Woman who struggled to walk with 'excruciating pain’ to run London Marathon

Laura Uglow, 24, with her friend's pony named Lucy. 

Laura Uglow, 24, with Lucy the pony. Laura will be doing the London Marathon in aid of CRPS UK. - Credit: Casey Adams

A woman who struggled to walk for many years due to a chronic pain condition is now preparing to run the London Marathon in just under two weeks' time.  

Laura Uglow, who has lived in Hornchurch her whole life, will walk and - if possible - run 26.2 miles on October 3.  

This date marks four years since she had a life-changing spinal cord stimulator fitted.  

In January 2015, Laura sprained her ankle walking through a muddy field. This went on to cause a condition called complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS).  

Described as a “poorly understood” condition by the NHS, CRPS causes people to experience persistent severe and debilitating pain.  

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The 24-year-old said: “I was told for 18 months the pain was in my head and there was nothing wrong with me, even my friends and family questioned if I was actually in pain.” 

However, Laura managed to get a diagnosis after speaking with a pain management specialist at Queen’s Hospital and she was referred to Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital to have the spinal cord stimulator fitted.  

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Laura said: “I was lucky my GP was brilliant and researched to try and find ways to help my condition – it's the only reason I can walk now.  

“It can happen to anybody, doctors don’t know why it happens or what causes it. It could be a simple sprain which kicks off an almost overdramatic response to the pain.  

“I have spoken to other people with the condition and they were also all told there was nothing wrong with them."

Not wanting anyone else to suffer without a diagnosis, Laura said “not enough doctors know” about CRPS and she aims to raise awareness of the condition.  

“It is so frustrating to know that I genuinely had a nerve condition and was in excruciating pain and every doctor wondered what was wrong until I went to Queen’s," she added. 

“My pain level is now a four or five out of 10, but it is nowhere near the 100 out of 10 it was before – it was unrateable pain.”  

Laura will be running the marathon in aid of CRPS UK, a patient-led charity raising awareness of the syndrome.  

To donate, visit https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/LauraUCRPSUK

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