At Royds Withy King we are still able to serve all your legal needs during the Coronavirus pandemic. Find out more.

Leading Edge: CESA

Claire Thornber, Founder of CESA, a charity helping those with cauda equina syndrome, explains how and why she is hoping to expand her support through the use of podcasting.

Cauda equina syndrome is a rare but potentially life-changing condition that occurs following compression of and damage to the nerves in the lower spine, and is one which affects people in many different ways.

Every cauda equina syndrome patient is different. Some find sexual dysfunction hard to live with, others bladder and bowel issues. Some would give up everything just to be able to walk unaided again.

A common theme for most people though is relentless neuropathic pain. This gnawing, constant pain often increases at night, and many are subjected to countless nights of poor sleep interrupted by intense burning and cramps.

Sleep interrupted by pain in turn causes chronic fatigue during the day, making everyday tasks almost impossible for some.

During one of the Cauda Equina Syndrome Association (CESA)’s support group meetings we were discussing this issue. A new member highlighted a way they had discovered to cope with these lonely, long nights: listening to podcasts.

We had already started to deliver guided meditation for pain management at our residential workshops and this comment inspired me to combine podcasts with meditation. What better way to deliver pain management courses to those who are stuck at home – especially now!

Pain management is a huge issue for cauda equina patients, many not being referred to pain management clinics after discharge. Often GPs are left to prescribe high doses of strong pain medicine. Drugs like Pregabalin, Fentanyl and Oramorph offer varying and, usually, inadequate degrees of relief for neuropathic pain. None of them is an ideal option.

However we hope that, through our new podcast, we can deliver a bespoke guided meditation programme to help with pain management. Patients can use the podcast to learn the skills needed to control their own pain levels through meditation, empowering them to adjust and find ways to cope with their condition. We have devised mediation specific to neuropathic pain, to alleviate the constant pain whilst at the same time promoting responsibility for personal wellbeing.

We are really excited to start work on this new project and will be launching this in time for our first National Awareness Day for cauda equina syndrome on 1 October.


Read more from this edition of Ahead of the Curve

Table of contents

Feature one:

Practical Futurist Andrew Gril looks at the new normal and how technology can be used to effect lasting change as we return to work.


Feature two:

The challenge for restaurants has rarely been greater; with the rise of app based delivery services and now coronavirus, how can the leisure and hospitality sector adapt to survive?


Feature three:

How is the new normal going to impact on how and where we work. Our real estate team looks at how the new role of the new office is having to change at a rapid pace.


Feature four:

Our regular feature looks at the workforce of the future. How has the coronavirus lockdown impacted on how we all work? And what will this look like going forward?


Feature five:

Graphcore are a company to keep an eye on. We spoke to Nigel Toon, CEO of Graphcore – a Bristol  business which brings Brunel spirit to a modern problem.


Feature six:

The housing market has been severely hit by the lockdown with sever restrictions on house viewings. But now things have started to free up, how can the industry future-proof itself?


Feature seven:

The health and social care sector has been at the epicentre of the coronavurus pandemic. Will this solution keep residents safe, whilst managing their need for social interaction?


Feature eight:

Video conferencing has been one of the heroes of lockdown. From social quizzes to board meetings – but people who have experienced a brain injury may find VC challenging…


Feature nine:

The book review – The new long life. Our regular book review feature, this time we look at The New Long Life, a book that looks at the challenges and opportunities of longevity.


Feature ten:

Coronavirus has moved the concept of climate away from the front and centre of many peoples minds, but should we be taking this opportunity build back a greener future?

Contact us if you would like to receive Ahead of the Cure direct to your inbox.

Get in touch






We will only use data from this form to process your enquiry.