I was someone who had a high work load, was highly stressed and had an undetected Scoliosis. In reflection, I can see how it lead to my chronic back injury that turned my life upside down for almost two years.
Working in the fitness industry, it's easy to push yourself too hard. The expectation to be super-fit, lean and successful was definitely a pressure that I took on. I was over-training, over-working and focused more on looking after my clients than I was on myself. So in early 2008, when I started to experience back pain, I just put it down to having tight muscles and ignored the warning signs. My back pain worsened and I was regularly having physio and osteo treatments (2-3 times per week), but to no avail. I would get some relief, but the pain persisted. For over a year I was having every type of treatment possible on my back: Osteo, Chiro, Physio, Acupuncture- anything to get some relief.
I was referred to a sports doctor, and after x-rays and an MRI, my right Scoliosis was identified. Also,there were a number of over-active and under-active muscular-skeletal problems that contributed to my condition. I was unable to work due to debilitating pain, lack of range of movement and an inability to perform daily tasks without a worse flare-up. If I dropped something on the floor, I was physically unable to pick it up. As a fiercely independent person, this was the start of the lowest point in my life. I was told not to exercise, to lay flat on the floor for 10-20 minute intervals only and not to sit for long periods. I was in constant pain from the moment I woke up to the the moment my painkillers knocked me out. My back would have spasms that would wake me up during the night, a constant reminder of how drastically life had changed. It was a living nightmare, I was desperate for help. I became heavily depressed, isolating myself from friends and family and was hospitalised three times within a 6 month period. By mid 2009, I moved back to my hometown Melbourne, where I was taken care of by my family.
Then, I met Christine, a Melbourne physio who had a lifetime of experience with injuries, an infectious positivity and an ability to look outside 'the box'. I was still skeptical at first, after so many disappointments. As the months went on, we unpeeled the issues that caused my back pain. Many theories going against that of the medical profession and the fitness industry. Through the education of my condition, I understood why I was in pain and why my body would respond in certain ways. As I slowly returned to work, I referred any injury clients to her and with each individual case, learnt more and more about a range of different conditions. We conversed frequently to optimise client success. My hunger for knowledge and helping people out of their pain grew. More and more of my clients who had long term injuries, were now pain-free. I felt my injury had a purpose: To help others out of pain. I believe due to my empathy and understanding after sustaining my own long term injury, I have the passion and knowledge to get a range of people injury-free. I believe that no-one should live in pain, and everyone deserves to be given the best chance and treatment possible. For the past three years, I have worked in conjunction with various practitioners and understand about a range of injuries. I now not only feel confident in my abilities as a Personal Trainer, but also as someone who is truly proud of what they do.