Get back to… Juha’s return to active duty

Three years ago, police officer Juha had to retire due to prolonged back pain from scoliosis. But his retirement took a surprising turn when he began device-based rehabilitation at the Nordic Health clinic in Helsinki.

When he retired from his police job, Juha never imagined he’d walk without a cane again, much less be able to return to work. Walking was so painful that he was already thinking about using a wheelchair.

While he had accepted his fate of early retirement, the days quickly began to feel too long. 

‘I thought early retirement would be fine, but quite quickly it became tiring and boring, and laziness kicked in,’ Juha says. 

‘It does the human spirit significant harm when you are not able to apply your skills or feel useful.’

Then he began musculoskeletal rehabilitation at the Nordic Health clinic.

Individualised exercise therapy

Juha and the physiotherapist at Nordic Health created an individualised exercise therapy program and Juha began by completing the program two or three times a week. 

Three months at Nordic Health proved beneficial. His isometric strength had increased by 399% and mobility improved by 90% when averaging the results in all spine directions. 

Not only was the exercise data showing improvement, Juha noticed the changes himself.

After a year of consistent device-based exercise therapy and at-home exercise and stretching, Juha also noticed a significant difference in his attitude.

‘After only a year, I felt so good that I was already thinking about being ready to return to work’.

Movement is medicine… even for painful conditions

Juha believes it was the right move to return to work and he is now working part-time again as a police officer. Regular exercise remains an important part of his daily life. 

Juha does two to three exercise sessions a day, using at-home exercises provided by Nordic Health as well as stretching. During his working days, he incorporates short weight-training and stretching sessions.

Juha continues to visit the Nordic Health clinic at least once a week. He believes that device-based exercise therapy is the only individualised treatment that works for him.

‘I spent several years running from doctor to specialist. Doctors only prescribed rest and prescription pain medication. One-on-one physiotherapy and manual therapy also seemed to be standardised yet there was no controlled movement.’

After completing his successful musculoskeletal rehabilitation program, Juha and the clinic instructor customised his treatment to be more prevention focused. The programme goal is now focused on ensuring that Juha’s spine remains strong and mobile.

 The recovery journey is an ongoing process

When asked how he views his overall recovery journey from early retirement to being back on the police force, Juha is adamant that ‘the biggest mistake I’ve made is not starting exercise therapy sooner’.

Although Juha’s musculoskeletal pain hasn’t completely gone away, he is thankful that his situation has improved so much that he can even return to police work. 

With exercise therapy at Nordic Health, Juha found an effective and targeted treatment program. An exercise therapy protocol that can improve a scoliosis patient’s painful experiences has compelling potential in transforming musculoskeletal care.

This article was first published on the website of David Health, who manufacture the devices used by getback.

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