This is the story of Vicky Joseph (adapted from an NHS article dated 31 March 2017) an extremely fit lady who trekked, played tennis, ran, cycled, windsurfed and skied.
Vicky's back problems first started when she was preparing for a trekking holiday in Nepal in January 2000. It was during a training walk that Vicky felt pain erupt in her lower back, travelling down her right leg. The pain grew gradually worse and Vicky had to abandon her trekking holiday.
"The pain was constant and often excruciating. I couldn't walk for more than a few minutes. I couldn't even sit at the dinner table - I had to kneel"
Vicky's back pain was to continue to plague her for the next five years.
She consulted over 50 specialists, underwent surgery with physiotherapy helping with the pain but, after a year and half of agony, Vicky was feeling suicidal and took six months leave from her work. Eventually she resigned and devoted her time to find a cure for her chronic back pain.
"I was on a mission to find out what was causing the problem, I was seeing a different therapist every week".
She had a breakthrough when German specialists identified a ruptured disc as the source of the pain and did an artificial disc replacement in September 2005. There was some improvement but Vicky hoped for more.
PILATES AND POSTURE
Vicky then discovered a brilliant Pilates instructor and Physiotherapist who identified Vicky's posture issues. She says that the walking injury that sparked the pain was probably the 'last straw' after years of poor posture. Vicky remembered how she used to slump when standing, putting pressure on the lower back. She never gave much thought as to how she sat at her desk.
Happily, two years of Pilates has given Vicky a new lease of life and she has taken up skiing and cycling again.
"Back care involves more than twice weekly Pilates classes, its a life long commitment to looking after my body".