Recently I was involved in a motor accident. There must be hundreds of these every day on Britain’s ever-more congested roads. The driver behind did not notice me stopping to give way. It was quite low speed but my car was a write-off.
If you’ve ever been in a collision like this you will know that it all happens unexpectedly, with a loud bang. Fortunately my head was restrained by the head rest. I was a bit shaken but felt fine the next morning. But my wife suggested I see her friend who is an osteopath. ‘Get her to check you over.’ So I duly made an appointment to see the osteopath.
The NHS says osteopathy is based on the principle that the wellbeing of an individual depends on their bones, muscles, ligaments and connective tissue functioning smoothly together. I was quite unprepared for the scope of her examination and perception of how my body structure works.
She discovered that one leg is slightly longer than the other and the rest of my frame has compensated for this. One of my feet is slightly turned out and this affects how I walk. And she made several other interesting observations. I decided to see my optician because it was apparent that working on a desk-mounted laptop computer is not doing my posture any good. He’ll need to adjust the lenses to enable me to focus on a screen ahead of me rather than looking downwards.
Some years ago my wife injured her Achilles tendon and was treated in the accident and emergency department. Some weeks later she consulted a physiotherapist who said it was a pity she had not been to see him sooner. Evidently the NHS does not always spot the need to consult the specialists in physical wellbeing – such as the physiotherapists, chiropractors and osteopaths.
When I got back from the osteopath my wife asked what she had to say about the motor accident. ‘Oh that,’ I replied. ‘I’d already forgotten about that. We discussed my knees though. She’s quite an expert on knees.’