When I went to see Kay, I was in excruciating pain from a slipped disk, which was pressing on the sciatic nerve and referring pain down my leg and into my calf. (I had already tried two physios and an osteopath without any change in my symptoms.)
Kay’s depth of knowledge and experience with acute back issues made a huge difference and helped me to understand very clearly what was happening at the base of my spine. Her specialist treatment helped me to realise the part I had to play in dealing with - and managing - my injury through exercise and a focus on gaining control again.
Kay’s treatment was very effective, using her feet, reducing inflammation and starting the healing process. I can whole-heartedly recommend Kay’s expertise and approach.
My long journey to a more flexible and pain free back thankfully, led me to Kay Bradley-Higgins, to whom I am eternally grateful.
My journey began five years ago when chronic back ache and stiffness caused me to seek out various practitioners. In total, three physiotherapists, three osteopaths, three sports therapy clinics and two Alexander Technique practitioners!! I also practised yoga and pilates.
I read self help books and the ones that made sense were those written by Sarah Key. Thankfully I tracked down the only Sara Key qualified practitioner in the North, Kay. This proved to be the best move I ever made. Kay is incredible; a combination of her sound knowledge and experience of backs and necks; a revolutionary way of mobilising my spine using her feet, and advice on self help ensured that I am now virtually pain free and have regained flexibility.
I can honestly say that it was Kay who made a radical difference to my life. I feel much freer in the back and no longer spend all day with gnawing pain. I have absolutely no hesitation in vouching for the effectiveness of her therapies, they worked for me when I had given up thinking I could ever do anything to reverse the trend towards degeneration of my back.
I was diagnosed with degenerative disc disease following a scan in April 2009, at which point I had suffered with back pain for over a year. I went through the hoops of the NHS processes saw three different physios and ended up being referred to a Pain clinic for spinal injections. None of these interventions made any difference to my pain. I was managing my pain with Codeine and Tramadol, which was a place I did not want to be as I work full time and did not want to be living in a dopey haze.
After a particularly bad patch at the end of 2010, I discovered Sarah Keys book and website and through that made my first appointment with Kay in Feb 2011. Kay is an accredited SK Practitioner and uses that method and works with you and supports you in how to best use that method to manage your symptoms, as well as providing hands (feet) on support.
After having constant back pain in varying degrees for three years, I reached a point after my first couple of sessions with Kay where I had some days with no pain and many days with minimal pain. But and it is a life changing but, on the days that the pain kicks in I know how to manage it and use the methods and exercise programme as discussed with Kay at each visit which really do work. After a session with Kay my back is always easier and on many occasions I am looking forward to the session with Kay as it really seems to ‘release’ my back and makes a real difference. There is of course the responsibility on oneself to manage your own symptoms which is the principle of the method Kay works with. I can assure you that having someone who knows what they are doing, and supporting you with your self-help process really does work! I am now in a very different place to where I was a year ago and take only Paracetamol only when I need it, approximately once a week usually less than that. I would wholeheartedly recommend Kay if you are serious about sorting your back out.
I suppose I ought to add my own testimonial to this page.
In April 2013 I fell from a horse, I was taken to the hospital by ambulance. Once at the hospital it was discovered that I had sustained a burst fracture at my L2 lumbar vertebra. I had 6 days in a hospital bed, flat on my back, followed by 12 weeks in a brace, which prevented me from bending at all. I couldn’t even tie my own shoes. I did do some gentle exercises even from the beginning, as I knew the importance of maintaining my core strength.
As soon as I got the go ahead from my consultant I started my exercise routine. I do them most days (I confess I don’t do them every day without fail). My range of movement slowly returned as did my function. I haven’t ridden since, but I work normally, I swim regularly as well as taking classes in karate.
I did have a short course of physiotherapy after my accident and I have continued with the exercises ever since.
Prior to seeing Kay for treatment I had been experiencing problems with my lower back for 8 months. I was experiencing pain constantly that required medication daily, I had inflammation of the sciatic nerve all the way down into my ankle. In the eight months I had received treatment from a chiropractor and a physiotherapist with minimal results and was no longer able to be in work. I was losing hope of recovering.
A friend who had similar lumbar disc problems and sciatic pain visited me at home and suggested I go and see Kay "a physio who uses the Sarah Key method". I looked the Sarah Key Method up on the internet and booked an appointment.
I worked with Kay for 5 months, intensely at the beginning and less so towards the end. The results were amazing. Firstly, Kay educated me about the structure of the spine, its function and how to get it to mobilise properly, secondly, taught me the theory behind chronic pain and how to manage my chronic pain, thirdly, and hugely important to me Kay gave me hope that I would recover and that I would return to my normal levels of activity, fourthly, how to protect my back for the future and how to invest in it and finally, Kay overall changed my attitude to back problems and made me more body aware of how to treat it.
I am now 14 months down the line and I think it is safe to say that without Kay I would not be where I am now. I am pain free, I am back at the gym, training 4 -5 times a week, back working and fully able to enjoy my life again.
I believe had I not found Kay and continued to follow the traditional treatment pathways around managing back problems that I would not have recovered to level I am at today. I work in the NHS and I believe that the Sarah Key Method, along with management around chronic pain and the SIRPA work is what should be used to treat patients and staff alike. I tell everyone I meet about Kay and her specialist work as I know it to be forward thinking, effective and advantageous to anyone in a similar situation to myself. I can't thank you enough Kay.
Following a particularly bad back episode several years ago I was diagnosed with lumbar spinal stenosis. The prognosis was poor and physiotherapy was having no discernible effect. Indeed my GP said physiotherapy would not help. Luckily I stumbled across Sarah Key's book, “Back Sufferers’ Bible" and undertook the suggested exercises.
I did not realise at the time that there were practitioners in the Sarah Key's philosophy and did not see Kay until many months later. My back problems had eased considerably, but I needed to see if I was on the right track. Her assessment was very positive and encouraging. With the help of earlier MRI scan notes I was given a slightly revised scheme of exercises and shown how to do them properly.
I did have a recurrence of my back problems, but I visited Kay again. After several appointments and some months of relevant exercises I now have a comfortable and functioning back. To put it into perspective, I can now indulge my obsession and am playing golf again.
I am by nature rather sceptical and for me the most important aspect of Kay's approach has been the willingness to discuss the known underlying scientific basis and relevance of the exercises; fleshing out Sarah Key's book and directing me to the relevant studies. This has given me a more complete rationale for pursuing the exercises permanently and the confidence to undertake all ordinary daily activities again.
I can fully recommend Kay's Physiotherapy Practice and her expertise in elucidating Sarah Key's methods.
Having suffered lower back pain for a number of years, with traditional physiotherapy easing but not curing it, Kay introduced me to SIRPA. Within a few weeks I had seen a massive improvement.
With Kay's help I have learnt new techniques to keep the pain away and have an awareness of what triggers it.
I am now mostly pain free and truly believe I do not have to accept pain as part of my everyday life.