About us

The Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Temporomandibular Disorders (ACPTMD) was launched in November 2009 and is a group of Chartered Physiotherapists with a specialist interest in the expert management of Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD) who work in the NHS or in Private practice.

Our launch was facilitated by the Clinical Lead, Mr Stephen Davies, and Speciality dentist, Ms. Anne Budenburg , both based at the Manchester Dental Hospital Temporomandibular Clinic.

Our key objectives


To promote the highest standards of clinical practice in the management of TMD

Exchange ideas

To provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and new developments in the management of TMD.


To promote professional and public awareness of the benefits of physiotherapy in the treatment of TMD

Educational courses

To provide and promote educational courses which cover current clinical practice for physiotherapists and other clinicians

Research and development

To encourage research and development to enhance the overall understanding and management of TMD


To maintain and strengthen a direct relationship between the Association and other relevant organisation. To develop links with universities, educational bodies, and other national and international organisations

The Committee

Cathy Gordon

Cathy Gordon


Cathy qualified in 1994 with a BSc (Hons) from Leeds Metropolitan University, and has specialised in MSK Physiotherapy since 1996. She co-founded ACPTMD in conjunction with Stephen Davies and Anne Budenberg, Clinical Dental Specialists in TMD based at Manchester Dental Hospital TMD Clinic, in 2009, and has worked with patients with temporomandibular disorders since 2008 in the NHS and Private Practice. She has attended conferences in the USA and Europe and has developed links with the Dutch Orofacial Physiotherapists contributing to the development of ACPTMD. She also specialises in Vestibular Rehab and works in a Balance Clinic with ENT and the audiology department in the NHS, and manages the Hydrotherapy Service.

Helen Cowgill

Helen Cowgill

Vice Chairperson

Helen Cowgill was one of the original founding members of ACPTMD.  Helen is highly specialised with over 20 years’ experience and has completed extensive training in the management of TMD within the UK and Internationally.  She has studied under and worked with some of the world’s most recognised professionals in this speciality including Mariano Rocabado.  Helen works within the private sector and NHS where Helen assisted setting up the first pioneering and unique TMJ MDT Clinic in 2009 within the UK.  She is the Clinical Director of TMJ Physio which is a private practice Clinic dedicated to patients suffering with TMD and Orofacial Pain.  Helen is passionate about TMJ treatment and is regularly invited to deliver lectures Nationally and Internationally on the subject, presents at professional Conferences regarding TMD and has had numerous publications in highly regarded peer reviewed Journals.   Helen has also authored the TMJ Chapter in the Physiotherapy book Musculoskeletal Examination and Assessment.  

Pete Leacy


Pete has 15 years of clinical experience working as a Chartered Physiotherapist in the NHS and private sector after graduating from Manchester Metropolitan University in 2009.

He works in the NHS as a Clinical Specialist Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist with a special interest in TMD and also as a Clinical Specialist Physiotherapist in Chronic Pain Management, within a Multidisciplinary Pain Management Service. Pete works closely with Consultant Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons and has led clinical care pathway reform for TMD patients across East Lancashire.

Pete has recently been awarded a UK National Institute for Health Research Internship during which he will lead research with the aim of better understanding the needs of and improving care and quality of life for TMD patients.

Gail Branch

Gail Branch


Gail qualified as a Physiotherapist from the Leeds School of Physiotherapy in 1985 from where she went to work in the NHS. She has held senior roles in orthopaedics (Leeds General Infirmary), Rheumatology (St Lukes Hospital Bradford) and since 1992 musculoskeletal outpatients at Mid Yorkshire Teaching NHS Trust. It is here that she developed an interest in TMD and  facial palsy (been a member of Facial Therapy Specialists International since 2015).


In 2019 Gail was appointed clinical lead for TMD and facial palsy at the Mid Yorkshire Teaching Hospitals Trust.  Since then Gail has been working closely with the maxillofacial consultant to develop the TMD service and multidisciplinary working. Now, primary care TMD referrals (GP, GDP) are triaged directly to physiotherapy for initial treatment. After this, those patients requiring a maxillofacial opinion are referred into the TMD MDT clinic. This is a multidisciplinary approach allowing patients access to physiotherapy, maxillofacial surgery and clinical psychology.


Alongside her clinical work Gail continues her professional development, attending conferences and courses on TMD and facial palsy, and teaching locally.

Gail is passionate about the development of TMD provision and the timely and appropriate access to treatment for patients, alongside increasing her knowledge with current literature and research, and as part of ACPTMD continues to work towards this.”

Philip Bateman

Philip Bateman

Course Tutor

Phil Bateman has worked as a Physiotherapist since qualifying with a BSc (Hon) Degree in Physiotherapy from Sheffield Hallam University in 1996. He completed an MSc in Manipulative Physiotherapy at Sheffield Hallam in 2007. He currently works as an Extended Scope Practitioner for Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust specialising in spinal & temporomandibular disorders (TMD)

Alex Weden

Alex Weden

Course Tutor, Research and Development

Alex Weden has worked as a physiotherapist since graduating from Coventry University with his BSc in 2004. He subsequently graduated from Nottingham University with an MSc in Physiotherapy (Manual Therapy) in 2012. Alex has worked at Nottingham University Hospitals since 2005. Alex’s current role is as an Advanced Practitioner Physiotherapist specialising in the management patients with complex pain and the management of patients with Temporomandibular Disorders referred through the Maxillofacial service at the Queens Medical Centre, Nottingham.


Hugo Dias

Publicity/Media Officer

Hugo qualified as a physiotherapist from Escola Superior de Saúde Egas Moniz, Portugal in 2014. He worked in Lisbon for 2 years where he acquired experience in Musculoskeletal conditions in sports, public hospitals and private clinics. In 2016 he moved to London and developed a strong interest in Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD) and Orofacial Pain. He works in the private sector  as a TMD specialist and in the NHS as an advanced practitioner physiotherapist in the Maxillofacial Department at St. George’s Hospital. Alongside Hugo´s clinical work he contributes to continuing professional development (CPD) through attending various conferences and courses on TMD and he also lectures both nationally and internationally. He is currently doing a Masters Degree in Pain Science and Management at Keele University. 

Harriette Haig

Website Coordinator

Harriette graduated from University of Birmingham in 2012 with a BSc (Hons) in Physiotherapy, and has since been working in both the NHS and private sectors.  

After graduation, Harriette has taken on additional training in acupuncture and injection therapy, as well as attending the ACPTMD course on physiotherapy management of temporomandibular joint disorders in 2019. Since attending this course, Harriette has started to develop a TMD service within her NHS trust, with patients mainly being referred from Maxillofacial consultants. She also sees TMD patients privately at a practice in Birmingham. 

Anna Hogg

Anna Hogg

Website Co-ordinator

Anna Hogg has worked as a Physiotherapist since graduating from Guys Hospital London in1987, and subsequently gained her membership to the Musculoskeletal Association of Chartered Physiotherapists ( MACP) in 1997. Anna’s current role is a Specialist Physiotherapist in MSK for the North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust with a special interest in TMD . She is an original co-founder of the ACPTMD and has had extensive training in this speciality both Nationally and Internationally .