1: 25th February 2017
I felt compelled to drop you a line. This morning I have just come back from my longest run to date. It’s incredible to think that this time last year my back pain had become so severe I had resorted to using a walking stick to get around.
I thought it may be helpful to share my experience with any of your patients that are thinking of seeing you for treatment or that have just started treatment and are feeling unsure if your approach will work, admittedly I had my doubts.
I saw Andrew McCarter last January, I had a history of severe back pain for the last 15 years. I have seen countless Osteopaths and Chiropractors together with hospital admissions.
For the previous three months I had been unable to walk, drive, work or carry out the most basic chores at home as well as becoming increasingly depressed. My right leg would literally give way, hence the use of a stick, I had had a couple of embarrassing falls.
I had been told that there was no cure for the pain that I was experiencing and that the only option was surgery. I have a history of gynaecological issues resulting in several major operations during the previous couple of years and felt reluctant to yet again have more invasive treatment.
It was a chance meeting with my GP, who suggested that I see Andrew McCarter, as she had had other patients who had experienced great benefits. I agreed I had nothing to lose. Frankly I was not convinced, at this point, I had resigned myself to the fact that I would have to have the surgery.
During my first consultation with Andrew he explained that for his method of treatment to be effective one of the biggest challenges I would have to overcome was the way I thought regarding my “back condition”. I was not convinced. I consider myself to be a positive proactive person and the idea of a mind over matter approach was simply not going to work. However, I began to understand that what I had to do was let go of all the previous advice I had been given (however well-meaning it was), and start again, it was clear that what I had been doing wasn't working. At first it was difficult to trust this new philosophy after years of being told to focus on strengthening core muscles whilst limiting myself in activity to what my back would allow me to do, to avoid any further degeneration and increasing pain.
Andrew gave me 3 exercises to do, 3 times a day, despite my initial reservations, his explanation as to why I had been experiencing ongoing pain, with severe flare-ups did make sense. Andrew was sympathetic whilst being completely pragmatic in his approach. The results were amazing - within a few weeks.
I did have a couple of setbacks but each time it became clear that these had been caused by my complacency, by being pain free, thus skipping the exercises regularly.
A year on I can't believe how different life is. I am back to working full time in a fairly physical job. I am riding, cycling and running regularly. I really cannot express how grateful I am for taking that leap of faith and sticking with it. The treatment I had with Andrew has changed my life - quiet literally.
2: 13th November 2017
I came to Andrew in the build up to the London marathon earlier this year with a muscle strain. He came on good recommendation from someone at my running club. I have tried other physios In the past with similar symptoms and had been told to rest and stretch for 2 weeks before running again.
Andrew assured me the best thing was to run through it despite the discomfort. He gave me a stretch to do once every hour every day, one that I hadn’t been told about before. This thinking went against what I have been told before, but I followed his advice to the letter.
To my surprise, the strain cleared up a week before for the marathon and I went on to run sub 2:45. In the autumn I came to Andrew again with different muscle strain in the run-up to the Yorkshire marathon. He gave me some physio to the muscle, stretches to do and told me to run through it. I did exactly what he said and the injury cleared up and I’ve went on to run 2:37. Without Andrew’s advice, physio and stretches I doubt these two runs would have happened.
Andrew’s approach is laid-back but thorough and he doesn’t over treat. I’ve found his advice and treatment both useful and beneficial and would recommend him to anyone.'
3: 8th May 2018
I’ve consulted Andrew about my knee for the last three months. I’d originally injured my knee in 2013 and was perhaps assessed by a junior physio who’d advised I be careful of my “banana knees” snapping. This left me feeling a lot less confident about my knee and possibly never used it the same way ever since.
However, with Andrew’s excellent/thorough examination of my knee (and also my routine and history), his guidance and physiological expertise, I’ve noticed significant improvement, not just in the pain but the knee’s overall agility.
The most important thing I take away from my physio sessions with Andrew is the confidence to push myself physically, without worrying about the “banana knees” giving up on me. For example, since consulting Andrew and doing the exercises he’s recommended, I have gone on a 25km hilly hike (without a niggle after) and about to go on another, I’m a confident box jumper, training to do a 10k in Sept and about to join a touch rugby team!
I would certainly recommend Andrew most favourably to anyone looking for a physio.
4: 7th January 2019
Having spend the last 15 years going to different physios for a chronic back condition, I can honestly say that Andrew’s approach has both reduced my pain significantly and transformed how I understand and manage my back pain. Having had a diagnosed scoliosis since my early teens, I have struggled to find a physiotherapist who understands the complexities of my S-shaped spine and the various pains it causes. I have always had relief from physio, but it has never sustained. Since seeing Andrew and adopting a new approach to managing my back, my back pain has lessened considerably, and when it does flare up, I have the tools and understanding to get myself back to fighting fit again. I couldn’t have been more thankful to have found Andrew and his refreshing approach.