My injury wasn’t as a result of an act of bravery, there was no drama or excitement involved. It occurred on a routine call following up a metal theft in the last month of my probationary year.
As I bent down to go under a concrete beam I felt something happen to my back. The pain was immediate. That night I took some paracetamol and went to bed thankful the next day was a rest day. The next morning I couldn’t move. I was in agony and I couldn’t walk properly. The whole of the back my left leg and sole of my left foot was completely numb. In a panic my wife drove me to a chiropractor where I paid over £100 to have a consultation. The chiropractor manipulated my back but this only made it worse. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to do my job so I contacted my Fed Rep for advice. Along with offering good advice and guidance my Fed Rep also arranged medical appointments including an MRI through the private healthcare scheme. The scan confirmed that a disc in my back was pressing on my sciatic nerve. This was a massive relief as I knew the damage wasn't permanent. I was also sent for 2 weeks at The Police Treatment Centres
I cannot praise the centre enough. The physios were the first to offer me common specific advice and treatment for my injury. It really felt like personal treatment. I was helped in the gym to modify my exercise to improve my leg as I had lost muscle and strength on one side. I was able to concentrate entirely on recovery. Knowing I was improving also helped my mood.
After my first week my wife could see in that short time I had made improvements and was so much less stressed. During my second week I had further physio, a massage session which was and even did aqua aerobics! At the end of the second week my progress was amazing. This was partly a result of the company I was in. Recovering officers from around the country were there and there really was a sense of comradery. By the end of the second week I was able to go on a fairly long cycle ride and I knew I was past the worst. Once home I continued the exercises I had learnt at the treatment centre and I still do them today. I was able to return to full duties 2 weeks later and I’ve not had any problems since.
I honestly believe that without the treatment I would not be in role I am in today and that it would also have had a huge impact on my family. What happened to me could easily happen to absolutely anyone working in any area. The Police Treatment Centres could save your career.
Donating to The Police Treatment Centres is like another insurance policy. I have felt that fear of losing my job and what would my family do. We are going through a period of great uncertainty where the future of officers who have long term injuries or restrictions is uncertain. You won’t realise how important it is to be able to access free treatment until you need it. I wouldn’t like to think of anyone being in my position and not having that safety net.