Time to move!

At the end of November last year, I visited a local Circle Clinic locally.  They offer privately funded advice and treatment and what really attracted me to them was the fact that they offer pain rehabilitation.  So it’s all about learning how to live with persistent pain.

Over the course of last year I underwent various investigations to determine the cause of lower back pain and pain in my left hip.  I was fortunate to be referred to the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital at Stanmore by my GP.  The hospital is a centre of excellence and provides a comprehensive range of neuro-musculoskeletal health care, ranging from acute spinal injury to orthopaedic medicine and specialist rehabilitation for chronic back pain sufferers. This broad range of services is unique within the NHS.

I had MRI scans of my lower spine and hip and they have determined that there is “minimal posterior disc protrusion at L 1/2. mild lumbar degenerative changes at the facet joints at L3/4, L4/5 and L5S1.”

Much of the damage is caused by the mechanics of walking – I don’t have proper ball and socket hip joints.IMG_1165

We discussed a pain management plan and the hip consultant agreed with my thoughts on devising a regular programme of non-weight bearing exercise.  I don’t want to have to take pain killers on a regular basis.

At the Circle Clinic, after an initial assessment by a specialist consultant in rehabilitation, I was referred on to an Orthotist and Phsyio at the Clinic.

The Orthotist quickly determined that I do not need the shoe raise I have been using for over 15 years.  In fact, with my right sided ankle fusion, the toe of my shorter (fused ankle) leg is longer than my long leg! He gave me some temporary heel inserts to try out for a month (in boots and trainers). He felt that my gait and balance, the level of my pelvis appeared improved with these. If I feel this is an improvement, he will arrange to get me a custom made insert that supports my high instep too.

Certainly the inserts have felt better and I felt more balanced. He also works as a consultant in the Orthotics dept at the local hospital who do my shoe raises, so he managed to retrieve the two boots I’d just taken to have built up! (Perfect timing!!).

alterGThe Physio has agreed that I need to get back to a regular exercise routine. I have already explored swimming (with disabled swimming club), will look to going back to Pilates regularly (one-to-one) and arranged to go back to Clinic in the new year for him to work with me on some exercises. He’s going to set me up on the Alter-G (anti-gravity treadmill) and if I like that and he feels it will benefit me, I can go back and use it unsupervised.  I also saw the Hydro Physio aquatic treadmill in use. hydro


He thinks a lot of my pain comes from the shortening of my muscles and tendons at the front of my legs/thigh (too much sitting) and that I need to work on laying on my front and improving / stretching the muscle which will hopefully help with the pains I am experiencing.
So….. I am booked to go back to the orthotist and the physio next week. I undertook with the physio to move more and exercise as I am able to between that appointment and when I next see him – which I have done!

Whilst in Tenerife I managed some walking and I have got back to my stretching / Pilates exercise regime most mornings.

lidoI still need to find a suitable swimming pool that myself and hubbie can visit regularly.  It needs to be accessible to me both in terms of getting into and out of the pool (I find step-ladder type steps almost impossible) AND have some unisex changing facilities, as I require support from my husband to get changed. But I have in mind for us to try out the newly opened Reading Lido!  We will just have to ensure that we aren’t lured by the rather lovely looking menus in their restaurant and poolside bars!

My appointment at the Circle takes place on Monday.  Watch this space as I plan to share my progress!

4 thoughts on “Time to move!

  1. Sounds very interesting. I’m suffering with a lot of ankle pain in the soft tissues and my back is playing up again. Having said that I’ve put weight on these last two years so it’s my own fault. Xx

    • Hi Elaine,

      It’s a vicious circle isn’t it! Pain > reduction in movement/mobility > weight gain > pain – plus also the emotional side of things! Do you have any facility like this nearby? Any diagnosis for what is causing the ankle problems?

  2. Hi! Simone, sounds good, If I don’g get any success with the new spine specialist I am seeing in Margate (who would have thunk Margate would have such people eh? lol) my next stop will be Stanmore (which is where I asked to go in the first place, but my then GP thought he knew better, I wanted to go to Stanmore, because they already know me there for starters and it would have saved starting at the very beginning again!) Chronic pain really is a vicious circle though as you have said, and yes there is an emotional impact as well, I think many people who don’t have chronic pain don’t even think there could be an emotional impact, but as the pain impacts on everything you do, it makes sense that it will have an emotional impact. Good luck in reducing your pain 🙂 xx

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