DETERMINED Chelsey Lewis’ ambition of becoming a dancer is back on track after she discovered an exercise routine that stopped her from needing major surgery on her spine.
Chelsey, 11, of London Road, Devizes, was diagnosed with scoliosis, a curvature of the spine, when she was ten and was told by an orthaepedic specialist that her condition was one of the worst the hospital had seen and her only option would be to have a ten-hour operation to fuse her spine from top to bottom.
Chelsey, who attends Devizes School, was devastated at the prospect of major surgery and feared her dream of becoming a professional dancer was at an end.
She said: “Scoliosis completely rocked my world. I have always been so passionate about dance, getting up on the stage and giving absolutely everything to performing but when I started feeling tired and getting pain down my back it was really hard to stay motivated.”
When she and her parents, Claire and Sam, returned home they decided research the treatment of scoliosis.
The more they read on the internet the more alarmed they became.
They discovered that scoliosis was a progressive condition and that it needed to be treated as soon as possible to prevent any further damage.
A major operation to fuse the spine is a risky procedure as it involves inserting metal rods either side of the spine before the spine is fused solid.
In their search for alternative treatments, Chelsey and her family found Scoliosis SOS, a clinic in London, and in the summer she underwent a four-week treatment course of non-surgical treatment which was aimed at strengthening the muscles surrounding the spine to bring Chelsey into a more upright position.
The exercises will mean that her condition will remain stable and she will not suffer from pain caused by her muscles working against each other rather than with each other.
Chelsey now looks straighter and is going to be able to dance properly without living in constant fear of needing spinal fusion surgery.
She said: “I feel like I have been re-born, it’s incredible the results I have.
“My back looks amazing and I have my energy back. My confidence has soared and I am so excited about getting back to school and perfecting my new routines.
“I am still very determined to make it as a professional dancer and as soon as I leave school this is something I am going to pursue. I am ecstatic that I have been able to avoid surgery.
“Having surgery would have stopped me from being who I want to be and would have damaged my ability to perform. The exercises are easy and I have just adapted them so that they fit in with everyday life.”
For more information about the treatment, go to www.scoliosisSOS.com