A CHESTER student has returned to her veterinary nursing course after overcoming the pain from scoliosis.
Josie Stone, 23, of Laws Gardens, Great Boughton, feared she would have to undergo major surgery after she was diagnosed with scoliosis – a severe spinal deformity which causes the spine to curve sideways and if left untreated can cause fatal heart and lung problems.
Doctors told her she would need a 12 hour operation to fuse her spine solid and it was unlikely she would ever have full flexibility in her back again.
The problems began when she was studying to become a vetinary nurse. Josie, who had always been very active throughout her life, started to suffer from severe back pain when she was studying at her desk. A short time later she was diagnosed with scoliosis.
Within months, Josie went from being a fit and healthy woman with bags of energy, to being doubled over in excruciating pain.
She had to give up a lot of her social activities as she could not stand on her feet for long periods and she could not bear to look at her curving spine in the mirror – wearing baggy jumpers to avoid how distorted she felt her back looked.
Josie also had to take a break from her veterinary nursing course which left her “devastated”.
Scoliosis affects more than four per cent of the population. The current treatment in this country is to wait until the curve becomes so severe, that the only option left is to operate. The major operation is an incredibly risky procedure which involves metal rods being inserted either side of the spine, before the spine is fused solid.
Josie found Scoliosis SOS – a clinic which uses a German technique called Schroth method to strengthen back muscles by a rigorous routine of exercise.
Founded and run by Erika Maude, who has scoliosis herself, the clinic opened seven and half years ago and has brought the Schroth method to Britain. The method has been used with some success in Europe since the 1920s but is not recognised by the NHS.
Josie decided to give the treatment a go and booked onto a four week treatment course and was overwhelmed by the results she achieved.
Within weeks of being on the course, Josie’s condition dramatically improved. She was no longer lying awake at night in pain and her confidence soared.
Josie learnt a set of exercises which strengthened the muscles surrounding her spine and meant her scoliosis stabilised.
She also felt a massive sense of relief that she would no longer require major surgery, as she knew the recovery would have been long and painful.
Josie said: “I am ecstatic to have found these exercises, no words can describe the relief I felt when my pain started to disappear. I have always wanted to work with animals and the idea of having to put off my dreams and going through major surgery was terrifying. I feel so lucky to have found an answer to my problems.
“My pain has disappeared and I can run around as much as I like without even feeling uncomfortable. I can also read again without worrying about being hunched over a computer. I feel like a new person, it really is amazing.”