Scoliosis- Physiotherapy student perspective of osteopathy

I was diagnosed with scoliosis at the age of 16 after I was involved in a car accident. It was unclear whether or not the accident had been the overall cause of the scoliosis or not but after the accident, all the muscle in my back began to shorten and tighten and my lower back became increasingly painful. There was an option of an operation in order to surgically strain my spine but my symptoms did not appear severe enough at the time and the doctor recommended against it, as I was still growing.

Through high school the pain was manageable with anti-inflammatories and occasional physiotherapy, but after high school I took a gap year in which I focused on my horse riding and working full time as an intern at a canine hydrotherapy practice which put a lot of strain on my lower back and the pain became increasingly worse. For over 3 months I tried various practitioners such as a physiotherapist, body stress release, and various chiropractors with no real relief of symptoms until I found one chiropractor who helped me tremendously with my postural alignment and pain management simultaneously with constant body stress release to loosen my muscles. Unfortunately that chiropractor moved overseas and my back gradually deteriorated back to its original painful state.

I started university, studying Bsc. Physiotherapy at the age of 19 and at first the pain did not affect my studies, but as I began to work longer hours in clinical settings, the pain started to get increasingly worse and it began to affect my ability to work with my patients and prevent me from getting a decent night’s sleep as I could not find a comfortable position to lie in.

It was by chance that I went to listen to a talk on Homeopathic Care and received a pamphlet in which there was an article on Osteopathy with Dr. Guy Ashburner and decided to give him a try. Guy began treatment with me every second week doing spinal manipulations, muscle stretching and muscle lengthening to loosen up my tight muscles surrounding the spine. He showed me core and back muscle strengthening exercises to help maintain my posture and prevent further curvature of my spine and taught me the correct sitting and standing positions in order to aid me when I work with my patients as a physiotherapist. I even learnt that I had thigh muscles surrounding my rib cage which was actually effect my ability to fully expand my lungs and I can honestly say I felt instant relief of back pain after my first session with Guy and was even able to breathe easier.

I have been seeing Guy for almost a year now and I am currently on a 4 week treatment program in which my posture has improved tremendously, due to my back muscles being a lot more flexible and loose and I hardly ever experience back pain anymore. I am once again horse riding and am able to ride every day now, I sleep all through the night and I am able to work and continue studying as a physiotherapist without fear of back pain. I could not be more grateful to Dr. Guy Ashburner for all he has done to help me with my scoliosis and I highly recommend him for osteopathic treatment of musculo-skeletal disorders.

Megan Torrington

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