Susan first presented in 2009 with acute left sided sciatica and went on to have an operation to remove the disc prolapse causing the sciatica late that year, she did well, but returned in March of 2011 with increasing and relentless back pain.
She went on to MAST therapy beginning in April 2011, and some weeks later was beginning to feel the benefit. She finished the course of that therapy in July of that year. She continued to improve thereafter.
Very unfortunately she suffered another disc prolapse in 2012 and went on to have a second surgery to remove the herniation. She remains well.
At the time that she began MAST therapy the traditional medical management for this chronic and disabling pain would have been complete removal of the disc and reconstruction of the spine with either screws and rods effecting a fusion or the insertion of an artificial disc. Instead, she had a course of medical therapy which relieved her of her back pain. It is not magic and it cannot prevent disc prolapse, though that is much more readily treated with Microsurgery (key hole operations)."
Mr Peter Hamlyn, Director The Spine Surgery London
I'd had a microdiscectomy L5/S1 in November 2009 and frustratingly re-prolapsed at 12 weeks despite diligent post operative physiotherapy and care. The re-prolapse was excruciating radiating down my left leg, severe 'muscle spasm' like symptoms in the left buttock and intermittent episodes of lower back pain. The buttock and leg pain were the aspects I struggled to deal with as at times the pain literally took my breath away and my quality of life was affected greatly. Over the next few months I was starting to re-manage the sciatic pain and wanted to avoid further surgery but was left with severe back ache and continuing sciatica.
What difference has MAST made?
During and after the treatment, my symptoms of back bain and sciatica were greatly relieved and by mid treatment I could definitely notice a difference with back pain diminishing. The sciatica became more tolerable and manageable and I was able, during, and post treatment, to continue with core work and swimming 3-4 times a week.
When the MAST condition was diagnosed by The Spine Surgery London what treatment did you expect to be given?
When the MAST condition was diagnosed I thought it would mean more of the same. I'd had several steroid epidural and CT injections to manage the condition so thought it would be further injections, resting, physiotherapy, traction and possibly more immediate surgery .
Side effects: how bad and did they go when you stopped?
The first month or so I was OK and positive that there was hope of relief of symptoms. I felt as though I was 'taking something' but it was difficult to actually pinpoint – generally my body felt slightly different. I'm an active and healthy person so I think it was more psycologically difficult to accept that I was on medication. I suffered terribly from thrush at about 60 days and was given tablets and pessaries to take continuallyfor the last month and a month after the treatment from my GP.. I felt very sick if I had a glass of wine whilst on treatment - so did not try it more than once!
What did your GP, friends and family say when you told him/her/they?
On discussion people commented that it was a very long time to be on antibiotics. That it was a very intense and lengthy antibiotic treatment that they hoped would provide some relief. Some were sceptical and didn’t really understand the nature of either the condition or that medication would help.
Anything else you feel future patients might want to know?
Its definitely a positive treatment - well it was for me!
It gave me the opportunity to re-gain control of the symptoms and to manage them with diminishing pain to allow me to ‘have a life again’. Anyone that has suffered from sciatica will undertstad what a debilitating and excritiating condition it is. As the surgical option involves a lengthy recovery period, if this treatment option buys you a few years of even months, helps you to avoid surgery or delay surgey and/or helps to manage the symptoms then its worth it!
I'm a very positive person that wants to understand and explore treatment options that will help to support me manage the condition rather than to moan and think surgery is the solution. Look after yourself. Eat lots of protein and fresh food to work with the body not against it. Avoid alcohol!