By Tony Orridge
Barbara was 45 years old when she first consulted me 5 years ago. She appeared jolly, perhaps overly jolly and somewhat overweight.
Barbara’s lower back problems began 17 years ago after the birth of her son. She had a long and difficult labour. It is not uncommon for back problems to begin post childbirth.
X-rays showed wear and tear into Lumbar 5 vertebrae and Sacral 1. Barbara’s symptoms were strong pain into the lower back referring pain into the groin. Her whole back was very stiff and restricted.
Barbara’s lifestyle had been forced to change as a result. She still managed to continue her teaching career but after work had to go to bed. She could only walk approximately 100 metres. She felt she had “no life”, hence got depressed. Her depression caused her to comfort eat which in turn deepened her depression.
Barbara also got pain when sneezing or coughing and couldn’t lay down on her back due to pain in her mid Thoracic area. By the end of the day the pain got worse and caused a lot of tiredness. She used a Tens machine virtually constantly.
Barbara’s condition was obviously chronic, as she had suffered for so many years. I asked her if she’d had any other treatments to try and help, which she had, osteopathy, physiotherapy, chiropractic and massage, “none of which had done any good” Unfortunately, she had only received a couple of treatments with all the complementary therapies latterly mentioned. I explained to her that with the nature of her chronic condition, and by her own admission, anxiety surrounding any treatment, that it would take a long time to start to see results. For chronic conditions such as this a couple of treatments would be ineffective and a waste of money.
The reality is that a person has to commit to a course of treatment, which may be costly without being guaranteed a beneficial outcome.
Barbara agreed to try 10 treatments and monitor progress. Treatments initially were very gentle and quite short to avoid any negative reaction. I then started to use more pressure and mobilisation. By the tenth treatment Barbara could lie for a short while on her back and felt more relaxed with treatment. She agreed to continue.
Barbara has continued to have treatment over the last 5 years and has improved a lot. She no longer uses the tens machine, she can now lie on her back in comfort, walks regularly between 4-6 miles and swims quite a lot.
She still suffers with groin pain and has some bad days with back pain. She is less depressed and her every day life is far more active. There are however still issues to be overcome with her weight which has gradually increased.
I find treating chronic conditions very rewarding particularly when positive change does occur, even though at times improvement is so slow you wonder if we are moving forward!
[boxibt style=”success”]About the Author
Tony Orridge studied at the Churchill Centre of Massage Marble arch London and has been practising for 14 years.
He qualified as an Acupuncturist after graduating for the Northern College of Acupuncture and has been practising for 6 years.
The Nottingham Natural Health Centre
354 Mansfield Rd
Nottingham NG5 2EF