By Chris Aldred
When I embarked on a career in physiotherapy more than 20 years ago, my overriding aim was to help people. I began a journey in understanding and treating musculoskeletal pain that has led me to work with a wide range of patients, including office staff, triathletes, England and Australia rugby players, and senior citizens. I was also part of a team that developed orthopaedic and sports medicine centres across China, before launching my own physiotherapy practice back in the UK ten years ago.
And, as every year has gone by, the desire to help people has remained with me. In fact, as I began to specialise in lower back pain, it grew stronger as I saw how much of an impact this kind of pain can have on a person’s life, and how much my expertise can help them.
The idea for Pelvipro developed slowly. Its starting point was my patients, and my drive to get them back to enjoying life. The more I treated patients with lower back pain, the more I began to realise that, although the physiotherapy I was providing was undoubtedly helping them, they were struggling in between my sessions as their back pain gradually returned.
I began to realise that I needed to somehow enable my patients to take control of their pain by themselves, whenever and wherever they needed to.
I started to think about how I could do this. One thing that was obvious to me was that I would invariably ‘realign’ my patients at the beginning of each session to ensure that their pelvis was straight and that the patterns of movement around the lumbo-pelvic-femoral region were correct before beginning further, personalised treatment.
Because of my clinical experience and research, I strongly believe that a misalignment or asymmetry of the pelvis in relation to the spine and hips is a major cause of lower back pain. Indeed, I’ve found that the realignment process in itself relieves lower back pain to some degree.
So I began working on a design for a device that would be simple for my patients to use by themselves, and would enable them to realign their pelvis and spine themselves. I called it Pelvipro.
Pelvipro works to redirect the forces acting between the lumbar spine, pelvis and hips, to ensure the correct structures are doing the correct job. It switches off pain and switches on stabilising muscles.
Pelvipro enables people with lower back pain to create the right environment in their bodies and prepare it for further treatment, activity or exercise. It relieves pain, strengthens muscles, and means any additional treatment or activity will be more effective. It can be used on its own but it’s also a great complement to other therapies, such as Pilates, chiro and physio. Many people use Pelvipro as part of a holistic approach to their lower back pain.
With help from other physios and business mentors, I thoroughly researched and refined the Pelvipro prototype, before trialling it with my patients. The results were as I expected: the device really did help to relieve my patients’ lower back pain. The fascinating thing, however, was that a large majority of trial patients reported not only a reduction in their back pain but also a reduction in their overall wellbeing. They were sleeping better, they were able to go out and do the things they enjoyed, and they were less anxious. Their back pain was no longer dominating their lives: They were in control.
The psychological effects of back pain and the impact of feeling in control is a really interesting and important area, and it’s one we’ve explored in our previous blogs Eight reasons why the fear of back pain is stopping you living your life and The hidden effects of back pain.
I hope I’ve explained why Pelvipro is part of my ambition to help as many people as possible to overcome their back pain. But for anyone who still needs convincing, let me ask you to consider this. When someone buys a Pelvipro, they don’t just get a device. They have the opportunity to access for free lots of extra, personalised resources, advice and information, all focused on helping to reduce or eliminate their back pain.
If they purchase Pelvipro via the website at https://www.pelvipro.com/patient/, they will be asked to create a User Name and Password. This will then allow them to access their personal page on the website, where they’ll find tailored exercises, advice, videos and educational resources to help them understand the causes of their particular back pain and to direct them to exercises that will really help.
I have also created further resources such as a free and confidential back pain questionnaire which gives me a detailed insight into an individual’s pain and their lifestyle habits, and offers them the opportunity to ask me questions. For every completed questionnaire, I personally create a report for the individual about their back pain, its causes and how to treat it. I also provide details on how Pelvipro can be used to treat their particular back pain, although there is no obligation to purchase a device.
My aim is to engage with people who suffer from lower back pain and help them understand what’s going on when they experience it. As a lower back pain specialist, I want to give people the resources they need to treat their pain. As far as possible, I want to provide a virtual consultation with anyone who has had enough of their back pain, and wants – once and for all – to take control of it.
‘From Our Expert Physio’ is a series of blogs by physiotherapist and Pelvipro inventor Chris Aldred.
Chris has his own physiotherapy practice in Harrogate, North Yorkshire. Read more about his background here.