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Motion Forword - November 2023 - No5

Welcome to Motion Forword - Words of a Therapist! Number 5!

Motion Forword is about discussing the combined benefits of movement with a positive mental attitude. Using my personal/professional experiences, evidence-based research and some of your own experiences. 

Bringing some hope, positivity, happiness and maybe usefulness to those, perhaps like yourself, that needs a pick me up. 

Something about me - Focus on the Positives

I am now three months into my Latin Salsa journey and I am still really enjoying it. I was one of two people in my group who were promoted up from level 2 to level 2+ which was another big confidence boost! 

I’ve branched out a little and even tried a little bit of Bachata. Which I think I would really love as the music takes me back to holidays in the Dominican Republic with my family as a kid. Hockey season is in full swing and I have been playing right midfield for my team. Having played defence for the last 4 seasons, it is something I haven’t done since I stopped playing football at 18! But with the extra running I’ve been doing, I am feeling like my fitness is almost there to keep up the pace for a 70 minute game! 

I even received the man of the match on my first game back after Summer having also done a 5km park run that morning! This may have been the last warm/sweaty weekend in October so the game ended for me with a double calf cramp! Safe to say, I haven’t tried to do that again!

I have to admit, the darker evenings make running less appealing and I haven’t done it as much. So I've tried to incorporate it into my gym routines (albeit I have also had less time for those too!) But I don’t beat myself up about it, I am still doing plenty of good things… 

I managed a 2nd go at a half marathon! I was able to complete the 21.1km route in 1:57:47. About 6 minutes faster than my last outing! Pretty chuffed!

So lots of positives to reflect on and be proud of. 

Something for you - The Funny side of F##k ups

So it’s important to reflect on our achievements and successes because all too often we only recognise the negatives. 

Part of the reason I started writing this newsletter is because of a book called:Confessions of a Forty-something f##k up by Alexandra Potter. 

A book I started reading during my holiday in Mexico.

I resonated with the characters a lot. About the trials of life and how we ask ourselves how the hell did we end up here?! 

It was funny and self-deprecating whilst also grounding and real. 

I don’t want to ruin the story for you, but what inspired me to start writing this newsletter is when the main protagonist starts a podcast*. A creative and ranty outlet about the ridiculousness of life. As it turned out these life-rants, of someone who felt so alone, resonated with a whole lot of people. 

*I thought about setting up a podcast myself or reading out my newsletters or combining the two… but as I tend to get overwhelmed and overthink things, I thought I’d just keep it simple with a newsletter and see where we go from there. Let me know if you’d actually like to hear me rather than read me!

I hope that in some small way I am also resonating with and helping people. Making you feel less alone, less fearful and more proactive in your pursuit of health and happiness. 

I really enjoyed the book so I highly recommend it. It is very much like a modern day Bridget Jones!

A story - An Empathetic Ear and a Plan

Over 12 years Ross, now 38, had seen 5-6 different physiotherapists for his back pain. He had been referred to pain clinics where he attended multiple sessions. He was given exercise after exercise which wasn't helping.

The daily pain never got better. 

In May 2023 he had an MRI which detected 3 bulging discs and osteoarthrosis. Subsequently he was given corticosteroid injections which he described as making his back pain immediately 10x worse. Despite this his GP said he’d need to wait 6 weeks before seeing a physio again. 

Ross came to me in September 2023. He described his pain as a constant pressure which would go down both legs with daily pins and needles into the feet. Having been passed from person-to-person Ross felt like he wasn’t being taken seriously nor his problem being understood. 

Ross dealt with heavy machinery and it was affecting his ability to work. He worried his managers weren’t taking his problem seriously. He worried how long he would be able to do the job. He even worried that his managers would have to sack him.

It was important to Ross that he was able to continue work. We communicated with his managers to give us some ‘breathing space’ whilst we got Ross back to full strength. They agreed to a month of ‘lighter duties’. Which was better than nothing and gave Ross’s back some much needed ‘time off’! 

Gentle treatment and a progressive exercise programme was where I started. With really basic and pain free movement which we would progress over the coming weeks. 

After 2 weeks he was feeling less stiff in the mornings and was getting a few days of reprieve from the back pain. He was able to get back to boat fishing!By week 3, he had no pain during the week and had even done some heavy lifting at work. He was sleeping better and his exercises were progressing nicely. 

By week 4, his back felt completely fine and was squatting pain free. 

It wasn’t all plain sailing and Ross did have a flare-up around weeks 5-6 but improved again after we got him back on the right track. 

I have now seen Ross a total of 7 times. After over a decade of back pain, he is now happier, more positive about his back, less worried about work, engaging in regular exercise, enjoying his fishing (when the weather allows!) and is looking forward to his holiday in the Maldives in December.

‘It was nice to finally meet someone who listened’, Ross said. Something in my practice I take pride in, as we can never underestimate the power of an empathetic ear and a plan.

Thanks for reading, until next month…

Motion Forword ⏩⏩


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