A DESPERATE internet search paid off for a Morpeth mum as she found something that would drastically change her life for the better.
Molly Pannifer was told that 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.
But she was able to recover after discovering a specialist exercise routine and this gave her the confidence to try for a child.
Now her daughter Lucy is 18 months old and Molly is enjoying running around after her like any other mother.
The 33-year-old had always been very fit and active throughout her life until she started to suffer from severe pain and found sitting at her desk at work almost unbearable.
It was shortly after the pain started that she was diagnosed with scoliosis – a severe spinal deformity.
From this point, she had to give up a lot of her social activities as she could not stand on her feet for long periods and she could not bear to look at her curving spine in the mirror.
Molly was also told that having a baby before agreeing to spinal fusion surgery could have devastating effects on her spine and it would only cause her pain to drastically increase. And she would have had to put off starting a family if she decided to have the operation.
It was around this time that she found herself searching through reams of information on the internet and one day, she came across Scoliosis SOS.
After seeing some encouraging results on a four-week treatment course, she learned a set of exercises which strengthened the muscles surrounding her spine and meant that her scoliosis stabilised.
Following the programme, she felt back in control of her life and wasted no time trying for a baby. She fell pregnant quickly and went through a successful pregnancy with no health problems.
Molly said: “I am ecstatic to have found these exercises and no words can describe the relief I felt when my pain started to disappear.
“I have always wanted children and the idea of having to put off my dreams and going through major surgery was terrifying.
“My pain has disappeared and I can run around after Lucy as much as I like without even feeling uncomfortable. I felt confident and assured throughout my pregnancy that I was doing everything right and that nothing could hurt my baby.
“I feel so lucky to have found an answer to my problems and without the SOS team, Lucy wouldn’t exist. Just don’t let anyone tell you that surgery is your only option – it rarely is and there are so many different choices out there.”
Founded and run by Erika Maude, who has Scoliosis herself, the SOS clinic in central London opened seven years ago and has since brought relief to hundreds of sufferers.
It provides patients with a combination of internationally renowned non-surgical treatments.