Without appropriate treatment, my life post-injury would have been very different.
In October 2011 I had a horse riding accident. I broke some bones in my foot and my leg and needed surgery.
Although the injury healed perfectly, it was during a physiotherapy session in post op therapy that I damaged nerves in my back.
I ended up with excruciating shooting pains that went down my back and into my legs. The only time I didn’t feel pain was when I was sitting down. It was extremely debilitating.
Prior to the injury, I had been very active. I loved walking and gardening, and I went horseriding three or four times a week.
By Christmas 2011, I could only walk slowly, and mostly just sat. The most activity I could manage was the grocery shopping, by leaning on the shopping trolley for support.
I was referred to several doctors and had four rounds of cortisone injections, but found no long-term improvement.
By the time I was referred to a pain specialist at a multidisciplinary pain clinic, it was more than a year after my injury and my condition had become chronic, which means it was more or less permanent.
To my relief, the treatments and education I received at the pain clinic proved to be an essential part of my rehabilitation.
I learned about medication and side effects, I learned how to control the pain with breathing techniques, and I received some excellent physiotherapy.
I also underwent a nerve burning procedure, or Radio-Frequency Ablation, which distorts the nerve’s ability to send the pain impulses, or shooting pains, to the brain.
Since then I’ve had huge improvements in my pain levels, and a completely new lease on life.