Lower back disc injury/sciatica - other treatments?
I would like to get some opinions... what are your views on Osteopathy?
I'm a 25 year old female & paid a few visits to the Doctor with incredible pain in my lower back which would intermittently become a nasty case of sciatica. As I'm sure many of you know, the pain is in another league, & even if you're surrounded by the kindest most patient people, no one understands the pain (and concern of what's happening to you) until it's been experienced.
My doctor would try to prescribe me strong pills to ease the pain (not cure it!) & told me that because I'm young, these types of things tend to clear up. (What, "these types of things" are i don't know! There are so many intricate lower back issues) A Doctor cannot diagnose a back condition/injury.
I was told that I had back pain due to prolonged sitting in an office. The pain wasn't there 100% of the time, but I would have terrible spells for days on end, take some time off work, then start again, but I was always limping and after 5minutes of walking with a crutch stick, I had to stop. I would be in tears at work, sometimes screaming from the pain in the mornings. It took forever to get out of bed; almost like I was paralysed from the hips downwards - but paralysed from the pain. I had to lift my own legs to get them to move when sitting, but even that would be painful.
For a while I told my parents not to bring me food or drink to my bed because I could not bear the thought of getting up and having to go to the loo.
It was like I was 'left to it' - this would be my life forever. The Doctor sent me to a Physiotherapist, who definitely made it worse when he tried out some traction on my spine. I then couldn't get off his physio bed, couldn't even turn over. Had to lie there and cry for 15minutes till I could get up.
Anyway, that's a smidgen of what it was like - and I'm sure plenty of people can familiarise with that!
A family member recommended that I see an Osteopath. It was not available through my health service (I'm from the UK) so I went and paid independently.
After a full consultation on my medical history, exact details of my account so far, the Osteopath did a thorough examination. Within minutes, she was able to diagnose my problem, and explain every single concern I'd had, and every symptom that others couldn't explain. It made complete sense! I had injured a lower disc in what she imagined would've been a fall, about 2-3 months before I started to experience pain. For the record, 3 months before the pain, I'd fallen with a bit of a jolt.
The reason I was in such agony by this point, is because I'd gone for 5months being told it was nothing, and half convincing myself i was over-reacting, and it had got badly inflamed. The Osteopath agreed it had gotten to the point where i should barely be able to walk - and thats definitely the point i was at.
The treatment i've had and the advice that's been given to me has been nothing short of miraculous. These people know how to ease the pain, heal the injury, and rehabilitate the whole body, so she was making sure that whilst i was fixing my lower back, the rest of me kept functioning nicely.
I no longer have to take painkillers, and although its been slow - it's nothing compared to the lifetime of pain I was letting myself in for. I've had to basically learn to walk again, as I'd forgotten how to walk without an incredible limp. There are so many things i've missed out on and now i can do those things and each week i feel im getting stronger.
For some reason however, Doctors shun Osteopaths. They study for five years, with an emphasis of speciality on the musculoskeletal frame. They may not fix everyone, but they are specialist enough to detect problems that they can't fix, and recommend further treatment.
My Osteopath said to me the other day, 'the reason i dont operate on people is because i can fix them with my bare hands' and she is so right.
I've written an awful lot here, but really interested in hearing from people who have had successful (or unsuccessful) treatments, or perhaps anyone who wants to know more because they have back problems but haven't yet seen an Osteopath.
If any of you are from the UK, I'm looking to campaign to get osteopathy available on the health service, so i most definitely would like to hear from you