Say hello to the Optimal Team

Our aim is to improve the health and well being of our clients. We are passionate about healthy living and getting people active, keeping their independence, and helping them get back to following their passion and doing the sport and activities they love with the people they love without medication or the need for surgery. We understand the frustration of being injured, or in pain and how that niggle/injury impacts on your quality of life by making you worried and fearful about different activities.

At Optimal Physio we provide only the highest level of treatment designed specifically for you. Our approach helps you to stop taking pain relief, stop worrying about your pain and get you back to the activities you love.  We then focus on injury prevention and show you how to get healthy and stay healthy. We spend time with you to help you understand why you have your pain, why it’s not resolved with rest and we will explain your diagnosis and treatment plan fully in a way that is easy to understand. Any questions just ask!

We strive to develop our skills everyday and undertake ongoing training and development modules to allow us to do so. That’s why we’re specialists in sports injuries and spinal pain. Treatments may include a variety of techniques ranging from advice, exercise, mobilisation, manipulation, massage, soft tissue release or acupuncture.

Find out more about our Team’s areas of expertise below.

Darren Knox

Physiotherapist - Newton Mearns

Qualifications

BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy.  Member of Chartered Society of Physiotherapists (CSP).

Experience

After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University, Darren worked in NHS Forth Valley in an acute hospital setting, before returning to Glasgow to work as a Muskuloskeletal Physiotherapist, which is his current role.  Darren also works as part of the physio team at Queens Park Football Club, working with the under-16 squad both on training nights and matchdays.  As a student, Darren had experience in a professional sporting environment, assisting the Scotland Rugby 7’s medical team with sports massage for the players during recovery sessions, as well as assessing players as part of pre-season testing with the Glasgow Warriors.

Area of Expertise

Darren enjoys using strength and conditioning through effective exercise prescription to help you get back to the levels you want to be performing at following pain or injury.  Throughout university, Darren ran a sports massage therapy business and continues to use these skills within his physiotherapy treatment to complement rehabilitation.  Darren feels a large part of his job is to educate and guide you through your rehab, helping to enhance your understanding of your condition, thus resulting in a more long-term solution to avoid recurrence of any injuries. 

Fun Fact

Darren is a keen singer and plays the guitar, gigging in the south side of Glasgow before lockdown started in March 2020.

Alyssa Timoney

Physiotherapist - Newton Mearns

Qualifications

BSc. (First Class Honours) Physiotherapy. Currently Undertaking a Masters Degree in Sports Medicine.

Experience

After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University, Alyssa moved to Sydney, Australia, gaining a wealth of experience working in private practice with a range of elite athletes, assisting in the recovery & rehabilitation process. Since returning to the UK, Alyssa has been working in private practice and also with football teams, successfully treating a wide range of injuries.

Area of Expertise

Alyssa uses manual therapy, creating bespoke rehabilitation plans tailored to suit your needs and goals. Alyssa specalises in pilates and strength & conditioning, in order to aid recovery and prevent reoccurrence. She is also qualified in providing dry needling, as an alternative treatment as well as traditional treatment methods. Alyssa’s key strengths lie in her interpersonal skills and her ability to identify optimum treatment methods.

Fun Fact

Alyssa loves to travel and has visited over 30 different countries.

Pamela Couper

Head Physiotherapist - Largs

Qualifications

BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy, MCSP.

Experience

I worked initially in the NHS in Edinburgh after graduating in 2002 from Queen Margaret University. I soon specialised in Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy before moving into Private Practice and Sports Physiotherapy in 2008 with clinics in Edinburgh and Glasgow.  I am now our Lead Physiotherapist at Optimal Physio, Largs.

Area of expertise

The best part of my job is assisting your return to activity after pain or injury.  I use manual therapy and tailored exercises to ensure you achieve this. I have worked with clients from many backgrounds including sports, orthopaedic conditions, long-term conditions and spinal pain.  Steven and I worked together in Edinburgh very early in our careers and we share a passion for physiotherapy and providing quality evidence-based treatment.

Steven McLean

Head Physiotherapist - Newton Mearns

Qualifications

BSc. (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science & Masters in Physiotherapy. Member of CSP and PhysioFirst.

Experience

Over 7 years experience in the NHS as a senior physio before moving into private practice in 2010. Steven initially qualified as a Fitness instructor before completing a degree in Sport Science. Steven has a keen interest in conditioning and preparation for sport and has has helped elite golfers, footballers, gymnasts, rowers, runners and karate professionals to achieve optimal performance levels and compete at their best on the international stage. Steven has a keen interest in nutrition to support recovery and has completed Sports nutrition modules as part of his undergraduate degree as well as a post graduate diploma. In 2018 and 2019 he was recognised as a ‘Quality Approved Practitioner” by Physio First (the association of private practice physiotherapists in the UK). He continues to have a passion for learning and developing personally and professionally.

Area of expertise

Steven specialises in sports injuries, end stage rehabilitation, lower limb injuries and low back pain. Steven is also experienced in delivering virtual physiotherapy assessments and rehabilitation plans.  He does not prescribe “quick fixes” or “silver bullets” but will get results that last.

Fun fact

Steven is a former FIFA International Referee and refereed the Scottish Cup Final in 2016. He continues to operate as a referee at the highest level alongside helping you return to running, golf, or the gym without pain.

Ryan Wilkie

Physiotherapist - Newton Mearns

Qualifications

BSc. (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science & Masters in Physiotherapy. Member of CSP

Experience

After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University, Ryan worked in private physiotherapy practice before moving on to work full time in professional football. Ryan has gained extensive experience working with Partick Thistle FC before moving on to St Mirren FC where his last role was Head Physiotherapist for the 1st team after previously leading their youth academy.

Area of Expertise

Ryan’s work in football has focused on musculoskeletal physiotherapy and rehabilitation. He has a keen interest in knee rehabilitation and injury prevention. 

Fun Fact

Ryan also gained experience as a professional footballer spending four years with Liverpool FC before injury cut his career short. In his spare time Ryan enjoys coaching youth football and spending time with his two young children. 

Andrew Cunningham

Physiotherapist Newton Mearns Clinic

Qualifications

BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy, MCSP.

Andy works evenings and weekends at our Newton Mearns Clinic while continuing to work as a paediatric physiotherapist in the NHS.

Experience

Graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with a 1st class honors degree, Andrew initially worked within private practice and professional sport before joining the NHS to fulfill his ambition of working with neurological paediatric patients in 2016.

He continues to maintain his skills within elite sport working with Scottish Hockey’s Seniors Women Squad; having previously supported elite youth squads in both football and hockey and is passionate that the same care is taken with the rehabilitation of both elite and amateur athletes.

Area of Expertise

Andrew’s work with children has developed a special interest in the effects of age on healing. Whether you are a child, mild-aged or elderly your age plays a role in your body’s ability to repair and recover. Within the practice he utilises the latest scientific evidence to ensure all treatment and rehabilitation techniques provide the optimal outcome for you in both the short and long term.

Fun Fact

Andrew enjoys competing in amateur football and road cycling.

Ayesha Firaz

Administration Manager

Experience:

Ayesha is our Admin Manager, the bubbly person who will be helping you make your life better. She has over 7 years of business experience plus 5 years in the private medical sector.  She will be the one that helps you with all things related to booking your appointment and is the key person who makes our clinics run smoothly. Her friendly and organised approach makes sure you have the best experience possible before and after your physiotherapy appointment.

Fun Fact:

Ayesha is a baker/cake designer in her spare time