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QUESTION: “I have a bad back; how long should it take to get better?”

By 11th July 2019Blog

This question is the one that every patient wants to know the answer to before they embark on a course of treatment.

I’m writing this because someone said to me they went to another physical therapist who told them they should sign up for a course of treatment which would help them get better and prevent the problem from recurring. All sounds good so far. However, they had to attend every week for a year and lay out I guess between £1500- £2000!!!!

This makes my blood boil.

Here is my answer to the question: “How long have you had the problem?”

For me this is usually the key to making an accurate prognosis as the quicker you attend the quicker you’ll get better. If the problem is recent, then a couple of sessions should do, but if you’ve had it for more than a few months then 3-6 sessions may be required.

In my experience most people feel a significant benefit within three sessions and for many that will be enough especially if they haven’t delayed their first visit and come within a few days of their injury . The worst thing you can do for your prognosis is delay having a treatment.

A visit to your GP with a back problem is not really necessary [unless you require a doctors referral for your insurer] as every Osteopath is fully trained to make a diagnosis and also medically trained to spot something more serious. A lot of doctors don’t know enough about back problems and Osteopathy to recommend it quickly and delay recovery by prescribing painkillers and/or Physiotherapy instead of recommending Osteopathy. Physiotherapy is best suited for rehabilitation and sports injuries. Osteopaths spend all their training learning about spinal issues so are most ably placed to provide effective and speedy treatment.

If your practitioner expects you to visit more than 3 times without benefit and thinks you’ll need more than 6-10 sessions to get well I would find someone else!

guarantee to help my patients in the quickest and least expensive way possible and this is usually around 3-6 sessions [£150-300]. I want my patients to be happy with their outcome and then sign up for my back pain prevention programme which depending on their age is between one and eight sessions a year![not 52]

There are a few cases that I can’t help for whatever reason but I will know that after 3 sessions so there is no expensive and drawn out wait to find this out. I will then refer the patient onto the most appropriate path for them to get helped.

I pride myself on the ethical and considerate way I run my practice.

If you’d like any help with any of the following please contact me on 020 8954 2254

· Neck & Shoulder Tension

· Headaches or Migraine

· Low Back Pain with or without Sciatica

· Slipped Disc or Osteoarthritis.