I’ve been suffering reoccurring back pain for years. Around 12 years ago I was involved in an accident that caused me to fracture my spine in multiple places.
But it had fully-healed since then, so I wasn’t sure if my pain was a long-term result of the accident, my bra-size increasing, or had simply come from nowhere.
I was heading back to London after a weekend in Leeds visiting the uni girls, the journey is only around two hours, but just being sat down for that long was excruciating pain for my back. To the point where I’d rather be standing. That’s when I knew I had to seek professional help.
After the train journey from Leeds, the pain became intolerable, so I researched a lot into back pain, remedies and medical attention and decided that osteopathy was my next option. My specific areas of pain were my neck, shoulders and lower back.
What is an osteopath?
According to the NHS, osteopathy is a way of detecting, treating and preventing health problems by moving, stretching and massaging a person’s muscles and joints. It focuses on your skeleton and your muscles to ensure they are functioning smoothly together.
I met with Mr Saied Shasavari the osteopath at Mersai Health Clinic just off Harley Street in London. He gave me an initial consultation to assess my posture. Just from looking at me sat down he said “I can see that your right shoulder is more curved than your left”. Apparently, the distance from my neck to my shoulder was shorter on the right hand side, only something a true professional would notice.
Next, he instructed me to walk to the other side of the room and back. He explained that I have a lazy walk (can’t disagree), that every step is basically stopping me from falling down, instead of striding with purpose. If you’re imaging me walking like a sad Eeyore, then same.
Saied is a lovely and warm character, his background is in Chinese Medicine and holistic treatments, techniques that benefit the practice of osteopathy. He really gets to know you and your pain by breaking down your medical history and your daily struggles. He understands your discomfort as though he suffers it himself.
Once lying down on the treatment table, Saied accessed my body once again. In the first appointment he told me a multitude of things about myself that I didn’t know. But, they answered a whole lot of questions I hadn’t even asked. My right leg is slightly longer – which explained why one always feels tighter. The lymphatic drainage in my legs is blocked – which explains my balloon calves.
He also explained why I am getting little aches and pains in specific areas. For instance, a blockage in the left side of my stomach was causing the curve in my right shoulder. The bottom of my back was in agony because it’s the same nerve as your upper-neck, which explained my intense pain there. A twist in my back was reducing the blood flow to my head which was causing my headaches. It was a giant steak of information that took forever to digest.
Having told him about my accident, Saied paid careful attention to the specific areas in my back that suffered fractures. He informed me that my lower-back and mid-back (super-sensitive areas) are experiencing spasms and pain because they have memory of the trauma 12 years ago. Mind, blown.
If someone tells you about osteopathy, you often hear of “cracking-backs” or “clicking you into place”. However, Saied has a gentle approach and believes in treating the body as a whole, as there’s no point treating a specific area unless the whole body is in tune, or the pain will recur and it will be a waste of time. That’s exactly why a lifetime of deep-tissue massages weren’t solving anything, bye cash.
Even though you may not feel instantly relieved like you would after a massage, osteopathy is like magic to the untrained eye. Saied would gently adjust my arms, legs, shoulders, running his fingers down my spine, that felt like nothing really was happening. But, slowly appointment, by appointment the constant agony just faded into a distant memory.
Most often, our pain is a result of something deeper, whether that’s diet, mental health or activity history – Saied gets to the root of it. Osteopathy aims to solve the issue as a whole, giving you recovery for the long-term. Osteopathy also requires you to do some homework, for me it was lying back on an exercise ball for ten minutes every day. You have to be dedicated to your body, giving it the time and commitment equal to Saied’s in order to achieve a full recovery.
Since my course of treatments with Saied at the Mersai Health Clinic, I have learnt so much about my body and my pain, that I can now take measures to ensure the pain doesn’t return. I am so thankful to Saied and the clinic for ridding me of my pain and genuinely improving my life on a daily-basis. The GLAMOUR office are also relieved that they don’t have to listen to my painful deskside groans every ten minutes.
I can happily say that I’m writing this article on a long train journey with absolutely no discomfort at all. Apart from the person next to me eating a tuna sandwich.