A Dublin man who suffers from scoliosis has been given a new lease of life after travelling to London to undergo revolutionary non-invasive treatment for the disease.
Patrick O'Kane (37) was diagnosed with the condition in April 1993, when doctors revealed that his spine was severely twisted and contorted.
He underwent surgery, but suffered a series of setbacks over the years until recently discovering a procedure that he describes as "the answer to my prayers".
In 1993, doctors carried out surgery to fuse his spine and attach a series of rods and hooks to straighten the curve in his back.
Mr O'Kane, who is a keen rugby fan and former Old Belvedere player, was told that the curve in his spine would not get any worse following the operation and no further treatment would be required.
However, in 2006, the Goatstown man began to suffer from familiar conditions such as numbness in his back and severe pain in the affected area.
He began to develop a lack of confidence because of the issue and found it hard to socialise.
Scoliosis forced him to give up his promising rugby career and even prevented him from walking or sitting for prolonged periods.
Mr O'Kane was once again facing a major surgical procedure to correct the problem when he turned to the internet to explore other options.
He was suffering extreme pain on a daily basis and was preparing himself to undergo a second operation when he read about the ScolioGold treatment available at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic in London.
The office worker travelled to the clinic and underwent a programme of exercises designed to strengthen the muscles surrounding the spine and prevent the curve the curve increasing in size.
"The treatment involves learning a set of exercises; they aren't anywhere near as hard as I thought they would be and they have been the answer to my prayers," he said.
"It has completely changed my life and the exercises have transformed my back."
The Dubliner is now reaping the benefits of the life-changing treatment, and is even planning a return to his sporting exploits.
"I feel stronger and more confident about how my back looks and I am looking forward to getting my life back on track," Mr O'Kane said.
"My pain has gone and I have been able to go back to playing rugby, something I never thought would be possible," he added.
Details of the treatment can be found at www.scoliosisSOS.com