My Kieser Story, Tony Deppeler: To Keep Golfing

My Kieser Story: Tony Deppeler 
Centre: Geelong
Primary Exercise Scientist: Federico Crestale

After struggling with back pain for over three years, Tony came to Kieser for some relief so he could finally return to his favourite activities. Here is his story:

“27th May 2015 was the day that changed my life (the first time). I was in Melbourne for some work-related information sessions and was sitting down in a chair, waiting for the first session to begin. I stood up and decided to take my coat off then went to sit back down. As I was halfway into my chair I suddenly felt a searing pain go through my back. I stood up and started walking around the room hoping that this would alleviate the pain, which it didn't, but thought that it would go later in the day and I would be okay. The pain remained for the rest of the day and on the train trip home. 

I went to work the next day and the pain remained but I just thought it would go once I started to move. Two weeks later I had my wife take me to the Geelong Hospital as I could barely walk and the pain was so excruciating that she had to go and get me a wheelchair while I waited in the street for her to take me to the Emergency Department. After the tests and MRIs were taken, I was told that I had sciatica. I was off work for ten weeks and I couldn't do anything that I had previously done, including playing golf and bike riding, because I struggled to walk. 

In January 2017, twenty months after the original injury, I went to see a surgeon to see if there was anything he could do to relieve the pain I was still in as I had tried a number of treatments and had completed a gym program but nothing had been successful. The surgeon recommended that I have a full spinal fusion to relieve the pain. The workplace insurer didn't agree with me having the surgery, so they arranged a visit to an Independent Medical Examiner (IME) in June 2017 who also agreed that surgery wasn't the answer.

In June 2018, I had just completed another gym program which also included some time talking about the issues and how it affected the brain. The thing I remember most about these sessions is the instructor saying that we had to re-train the brain to not accept the shortcuts that we had implemented which could include the way we walked, stood or any other mannerisms we had changed in trying to reduce the pain. I decided that this was the philosophy that I was going to follow so I decided that I would go to the golf driving range and hit some balls to see if this would help me get some movement in my back. 

The golf therapy wasn't causing me any new issues but carrying my clubs to the range was, so I went to a golf shop in Geelong to buy a light weight standing carry bag that I could put my clubs in. I was having a casual conversation with the shop worker and was saying that I missed playing golf and hadn't played for nearly three years because of my sciatica and my back pain. During this conversation he asked me if I had been to Kieser in Geelong, as they had machines that might assist me with my back and get me back to playing golf. I said I hadn't so he found their address and wrote down the phone number for me. I bought the golf bag and was driving home when my light bulb moment occurred. 

Even though I had been extremely upset by the decision of the IME not to grant me my request for surgery I still took the time out to read his report. While I was driving home, I kept thinking about Kieser, I know that name but how do I know it and then the greatest bit of memory recall I've ever had - it was in the IME's report that I had read fourteen months earlier. As soon as I got home, I went and found the report and read it again and then I found the sentence that has changed my life again. The sentence was, (as close as I can remember it reading), "I would recommend Mr Deppeler do a supervised program such as the one run by Kieser in Geelong". I went and spoke to my Injury Management case worker who suggested I set up an appointment. I rang Kieser and in August 2018 I booked into have my first assessment more than three years after my original injury.

The road to recovery began and the results have been extraordinary, considering I have only been going to Kieser for six months and I had not shown much improvement in the twenty-one months previously. When I first came to Kieser I struggled to walk more than 400m, I couldn't walk up a flight of stairs and had to use the lift to get to the training floor, I had trouble bending and was in a lot of pain which was there all the time no matter what I did. At work I wasn't allowed to walk between sites and had to book a car and I couldn't ride my bike or worse, play golf, which has always been my main objective. 

Since I have been coming to Kieser I can now walk up flights of stairs and no longer need to use the lift, I have no issues with walking distances greater than 400m, I have greater movement through my back, I can ride my bike and I have played eighteen holes of golf with no issues and have re-joined the golf club where I used to play. I cannot thank all the staff at Kieser Geelong enough for all their assistance in my recovery. 

I have a couple of goals left to achieve with the main one being to eliminate the use of my medication. I have started down this path and have started the elimination process, under the guidance of my doctor, and I feel that I will be able to achieve this goal within two weeks. 

I was 54 years old when I was first injured, I could have saved myself three years of pain and inactivity if I had known about Kieser earlier in my treatment." 

(P.S. - Three weeks after writing this story, I stopped taking my pain medication with no ill effects.)

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