When 14-year-old Lottie Taylor was diagnosed with a severe curve in her spine, her hopes of a career in sport looked to be over before they began.
But thanks to a rare exercise treatment, Lottie is now training again.
Running fanatic, Lottie, of First Avenue, Wakefield, was diagnosed with Scoliosis, two years ago after experiencing severe shooting pains down one side of her back.
Her mother, Helen, noticed Lottie’s shoulder blade was protruding on one side, and that for a girl who was usually full of energy,she was struggling to keep up with her running group.
Scoliosis is a progressive condition that causes the spine to become twisted and contorted.
The current treatment in the UK is a risky operation, involving metal rods being inserted either side of the spine and the spine being fused.
Lottie was told by her GP that she would need this surgery to save her mobility.
She said: “I was so upset when I was told about my spine. I had always loved running and was getting really good, practicing constantly.
“When I was told that the running would put pressure on my spine and could cause me a lot of damage, I was devastated. I was told I should consider giving up.”
Determined that Lottie should pursue her dream to run at national level and train to be a PE teacher, the Taylor family searched online for alternative treatments and discovered the Scoliosis SOS Clinic in central London.
Founded by Erika Maude, who has Scoliosis herself, the clinic offers SocioGold methods of treatment that are practised in Europe, including exercises and stretches designed to target the curvature.
Determined to avoid surgery, Lottie booked onto a four week treatment course. She learnt a set of exercises which strengthened the muscles surrounding her spine and helped to stabilize her Scoliosis.
Now her condition has dramatically improved. She has regained her confidence and started running again, and intends to join a local team.
Lottie’s mum, Miss Taylor, said: “As soon as Lottie started treatment and met other girls with the same condition, she started to bounce back. It’s so exciting to start looking to the future again.”
Lottie added: “I am so relieved to get back to what I love. I really didn’t want to have surgery. Running and keeping physically fit is important to me; I would be lost without my trainers.
“I am so glad I found these exercises - they have completely turned my life around. I’m now looking forward to a bright future and cannot wait to run the marathon one day.”