Magic Mike gets Carolyn back up and running

A Sheffield midwife is living a near pain-free life again after physiotherapy significantly reduced her long-standing back and shoulder trouble.

Fifty-year-old mum-of-two Carolyn Garland, from Ecclesall, suffered chronic and debilitating agony for three-and-a-half years, which had started to hamper her everyday life.

Doctors believed the discomfort was simply caused by age, yet she had struggled to do everyday activities like shower and wash her hair before being referred to the Northern General Hospital for a cervical nerve root injection earlier this year.

But in an unusual twist, and after spending years trying to identify the problem, an injury sustained in a charity run saw her turn to Dr Michael Lee, from Sheffield Sports Medicine and Physiotherapy.

Despite her pain, Carolyn ran the Great North Run in September last year and injured her Achilles, and she decided to visit Dr Lee for treatment who was volunteering at the event.

Carolyn said: "I've had a long-standing pain which runs from my back, through my shoulder and down my left arm. At first doctors thought it was a trapped nerve. Nothing in particular brought the pain on, and they just said that it was something that sometimes happens with age.

"I was very fortunate my Achilles didn't go during the race. I went to Michael and he said it was my shoulder and not my back which was causing me pain - and that my Achilles injury was linked."

After doctors hadn't convinced Carolyn that the pain originated from her back, and despite X-rays showing a trapped nerve in her spine, she decided to put her faith in Dr Lee.

Married mum-of-two Carolyn, who turned 50 on the day of the Great North Run, said: "The physio started to help after about 10 days in total which was astonishing. It's given me a new lease of life.

"Before the physio I was probably about eight out of 10 in terms of pain, but now I'm closer to a one. I'm never one to take pain killers and I usually fight through the pain, but I haven't been able to do simple, mundane things without suffering excruciating pain.

"I don't like to take painkillers, so it was unusual. I just thought to myself 'I can do this without any drugs or surgery', but the pain was really intense.

"Since the initial physio session, I've only had to go back once more for very minor treatment. And I've been able to avoid having surgery.

"I'm now lifting weights in the gym again, whereas before I couldn't even lift my own arm!"

Dr Lee, who is a consultant sports physiotherapist and sports scientist said: "Physiotherapy can often be an almost hassle-free solution to chronic pain.

"People don't realise how effective physio can be, and Carolyn's case is far from unique. It's not unusual for treatment like the type Carolyn's undergone to ease pain significantly so I'd urge anyone who is suffering with similar symptoms to give it a try."