Diagnosed with degenerative discs and a bulging disc

Below is an account of my back problem which resulted in my attending Georgina Oldfield’s clinic just over a year ago.

My back problem started in June 2004 after training for a long distance walk. I had some issues with my back before this but nothing that stopped me having an active happy life. Before 2004 I classed myself as a fit active happy person. I did a lot of exercise swam, hiked, cycled, played badminton, danced and really enjoyed life.

After June 2004 this changed after developing sciatica. I had treatment from a chiropractor and he advised me that my muscles were weak, he moved a stuck joint and I needed to be careful. I started to be unable to sit for very long or do any exercise without flaring it. During that year I continued to work and slowly over that time increased my exercise and eased my nerve pain. I saw physios over that year, unsure what was wrong. The last one’s treatment was making things worse and advised that I stopped coming as she couldn’t help me any more. My back crashed.

From July 2005 my life was agony I had severe nerve pain down both legs, I couldn’t sit, I spent my life on the floor or in the local pool gentle jogging. All exercise made it worse. I couldn’t bear anything on my legs and I couldn’t feel my left foot.

From July 2005 till June 2006 I tried many different treatments; sports physios, osteopath, acupuncture and they had many different theories. I had a twisted pelvis, one leg longer than the other, piriformis syndrome etc., bulging disc.  I had 2 MRIs during this time showing degenerative discs at L4/L5 and L5/S1 with small annular tears and a minor bulge L5/S1. Some thought surgery was needed, some thought surgery wasn’t and could make it worse. Over this time I made some very slow progress. But by June 2006 two years on I was still in pain with no answer in sight and very limited activity.

I made most improvement when I saw a health psychologist on the NHS and when I bought Fred Amir’s Rapid recovery from back and neck pain book about Dr Sarno’s work. However by this point I was severely depressed, at times suicidal and although the book was the only thing that made any sense, my physio wasn’t keen.

So by November 2007 I had managed to walk for about 30 minutes on the flat. I had a very rigid routine and if anything changed my pain would flare and I feared nearly all activity. I couldn’t bend or do anything.

I found Georgie’s website in November 2007 and started to believe I could get better. The one thing she gave me that no one else had, was hope. This was TMS and I could get better. Within two weeks I had managed to travel up toHuddersfieldfor a lecture. I achieved things I never thought possible. I walked further, I cycled and I started breaking my regimented routine. Because I lived so far away, my main contact with Georgie was via email or phone. She always replied immediately to all my emails and always gave me the support and encouragement I needed to keep improving. She never gave up on me even when I hit bad patches.

In this year I am now more active than I ever imagined. I can hike in the Peak District, have been on three holidays whereas before meeting Georgie I couldn’t sit for more than 15mins. I have broken my routine, started swimming and even playing table tennis/ batinton (a form of badminton!). I am seeing a psychologist to help with releasing the repressed emotions etc.

I still have pain and anxiety/fear of doing some things, but I am setting goals and getting my life back. When you have spent years in agony, tried so many treatments that fail and everyone has given up on you finally you give up on yourself. Finding the TMS program changed all this and as I continue to improve I look back at last year and am grateful that I found someone to help me when everyone else had given up.

Kath F, Derbyshire

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