Case Study – A journey from major back surgery to a pain free life

FB Aug 2021 (19)

Emma, 45, South Wales writes “I started to experience back pain in 2018 when caring for my Mum and it worsened following her passing away. I can remember going for a run on the treadmill and was building up slowly doing interval training, 1 minute of running, 1 minute of walking. I had built up to 2.5 minutes of running with a 1 minute rest. After my run I went for a shower and as I bent to pick up the shower gel I felt something in my back shift. The pain started in my left leg and felt like sciatica so I started treating it that way but it was so painful.

I continued to work and did a festival at the end of February in 2019, it was at this point I realised that this pain wasn’t getting any better. I went to a specialist who booked me for an MRI scan and when I received the results, the surgeon told me I had one of the worst slipped disks he’d ever seen.  It was pushing on 3 nerves. At this point I was told that I was risking losing the use of my left leg and possibly my bowel.  I had to be careful if I even coughed or sneezed, it was a very scary and painful time. I couldn’t sit, stand or sleep in a comfortable position and was on morphine but it barely touched the pain.

I had spinal surgery to remove the slipped disk on 29th June 2019. Waking up after that operation was amazing. Considering I hadn’t been able to stand up straight previously it was already a huge improvement. I then had to start my recovery which was a long and difficult journey. I had spent 6 months with limited mobility as I had waited so long before seeing a specialist and it was 3 months between my diagnosis and my surgery. I started the usual physiotherapy but carried out my own yoga sessions in addition. By October I was able to walk up small hills.

I was well into my recovery stage when I found Our Health Hub in February 2021. I was a little sceptical about whether the programme would work for me as I already felt I had a pretty good handle on my recovery. However, I was wrong and the programme was brilliant.  It helped me connect with my body again and understand it’s needs. Using the stretches and the consultations I was able to take my pain levels to mostly zero!

My initial consultation was good, Miriam was very professional, empathetic and knowledgeable.  She gave me specific exercises to try after each session and I saw an improvement right away. By the time I was half way through the programme my pain levels had reduced by more than half. I’m really blown away by the positive results I have achieved with the support and guidance of Our Health Hub.     

The exercises are easy to follow and you are in control of what you do and don’t do. While I understand that some days it’s very hard to get motivated to move, I’d recommend that extra effort. I had come to think that maybe I couldn’t improve any more but this programme has helped me to reach levels I hadn’t thought possible.

I continue to use the stretches daily to continue to feel this good. There were times when I was at my worst when I wasn’t sure that recovery was possible. To be sitting here now, pain free just over 2 years later, I’m amazed. I was very driven to recover anyway but the course gave me the tools I needed to move forwards and be a better version of myself than I thought possible.”