After winter’s icy blast a warm glow will engulf us. This warm glow will raise a multitude, sloth like from our sofas, prise us from the fire side and television and propel us into our gardens.

Our domains, the shrubbery, lawns, flower beds and vegetable plots will beckon and plead to be rescued from chaos. So we, armed with pitch forks and spades, like mad zealots, will set to and before you have time to say ‘lumbago’, be stretchered off the field like the poor in the Peasant’s Revolt.

It is a time of great joy for Osteopaths as we appraise these wretches with a critical eye, accompanied by much tutting and shaking of the head. We will then gravely announce that you have a nasty twisted back. This does not require genius, although we hope you think it does. It will be plainly obvious as your eyes will be looking over your left shoulder whilst your feet are hobbling to the right. So as long as you haven’t been ambitious enough to have fallen out of a tree the chances are you will not have broken anything serious such as your neck.

Anyhow with a bit of inquisitorial questioning together with some pulling, pushing and poking an educated guess can be made as to what is going on.


You will be subjected to a bizarre and ancient ritual, accompanied by a mantra consisting of the words’ relax this will not hurt you’, of fantastic manoeuvres [usually painless you will be pleased to know] when the twisted bits will be twisted back again. Then as you leave, leaping like a gazelle, you will joyfully cast your walking stick onto the pile by the door.

If however you do not feel like contributing to the Osteopaths benevolent fund there are a few things that you can do. Osteopathic manipulation will often get you out of trouble very quickly. Afterwards you will need to rehab with the aim of making your back strong.

You can have as much medicine, manipulation, massage or magic as you like but the only thing that will stabilise your back is exercise.

It almost does not matter what you do, within reason, but you need to do it. Yoga, Pilates, cycling, swimming, walking, Oh and I forgot, gardening are all good but take them by degrees. You need to warm up properly before you start and vary your activity.

It is also worth mentioning it is pretty widely thought that exercise, together with eating real food and avoiding pollution provide great benefit in the protection and avoidance of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and many others and it is certainly an important element in the current search for longevity.

Good luck and happy gardening.

John Stevens D.O.
Registered Osteopath and Acupuncturist
© 2018 John Stevens. Reg. Business Address: The Coach House Clinic, 155 High Street, Tenterden, Kent TN30 6JS Contact us