Get back to what you love doing
It’s that heart stopping moment. You bend, twist, lunge or lift and feel that all-familiar pain return. Be it an old injury that’s come back to haunt you or a new injury that still catches you when you least expect it – it’s a feeling we all desperately want to avoid.
And as anyone who’s been in any form of pain will attest, there aren’t many things you wouldn’t try at the promise of a reduction or removal of the suffering you feel. It’s mentally draining, life altering and, if battled with for long enough, can even lead to knock on conditions such as depression.
Fortunately, most injuries are minor – accompanied by a little pain and discomfort that lasts a day or so. Others can be debilitating. Back pain, in particular, can see sufferers’ entire lives change as they look for ways to manage their discomfort and avoid scenarios that make it worse; forcing changes to their social lives, families and careers.
“Pain is a difficult thing.”says Dr Hany Elmadbouh, founder and lead consultant at Avicenna Clinic based in central Peterborough.
“Because of the body’s natural ability to adapt to avoid pain, patients can quickly find themselves in a pain cycle. And unless they seek medical treatment quickly, this can soon escalate where their initial condition is not what is causing the longer-term issues.
“One of the greatest issues I see with patients is the amount of time that has passed before they receive treatment. Some of this is because of waiting lists. Other times it is due to their own delays in seeking a referral in the first place.
“What perhaps started as a relatively minor niggle a few weeks previous can quickly escalate to complete immobility.
“I recently treated a patient who was in complete agony. Having felt a slight niggle in the weeks leading up to his injury, he had been feeling the tell-tale signs of a previous injury; a bulged disk he had suffered from 8 years previous. Without significant discomfort, he simply went about his life as normal, making the slightest and unconscious changes to his normal movement. So, when he was rendered completely immobile having bent down to pick up his shampoo in the shower, it was a big shock.
“He leads an extremely busy life and has a very demanding work schedule. He was also preparing for a series of holidays as part of his 50th birthday celebrations. Time was not his friend.
“Luckily, following a referral from his Osteopath, I was able to see him very quickly. We carried out a diagnostic MRI Scan. He was a text book case of someone who was in a pain cycle. Unable to stand up straight or carry out normal movement, the only way his condition was going to improve was if we could reduce his pain significantly enough for him to resume normal movement again.
“We performed a selective nerve root injection, as a first course of treatment, after which he could be referred to a spinal surgeon if it did not work. And I’m pleased to say that the procedure was successful enough that he has staved off the need for any surgery for the time being.
“There were two factors in play with this case that serve as a good example for the level of success we saw. First – due to his busy schedule he sought treatment quickly and didn’t allow the pain cycle to fully take hold. Secondly, the treatment we were able to deliver off the back of a very clear diagnosis – courtesy of the MRI Scan meant that we were both alleviating the symptoms and enabling him to get back to his usual movement patterns.
My advice to patients suffering from any sort of pain is to seek treatment as quickly as you can. The improvement in results you will see and reduction in longer-term associated issues are not to be underestimated.”
Avicenna Clinic, which recently opened the doors to its flagship purpose-renovated building in Peterborough city centre, is an independent, consultant-led private healthcare practice offering personalised health care to self-pay and insured patients.
Patients attending the clinic can often make a same day appointment, see a consultant, begin diagnostics and receive a treatment plan all in a single visit. The difference that makes to their mind-set, sense of wellbeing and longer-term prognosis can’t be underestimated.