Lorraine’s Story

Lorraine Bremner, 63 from South Tyneside, a retired bank worker and a black belt kickboxer, tells how Connect helped her to back to being fighting fit.

Patient Stories

Black belt kickboxer Lorraine Bremner felt a blow when a hamstring injury took hold. Now Lorraine is back fighting fit. Lorraine’s EQ-5D health improvement score improved by 64% with help from Connect.

I’ve been so active all my life that developing a hamstring tendon problem was a real blow for me. The Connect physios have helped me back to full fitness.

I worked in banking for 37 years and retired about nine years ago. I’ve always been quite fit, and I love going to the gym, running and have a black belt in kickboxing.

About five years ago I was running on the treadmill and I started to get pain in the buttocks and down to the back of my knee. I ignored it for a few months, but when it didn’t resolve itself I decided to seek private physiotherapy. The physiotherapist gave me some manipulation and acupuncture, but I began to develop pain on the other side. I laid off the kickboxing but was still going to the gym. Gradually it got to the point where things like walking uphill was setting it off, and it was really restricting what I normally did.

I saw the private physiotherapist for about a year on and off, but in the end, recommended a deeper investigation as it wasn’t improving. He suggested I contact my GP for a scan. I was referred to the Connect MSK clinic in South Shields and had an appointment with one of the doctors there.

I had an MRI deep muscle scan. In August 2017, this revealed I had Gluteal Medius Tendinosis; wear and tear on the tendons.

My next question was what can I do about it? Following a discussion about options, including injection, operation and strengthening, it was decided to take the MSK physiotherapy route. I was happy to try anything, and it was a case of building up the glute muscles around the tendons to protect them. The physios gave me loads of exercises; seeing them regularly was brilliant.

The best thing has been the constant care I’ve had, and the professional advice of the physios.

My level of exercise and the fact that I do Pilates really helped.

I had five sessions initially, and it progressed to the point where I could manage the exercises myself so I was discharged in January 2018. Unfortunately, I had a bit of a flare-up of hamstring pain in April 2018 as I upped my activity, so I went back for a few more sessions. They gave me some advance level rehab exercises, and once I’d completed these I was discharged again in January 2019.

I still do the exercises. I still get the odd twinge now and again, but it’s fantastic to be able to be rid of the pain I was in.

I’m back running again but I’ve hung up the boots on my kickboxing, now I’m a bit older. I walk every day and go to the gym for cardio and weight training.

I feel stronger than I ever have before. For example, when I did kickboxing you always had a weaker side. When I used to do things on my left leg I was always a bit wobbly, but now I feel more strength on my left side in my glutes and tendons. So, it’s helped me to balance both sides of everything.

I was told my EQ-5D health improvement score improved by 64% as a result of the treatment, and due to the excellent advice and care of the physios at Cleadon Park, I am now back to full fitness.

The best thing has been the constant care I’ve had, and the professional advice of the physios. I felt I could trust that they knew what they were talking about. I never felt intimidated, they explained everything to me and were really warm and caring. You know when people have empathy and I always felt they were trying to help me, and I was really grateful for what they were doing.

I’d advise anyone in a similar position not to battle on and try to cope alone; go and see your doctor/physio. I see people in the gym and they have straps on their knees; you shouldn’t be doing it unless you have been told it’s ok. It might be a long process but grab the bull by the horns and go and see the doctor/physio for advice.

Download Lorraine’s story here.

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