports injuries. Prior to training as a PHsyiotherpists Alan enjoyed a carrer in scientific research, achieving a PhD in Molecular Toxicology at the University of Manchester.

Outside of work Alan is a keen road cyclist, avid sport watcher and a long suffering Rochdale AFC supporter.

Experience and Qualifications

Alan completed his B.Sc. (Hons) in Physiotherapy in 2002 and initially spent time working within the NHS in the UK and New Zealand. For the past 15 years he has combined his work in private practice with physiotherapy work in professional football, rugby league and ballet. Alan has been a lead physiotherapist for York, Featherstone Rovers and The Northern Ballet.

Alan brings the analytical skills of his PhD to his physiotherapy practice, keeping abreast of the latest research and regularly undertaking additional training in new or specialised treatment methods. He is is registered with the Health and Care Professionals Council (HCPC) and a Member of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP).

Alan Wood placeholder


Kay Bradley-Higgins

Kay Bradley-Higgins

  • Speciliases in chronic/spinal pain

Kay is a Chartered Physiotherapist and SIRPA Practitioner. She is the only Sarah Key Practitioner in the North of England and specialises in the treatment of back/spinal pain, particularly the management of chronic spinal conditions.

Kay runs a specialist pain clinic one day per week at Pennine Physiotherapy. You do not need a referral to attend the clinic. If you are unsure about whether you need to see Kay or one of our other physiotherapists, we are happy to discuss your requirements (in confidence) over the telephone.

Experience and Qualifications

Kay graduated from Salford School of Physiotherapy in 1991. She has continually complemented her clinical work with additional formal study. In 2004 Kay graduated from Huddersfield University with a MSc in Advancing Clinical Practice in Physiotherapy.

In 2005 Kay was appointed as an Advanced Practitioner in Physiotherapy within the NHS, specialising in treating back pain, a role that she still does part-time. In 2006 Kay attended her first Sarah Key Masterclass, becoming an Accredited Practitioner in 2007. Kay is also qualified to to train other physiotherapists in the Sarah Key method.

Since 2015 Kay has been a qualified SIRPA practitioner. SIRPA is the Stress Illness Recovery Practitioners’ Association. It provides training to healthcare professionals in a method that can help significantly with persistent pain, using a more holistic mind/body approach, based on the latest developments in neuroscience.