Last year I turned 50 and this marked an exciting period in my life because it meant I could qualify to play cricket for the over 50s county team. It has always been a dream of mine to play for my county, Essex.
I know playing cricket is hard on my body but as I enjoy it so much I often ignore some minor pains after matches. In August 2016 however, my knee started to give me trouble and continued to get worse but as I was doing so well and had a cup final with Essex in September, I continued to play through the increasing pain.
Following the end of the cricket season, I reported my knee issue at my annual health assessment at the London Bupa Health Clinic. Following a GP referral and a subsequent scan, we discovered there was an acute tear in my patellar tendon – the tendon between my knee cap and shinbone. Whilst a serious injury that was clearly a concern for my cricket, Dr Stephen Chew (Orthopaedic Physician) was quick to re-assure me that with intense rehab and physio, the tendon could be repaired.
My physio treatments began in January 2017 with Peter Pope at the Basinghall centre. He really took the time to understand what I wanted to achieve and understood how important it was for me to return to the cricket pitch, including factoring in the number of months before the new season started. He tailored my treatment plan with a focus on specific movements I needed to perform as a bowler – the bespoke approach to my treatment was impressive, by building up strength and stability from a very low base but with a clear end target that would get me back playing.
I used a diary to record my progress and while most of the work involved my own perseverance involving lengthy daily routines at my local gym, Peter kept in contact between face to face physio sessions, to monitor how I was doing and advise on any further actions. This really helped re-assure me that I was doing all the correct rehab, which therefore kept me motivated.
Week to week, I began to make small progressive steps to recovery, and in just a couple of months, I started seeing great improvement and the level of pain had really lessened. One of the daily indicators of progress was the level of discomfort I had when going up and down stairs. I began to play friendlies leading up to summer but had to limit the amount of workload for the knee. Peter and Stephen then encouraged me to increase the load gradually prior to season and this continued into the league season. While I had some expected ups and downs as we continued to put the tendon under more stress, the knee was holding up. I felt a huge sense of relief as I was able to increase the workload week to week.
I couldn’t be more grateful to Stephen and Peter for all their help and advice. They both recognised and made clear the process that I needed to go on in order to get back playing and for me, it felt like they bought my journey onto a personal level.
I am now back playing for Essex, the team is doing very well and while we continue to manage the knee, I am taking plenty of wickets for my teams!
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What is #EverydayMoments?
A new health report of 4,000 people, commissioned by Bupa Health Clinics, revealed that seven in 10 Britons overlook the role that feeling well health plays in enjoying their everyday lives.
The #EverydayMoments campaign sets out to encourage everyone to share their own ‘everyday moment’ – all the fantastic things that they do every single day thanks to good health.
To help continue to enjoy your #EverydayMoments book an appointment at one of our 50 + health and dental clinics across the UK for a range of different health services, including physiotherapy, GP services, health assessments and dentistry.
For more information visit Bupa.co.uk.