A WOMAN who thought she would never run again after a chronic injury is back in her trainers – after shockwave therapy.

Paula Allen set her sights on completing a 10k event until she began suffering from Achilles tendonitis, a common condition that causes pain along the back of the leg near the heel.

However despite being close to giving up hope, Paula discovered the innovative treatment that avoids intrusive surgery.

The 52-year-old said: “I’ve always enjoyed keeping fit, I visit the gym several times a week, attend body blast classes and even do a bit of line dancing! A few years ago, I took up running.

“Quite early on I loved the physical and mental benefits was having on me but I decided I wanted something to aim for, so I signed up to my first 10k run in March 2015.

“I began training to increase my distances and suddenly everything changed. One day after a run I began experiencing an uncomfortable pain at the back of my ankle that I’d not felt before. I decided to take a week off to see if it went away but the next time I went for a run the pain returned. I took more time off and did the recommended ice and elevation but when I returned to running, the pain started straight away and got worse the more I went on. I woke up the next morning to a swollen ankle that was very painful to walk on. The pain continued and stopped me from running and all high impact exercise together and even began to affect my day-to-day life.”

In one year Paula saw three different physiotherapists, tried acupuncture and even sought help from the London Olympic team’s physiotherapist who gave her two injections but the pain returned.

However she was recommended Electric Shockwave Therapy (ESWT) and felt it was her last chance before giving up all activity.

The therapy works by delivering impulses of energy, targeted to specific damaged tissues within the abnormal tendon.

This increases the blood flow within the affected area, stimulating cell regeneration and healing.

In April 2016, she visited Charles Willis-Owen, a consultant at the private Nuffield Health Bournemouth Hospital.

Paula said: “Although I was certain I needed surgery, Mr Willis-Owen asked me to try Electric Shock Therapy first. I was a little sceptical about the treatment but I had complete confidence in him and his recommendation. I undertook three sessions of ESWT over three months. At first I was a little disappointed as it didn't seem to feel any better, but Charles told me to be patient. Then, after a few more weeks the pain eased and each week it became more bearable to put weight onto my ankle.”

After a few months, Paula said not only was she able to walk better, she returned to exercise classes and even began to run again.

Now Paula has signed up to a 10k early next year and has already begun training.

She said: “I am so grateful to Charles for his help.”