Richard lives with multiple, complex medical conditions, he has debilitating osteoarthritis, chronic backpain, interstitial lung disease, a heart condition and carpel tunnel syndrome. He takes 12 different medications and is now unable to work. His medical care is under several specialist GPs and consultants.

Richard was referred to MSK Connect through his GP, who was part of the MSK (musculoskeletal conditions) Pain Service, when he could no longer continue with a certain medication and was seeking a stronger pain relief. His GP suggested that because his pain is life long, gentle exercise such as Tai-Chi and strength building movements might be an additional avenue to help him manage day-to-day.

Richard started exercise classes through MSK Connect. Yoga was something he’d never considered but after feeling better from moving more he decided to give yoga a try. The class could be done seated or stood up, depending on what participants could manage and Richard also signed up for extra one-to-one support for his pain with a trained Yoga Therapist. Richard was followed up with one-to-one time with the therapist to focus on his individual physical and mental health needs.


Richards new perspective


Has there been any change?


I’m a different person from who I was before. I had been self-employed and I couldn’t go out to work. I was quite often lying in bed until 2pm in the afternoon with nothing to get up for. People around me now say ‘what a difference in you’.

I now come to KHL and do Yoga on Mondays, Ballet-Be-Fit Tuesdays, Positive Strength on a Thursday and Tai Chi on Fridays! Oh, and since coming here I’ve started cooking. I’ve realised what I put in my body makes a difference.

I learnt how to breathe for the first time! My one-to-ones taught me how to breathe! I also learnt how to move and hold my back and most of all… I’ve found my feet! I can use my toes! I actually walk differently!


How has linking your GP health support to the community-health offer helped?


It’s helped me manage situations better. I have to have MRI scans and I’m a big chap so struggle inside the machine. I’d go in with dread, my eyes clenched tight shut, hated them. The last one I went to I had to have my arms, legs and chest done. I went in the scanner and they strapped me down and I could feel my heart going Boom! Boom! So I started doing my yoga breathing. I closed my eyes and did my breathing then everything just got easier and i was able to open my eyes. They had me in and out of the machine for an hour, there is no way I could have gotten through that without doing my breathing techniques.

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