Ian Rees, 66, CEO of Our Health Hub is an avid sportsman and had been paddle boarding for 8 years but recently fell off his board in Gower and injured his shoulder in shallow water.
“Injuries happen and usually you just wait a month and the pain goes away, but this time my shoulder just got more painful and it made my life very difficult. I still carried on paddle boarding, I would just ignore the pain and compensate by using my left side more. Eventually, my right shoulder and arm just started to weaken as I used them progressively less and less because of the pain. It became so severe it would wake me up, that’s when I finally admitted I needed help.”
Despite running a physiotherapy and pain management business, Ian did the exact thing he tells patients not to do: he ignored his symptoms.
“It’s a typical bloke move to ignore your problems, and I can’t believe I went so long without help. I got injured in late August but didn’t seek treatment till January, a whole 5 months later. I run a health service so why wasn’t I using it? I guess I just didn’t want to make the effort to do something for myself. I knew this type of care would be able to fix my problem, but I didn’t want to make a fuss and have to do something for a sustained period, so I just kept putting it off.”
According to Ian, 1 in 5 of us suffer from chronic pain but often don’t do anything about it.
Like in Ian’s case, people instead make the mistake of trying to ‘power through’ and end up making the injury worse, leaving themselves in more pain.
After months of working alongside his specialist team while in extreme pain, Ian signed up for the Moving Past Pain Programme. Within a couple of days he’d been assessed by a physiotherapist who quickly had him working on tailored exercise programmes to help his pain and aid his recovery:
“After a short video consultation, Miriam came up with a simple program for me to follow. It took a while to get used to taking time out for myself every day to do the stretches, but I
couldn’t insult my own service and employees. I also knew that Miriam would hold me accountable, so that kept me motivated! It didn’t take long to improve my condition, and I soon moved from an 8/10 on the pain scale down to 1/10, I was finally getting a good night’s sleep too! I can’t even remember what it was like to feel like that!”
Now suffering from significantly less pain, Ian has been able to return to his sporty lifestyle and is even more appreciative of the service his employees provide.
“I set up Our Health Hub because I knew pain management was an area which is hard to access on the NHS, but I never expected to be a patient in my own company. I’ve had to modify my behaviour long-term, but it’s better to spend 10 mins doing daily stretches than it is spending 3 hours in severe pain. I finally took responsibility for my health, I only wish I’d done it sooner. ”