Julie's story

Learn how Julie has overcome her musculoskeletal pain in her neck through pacing, exercises, meditation and stress management

Julie has a busy working life as an optometrist and family life, with 3 children.

Julie works long days, and after one especially long day, the following morning she was driving to golf and found she couldn’t move her neck, it had “locked up”. She also had pain spreading down her arm. Julie had some “wear and tear” changes in her neck, which are very common as we age. She had been advised that she would need surgery.

Things “…progressively got worse and I went to see different physiotherapists…they tried to help me and give me different exercises and tape me…but it made no difference.”

She then consulted a different physiotherapist with specialist skills and he gave her some exercises and asked her “…what had happened in my life…?”

Julie had experienced significant stress around this time: stress often precedes a pain episode.
She had trouble sleeping, sitting, turning and doing simple things. With pain and stress her muscles became tense and overly protective, as she was afraid of moving and making the pain worse. This became a vicious cycle.

“As soon as he said that, I thought…oh my gosh, that’s what’s happened…I was holding a lot of tension.”

She learnt over a few weeks how to relax while she was exercising and that “…made a big difference.”

She also used meditation “…the amount you need is so small. You can do at home, you can do it lying in bed, before going to bed. It made me feel so much better and has so many knock on benefits.”

Julie also had a very supportive family too which made a huge difference in helping her recovery.

Movement with pain

MIndfulness and pain

Pacing and goal setting


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