Fishponds Practice


How We Work - Case Histories

Outlined below are some descriptio ns of patients we have treated. Their real names are, of course, not given, but their stories are true and may give you some better idea of the variety of problems with which we can help.

If you would like individual advice about whether osteopathic treatment is likely to help you, please give us a ring, and an Osteopath will call you back to discuss your case.

Case Histories

Trevor is 70 years old and is keen on bowls, which he had played all his life until he developed pain in his low back and buttock last year. It was clear from examining him that he had considerable osteoarthritis (the “wear and tear” type of arthritis) in his low back, making him very stiff. He thought this was something he would just have to live with and meant the end of his bowling career. In fact, after 2 treatment sessions, he felt better than he had done for years and he has resumed bowls. He needs treatment to keep him “loosened up” from time to time.


Barbara is a 58 year old hairdresser, who developed upper back and right shoulder pain so severe that she could not do her job. Examination demonstrated that she had become very round-shouldered over the years, so that her shoulder joints could no longer function in their proper alignment, making tasks like blow-drying very difficult. Her attempts to continue with her job despite the pain – most hairdressers are self-employed and cannot afford time off – led to further strains through her neck and at the joints where her ribs meet her breast bone.

When treatment began her body felt very brittle, as if it would snap if too much pressure were applied. Treatment could only, therefore, proceed gently and slowly. Gradually the pain began to recede and she became better able to do her job. After a while her body felt much more flexible, and Barbara needed only top-up treatment sessions every few months. After about a year, she became independent of treatment and keeps herself flexible and less round-shouldered with exercises prescribed by her Osteopath.

Sarah-Jane is the mother of 2 little girls and works in an office part-time. 2 years ago she suffered a “whiplash” injury in a road traffic accident, which led to strains through her neck and upper back. She also developed severe headaches.

Although Sarah-Jane underwent a course of Physiotherapy, her pain did not fully resolve and her headaches became more frequent. Examination showed that she still had a locked joint in her neck. Manipulation of this joint quickly improved its movement and her symptoms resolved very quickly. She has not had any headaches since treatment.



Tina began to develop pain to the left of her mid-back, which became so bad that it made her vomit. Examination showed that she had a marked curvature of her spine (“scoliosis”) causing muscle imbalance which tightened up even more when she came under a lot stress at work. The nerves which come from the spine at the back of the chest control sub-conscious functions and, when they are irritated by inflammation at the joints nearby, symptoms such as sickness can occur.

Although treatment cannot get rid of a congenital anomaly like scoliosis, it can make the affected joints move much more easily and relieve the inflammation putting pressure on the nerves. Treatment rapidly eased Tina’s pain and she stopped being sick. She also sought to change her own life by finding a new job which she now thoroughly enjoys.

Frances has a very deeply arched lumbar spine. Most of the time the spine has enough adjustability in it that this kind of anomaly causes no problems, but if some mild strain, for example, occurs, the muscles will tighten and exaggerate the arch which already exists. This puts considerable pressure on the lowest joints of the back which, in Frances’ case, became inflamed and painful.

Osteopathic treatment to stretch out these joints and advice to encourage Frances to stand with better tension through her abdominal muscles, rapidly relieved her symptoms.



Gertie was a six week old baby who was very fretful, unhappy and screamed whenever she was awake. It was difficult to get her to sleep and once asleep she did not sleep very long. She had been born with the help of a ventouse suction cap. This sort of crying is often called ‘colic’ and it can be confused with conditions requiring hospital treatment. So I was pleased to hear that Gertie’s GP had checked her and was happy there was no serious cause for her distress.

Typically Gertie’s whole body felt tight and it felt, as is often the case, that she simply could not fully relax. There were also areas of specific tightness in the mid back, lower ribs and back of her head. Treatment gradually helped to ease these areas of tightness and restore a deep feeling of relaxation and flexibility through her body. Initially she had a few better days. Then, after several treatments, she became much more settled and slept for longer. Her parents started to look a bit happier too!





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