Thirteen local residents have now completed a programme in ‘Cycling Against Hip Pain’ (CHAIN) a concept proposed by Mr Robert Middleton, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon and hip specialist at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital; a leading centre in hip replacement surgery. The programme is based around the concept that regular cycling activity and education about healthy living could reduce symptoms for people with hip pain, stiffness, arthritis and reduce the need for surgical intervention.
Sessions over six weeks, funded by local healthcare and activity providers, have been jointly delivered by BH Live and The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. They have been taking place at the Littledown Centre, Bournemouth and Terry Quinn took part in the programme.
He said: “I had been experiencing hip pain for four years and been advised I was looking at a total hip replacement. I wanted to avoid surgery if possible and had read about the CHAIN programme.
“I have been very impressed and delighted with the results so far; most days experiencing significantly reduced hip pain. Now that the course sessions have completed I will continue spinning at my local leisure centre during the winter months and look at hiring a bike to cycle along Bournemouth promenade with my granddaughter when the weather improves. I have been very encouraged so far and look forward to seeing how I feel in three to six months time.”
Caroline Brace also took part in the programme; her hip pain having started earlier in the year. Caroline said: “I have always exercised but recent hip pain, alongside other health concerns, meant I sometimes had difficulty even walking. I particularly found that the exercise element in the CHAIN programme was great. I always thought spinning on stationary bikes was for the super fit; I didn’t realise there were different levels and that I could work at my own pace. The sessions were really beneficial and I particularly enjoyed working within a group environment; I found this to be very motivating.”
As part of the programme, participants are encouraged to continue cycling to build on the progress they have made on stationary bikes; whether it is through social cycling events organised through Active Dorset, Sky Ride, in their local leisure centre or along cycle routes.
Caroline has since purchased a bike and chooses to cycle rather than drive where possible. She added: “Since cycling, I have noticed that my hip doesn’t hurt as much when exercising. I would definitely recommend this programme to others with hip pain.”
Follow-up consultations with each participant will take place at six and 12 months to monitor activity against the level of hip pain. Participants will also be offered mentoring support and training with a view for them to encourage other people to participate in the scheme.
Mr Middleton, who has been working with the participants said: “This is a fantastic programme delivering real benefits to patients. Pain is being reduced or removed completely and the participants are becoming fitter, stronger and more active. The sessions are great fun and the atmosphere within the group has been supportive and encouraging.”
Three new cycling programmes are set to begin in January at Pelhams Park Leisure Centre and the Littledown Centre and local residents who have been diagnosed with osteoarthritis of the hip are now invited to register their interest and partake completely free of charge.
Participants must be aged between 45 and 75 years old and registered with a GP in Bournemouth or Christchurch. People who meet the criteria can ask their GP to be recommended to take part.
Find further information and a GP referral form online at www.livingwellchoices.co.uk/ chain or telephone 01202 436880 to speak with a member of the CHAIN team.