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"It was absolutely fantastic...osteopathy is the best treatment of all for my condition"

Gwendoline Cole Sixty-two year old Gwen Cole has had spondylosis and osteoarthritis in her spine for 15 years. This can cause her severe pain in the middle of her back, her neck, right shoulder and arm.

She worked in a special school for 25 years, where she often had to lift children who were disabled in some way. Most of the time, there was no lifting equipment and the work took its toll on her back. "Various work mishaps caused back problems and time off work", she explained. She was given physiotherapy on the NHS. Then, about 10 years ago, her back got very bad. She was in terrible pain, and couldn’t wait to be referred for more physiotherapy. So, she found an osteopath through the Yellow Pages. After the first treatment, she was able to straighten up and walk a bit.

Over the ensuing years, her back flared up, on and off, and she went to a private osteopath on several occasions. But now she is a pensioner, she can’t afford £30 a treatment. She heard about Get Well UK at an open day at the Healthy Living Centre, and asked her GP to refer her for osteopathy.

"It’s been fantastic for’s never been available to me free of charge before" she said, adding "the service is opening up the field (of complementary medicine) to people who otherwise couldn’t afford to go".

At the first treatment, Gwen found the osteopath very thorough when questioning her and investigating exactly what her problem was. She really liked the hands on approach of the osteopathy, and also found the advice on exercises to strengthen her back muscles really helpful. The treatment really helped her....

"I came crawling in here to start with" she explained. "It made such a difference to my condition...and it certainly made a difference to my life."

Over about 2 years Gwen had a total of 20 treatments. According to her osteopath, both of her conditions improved considerably with the treatment. What’s more, according to Gwen, the availability of the service seems to have favourably changed her GP’s attitude to complementary medicine too.