A Harrogate physiotherapist has developed a breakthrough new treatment for lower back pain which looks set to be a game changer for thousands of sufferers.
Chris Aldred has spent more than a decade refining his design of the Pelvipro, a safe and effective drug-free answer to lower back problems. The portable ball-and-lever device is so simple to use that it allows sufferers to take control of their pain management wherever they are and whenever they need to.
Three years ago, Chris joined with former Yorkshire cricketer and Harrogate businessman Peter Whiteley to take the development of the Pelvipro into its final stages. They’ve been working with design experts at York St John University on the prototype, as well as with businesses based in Keighley and Skipton on the manufacture and distribution of the Pelvipro.
Now, following successful trials of the Pelvipro across Yorkshire and the North West, Chris and Peter are preparing for its official launch at the Yorkshire Business Market in Harrogate on Monday, April 24. Visitors to the event will be able to chat to them about back pain and try out the device for themselves.
Around a third of the adult population experiences lower back pain and, for 97 per cent of them, there is a musculoskeletal (MSK) cause.
Chris, who specialises in MSK physiotherapy, has treated hundreds of patients with lower back pain during his career. He has previously worked with top football physio Daniel Donachie, as well as working in China as lead physiotherapist to the Shanghai Racquet Club and Shanghai Expatriots Rugby Club. He also established a successful MSK physiotherapy practice in Manchester before returning to his Harrogate roots and opening a clinic in the town.
Chris began developing the Pelvipro 12 years ago after realising that a misalignment of the pelvis was responsible for lower back pain in around half of his patients.
He said: “Issues such as an asymmetry of the pelvis and instability of the lumbo-pelvic-femoral system are the main causes of lower back pain. It can have a debilitating effect on a sufferer’s everyday life. The Pelvipro realigns the pelvis which, in turn, realigns the spine and the hips. It also helps strengthen muscles and heal damaged tissue. All of this leads to a reduction or elimination of pain.”
Chris added: “The Pelvipro is so simple and easy to use that patients are unable to damage themselves by using it incorrectly. They can build upon improvements made with their physio and take control of their pain whenever they need to.”
Trials of the Pelvipro have been undertaken in Yorkshire and the North West among patients with varying degrees of lower back pain, from mild to chronic. The Pelvipro was shown to be 100 per cent effective in reducing or eliminating MSK-related lower back pain. Seventy-five per cent of patients said it instantly reduced their pain, while nearly a fifth of them said it had completely eliminated their pain.
Chris said: “More than that, the trials also showed that the Pelvipro had a huge positive impact on patients’ fear and stress about lower back pain. Sixty-one per cent said their level of fear about back pain had been reduced by more than half, and 71 per cent said the same about their level of stress.
“That’s because of the control that the Pelvipro gives people over their pain.”
Chris is encouraging back pain sufferers to use the device in sessions with specially-trained accredited physiotherapists. They then take it home to continue managing their pain outside of regular visits to the clinic. The Pelvipro is particularly useful when access to a physio is difficult or impossible, such as when on holiday or at work. Alternatively, back pain sufferers will be able to buy the Pelvipro through the website following an online consultation to ensure it is the right treatment for them.
Chris and Peter also plan to roll out the device to physios working in the corporate environment, as well as sports and fitness venues and, eventually, NHS sites.