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Back in Action

Back in Action

We’ve been chatting to Chase Leisure Centre member Sue Phillips about her rehabilitation journey since being diagnosed with spinal problems and how exercise has given Sue her life back.

“I was waking in the middle of the night screaming in pain,” says the 63-year-old, “It was unbearable. It was completely debilitating; it prevented me from doing all the things I love, like gardening.”

Sue noticed the increasing pain in her lower back just after the first lockdown in 2020. MRI scans revealed bulging discs in her lower back caused by “wear and tear”. Doctors prescribed muscle-relaxing drugs and suggested more exercise and Sue was referred to Chase Leisure Centre by her physiotherapist, where her journey to pain-free life began.

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Sue Phillips enjoying a workout in the gym at Chase Leisure Centre

“Initially, it was strength-based exercise, but since then, I’ve thrown myself into everything, including Aqua Aerobics, Pilates and Young at Heart, as well as working out in the gym. When it was first diagnosed, I used to come out of work crying in pain, and now I say, ‘What pain’.”

Her condition has improved so much that her Spine Surgeon recently told Sue she didn’t need any more appointments unless the pain started to increase again.

“I can’t tell you how positive I am about everything; I woke up the other day and just happily started gardening without needing to worry about any pain. Before I started exercising, it was a case of ‘I can’t do this and I can’t do that’. Now, I can do just about everything. I’ve had some fantastic support from the team at Chase Leisure Centre; they’re always checking in with me to see what I’m doing and if I need more support. I can’t speak highly enough of them.”

The feeling is mutual, explains Natalie Baker, Fitness Coordinator at Chase Leisure Centre. “To have been part of Sue’s rehabilitation story has been fantastic. This is why we’re here: to help people on their fitness journey, whether that’s part of a recovery process or because they want to be healthier. Sue is so positive; she really brings a smile to everyone’s face here, and she’s a wonderful example of the old adage that exercise really is the best form of medicine.”

Are you currently struggling with a medical condition and would like to start being more active? Click here for information on how we could support you.

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