I don’t know, but maybe it doesn’t occur to any other Edinburgh osteopath to specialise in lower back pain and sciatica. I had written my first book on lower back pain in 1997, then in 2015 completed an MSc in The Clinical Management of Pain (with a focus on lower back pain in my dissertation) before I realised that I had always spent significantly more of my professional and personal life focusing on lower back issues than on all other body parts combined. So, I suppose it was an obvious thing for me to formally specialise in, which led to the publication of my second book on back pain , with contributions from Gavin Hastings OBE.
We now have an online course for lower back pain and sciatica, and a low back pain course for fitness/movement professionals who want to gain a better understanding of the topic in order to help their clients more, and an app for lower back pain. So, I guess it’s safe to say, I/we have a real focus on lower back pain and sciatica.
The question is, why don’t more osteopaths/chiropractors specialise in lower back pain and sciatica? From talking to them, the answer seems to be that they want to appeal to as broad a market as possible i.e. they don’t want to miss out on business opportunities. Another answer is that they don’t want to get bored, dealing with the same problem time and time again.
I think the first answer is naive – there are so many people with lower back pain and/or sciatica that you are unlikely to run out of clients. Also, I think people (you) prefer someone who specialises in their particular problem. Lower back pain is so incredibly common, and at times complex, that it’s worth taking a deep deep dive into the topic, and that’s what I have done and will continue to do. The other day, a visiting osteopath paid me a huge compliment (although I’m not sure it was meant that way) by saying “I’ve never met another osteopath who approaches lower back problems the way you do”.
The second answer (that they may get bored) is at odds with my experience. Specialising in such a common but complex problem has allowed me to dive so deep and develop an approach so firm in its principles, yet so nuanced in the application of those principles that I have the pleasure of knowing my approach is sound, but the additional pleasure of needing to bring my 27 years of experience (at time of writing) to bear on an individual’s personal experience of pain.
So if you want an Edinburgh osteopath specialising in lower back pain and sciatica, you know where to find me!