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Confused with osteopathic treatment that has made me worse

hannah1031hhannah1031 Posts: 10
edited 11/14/2013 - 12:57 PM in Alternative Treatments
I originally went to an osteopath for whiplash 3 month ago and did not go back after the second appt. because he would answer no questions and hurt my neck. I returned two weeks later after having an upper back spasm. At the first appt. I had had a sharp stabbing pain in my left shoulder blade and he said nothing. I had two appointments that were okay. After that, he became more aggressive with treatment and caused severe muscle strain to my upper back. I went back again - about 4 weeks ago - and he did some sort of what he called myofascial release on both hips. I have no idea why. The next day I could not walk and went back and he did the standard "under the back finger manipulation" with intense focus on my lower back. Since then, I have had horrid pain in my lower back. None of this existed before or after the accident until he started doing things to me. Two days after the appointment, I had a very sharp stabbing pain from hip to knee. After that, what I presume to be my tailbone/SI joint became very painful and hard to even sit down. I called and got no answers. Almost two weeks later, I felt a very strange energy like pain down my entire leg and the next day was able to move my left hip outward. A week later - last weekend - as I was laying on the floor, I heard a click in the area of my tailbone and after was able to sit without discomfort until the next afternoon and then it started returning. Last night and today, extreme shooting pains up the right side of my lower back - and previously all issues had been on the left side. I am totally confused and wonder whether this osteopath has caused issues for me that never existed by what he did at the last appointment and, perhaps, permanent injury? Please help with any comments. I am afraid to go back - afraid he will cause more issues and make me worse. It has been almost four weeks and I am still having some issues with my neck and back but so far - ice works there. However, no relief as yet except for moments her eand there from SI type pain. I would appreciate any help with knowing what to do. Thank you.


  • Hi Hannah -

    I would recommend that you go see your Primary care Doc and ask him/her to refer you to see an Orthopedic Surgeon or Neurologist about what you have going on. That will get the ball rolling in the right direction for you.

    Osteopath's can indeed help with some issues but other problems are of beyond their scope of expertise and abilities. Having said that, an Ortho Surgeon or Neurologist would diagnose your issues and either provide treatment or refer you to a Pain Management Specialist.

    That's just my advise to you and of course let your Primary care Doc know that you've been seeing the Osteopath but have not gotten any relief from their treatments.

    Take care and all the best to you...

  • edited 12/02/2013 - 9:59 AM
    Dear Hannah,
    I'm so sorry for your experience. I was like you and gave osteopathy a big try, because it seemed so holistic and gentle, and I certainly admire many of the osteopathic perspectives on health. I had a very simile experience, shooting pains, numbness and all..........I remember for 3 months struggling to walk normally after, and my sleep became very disturbed. Unlike you, I did not let this person touch me again after the treatment, but went to someone else, and got worse again. Then a third try. I would venture to say that osteopathy has eaten up a year of my life, the pain and especially, dysfunction, was that bad. At least with chiropractic, I would recover quite quickly (although I really don't believe in most types of chiropractic anymore, I went when much younger).

    I find it disturbing that most osteopaths could not come up with any answer for what happened, neither can they explain why they did what they did. I got tired of hearing "your body only moved where it wanted to." Honestly, these were the worst, absolute worst pain, spasm, and movement-limiting times I have even been through, post-osteopathic. Only one doctor, who did NOT work on me, conceded that osteopathy can throw out a spine. I have some theories on it, but would rather focus on constructive things.

    Still, I wanted to say, please trywith a well-recommended practitioner before going for surgery. I would recommend trained therapist..............surgery can freeze your spine..........at least osteopathy concedes a total-body harmony, and surgery ignores this and can damage it.

    Also, I wanted to ask a question-- did you wear orthodontics or headgear, or have any sinus surgery? My hunch is that my own "traffic jam" or "total lockdown" (that's how I felt after osteopathy) is related to the fact that my cranio-facial structure has been so changed.

    I would love to hear back from any osteopaths who can recommend, beyond ice (useless, almost offensively so, for such massively, pathologically awful responses to your work!), a solution for these catastrophes. This is serious business. When I read Hannah's post, I trembled inside for having gone through the same thing.

    Thank you,
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  • yogini1999yyogini1999 Posts: 3
    edited 11/14/2013 - 11:12 AM
    Gosh, I have been through a very similar experience. My three month osteopathy treatment resulted in more pain than I ever thought I would experience in this lifetime, and after a year and a half I am still in very bad shape. After the second adjustment I experienced intense stabbing pain in my shoulder. The osteopath told me it was a "completely normal" part of the treatment" Each time I saw her bizarre and completely new pains arose; intense low back pain, shooting pain in my arms, roving burning pain all over my legs, and my original problem which had been *mild* and occasional knee pain, became exponentially worse as well. The osteopath reassured me that everything I was experiencing was normal and she kept telling me that we were close to "turning a corner" and that the pain would go away once the spine was realigned by her. Alas, we never did, after what was supposed to be the final treatment my body completely collapsed and I was incapacitated by the amount of different types of pains and aches all over my body; burning pain in my buttocks, stabbing pain all over my back, shooting electric pain in my arms. The past year and a half has been a living hell of pain and limited mobility. I was forced to abandon all physical activity (I had been an avid athlete, yogi, swimmer and dancer prior to my treatment). I now know I was too naive and trusting and fell into the hands of a highly incompetent osteopath. I am outraged by the fact that these people are allowed to practice at all, and now realize I am not the only human being whose life has been radically altered by osteopathy.
    sonia perel
  • psytaniumppsytanium Posts: 1
    edited 09/15/2015 - 10:25 AM
    i did 1 session with an osteopath and stopped because i felt its dangerous to manipulate the spine and nerves.

    10 days later i started experiencing some pain on my lower back, especially when I sit down or up.

    I want to ask the hannah and the others, how long does this pain lasted ? more than 1 year ? permanent ?

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