Howard Beardmore DO Osteopath

Three Mile Cross Aborfield Reading Berkshire RG7 1HD        

0118 9885293

Howard has a wealth of knowledge as a traditional osteopathic practitioner.  He was able to link together my symptoms of an overactive bladder with my posture and previous history of back trouble.  Whilst Howard gives hands on treatment to work on my mechanics, he also took a holistic approach by helping me to evaluate my diet and by suggesting reading to help with my anxiety.  To me this has reduced my symptoms far more successfully than the pharmaceutical approach managed to.  I'd recommend Howard's approach to anyone wanting a different perspective on managing their condition. B Phd.

I always look at the  widest context  possible when assessing any patient looking for a solution. It is not always enough to look at the 5th domino that has knocked over the 6th.  A rounded solution puts the patient back in control, a key to resolving fear is to understand what is happening and deal with that.  In this case too much emphasis was previously put on trying to 'treat' the bladder, whilst totally ignoring what was causing it!  It would be impossible to do any kind of 'trial' on a case like this because every patient has a different pathway to their problem . No patient 'fits' a model protocol for a treatment plan, each patient is its own control.



There is currently an obsession with Randomised Controlled Trials being the only evidence available for real proof that a 'treatment works'. This may be fine with pharmaceutical interventions that are trying to find 'active ingredients ,  but it is difficult to apply this approach to evidence when we want to take a more symbiotic view of the problem.

Take the parachute, there are no RCT trials to show it works and there is even a paper published to that effect! No one knows in the parachute what the 'active ingredient is',  perhaps it is the floppy bit at the top or maybe it's the strings. We could look at it another way - it's a symbiosis - that is many parts working together. The problem with RCT trials is they are designed to test one change so cannot be used to test much else but pharmaceuticals. At the end of the day the public and patients are demanding approaches that are logical and that more importantly 'work'.

It is no mystery for a women with 'menstrual pain' to get back pain during the episode, nor someone with a heart attack pending to get pain in the left arm and neck either.  Most women know that when the period has finished the pain usually goes,  do we need a trial to prove that?

I don't offer alternative treatment techniques for a medical diagnosis because that is no different to what is on offer already. There is no point in putting 'herbal anti-fungals' on a fungal infection, we want to know why fungus is growing there. In your house, if you came across mushrooms growing in your lounge, would you spray them with fungicide and carry on?  Most people would start looking for the water leak and fix that.

An osteopathic  journey

I first met Howard in 2002 right after the Barcelona women's rugby world cup . Although France had won the bronze, I had mixed feelings about my future in rugby;   my knee was in bad shape.  Before and during the world cup,  I had tried various treatments, (ie ultrasound and anti inflammatory medication),  to no lasting effect.

The pain was always to the point that I could hardly run.  Before falling into despair I decided to pay a visit to an osteopath that one of my colleagues had warmly recommended.  My first visit with Howard was excellent, albeit somewhat baffling.  In effect over the first 45 minutes that we spent together  during my first visit  (talking about eating habits, posture etc.)   Howard did not look at my knee once.

Myself coming from an orthodox specialist background,   this approach made me slightly sceptical.  (How could the inflammation go away without 'in-situ' treatment?  As results showed a few weeks later,  Howard's approach to focus on the pain cause rather than the symptom was a very effective one.  For months (and years )  following  the treatment,  I was not only able to play rugby again  (and by the way win the London Premiership with the Wasps)  but virtually forget about my knee.  Alexia M

Another case of 'context' causing the problem.   In a sense you could say there was never anything wrong with the knee,   it was responding totally normally to a small twist in the pelvis.  This was obvious on a standing examination,  pretending to examine the knee to make the patient feel better was not an option!   It is  really strange that some medical insurance companies now will only 'permit' one to be an elbow or knee 'specialist' but will not allow you to treat a pelvis to resolve the knee?  Always check that your medical insurance covers,  'logical approaches'  to problem solving before you sign up.   A lot of chronic patients that I see have had 'itsy bitsy' treatment in isolation and this has often made the problem far worse.

Most  'knee problems' that I have seen - are not knees.  Even though they may present with the same pain syndromes,  often the causes are all different.  

Advice to 'rest the offending knee' whilst we treated the problem led to a personal best

My training for the London marathon 2015 was interrupted by a hip and 'glute' problem, followed by a calf problem. All of them were in the right leg. They developed to the extent that I really couldn't run a long distance. A physio recommended I see Howard. He took a holisitic view of my issues and tackled run recovery, nutrition, rest and the balance of my body. We had some interesting conversations over whether I could continue to run or whether I should rest! One of Howard's mantras that stayed in my head was 'the best thing we can do for your marathon is get your leg better,' implying that if I really wanted a decent performance I needed to allow the body to heal.

After three sessions with Howard and some rest,  my calf problem was sorted and the hip/glute issues were significantly improving. I recommenced my training and was certainly on a better footing. The imminent arrival of the marathon meant I wasn't as gradual coming back as I could have been and so didn't totally allow the 'glute/hip' to heal. But Howard's input gave me enough tools to manage my training, improve nutrition and take more rest with the result that I ran a personal best in the marathon by more than 5 mins.

Now I can continue enacting his recommendations without the pressure of the marathon and hopefully see the issue totally clear up.

Often it is important to 'come into the pits for a rebuild' when a patient is heavily into sports and training.  At first the idea of stopping training,  especially with professional sports players,  they can become a bit anxious at the idea.  I often explain that you cannot put a new piston in a car without taking the engine out,  training with a 'wonky chassis' will not make you a winner.  Over the years I have seen many sports players,  swimmers,  runners,  jumpers and the like.  All of them who have taken the advice to stop until we have solved the problem have returned to the field and achieved personal bests.  When the trainers have asked what they have done - the reply was 'nothing'!!

Distance is no object - apparently!

Whenever we book our flights to the UK, from our home in Brisbane Australia, the very next thing we do is book our appointments with Howard.   

Over the years Howard has fixed a wrist problem, that I'd been told would need surgery. A neck problem that I was told would lead to paralysis of my arm and a long standing reflux problem.   

Even when there's nothing wrong, a tune up from Howard leaves you feeling like you're walking on air. In fact one session with Howard knocked fifteen years off my Wii age!   

Daniel & Nicky Peaper 
Brisbane, Australia

Sometimes the 'simple approach'  is the best way forward.  Far too much 'specific diagnosis' can lead to an inappropriately complicated intervention.  If the patient's posture is in trouble,  surely it makes sense to address that before launching into surgery?  Over the years, experience has taught me that seeing the patient's issues as part of a whole,  rather than as isolated events,  has solved some quite complex problems.


If Gok Wan says that 'it's all about the confidence' then a proper osteopathic diagnosis is all about the context.  If you would like a contextral view on your problem call the number below for a no obligation chat about it.