Our History

Pilates Physiotherapy Cork is a part of the Pilates Physiotherapy Ireland group.

Chartered Physiotherapists, Jo Chapple and Susan McDonnell, established Pilates Physiotherapy Ireland in 2007. Together they had a vision to develop a new style of physiotherapy service; focused on Clinical Pilates and rehabilitation.

In April 2009 the Pilates Physiotherapy Cork clinic opened and, since then, we have worked with a wide variety of clients. As our reputation has grown so has our services. By the end of 2009, Fiona O’Connor joined to develop our specialist services in Women’s Health Physiotherapy and pregnancy Pilates classes. In 2010 Sarah Ryan joined our team as Clinic Manager. This year is already shaping up to be an exciting one for Pilates Physiotherapy Cork; as we continue to further develop and improve our services to benefit the most important people in our business, our clients

Our Team

Jo Chapple
Jo Chapple
Jo qualified as a Chartered Physiotherapist in 2000. She is a member of the Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists, The Chartered Society of Physiotherapists (UK).
Jo has worked extensively within the NHS in the UK, specialising as a Senior in Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy (covering A&E, Orthopeadics, Sports Medicine and Out-Patient clinics). In 2004 Jo then worked with GP’s to develop an award winning NHS ‘Direct Access’ service, as well as working within the private sector in a specialist Sports Injury clinic. Since qualifying, Jo has studied extensively on post-graduate courses including achieving full accreditation as a Pilates Instructor.

As an Instructor, Jo combines her knowledge and experience of physiotherapy with her Clinical Pilates training to deliver the best results for her clients. She teaches one-to-one sessions and a variety of different classes within the ‘Pilates Physiotherapy Cork’ clinic.

Michaela Sheehan
Michaela Sheehan
Michaela Sheehan qualified from Withington Hospital School of Physiotherapy (Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, United Kingdom) in 1991 with a graduate Diploma in Physiotherapy. Michaela moved to Cork after qualifying and has worked in hospitals in the city and county and as a result, has a broad knowledge of medical, surgical and neurological conditions. Michaela moved into private practice in 2000 and has a broad experience of musculoskeletal conditions. However, Michaela has always been interested in the treatment of incontinence and pelvic disorders since her college days. She has attended many courses and seminars on women’s and men’s health, the latest courses in September and December 2012 given by lecturers from the post graduate certificate course in incontinence at the Bradford University. Michaela’s interest has been maintained in this field not least by the fact that she has 6 children.

What People Say

“It’s a great shame we didn’t know about the significance of Pilates and core training when we were younger! I was training full time for ten years and the damage we did to ourselves beggars belief! All those sit ups to bleep tests and weight training on external muscle before core! The result for me was daily intermittent back pain at a severe level.

I didn’t think it would improve significantly, but the training and guidance received at the clinic has had a dramatic effect. Since I have started there has been excellent support and attention to detail that has allowed a significant and prolonged recovery without relapse to date. With patience the sessions gradually diminished the symptoms and the very acute pain that I had occurring daily has now been reduced to very rare occasions.

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The cold in winter used to bring on the pain without warning on a daily basis, but after this winter I can with confidence say it is 99% gone. In addition, the core strengthening has saved me thousands of euro on physiotherapy and massage fees as well providing the training to maintain the core development free of charge. Every club and sportsperson should be training with Pilates regularly and the Pilates Physiotherapy Cork clinic provides the perfect knowledge base to start this and maintain it wherever you are around the city.”

Maria Coleman

“For me Pilates started out of necessity, namely a disc prolapse. I’ve played sport all my life, until an injury to my back two years ago culminated in daily pain, stiffness and an inability to exercise. I had tried different treatments and had been seen by different specialists and doctors, and whilst my back had improved a little, I still hadn’t returned to sport and was still experiencing stiffness and some pain. 

Different experts had told me that I needed to strengthen my back and improve my posture, although I was nervous about a return to exercise and wasn’t totally confident that I was doing the right work. I was recommended to go to Pilates Physiotherapy Cork, as these guys are Chartered Physiotherapists specialising in Pilates rehab…and it worked!

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From the initial assessment and screening process, I felt as though I learnt a lot about why I still had back problems and better still, what I needed to do about it. I stuck with a series of one-to-one sessions initially that were tailored to my specific requirements and goals and over time I gained not only a better understanding of how I needed to manage and look after my back, but my back felt stronger, more flexible and my pain and stiffness became less and less. Now I keep looking after my back with regular class attendance and if needs be, every now and then I go back for one-to-one sessions to see how I can improve my back (and body!) further now and I’m back to playing the sports I love.”

David Cotter

“I started Pilates because as I got older I found it harder and harder to stay in shape. By the time I reached 58, I felt I just had to do something, about my stomach especially.

A friend recommended Pilates to me, but I have a history of Osteopenia and I occasionally get a stiff neck so I was a bit reluctant to start classes just anywhere. When I found Pilates Physiotherapy Cork, I was delighted to know that my history would be taken into consideration and that all classes where run by Chartered Physiotherapists. After my initial one-to-one session, I was even more interested to hear how my years of bad posture had contributed to my neck problems and what I could do about my posture, to help both my neck and for my Osteopenia. I quickly began to realise just how beneficial Pilates was for me

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as I was learning more and more about my own body and how to look after it. Pilates also helps me to relax, as it’s a very focused sort of work out and by the end of any session I often feel, relaxed, taller and stronger and better able to face the day ahead. I’ve been doing classes with Pilates Physiotherapy Cork for the last eighteen months now and I feel a real change. I stand better, I move better, I have less aches and pains than ever before and I feel I’m in better shape than I have been in a long time. I know that as I get older this is something I’ll want to keep doing and for me now, I’m not so worried about turning 60!”

Mary O’Sullivan

“I started doing Pilates at Pilates Physiotherapy Cork in January 2009. I had only heard of Pilates before then, was curious, and given that I had some lower back problems due to a slight disk bulge, I felt more comfortable going to classes being taught by a Chartered Physiotherapist. Jo is superbly clear in her instruction of each exercise and the attention given to each individual in the class.

My old lower back problem, originated from some imbalance in my walking patterns caused by a knee injury 13 years before. I was already a regular at activities like hill walking, golf, jogging, gym / swimming and other sports, but it’s only since doing Pilates that I’ve learnt about the correct postures and techniques which support the spine better

[read more=”Read more” less=”Read less”]and use the rest of the body muscles optimally and correctly. I think it has definitely helped and increased support for my lower back, especially useful in weight-bearing activities such as jogging and hill walking and any general heavy lifting.

For me, Pilates has been life changing, enhancing the quality of my body movement and flexibility in all the activities I do. Having done it continuously for over a year, I am only just beginning to apply the Pilates postures and strengthening techniques into my everyday life without having to consciously think about it, and there is still room for improvement in me!”

Sanjay Nayak

“During my second pregnancy I started to develop pain in the front of my pelvis and at the recommendation of my GP I was told that Ante-Natal Pilates could help, by improving my back and pelvic posture and strength. I chose to attend classes at Pilates Physiotherapy Cork mainly because their classes are run by a Chartered Physiotherapist specialising in Women’s Health and in their clinic, they have all the equipment needed for the Ante-Natal classes, I didn’t have to bring any thing with me.

The classes are relaxed, informative and very effective and I felt that with the right advice and supervision my pain really improved. The follow up care in the clinic was great too as I also went to their Post-Natal classes.

[read more=”Read more” less=”Read less”]My posture, pelvic floor and my back have been great since and I am now a regular attendee of the Pilates classes in the centre.”

Cath McAdam

“Having been born in a breech position, I have had problems with my hips all of my life and consequently, have suffered with pain from a  “snapping tendon” in the hip. In addition to this, my six foot slender frame, lifelong lack of interest in sports/exercise, and sedentary lifestyle have given rise to occasional bouts of severe lower back pain and occasional sciatica. After a particularly bad bout of lower back pain, I joined a Pilates class at the Cork branch of Pilates Physiotherapy Ireland, and under Jo Chapple’s expert tuition as a Chartered Physiotherapist, I have experienced a remarkable improvement.

In the past, I was left bent in two after a couple of hours of housework, painting, gardening, and other such humdrum activities.

[read more=”Read more” less=”Read less”]Now, after 16 months of once-weekly classes, I can perform these everyday tasks without so much as a twinge, and find myself subconsciously employing the basic rules of Pilates as I make my way about the day. In the class I attend, I feel like Jo’s ever-watchful eye is firmly planted on each one of us, continuously assessing our needs and responses to the various exercises. She seems to intuitively know how each exercise affects each individual, and more importantly her resonating mantra “never push into pain” allows you to set your own pace. Despite the fact that I’ve recently made a house move that makes my journey time to class 40 minutes, and the fact that there are a number of other Pilates classes in much closer proximity to home, I will continue to attend the Cork branch of P.P.I., as I do not think I will find their degree of professionalism elsewhere, and all delivered in such a warm and empathetic manner. Suffice to say, I am a Pilates convert and I enthusiastically recommend Jo and her colleagues to all those considering undertaking Pilates. You will not regret it.”

Aoife De Bháill