N is for having a good night's sleep

11 December 2017
Bette Baldwin, 65, Bristol

I have had a bad back for much of my life.  Investigations consistently showed no underlying cause and I devised a self-help strategy in order to keep mobile and fit and manage the pain.  

Along the way I have had a satisfying and enjoyable full-time career as well as being a wife, mother and daughter.   When I was 62 and recently retired, I decided to have a final attempt to find out what might be wrong with my back.  

I went to the Bupa Back Clinic, which was operated by the physiotherapist at the Bupa Health Centre in Bristol, where investigations showed I had a musculo-skeletal condition known as Forestiers Disease or DISH - Diffuse Idiopathic Skeletal Hyperostosis - in which the soft tissues joining the bones become hardened.  The condition had become sufficiently established in my spine and neck for the bony growths to finally show up on an X-Ray.  At last a diagnosis.  Although there is much current international research into the condition there is little or no evidence on how to treat it. The key care strategies would be to manage the pain and develop exercise and mobility regimes which maintained flexibility and fitness, and so, I was referred to a Bupa physiotherapist, by a Musculoskeletal Orthopaedic Physician. 

I have always loved exercising so the idea that I could exercise pain free and without the worry of hurting myself was rather novel and I was keen to get going with physiotherapy. The physiotherapist, who had a thorough understanding of DISH, set me up with some initial exercises to begin my new regime. 

My progress was monitored and adaptations to my programme were made. We set goals and shared achievements.  After a period of six months I was referred on to a Bupa Pilates class at the Bristol clinic.   The Pilates instructor worked with the physiotherapist to tailor my exercises and monitor progress to support me back into more exercise including cycling and swimming – activities I had always enjoyed.

A new piece of the care jigsaw was recently introduced by my Bupa team which has taught me how grateful I am for the little things, such as sleep. I have a regular therapeutic massage because after years of chronic back pain I felt my muscles were ‘congested’, and this helps. As a consequence, for the first time in more years than I care to think about, I am finally getting that vitally important ingredient to good health - proper sleep. 

I am now 65.  I still have a bad back.  I still live with chronic pain.  But the multi-faceted nature of the support I’ve received from my Bupa team means that pain and a bad back doesn’t restrict me – too much – from doing the things I wish to do.  I’m hugely grateful to them. 

This case study reflects the specific experience of one customer who used our Pay as you Go services at a Bupa Health Clinic.

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.

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