FROM Cooraclare to Waikato and back, Andrew O’Neill’s journey in sports science and physiotherapy has been an interesting one. The chartered physiotherapist has worked with everyone from children to nonagenarians, along with a number of top-level professional athletes. Less than a year ago, the West Clare native made the decision to set up a private practice and now AON Physiotherapy serves the people of Kilrush and its surrounding areas. The impressive facility boasts top-class physiotherapy rooms along with a customised rehabilitation area to assist clients with their rehab process, whether they are recovering from chronic pain or acute injuries. Andrew’s background has seen him work with the public across a broad range of settings including orthopaedics, neurology and musculoskeletal care in such clinical settings as Croom Orthopaedic Hospital, University Hospital Limerick and OneHEALTH physiotherapy in Tullamore. Prior to this, during his time studying for a degree in Sports & Exercise Science at UL, Andrew carried out his work placement with the Waikato Chiefs super rugby side on New Zealand’s north island. Andrew continues, “After qualifying from UL, I did an internship with Munster for a year and I was with them from 2010 for three years. During that time I also trained the Galway hurlers for a season, and was with the Limerick footballers.”
Andrew worked closely with the physiotherapy staff as part of the strength and conditioning team, and in 2013 he took his qualifications a step further at UCD where he completed a Masters in Physiotherapy. Having lived in Dublin worked in the renowned OneHEALTH physiotherapy clinic in Tullamore up until last year, Andrew and his wife (an expectant mother) decided to take the plunge and opt for life on the west coast. Making a success of his new business was integral to that. Despite his strong background in high-level sport, it’s the general public who Andrew’s expertise are used on. Formerly a student at St Joseph’s Secondary School in Spanish Point, Andrew says that chronic pain complaints are among the most common. “Invariably the people who do the work and do the rehab exercises, they’re the ones who will improve. There are plenty of people out there who claim to have a quick fix for one particular injury or another, but research will show for a lot of injuries there’s no quick fix. Like if you have chronic back pain that’s been going on a long time, there is an issue somewhere in the body causing that pain, if you can find the source of that, you can set about getting that person stronger and moving more efficiently.” Andrew adds, “I treat people of all ages. I think the oldest patient I have is 98; there’s always something you can do if you’re in pain and you don’t have to live with it.”
To enquire or book an appointment with AON Physiotherapy, visit aonphysiotherapy. ie or email email@example.com. Phone 089 615 0347. Opening hours, Tuesday-Saturday (Tues & Thurs 1-9pm; Wed, Fri & Sat 9-5pm).