I first met Hamilton Semple in November 2003. In the previous six months I had suffered from severe lower back pain and considerable pain down my left hip, leg and ankle. The pain was so acute that I could not remain in a standing position for more than 2 minutes at a time. My GP diagnosed prolapsed discs in my lower back advised me to undergo a course of physiotherapy. Despite the fact that physiotherapy is the standard treatment in such cases, after 8 weeks of intensive physiotherapy (coupled with daily exercises which I performed in the morning, afternoon and evening) there was no noticeable change in my condition. I was then referred to a consultant neurosurgeon. After two consultations and tests, he advised me to opt for a partial discectomy given the severity of the pain. I was told that this would involve part of the discs in my lower back being cut out, an operation which would hopefully alleviate the pain in my back and left side. The consultant did say that the operation carried risks and that it could even make my condition worse. He was, however, hopeful that the operation would provide some relief. Whilst contemplating surgery, a work colleague suggested I try visiting an osteopath for treatment. He had heard that such ‘alternative’ treatment could prove as equally successful as surgery. I therefore decided to delay any decision on surgery until I had visited an osteopath (I viewed neurosurgery very much as a last resort). I made an appointment to visit Hamilton at the start of November 2003. We discussed my case history in quite some detail which allowed Hamilton to build a detailed patient profile. He then examined my lower back and left side and asked me to perform a few simple exercises. Hamilton then discussed with me his background in the profession, told me of similar cases he had treated and said he was confident that he could help to alleviate at least some of my pain. He did stress on more than one occasion during my first visit (and again at subsequent sessions) that he could not promise osteopathy would eliminate all the pain, though he was hopeful he could help. Hamilton then treated me for about 25 minutes and my first session ended. I agreed to continue the treatment until Christmas as this would allow me to monitor whether my condition was improving. I have faithfully visited Hamilton for treatment since the beginning of November 2003 (with the exception of holidays etc.) throughout 2004 and into 2005. Given my improvement, the frequency of my visits has been reduced to 6 weekly. The osteopathic treatment which Hamilton has administered has been extremely successful. The pain in my left side has almost been completely eliminated. I have full mobility in my lower back which makes standing up unsupported now possible. Simple things which I could not do (walk to the shops, stand to wait for a bus, sit for prolonged periods of time etc) and which other people take for granted are now possible again. I have even been able to begin exercising again even undertaking quite vigorous and strenuous activities. I no longer need to take the eight painkilling tablets which I was taking to reduce the pain. I have been extremely impressed by Hamilton’s professionalism during my time as his patient and his ability as an osteopath. I would have no hesitation in recommending his services to my family, friends and colleagues and I have already done so.

Stephen Kerr