A student from Leeds was devastated when she was told she would need a 12-hour operation to fuse her spine solid, and that it was unlikely she would ever have full flexibility in her back again.
That was until she discovered an exercise routine that has drastically changed her prognosis.
Abigail, 21, had always been fit and active throughout her life until she started to notice her shoulder blade was protruding through her skin on one side.
Prior to this she had been suffering from serious back pain and nothing she tried helped ease the discomfort.
Abigail was then diagnosed with scoliosis.
Scoliosis causes the spine to excessively curve sideways, and is a condition that affects more than four percent of the population. If left untreated, it can lead to fatal heart and lung problems.
Current treatment in England is to wait until the curve becomes so severe that the only option left is to operate.
The major operation is a risky procedure that involves metal rods being inserted into either side of the spine, before the spine is fused solid.
Abigail worried about how such an operation would have an impact on her studying, and if she would even be able to get through her degree.
The hospital went through the normal routine of x-rays and referrals to specialists and eventually came to the conclusion it would be a good idea to operate.
Abigail was terrified at the thought of surgery and was desperate to find an alternative.
It was around this time that she discovered Scoliosis SOS.
Founded and run by Erika Maude, who has scoliosis herself, the clinic opened eight 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 combines a range of internationally renowned non-surgical treatments, which have been practiced separately in Europe for several decades.
Abigail decided that this treatment could be the alternative she had been looking for.
She saw it as an opportunity to take control of her condition and reduce the extreme pain she was experiencing on a daily basis.
It could also give her another chance and mean she wasn’t constantly worried about being in pain and fretting over whether or not she could join in with sports.
After attending an initial consultation, Abigail booked in for a four-week course of treatment.
She found it gave her almost instant relief from the aching around her shoulder blades, and she could see the changes in her appearance by the end of the first week.
Abigail continued to notice improvements throughout the course, including reduced pain, improvements in her breathing capacity and a more symmetrical appearance.
However, the main thing Abigail was concerned about was being able to stand without being in pain.
Within weeks of completing the treatment, Abigail’s condition has dramatically improved.
Her confidence has also soared and she is overwhelmed by the results she’s been able to achieve.
Her pain has reduced considerably and her curve is nowhere near as noticeable.
Abigail also said she is no longer worried about taking part in daily activities and wearing certain clothes, and has been able to complete her degree.
She said: “My appearance has changed greatly, which in turn has given me much more confidence.
“The pain relief and being able to manage my condition is the best outcome I could have asked for.
“I think I will be able to get involved in sports and play to my full ability without restraint. Standing for long periods is also much easier.”
Abigail added: “The results of this treatment course are excellent. It really allows you to achieve the results you want.
“The staff are so compassionate regarding everyone’s situation and I really would recommend trying exercise therapy before surgery any day!”
For more about Scoliosis SOS, visit www.scoliosisSOS.com.
What is scoliosis?
Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine to the sides.
If you show physical signs of scoliosis, you should see your GP.
The cause of scoliosis is often not known but some cases are caused by medical conditions such as cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy and Marfan syndrome.
In the UK, scoliosis affects three or four children out of every 1,000.
It can develop at any age, but is more common at the start of adolescence.