Osteopathy - Advice Please


Distinguished Member

About 20 years ago ongoing backpain came to a head when a bulging disk at L5\S1 split. I had a successful operation to remove the jelly, leaving the disk in place, albeit flat.

Until recently, it has not been a problem and I have been able to live a fully mobile and active life. I'd get the old twinge, be able to predict changes in weather etc. but nothing to worry about.

But over the last few months I've been experiencing lower back pain on a more or less continual basis. It's not the same as before (not scatica like) and seems to be more localised in the lumber and buttock area.

I saw my GP and he suggested that it is Facet Dysfunction rather than a disk problem and recommended an Oseopath.

Here's my reservation.

When I had the original problem 20 years ago, my GP recommended Physiotherapy. I had this treatment on a weekly basis for 2-3 months and it didn't help. In fact there is nothing it could have possibly done because my disk was ruptured (as a later MRI confirmed) but the Phisiotherapist couldn't check for this and was happy to take my (health scheme's) money regardless.

So I have this, possible unfair, view that physiotherapists, chiropracters and oesteopaths don't have the means of diagnosing the real problem but are happy to run (and charge for) a course of treatment regardless. I'm worried that it could have no effect at all or in the worst case do more damage.

But am I being fair - I'd appreciate hearing any of your experiences with Osteopaths, especially with Facet Dysfunction and Lower Back Pain.




Distinguished Member
I use a very good one, here in London, who puts me back together every few months.

I'm 32, but train like i'm 22 :D and as such need to be fixed on a continuing basis. I can feel a difference after every visit, especially if i've gone there with a lower back/hip problem.

Also, do a search, this type of thread has come up a few times.


Distinguished Member

.... had bad back problems after a todo at work...boss reccomended an osteopath....the usual stuff when it comes to other people.....he could hardly move then 1 visit and he skips out of the door!.......
thought i'd give it a few goes.....bugger all :rolleyes:....
i used to lay there and the lady would go....'it may not feel like i'm doing nothing....but'.......and i used to think 'feels like you're doing bugger all for 30 quid.............

......but i dear say it's worked for some.....
had better luck with a chiropractor....not a quick fix but at least you feel like they're doing something for their money.

.... a year later and i was back running and feeling better, though the back does play up a bit now and then.......one of them things backs....once buggered they're never the same.


Distinguished Member
Depends upon the osteopath really! I injured my lower back at a karate class many years ago and the GP just prescribed me pain killers and some stretching exercises which were of little help.

Saw a chiropractor who managed to release the trapped nerve but still had some ancillary problems. A friend then recommended an osteopath, who'd managed to help him get over a hip injury that had plagued him for years, and after a few treatments I was feeling almost back to normal :)

Unfortunately the summer before last i re-injured my lower back lifting something awkward and this osteopath was on holiday so I went to see another osteo in town and tbh he did more harm than good as in trying to fix my back he threw out my hip :eek:

Fortunately the osteopath my fiend recommended was back the following week and managed to sort the back and hip out with a couple of treatments.


Well-known Member
Personally I've always been a bit cynical and sceptical about private practitioners claiming they can sort out a myriad of musculo-skeletal problems, so long as you go back regularly. If they weren't so open ended, I'd perhaps be more open minded.
I have a friend who sees one regularly and seems very pleased with the results. I also work with spinal/trauma surgeons who rarely have a good word to say about them and have even discussed instances of patients being referred to them for damage that has been done by osteopaths/chiropractors.
I think the key is to check qualifications, ensure they have insurance, perhaps get references and do a trial run. In the mean time, persist with your GP for another referral to a consultant for further scans or investigations. I know the NHS isn't guaranteed to sort your problem either, but at least it's free.

Bill Hicks

I had 8 years of crippling back pain that would often leave me crawling around the house on all fours like a wounded animal.
2 years of back and forward visits to my local hospital to see "specialists" who would just advise me to take specific exercise that never made any difference in alleviating my condition. The amount of sick time that it caused me was becoming a serious concern to my employers.

A friend recommended a Osteopath who had helped him a few months prior and to be honest I didn't hold out much faith considering the lack of progress I had over the previous 2 years with my local hospital.
But I thought what is there to loose, other than the £50 it was going to cost me!

Best thing I ever did was to see that Osteopath!

He managed to stop the pain in 2 half hour sessions!
He explained in detail what my problem was. Something I never received from the hospital.

The actual treatment consisted of picking me up whilst in a foetal position and squeezing my upper torso and legs together until an audible "Crack" was heard, followed by a 10 minute back massage.
Followed by having two suction cups stuck to my back and having an electric current sent through them!

I still occasionally have to make a return visit to see him (Last time was about 2 years ago) but the problem simply doesn't exist anymore!



Distinguished Member
Followed by having two suction cups stuck to my back and having an electric current sent through them!

I had that treatment once, and it made no difference to me. I changed osteopaths in the end, didn't rate that one at all. Although i suspect, it wasn't the treatment that wasn't correct, but the practioner.

Never had a succesful female osteopath/chiropactor work on me, they just aren't strong enough. (I'm well built) :thumbsup:

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