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Educational journey completed for new doctor

14 December 2015

Rachel Atkinson

Knee pain expert has studied from foundation to PhD level at UCLan

 

A knee pain expert has finally reached the finish line of his mammoth educational journey by receiving his doctorate from the University of Central Lancashire this week.

Dr Graham Theobald took to the stage of Preston’s Guild Hall to receive his PhD, 11 years after starting a foundation degree course at the same University.

The 49-year-old was a personal development coach but in 2004 decided to swap careers to become a sports therapist. He enrolled on to a UCLan foundation degree course and quickly followed that up by studying for a degree in sports therapy.

 

“When I enrolled on my foundation course I never imagined this day would ever come. I’m elated that after almost seven years of work my doctorate is finally finished."

After graduating with a first-class honours degree, Graham’s thirst for knowledge did not stop there. He built, developed and opened The Body Rehab Injury and Rehabilitation Clinic, in the Lake District, and embarked on his PhD journey, which has taken him nearly seven years to complete.

He said: “When I enrolled on my foundation course I never imagined this day would ever come. I’m elated that after almost seven years of work my doctorate is finally finished. It has been a labour of love for the thesis title. My passion for the subject and finding answers to the questions posed has kept me going throughout the peaks and troughs of the doctoral work.”

For his thesis the self-confessed obsessive cyclist, from Burton-in-Kendal, studied various treatment protocols for cycling specific knee pain in elite and experienced cyclists.

 

"There were tough times, especially as I have been working full-time and growing our busy sports injury clinic, but the end result was worth it. We now have a thriving clinic with five full-time members of staff and now a doctor in the house.”

He said: “I work a lot with elite cyclists so the thesis title allowed me to follow through a very real and relevant clinical question. It’s always tricky to get cyclists into the lab when they have acute knee pain as you need to combine lab availability with when the patients can come but I’m delighted I could help them both clinically and from a performance aspect. There were tough times, especially as I have been working full-time and growing our busy sports injury clinic, but the end result was worth it. We now have a thriving clinic with five full-time members of staff and now a doctor in the house.”

During his PhD study he also had papers published with various well respected scientific journals. In 2014 he presented at the pre-Tour de France scientific conference, the Cycling Science Conference, in Colorado Springs, and The Science of Cycling Conference, in Italy. He plans to continue presenting more papers from his thesis in the next 12 months.