You do more in the group exercise classes, you do it properly and you meet new people.

Petra Jahn, 63 from Milton Keynes tells us, after 5 operations on her hip and being off-work for 4 years, how her health is gradually improving through group exercise classes.

The hip pain was so bad, I had to stop working

After a career in customer service, I had to stop work 4 years ago due to the pain in my right hip. The problems started in March 2017 and after a visit to the clinic, I started taking pain killers. The doctor then put me on Tramadol, but I wasn’t improving. After an X-ray found nothing wrong, I had a call 2 days later, saying there was a fracture and after a CT scan, they operated the next day. The pain returned and I had another operation. Then in November 2018 I had a hip replacement.


By September 2019 the pain got much worse

After another scan in May 2020, a fracture was found on my femur. I was sent to Oxford for a different hip replacement. The scar didn’t heal and became infected. Tests found a rare parasite, and after 6 weeks on intravenous antibiotics, I had a new hip in September 2020.

Now at home I can walk better without crutches but when I have bad days, I have to stay in bed. I take a mixture of very strong pain killers.


I was referred to Connect Health physio

Not long after the last operation, I had some telephone physio appointments (during Covid) and latterly I was seen for my hip, lower back and upper neck. I was shown how to do a range of exercises and they were sent to me via email on the physio app.

Then I saw Jack at the gym and he showed me the exercises with a better range of weights and I got on really well with the exercises in a gym environment.


Jack and Charlotte told me about a new exercise group – I said I would love to join

I attend once a week and I try to do everything I can in the hour. There are between 6 and 10 people of different ages and we all do the same exercise, but if I can’t do it, I sit down and do a different one. I always get there a bit earlier as I can talk to them if I have a problem.


The exercise classes are helping me on the road to recovery.


It’s brilliant because you are motivated to do the exercises

You can talk to people as well which is great because I’m quite a chatty person. I do need a push to do exercise. For nearly 5 years I’ve been doing exercises at home and now, as I do more things at home, this forces me to do the exercises.


I do think the exercise classes are really helping me

Whilst I’ve only attended 3 times, everyone really loves it. I’ve noticed improvement in my upper arms as I’m doing exercises I wasn’t doing before. Somehow it’s much looser. I thought “ooh that actually feels much easier now”.


The sports therapists Charlotte and Jack are really great

I like that they watch every person closely. If you are exercising at home, there is no one there to tell you if you’re doing it wrong. In the group you have people there who will correct you. They are really caring and really want to know how you are doing so they can help you.


I love that you can talk to the other patients with similar problems

I think the whole experience is better because you do it with other people and you do it together. Other patients can tell you tips you’ve never heard before.


You get to know your physios a lot better

You can talk differently to them to explain how your body feels as you exercise. When you have your one to one appointment, you only have a certain amount of time. Here I find it is more casual and I have a different relationship with them.


My future is looking the best it has for 5 years

My aim is to get rid of the crutches and then I can start work again. I’m so bored and I can’t wait to have a normal life again, which I haven’t had for 5 years. I want to get off my medication and since the classes, I have started to reduce my Oxycodone by half. That will take quite a while to get it back to normal again.


It’s absolutely brilliant – that’s all I can say

Even when you phone them, the staff are really nice as well. I think the company is absolutely brilliant.


I just hope it goes on forever and the physios and sports therapists are doing a fantastic job. I can’t recommend it enough. There is nothing they can do to improve.


Download Petra’s full story here

Find out more about Connect Health’s Patient Services here

The community physiotherapy service provides high quality comprehensive patient-centred accessible MSK community physiotherapy services for the population of Milton Keynes.