"I’ve picked up my life again"

Back pain was agony for Anne Parker, 68, from Berkshire, but thanks to the right diagnosis she’s now walking tall.

“My bad back started 12 years ago with pains in my right buttock. When I saw my GP, he said the problem was actually my back, and he gave me painkillers. I do orienteering, so I tried to move and stretch more, but the pain got worse. Then I saw an osteopath, who said I should rest.

“One morning, when I was getting up, I rubbed the bad spot on my spine. It triggered a sciatic spasm that left me immobile and screaming in pain. My GP gave me stronger painkillers and anti-inflammatories, which improved things when I was lying down or standing up, but sitting was agony. I still went walking, though. Now it’s recognised that exercise is one of the best things for certain kinds of back pain.

“A year later, I had an X-ray and an MRI scan. I discovered that I had a lateral stenosis, which is a build-up of tissue that blocks the spinal canal. The treatment was an injection of steroids into my spine. It took away the constant, gnawing pain. Three months later I was able to go orienteering again.”

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