A promising teenage runner who developed a rare condition which caused her spine to curve has been given a new lease of life.
Shona Hargreaves feared she may never compete again after being diagnosed with scoliosis, an ailment which affects around four cent of the population.
If left untreated, it can led to heart and lung problems and the only current NHS treatment is a major operation in which metal rods are inserted either side of the spine.
Shona’s parents were unhappy with the risks involved and contacted a clinic offering non-surgical treatment.
Run by Erika Maude, Scoliosis SOS has helped hundreds of sufferers, and Shona and her parents quickly noticed results.
As well as an almost immediate reduction in pain, the youngster noticed improvements in her breathing capacity and a more symmetrical appearance.
Most importantly to sports-mad Shona, of Broad Lane, Parr, she was told she would be able to return to training.
The 13-year-old, who is currently being home-schooled, said: “When I was told that I had scoliosis, I didn’t really understand to start with. No one ever sat me down and explained what was going on in my back until I got to the SOS clinic.
“The staff encouraged me to carry on living a normal life when all of the specialists at the hospital were telling me that I needed to be careful and not put too much pressure on my body by doing too much sport. I am the sort of person to put 100 per cent into everything I do and I believe that’s why I got such good results.”
jjjj# 13 year old, Shona Hardgreeve from St Helens was a normal teenage girl right up until the age of 11, when she was diagnosed with a severe curve in her spine and told that she needed an operation to save her mobility. Left devastated and with very few options the Shona family had almost agreed to the brutal surgery when they discovered an exercise routine which has drastically changed Shona’s prognosis.
Shona had been a typical child; she loved being outside and always wanted to be involved in anything remotely sporty. When she about 10 years old, she started running. At first it was a bit of fun and then she started to get competitive. The school picked up on her talent and soon entered her into school competitions. However, all of this came to a standstill when Shona’s PE teacher noticed her shoulders were protruding through her skin on one side.
This led on to a spiral of events which involved endless x-rays, appointments with specialists and eventually Shona was diagnosed with scoliosis. The family were told that her curve was severe and that she needed to be put on the waiting list for surgery immediately. Shona was also told that she should stop running and playing any sports that were particularly one sided.
Scoliosis causes the spine to excessively curve sideways. The condition affects more than four percent of the population and if left un-treated can lead to fatal heart and lung problems. Current treatment in this country is to wait until the curve becomes so severe, that the only option left is to operate. The major operation is an incredibly risky procedure which involves metal rods being inserted either side of the spine, before the spine is fused solid.
Shona’s mother, Terrie was left in pieces, she did not want her daughter to have surgery as she knew the risks involved but she also knew if Shona did not have the surgery she could end up unable to move properly.
Disgusted with the lack of options the NHS was giving them, Shona’s mother decided to start looking into alternative treatments and it was around this time that she discovered Scoliosis SOS.
Founded and run by Erika Maude, who has Scoliosis herself, the clinic opened 8 years ago and has since brought relief to hundreds of sufferers. Located in central London, it is the only clinic in the world to offer treatment following the ScolioGold method, which is the combination of internationally renowned non-surgical treatments, which have been practiced separately in Europe for several decades.
After finding the clinic it was decided that this treatment had to be the answer they were looking for. Shona and her parents knew it was not going to be easy, but with major invasive surgery as their only other option, they decided they had nothing to lose.
After attending an initial consultation, Shona’s parents immediately booked her in for a four week course of treatment. She found the treatment gave her almost instant relief from the aching she felt across the top of her back on a daily basis. She also noticed a dramatic change in her cosmetic appearance by the end of the first week.
Shona continued to notice improvements over the course including reduced pain, improvements in her breathing capacity and a more symmetrical appearance. However, the main thing Shona was concerned about was her running and how quickly she could get back to training.
Within weeks of completing the treatment Shona’s condition has dramatically improved. Her confidence has soared and she is overwhelmed by the results she has achieved.
Shona has also been given the all clear to return to running so long as she continues with her exercises.
“When I was told that I had scoliosis, I didn’t really understand to start with. No one ever sat me down and explained what was going on in my back until I got to the SOS clinic.
The staff at the SOS clinic were amazing, they made me feel normal again. They also encouraged me to carry on living a normal life when all of the specialists at the hospital were telling me that I needed to be careful and not put too much pressure on my body by doing too much sport.
The exercises weren’t hard; you just had to think about what you were doing. I am the sort of person to put 100% into everything I do and I believe that’s why I got such good results. I cannot wait to get back to running, I am also so excited about the future again, maybe one day I will be as good as some of the professional athletes!
Everything has changed this year, I feel alive, healthy, happy and my