Back to Health.
My year doesn’t get off to very positive start, with Christmas festivities, box-set viewing and my local gym closing for refurbishment, my lifestyle takes a spectacular nose-dive and my back decides to retaliate by taking up a diva residence. After weeks of increasing pain, a friend recommends The London Wellness Centre and I make an appointment. For no apparent reason I’ve only seen osteopaths for my back issues before now and I am intrigued about the different approach this will offer. I can tell before I even make an appointment that I’ll be in safe hands, as the clinic has achieved a 5-star, ‘Excellent’ rating on Trustpilot and are also one of the only chiropractic clinics in London to receive the prestigious CMQM (Clinical Management Quality Mark) from The Royal College of Chiropractors.
The first step
My first appointment is in the London Bridge Clinic (there is another one in Canary Wharf) and is with Dr Anthony Putrus Schnell. It’s a thorough consultation consisting of movement and reflex tests as well as an honest talk about what’s led me to this uncomfortable state. I talk non-stop and conclude with what I really want to achieve; that is, simply, to be able to exercise again and look after my son without any pain. Not such a big ask, but one that at the time feels very far away.
Chiropractors use hands-on spinal manipulation and other alternative treatments; the science being that proper alignment of the body’s musculoskeletal structure, particularly the spine, will enable the body to heal itself without surgery or medication. Manipulation is used to restore mobility to joints restricted by tissue injury caused by a traumatic event, such as falling, or repetitive stress, such as sitting without proper back support.
For my first treatment I remain clothed and lie on a bench that can be adapted to place your body in the right alignment. It takes time to adjust to being corrected and involves some fairly tough moves. It’s noisy too as the bed clunks into place (along with my back it seems!). There is some satisfying cracking as gas escapes the joints but no pain. It just feels a bit unusual and slightly uncomfortable, but I have complete faith in Anthony. He doesn’t want to work on too much at once at my first session as the new signals being sent to the brain can be overwhelming so it’s best not to overdo it. I feel a little light-headed when I sit up but as I walk around my whole body feels looser and freer.
The Wellness Centre has a well-rounded holistic approach and will prescribe massage, medical dry-needling, even psycho-therapy if required. Being in chronic pain has such an all-encompassing effect that it can really lower spirits but I very reassured and so much better when I leave. Relieved that I’m ‘fixable’ and all is not lost!
The recommended approach (for me, at least) is to have two appointments a week to start with and then in increasing periods apart, complemented with exercises at home. This has to be proactive to ensure success. My treatments so far have included dry-needling, red light therapy and muscle work as well as the expected ‘cracking’ of my back and neck. Eventually I should be able to cope on my own once I’ve been coaxed back into alignment! After around 10 treatments so far I’m feeling so much more confident and my range of movement has improved, along with my posture.
I’m taking it slowly and to begin with just putting my shoes on without pain felt like the biggest win. I’m back at the gym too and am feeling very positive about my future. Best news is that my back’s diva-attitude has mostly gone and I only get the very occasional moment of drama. I’ve learnt that sitting down for too long is always going to cause me problems, so I’ve had to take a look at my tv-viewing habits and try to limit any binge-watching – or at least do my exercises while I’m watching!
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