Hard work pays off

Blog 40 – Time for gardening.

May was a month that was so busy inside and outside of the wonderful world of

chiropractic for me. It started with a patient of mine who is a landscape gardener with a bad

back called Andy. He has been coming in to see me for the last couple of months with a low

back disc injury and is now well on the mend through a combination of traction, gentle

alignment, soft tissue work and exercises. We managed to get him better despite not taking

time off the heavy manual work that he does each day from putting fence posts in, to laying

patios and planting trees. Instead we discussed many ways in which he could adapt his work

to make his life easier and reduced the repetitive stress on his back. There are many lessons

in Andy’s work adaptions that could spark ideas for everybody’s lives. Firstly and with a

word of caution we decided on a getting a low support only to be used for short periods of

high low back stress like loading his truck with patio slabs. Low back supports should not be

worn for long periods as they can weaken the back. Next we discussed the importance of

doing any heavy lifting with a second person like a labourer, halving the stress and making

jobs much quicker. When I asked him about the other common major stresses that hurt his

low back he described hammering in fence posts. When I pushed Andy for a solution he

explained that there was an electric drill that can bore the hole for the fence post taking out

the huge amount of force needed to hammer it home but it was expensive. When we

compared how much money he would lose for a day’s work, let alone a week or month’s

work due to back pain the expense seemed far less for a tool that could help install

thousands of posts in double quick time! Finally and with undoubtedly a large price tag,

Andy suggested to me that he could get his truck converted to a ‘tipper’ truck saving him

hours of back breaking shovelling of material with just a satisfying push of a button. Like I

said over the last couple of months of helping Andy with his back I have come to know him

very well and when we are not laughing about stories from rugby tours he showed me

photos of some of the work he has done and needless to say that he has just finished laying

a rather lovely limestone patio out the back of my house! Thank goodness his back was fine.

I would never have lived it down if he hurt it again doing my patio! So if anybody needs

some landscaping or a new patio then please let me know!

After completing a training event for the strongest disabled man a couple of months ago it

was now time for the real thing. I met a chiropractic colleague from London and together

we travelled to east Kent for the event. Britain’s Strongest Disabled Man is an event like no

other. It is very similar to Strongman competitions held around the world except the

athletes have also had to overcome a disability like losing a leg in an accident or military

operation, having cerebral palsy or being visually impaired. The events are obviously

adapted for disability but the core elements are still there like lifting stones and cars to

pulling trucks. The strength, physical adaption and will power that these guys have is

humbling to watch. It is an honour to have worked alongside them helping them achieve a

level of greatness that surpasses anything that I have seen in football, rugby or athletics. It

was fitting that the 4 times world champion Magnús Ver Magnússon was the referee and

presented the winners medal to former soldier Mark Smith who lost his leg after being shot 7

times in a live training exercise. Mark deservedly won but there were heroes and real stories


On a sad note this month our family lost it’s patriarch when my Grandad, my mums father,

passed away peacefully in his bed aged 90. You were a wonderful Father of 3, Grandfather of 7

and Great Grandfather of 8. A true Officer and a Gentleman…you will be missed x