Chadwell Heath nan’s new lease of life thanks to innovative pain treatment

Maureen McGrath is getting back to her old routine after undergoing treatment for chronic back pain

Maureen McGrath is getting back to her old routine after undergoing treatment for chronic back pain which she has suffered for the past 27 years - Credit: Archant

A grandmother whose chronic back pain stopped her from doing the things she loves has found a new lease of life thanks to an innovative treatment.

Maureen McGrath is getting back to her old routine after undergoing treatment for chronic back pain

Maureen McGrath is getting back to her old routine after undergoing treatment for chronic back pain which she has suffered for the past 27 years - Credit: Archant

Maureen McGrath, of Kings Avenue, Chadwell Heath, has suffered horrendous pain for the past 27 years and had to limit going to the theatre – her favourite hobby – as it was too excruciating to sit still for long periods of time.

But the 74-year-old is now preparing for curtain up after undergoing spinal chord stimulation. Since the electrical device the size of a standard pacemaker was implanted in her back at St Barts Hospital a year ago her pain has been dramatically reduced.

The device, which has to be charged once a week, delivers a mild electrical stimulation to nerves along the spinal column, modifying or blocking nerve activity to minimize the sensation of pain reaching the brain.

“It’s been absolutely amazing as it controls the pain I get in my back and my right leg,” Maureen said.


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“It’s quite easy to use and no problem at all. I feel extremely lucky to have been chosen to have it.”

The grandmother-of-four, who has lived in Chadwell Heath for almost four decades, really enjoyed going to see Carole King’s musical, Beautiful, recently.

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“I still find sitting down not that easy, but it’s controlled,” she said. “There was quite a long time when I didn’t go at all because it was too uncomfortable.

Her chronic illness also left Maureen struggling to carry out many day-to-day activities.

“It seems silly but if I picked up four cans of coke with one hand, I would get an extreme pain, so I had to use two hands for a lot of one handed jobs,” she explained.

“Doctors used to ask how bad the pain was on the scale of one to 10 and I always used to say 10.”

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