//Can osteopathy make my back pain / sciatica worse?

Can osteopathy make my back pain / sciatica worse?

By |2019-03-01T13:06:31+00:00February 12th, 2019|Treatments that Work|0 Comments

Can osteopathy make my lower back pain / sciatica worse?

Put simply, yes osteopathy can make your lower back pain / sciatica worse.  But it’s rare.  The risks for osteopathy are slightly lower than the risks for chiropractic (which are low anyway). I’ve answered this question pretty thoroughly in a previous article:

Can manipulation make my lower back pain / sciatica worse?

My previous article (linked to above) covers this ground pretty well, so I won’t repeat all of that here.

What’s the most common unwanted side-effect of osteopathic treatment?

As an Edinburgh osteopath, I can tell you that it’s quite likely you’ll be a bit sore after treatment and this can last a few days, but is usually just a day.  According to research funded by the General Osteopathic Council about half of patients experience this post-treatment soreness (our figures are closer to 25%).

When I was a young osteopath I was over-enthusiastic in treating the back of a 65 year old retired builder.  Prior to my seeing me he had the occasional stiff back.  The day after he saw me, he had a really sore back, and it took my boss about 8 sessions to get him back to his usual level.  He was exceptionally nice about it, and I’ve never forgotten the lesson – “first do no harm”.

Osteopathic professional indemnity insurance premiums are very low (way way lower than doctors).  This is a testament to what a low risk osteopathy has.  I think the figure is currently just under £300 for up to £10million worth of cover (please don’t sue me now I’ve told you how much I’m covered for!).   This is because we don’t prescribe medications (which can be dangerous); and we don’t do surgery (which can be very dangerous).  It’s also because the techniques and advice we offer are evidence-based and rarely result in more than a little soreness.  I hope that puts your mind at rest and that you’ll now proceed to book an appointment with an osteopath online!! 😉

About the Author:

Clinic Director and Osteopath. Gavin graduated as a Gold Medallist in 1991 and is now a Vice Patron of the British School of Osteopathy. Co-author of “The Back Book” with Gavin Hastings OBE in 1996, he has an MSc in The Clinical Management of Pain from the University of Edinburgh, and is currently working on a new book. He's passionate about helping to move people as far from illness and pain as possible, and in January 2015 set himself the target of helping a million people get a better back.

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