For years, Rosemary Fletcher had been managing her osteoporosis through exercise. But when Achilles tendon pain prevented her from doing this, she sought the advice of her GP.

Rosemary explained: “My bone density scans had improved previously through exercise, so I was concerned that I could no longer do any. The pain was preventing me from jogging on the treadmill at home and I was struggling to walk after any length of time sitting still.”

Despite trying exercises designed to alleviate Achilles pain, Rosemary saw no improvement and she was referred to The Horder Centre by her GP.

She attended ten physiotherapy sessions at The Horder Centre with chartered physiotherapist Claire Powell and soon saw improvements.

Rosemary said: “Claire immediately instilled confidence in me by the way she listened to me and was able to diagnose the problem. She explained everything in a way that I could understand and gave me manageable exercises to start working on.”

Getting started

From the first session, Rosemary had a notebook to record her progress and accurately report how she was getting on. She was diagnosed with insertional tendinopathy, often caused by repetitive tendon strain. It was important to avoid exercises involving moving the foot upwards towards the shin, and she was encouraged to wear sandals with a heel instead of slippers in the house. This soon reduced the pain and she was able to walk after sitting still.

Making progress

Rosemary had started to make great progress. She explained: “As the sessions progressed, Claire taught me the theory of what we were working on so I felt motivated to work hard at the exercises. She also printed out literature for me, where relevant, that I was able to read. This inspired me and gave me hope when progress seemed slow.

 “At each review, Claire gave me exercises relevant to my progress, adapting the plan where necessary. She told me what exercises to continue, at what stage to move on to the next exercise, and when to increase the level, frequency and repetition of an exercise. I also found it encouraging that she would tell me what the plan was for the future.”

Life after treatment

Rosemary is now able to jog on the treadmill for over half an hour, walk without pain and wear flatter shoes for longer periods of time. Her Achilles is stronger and she has learned how to manage the ongoing exercises. She has been advised if she suffers any degree of relapse, to return to the appropriate exercises that helped her reach this stage.

“The treatment and support has been life changing,” Rosemary said. “I felt that Claire Powell not only had the ability to diagnose and treat the physical symptoms, but also to understand the mind of the patient and provide appropriate support and explanations.

“Everyone at the Horder Centre has been very friendly, helpful and efficient and I would also like to thank reception and admin staff for their support.”

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