20 February 2010

Kinross scoliosis sufferer is now pain free

Feb 19 2010 Perthshire Advertiser Friday

A FORMER Kinross sheep farmer-turned green crusader has finally put 20 years of back pain behind her.

Carol Davies (63), currently planting 1000 conservation trees on her Nethermoss Farm, was plagued with excruciating pain due to a condition called scoliosis that got increasingly debilitating in her 40s.

A sideways curvature of the spine, scoliosis affects more than four per cent of the UK’s population.

Conventional treatment, however, involves waiting until a patient’s condition is severe enough for a high-risk operation using surgically-inserted metal rods to fuse the spinal column.

But after a month of alternative, non-surgical treatment three years ago at a new Suffolk-based clinic using techniques available in Europe for decades, Mrs Davies is now relatively pain-free.

“At the clinic I did six hours of special exercises a day,” she said.

“There were a lot of stretching and breathing exercises designed to de-rotate the spine. I have to say, it was a tough four weeks.”

Now no longer on painkillers, she does 40 minutes of special exercises a day and visits the clinic once a year.

Although her scoliosis only started causing major grief much later, it was first diagnosed after a horse riding accident when she was 14.

“The doctors found it when they saw my x-rays,” Mrs Davies explained.

“A lot of people have scoliosis and don’t know until it starts causing them pain when they’re older.”

It was only when Mrs Davies and her husband Ted started running a flock of 30 Suffolk breeding ewes at their farm 24 years ago that her back pain really started to flare up.

“I’d always been active, played a lot of squash, but the pain started to get much worse,” she said.

Finding only temporary relief from treatments such as massage, acupuncture and physiotherapy, she was eventually referred by her GP to an Edinburgh consultant who told her a “risky” operation was her only option.

“He advised me not to have it and to come back and see him if the pain became unbearable,” she said.

But by the time she reached her pain threshold, it appeared she had missed the boat.

“(The consultant) wouldn’t see me as I was 59 and he was only treating younger people. I was quite annoyed as the pain was really debilitating, really dreadful,” she said.

Fortunately, Robert, one of her two sons, called to tell her about a breakfast TV report on the just opened Scoliosis SOS clinic in Sussex, where she subsequently sought non-surgical treatment.

“I suffered for a long time and now I’m standing up straight, which I certainly wasn’t before,” she said.

Her days of “couping” sheep, however, are now also behind her.

“We gave up the sheep breeding in 2008, only have four sheep left, but we’re now planting broadleaf trees for conservation, hoping to help with the carbon footprint of the world,” said Mrs Davies.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like she did schroth exercises like the ones at Spineharmony because those exercises helped me too.