Cognitive Functional Therapy

Prestons Health in Peterborough is a principal provider of Cognitive Functional Therapy; a holistic and multidimensional, patient centred approach to the treatment of persistent non specific low back pain. It has a strong evidence base supporting its use.

It can particularly help people who have reduced or stopped their normal activities as a result of their normal pain, including those who have had failed intervention with other therapies, (including osteopathic, chiropractic or other physiotherapeutic management) surgery or medical management or injections.


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Gemma Graduated from Coventry University with a first class honours degree in physiotherapy. Since then she has spent time working in Africa and the UK, specialising first in musculoskeletal and sports injuries. Gemma has worked as a Senior Physiotherapist in various NHS trusts in Essex, North London and now works as a clinical Specialist in Women’s Health at Peterborough City Hospital.

Gemma holds a Masters level postgraduate certificate in continence for physiotherapists from the University of Bradford. She also has a master’s level qualification in acupuncture. Other post graduate courses include Pilates and Breast Cancer soft tissue studies. She currently is actively involved with the national body “Pelvic, Obstetric and Gynaecological Physiotherapy”.

Gemma is passionate about women’s health and has a particular interest in treating postnatal women who have pelvic floor problems or abdominal separation following delivery. She is also very experienced with pregnancy related back and pelvic pain.

She sees many ladies to develop individualised personal exercises programs during the antenatal and postnatal periods. She is passionate about promoting safe exercise striving to ensure ladies are able to exercises safely and regularly to ensure a healthy pregnancy and ensure better postnatal outcomes. She treats women and men of any age with bladder or bowel incontinence, constipation, prolapse, vulval pain or sexual discomfort.

In the little spare time Gemma has between balancing two jobs and studying, she enjoys family time with 2 children, and currently enjoying establishing a new exercise regime at the gym and running after a busy year of trying to achieve a work life balance.

I’ve been treated twice now at Preston’s for different issues and two different physios. Both times I’ve been listened to, helped, supported and encouraged. Both times I’ve had a really positive benefit for my injuries. If necessary I’ll be back but in the meantime if you’re looking for a very professional physio team Prestons Health is the place to go.

Jane Robinson


The Physiotherapy Staff at Prestons attend training workshops every year with Professor Peter O’Sullivan from Curtin University in Perth, Australia who, along with his team, have pioneered this approach.

Please specifically ask for Cognitive Functional Therapy when making your appointment to make sure that we book you in with the appropriately trained physiotherapist. Just like our other physiotherapy appointments, we allow one hour for the initial assessment in order to fully hear your story and assess and treat you fully.

To find out more look at the following YouTube links: 


It is an individually tailored program which looks at both the cognitive and functional aspects to a pain disorder and is very different to more conventional healthcare therapies. Unlike many Western medical systems, it does not focus on the structures in your back because most structural changes (such as those on MRI scans) have not been shown to be highly predictive of pain. Instead, it focuses on the multidimensional mechanisms that drive the individual’s vicious cycle of pain and disability; these can include attitudes, beliefs and fears regarding pain, stress, sleep hygiene, physical activity and pacing. The classification system identifies maladaptive ways in which you move and process the pain messages and then retraining them in a mindful and relaxed, more helpful, manner. The new behaviours are then integrated into activities of daily life to ensure carryover into activities of daily living. It is largely driven by the goals you which to achieve.

our locations

Our main clinic location is within David Lloyd Club in Thorpe Wood, Peterborough with satellite clinics in Oundle School & Oundle Medical Practice. Please contact us at 01733 565911 for more information on our clinic times & locations.

David Lloyd Club

Thorpe Wood Business Park,

Oundle School

Church Street,

Please contact our main site for appointments and further information on our Tuesday and Thursday afternoon clinics.

Oundle Medical

Glapthorn Road,

Please contact our main site for appointments and further information on our Thursday afternoon clinics.

aUK Stamford

Riverside Wharf Road,

From Wednesday 28th July, we will be offering physiotherapy appointments with Helen Preston from Stamford in the Auk building. Wednesdays only.

get in touch

01733 565911


Opening Hours

Mon - Fri
8am til late


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