Health & Wellness

Ride The Night – cycling 100km through the night around London for Women’s Cancer Charities

Insurance for your future #YouOnlyGetOneBodyToLiveIn

Why is it when you were younger, your parents spent a large part of their time encouraging you to look after yourself, and at the time, you would roll your eyes and mostly ignore them thinking yeah yeah, I’ve got ages til I’m old, and continue to enjoy/abuse yourself!.  Its only as I became a parent myself, that I recalled some of those words of wisdom from my parents and wished id taken heed a bit more, especially as I reached my 40’s and I felt like a 90 year old!!

Don’t get me wrong, some of the things my parents would say used to make me giggle, like “don’t keep your coat on indoors, you’ll not feel the benefit” or “you cant leave this house without something substantial inside you” as if you would malnourish and die if god forbid you went to school without breakfast!!  And, I also admit, that I do find myself preaching some of the things my parents tried to get me to understand, to my own children!

We all tend to insure our cars, our homes, our possessions, our future for our loved ones, yet we only get one body to live in during our time here on Planet earth, and we take for granted that it will just keep working for us like it always has done!

The reality is, that unless you’re very lucky, you will feel the ills of old age, but you can #DoSomethingYourFutureSelfWillThankYouFor.  This is something I have learned over the years and at last I probably feel the best I have done in years, both physically and mentally.  Whats my secret?

A lot of my aches and pains stemmed from a #scoliosis which went undiagnosed/unnoticed until I had 2 very large babies in my mid 30s.  Idiopathic scoliosis means that the curvature of my spine would have happened during the ages of 13-17 and that it shouldn’t move any further and cause an impact on my internal organs.  Mine is S-shaped and resulted in me being ‘short bodied’ and requiring some clothes in a petite fitting so they fit better.  I would be a few inches taller had it not been for Scoliosis!!

I was relieved to find out why I always seemed lop-sided, why my trousers always seemed shorter on one leg, why I only seemed to have a waist on one side, and why I just felt generally ‘out of kilter’.  Hyper mobility also caused some aches and pains which were passed off at the time as ‘growing pains’, and falling off horses and throwing myself down ski slopes, having spectacular wipe-outs at speed didn’t help either!!

After seeing a very dismissive orthopaedic consultant at our local hospital, and on the advice of a relative who had an operation to correct her scoliosis, I contacted the Scoliosis Association UK (SAUK) and clicked on the link to find my nearest scoliosis specialist specialist (details at the bottom of this article).  I took this to my GP who then wrote to my specialist at Sheffield Northern General Hospital.   My scoliosis is at 40 degrees and 50 is the cut off point where they deem an operation is necessary.

Naturally I was relieved to not need surgery, but it has taken a lot of hard work and pain to get to where I am now.  My physio at the Northern General hospital gave me a huge understanding of my body, worked with me and educated me on how I could help myself.  At 42 years old, I was struggling to breathe when I got out of bed in a morning, and I couldn’t even bend to put on my slippers!.  My torso was so tight that I felt locked in! I began to think “Geez, is this it? Getting old sucks”!

After regular physio massage/manipulation at hospital in Sheffield, I worked alongside Harriet Rogers of HR Fitness with massage, strengthening and stretching and one to one pilates exercises.  Suddenly, I could twist my torso and touch my toes again!  Don’t get me wrong, it was pretty painful retraining your body which had settled itself in this incorrect position for so many years.  My right shoulder blade was ‘winged’ and took a long time before it would settle down to where it should be but by holding my body wrong for so many years, to keep myself balanced, I had twisted which resulted in my right shoulder riding up and out.

Along with one to one strengthening sessions with PT Amanda Hillary, I suddenly had upper body strength, and was lifting weights in a controlled environment so I was getting stronger and feeling and looking so much better.  The lower back pain had eased off, and I felt like a new person!!  Too many times, my back had hurt, so I did what most people do, and rested it.  Admittedly, there are times when you do need to listen to your body, and rest, but Ive discovered that if I move more, eat less and eat better, drink plenty of water and have a regular physio massage (every 4 to 8 weeks), take nutritional supplements (future blog post), I can feel like a different person!  My GP must be wondering where I am……..

To find out where you nearest scoliosis specialist centre is, contact SAUK on 020 8964b5343 or list their website at