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Teenage rider Ella Coulton back in saddle after pioneering treatment
A TEENAGER whose dreams of becoming a professional jockey looked to have been shattered by a serious back condition is now back in the saddle after pioneering treatment.
Ella Coulton, 14, from Stillington, near York, was diagnosed with a severe curve in her spine when she was 12 and told she needed an operation to save her mobility.
The curvature of the spine, known as scoliosis, caused excruciating pain in her back, made her tired and meant she struggled to sit up properly when riding.
“Scoliosis completely rocked my world,” she said.
“I have always been so passionate about riding, getting up on a horse and giving absolutely everything to performing, but when I started feeling tired and getting pain down my back, it was really hard to stay motivated.
“I struggled to keep up with all my lessons and I lost loads of confidence. Everyone around me was really worried and it was hard because I felt like certain things were being kept from me.”
She went to her GP, who said her condition was particularly severe and referred her to see an orthopaedic surgeon. The specialist confirmed the curve was one of the worst they had seen and said her only option would be to have a ten-hour operation to fuse the spine from top to bottom.
The family then discovered Scoliosis SOS, a clinic in London which claims to have brought relief to hundreds of sufferers through exercise-based, non-surgical treatment known as the ScolioGold method.
Ella went for a four-week treatment course and was overwhelmed with the results. “I feel like I have been reborn,” she said.
“My back looks amazing and I have my energy back. My confidence has soared and I am so excited about getting back to riding and really focusing on horses and making it into a career. I am still very determined to make it as a professional jockey.”
A York Hospital spokeswoman said that if any of its patients wanted to pursue such treatment privately through the London clinic, it would not have any concerns as it would not do any harm. “However, it is not something we would be referring patients to as an NHS service,” she said.
“We don’t have a paediatric spinal service; if patients have a scoliosis of any significant degree, they would be referred to Leeds spinal deformity unit for an opinion.”