Ohh My Aching Back!

Posted 1/4/2015

I guess most people have felt the pain of a bad back at some point in their life. I have lived with it for 12 years. I pulled my back out while at work one day, rushing to complete an order, swinging 5ltr tins of paint out from a difficult to reach corner without a care in the world. I didn’t feel a thing at the time. Next morning, I did…

Now, I am a firm believer in our British NHS but, over the years, one thing I have found they have no idea how to treat is back problems.

Woke up on the following morning and felt a twinge in my back, I didn’t give it a second thought. Grabbed some breakfast and headed off to work at a local decorating store five minutes from home. As the morning went on, my back began to hurt more and more and by mid morning, I was doubled over in pain, could not straighten up and could hardly move. I went home.

Off to the doctor and was signed off for a month and put on the hospital waiting list. After 3-4 weeks I was offered an appointment with one of the hospital trainee back specialists which I accepted. At the time anything was better than nothing!

After about 6 weeks of lying on a bed twice a week while this young girl just massaged the base of my spine, I was told there was nothing else wrong with my back, nothing more they could do! I couldn’t walk straight, couldn’t even put a handbag on my shoulder and that was it??

Totally ignored, dismissed without any further options, went back to the doctor who signed me off again for another month. Starting to fall into depression, what could I do?

Then someone gave me a name, Nigel Carnell. He was a private physiotherapist. He ran a small clinic on the edge of town and was the former Physio to Darlington Football club as well as other sporting clubs. Asking around, I found his name kept coming up as very reliable. I found no one who knew him who had anything but positive things to say, he was highly recommended. I called, made an appointment and the following day, off I went to see him. I had never paid for private treatment before.

When I entered his treatment room, he looked at me and his first words were “Hi, I can see straight away what you have done, you have pulled your pelvis out!” Those words were the best words I had heard in years! Could this guy actually really see a problem with me that clearly? Did I not have to again go through all those useless questionnaires?

Nigel examined me, then confirmed I had in fact totally dislocated my pelvis. 20 minutes later, after screaming in pain as he manipulated my skeleton, back, pelvis, legs etc I actually managed to stand upright! It felt wonderful!

He explained that because my bones had been out for so long, inflammation etc, I would take a while to get everything back in position and for it all to stay in place. He showed me some gentle stretching exercises to do, and was to go back in 4 days.

That is how I spent the next six weeks, going regularly to this brilliant physiotherapist who, every time, managed to straighten me up more while reducing the overall pain. Each time, the manipulation became less painful, my posture improved, as did my walking ability. I had even started to be able to carry things again.

During this time I decided I needed another job, less physical so be time my back was finally back in place, and remained there, I had handed in my notice as the decorating store and had a start date to work Jessops, lifting nothing more than cameras etc.

Over the years I have remained under the care of Nigel. My back injury has returned several times but each time the severity has reduced. Each time Nigel has returned me to full fitness.

A few years ago I ended up with another injury to my neck. The doctor sent me to the local Musculoskeletal Centre. What a total waste of time. After being interviewed initially and finding out I had been under the care of Nigel Carnell, I was told “We will tell you what is REALLY wrong with you!” Their diagnosis? It was in my mind!? The pain in my neck was not real; my back pain was because of my posture!

Hey! Guess what? My posture was bad because my back was out! Duhh?

I discovered that these professionals were the same medical staff from the hospital, just in a brand spanking new facility. That explained a lot. Again, finding the treatment from here a total waste of time, told the doctor I was going back to Nigel. Three weeks later I was back at work. All sorted.

I even tried Virgin Healthcare, Darlington musculoskeletal triage and treat service. Three weeks waiting until they could fit me in. Any good? Nope!

Another load of questions, they didn't believe the pain level I had. Really, how can you say what your pain is on a scale of 1 to 10? What is the reference point?  Not everyone has the same idea of the level of those numbers!

I am in pain! What difference does it make if its 3, 6 or 9, I am in PAIN!

Well it ended up the guy "forgetting" his computer login, having to send me out by post the exercises, come back in two weeks, bye. Yes I did receive the sheet, a scrappy photocopy you couldn't even read, received 2 days before I was due to go back.

Follow-up appointment cancelled.

Decided then that paying for the private treatment with Nigel far outweighed the struggle with the NHS, Virgin etc. With the longer wait times and getting nowhere after treatment I would stick with the one person who has consistently kept me at my best, kept me going.

12 years after that initial introduction, I am still under his care. Being able to arrange treatment usually in 2-3 days is a huge benefit. I have seen Nigel for many things, a dropped metatarsal, knee pain, foot pain, tennis elbow, golfers elbow, everything.  Each time he has treated me with respect, professionalism and expertise the others seem to totally lack. Every time he as managed to sort out my problem and either keep me in work, or get me back to work faster than waiting for an initial consultation with others.

I would suggest to anyone who suffers in pain from something physical, knee, back, neck, it is really worth considering a visit to their local private physiotherapist. Ask around, find someone who everyone recommends. I did. Isn’t your health worth it?

Cookie Policy

This site uses cookies to store information on your computer.

Do you accept?