In Part 3 of PerformancePro’s latest Physio and Rehab series, we focus on spinal injury.
Along with degenerative and day to day back issues, the team at Oxford Circus Physiotherapy and PerformancePro also help those who have suffered more serious spinal injury.
Julia fell off a ladder whilst decorating and suffered fractures to her L4 and L5 lumbar vertebrae. To make things worse, she had already been suffering from a degenerated L5 disc.
The decision was made to perform a spinal fusion i.e. joining L4 vertebra to L5 vertebra via screws and connecting plates, and fit an interbody fusion cage to replace the L5 disc. The objective was to stabilise her lower lumbar and repair the damaged vertebrae. From there, physio and rehab were needed to achieve the best possible outcome.
Needless to say, Julia’s spinal fusion was a serious operation. Even so, basic movement as soon as possible post-surgery was key.
Julia was referred to Oxford Circus Physiotherapy (OCP) and PerformancePro by her consultant. Treatment started with the physio team to desensitise the muscles, work on scar tissue and activate the musculature. This helped re-establish a normal walking gait and mobilise the joints.
When Julia was ready, she moved to the PerformancePro gym to start work with our dedicated team. Not surprisingly, the first session in the gym was quite daunting,
‘To be honest, I was a little scared, but I knew that that my coach was liaising very closely with the physio team, so I felt safe.
‘Everything felt a little weird. Although I had been working on getting my muscles working again with the physio, I still felt weak. The area where I’d had the spinal surgery all felt a bit odd. It was like I needed to reconnect my brain to my muscles.‘
After spinal surgery, great care is needed, both physically AND mentally. It’s important to build confidence whilst handing expectations. Everyone recovers at different rates, so tailored care and coaching is essential, as is a persistent and consistent approach to achieve a good outcome.
Julia understood and embraced the rehab process,
‘I started with floor work and slowly built up to walking with weights. I did lots of band work where I had to resist being pulled in one direction or the other.
‘Over time, the muscles that had shrunk after the surgery, and from not being used properly, came back. I started to feel more and more capable.‘
Six months into her rehab, Julia has progressed beyond her expectation. Yes, there is the occasional ‘twinge’ but she is a hundred miles from where she started,
‘I still have work to do, but I feel very positive and I’m making head way every week. Considering the spinal injury I had, the surgery I went through and the back pain I used to get, I feel really good!
‘I’m so pleased I was introduced to Oxford Circus Physio and PerformancePro. Their professional integrated approach has made all the difference. It’s given me the confidence and strength to know how to get through what has been a very difficult time.‘
PerformancePro’s approach to physio and rehab is informed by science, the breadth and depth of the team’s personal experience and the trusted working relationship forged with Oxford Circus Physiotherapy.
‘It’s very simple!’ says PerformancePro director, Dan Boulle. ‘We literally work side by side with the OCP clinical physio team. We share the same gym space, we educate together. If a problem arises we can literally walk the client off the gym floor into a physio’s room. This all helps to create a symbiotic relationship whilst providing a seamless service to our clients.’
If you’re recovering from surgery, an injury or simply dealing with everyday aches affecting your quality of life, we can help.