Islington horse rider overcomes spine condition and gets back in the saddle

Three years ago, horse riding enthusiast Sabrina Clements feared a debilitating spinal condition would force her to give up her hobby forever.

The 23-year-old from, Elmore Street, Islington, had just been diagnosed with scoliosis – a painful and potentially fatal disease causing the spine to curve sideways and crush internal organs.

Her back was so distorted doctors warned without risky major surgery to fuse her spine solid with metal rods she would be left with a hunch back and arthritis.

She said: “It left my life in pieces. All of a sudden I had gone from being a really fit and healthy person, to a girl constantly in pain and having to turn down social events to have nights in with a hot water bottle and some pain killers.”

She knew the condition, which affects more than four per cent of the population, could end her riding days but was determined to find an alternative treatment to surgery and discharged herself from hospital.

It was around this time Miss Clements came across the Scoliosis SOS clinic in London – founded and run by scoliosis sufferer Erika Maude.

Within weeks of undergoing a specialised exercise treatment to reduce the spinal curve and strengthen the surrounding muscles, her back started to improve and she was breathing better as pressure was taken off her lungs. Miss Clements, who is now back in the saddle, said: “I thought that I was on my own after I discharged myself from the hospital.

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“I was convinced that no one wanted to help me, apart from the surgeons who thought it would help to fuse my spine solid. I knew that if I had gone down that line I would never have been able to ride again.”

She added: “I cannot put into words how pleased I am with the results I have been able to achieve.”