This is a patient’s honest account of his low back pain journey at Prestons Health, treated using a Cognitive Functional Therapy approach:
“Following our little chat at the Health Fayre I am only too happy to put some words together in praise of what you guys have done for me.
Lower back pain is the curse of my family. My Father suffered terribly, my younger brother still does. I have had problems on and off for over 40 years.
I spent years lying on my back dosed up with pain-killers only to later be told that this was more harmful than good and that I should ‘potter’ and try move about gently to stop the back muscles from locking up.
The last episode was so painful that I had to seek major pain relief from my GP. He counselled physiotherapy but advised that the NHS service would mean a 4/6 week wait and I really needed something more immediate. He offered me a couple of local Private Physiotherapists to try if I could afford it and, as Prestons was the closest to home, I gave you a call.
Luckily there was a free appointment with your good self that very afternoon and I was only toohappy to take it in the fervent hope that you would be able to offer me some relief.
I turned up for the appointment full of Temazepam and Co-codamol and wondered what I had let myself in for.
Well, the appraisal was much less painful than I thought it might be although the subsequent manipulation of the muscles in spasm wasn’t quite as much so.
And then you introduced me to breathing.
Did I know about this you asked.
Of course, I says, I’ve been breathing all my life.
No you say, about taking a deep breath and exhaling when moving rather than holding your breath and tensing up.
I had never heard of such a thing and my first thought was this was a load of nonsense. Then I tried it and was amazed. Doing this when sitting or standing up turned what had previously been a painful exercise into something much more bearable.
I now do this each and every day when moving about, standing or sitting or doing anything at all strenuous. I still find it difficult to believe but I know that somehow it works.
Subsequent appointments led to more manipulation and the introduction to various exercises specifically designed to use those back muscles that had been in spasm on a more regular basis so that when they came under pressure they didn’t immediately go back to that state.
Now every morning after my shower I get down on the floor and go through those exercises. It takes less than five minutes. I do the same when I get home from work and change clothes and again just before going to bed. (I sometimes miss this one if I’ve been to the Pub.)
I had a holidayrecently and my wife was amazed when I did this in the Hotel room.
All of this, in conjunction with a Work Station appraisal which helped greatly by moving screens etc to a better place, has made a massive change to my well-being.
I no longer slouch at my desk. I no longer sit there for hours on end and get ‘set’. I take a shortstroll round every hour or so, in line with your advice, and I feel so much better.
If only I’d been exposed to this sagacity some years ago I wouldn’t have suffered half as much as I actually have.
I now have the confidence to do things I would previously have shied away from for fear of ‘doing’ my back.
You really have made a huge impact on my well-being and how I do things.
Thank you so much for that. “