The girl with the titanium back

Another one from the annals. Yes, I know that the plural of anecdote is not evidence, however, hearing others stories can be empowering to  people. This one starts with a girl of 17 who had had a number of years of back pain, a diagnosis of congenital scoliosis and, following a prolonged period of deliberation, a fairly large operation where titanium rods were inserted into her spine to make it straight. It was only after this that I met this patient – someone going through A-levels, looking at universities, and also looking forward (with some apprehension) to a post school … Continue reading

Recovery from Covid 19?

There has (quite rightly) been a massive amount of energy and column inches expended on the initial response to this Coronavirus and the acute medical problems that it throws up. Huge temporary hospitals have been set up, current ICU wards have overflowed to newly set up specialist areas and those on the front line are working some ridiculous hours in not-ideal situations in order to keep people alive. As a physio who is not up to date with skills to assist on the front line, my thoughts recently have turned to the problems that will come after the acute infection. … Continue reading

RED-S – what?!

This is something pertinent, as in the past year I have gone from not having heard of RED-S, to suggesting that patients really start thinking about it as a cause for stress fractures, and enabling them to swerve a downward spiral into long term injury and depression. Where has this come from? You may have heard of the Female Athlete Triad. Effectively it is a combination of Low energy availability, Menstrual disruption and Poor bone health. It was originally seen as a rigid structure – a diagnosis, which was not particularly useful when you have someone turning up with a … Continue reading

Oooh- don’t run, it’s bad for your knees.

They look at you as if you’re mad and say: “Oh I wouldn’t run, you’ll ruin your knees” or “I wouldn’t lift weights – it’s bad for you back”. …. And so they sit down in front of the tv with a “sharing” size packet of crisps and proceed to devour the lot. Before heading to the shops in a car, to buy more food- making sure it is low-fat, of course – because it is healthier while trying to stop you from doing the thing that might drag you out of a hole. People feel guilty for not engaging … Continue reading

Trampolines at the school gate

There have been a few blogs like this – less about what I know and more about some signposting to some people that are vastly more qualified to talk about it than me. I’ve just finished listening to a physio podcast about incontinence. Yes – we get all the exciting things to listen to. While I was aware of pelvic floor issues and how physio can help with issues regarding incontinence etc. what I was not aware of is the size of the problem nationally, the normalisation of it as “just something that happens” by pad manufacturers and the complete … Continue reading

Trapped nerves?

I’ve been delving into nerve pain and sciatica recently. One of the more accessible articles that has been published recently was by a Physio called Tom Jesson which differentiates between radiculopathy, referred pain and sciatica like symptoms.  The first important point he made was that this can be a confusing topic, both clinically and academically, so there is some work to be done to clear up some of the mixed messages.  Referred pain is a dull gnawing pain which is difficult to localise – which is quite often to do with mixed nerve messages to the brain. (it’s a bit … Continue reading