Back Pain Management - Diagnosis & Treatment

Back pain is an incredibly common issue, affecting millions of people worldwide. It can arise from various causes, ranging from muscle strain to disc problems. The good news is that back pain often resolves on its own with a little time and self-care. However, for persistent or severe pain, seeking professional help is crucial.

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Back Pain Diagnosis

When it comes to back pain, pinpointing the exact cause is a crucial step in finding the right treatment. Doctors employ a range of diagnostic tools to uncover the root of your back pain.

Medical & Family History

The diagnosis process begins with a detailed conversation about your medical and family history. Your doctor will investigate various aspects, asking questions like:

  • Can you describe your pain?

  • Where exactly do you feel the pain?

  • When did the pain start, and how long has it persisted?

  • How intense is the pain, and what activities worsen or alleviate it?

  • Is there a history of arthritis or back pain in your family?

To get a clearer picture of the impact on your life, your doctor might also ask you to rate your pain on a scale of 1 to 10 and discuss your ability to perform daily activities.


Physical Examination

A physical exam is a vital part of the diagnostic process. It may involve:

  • Spine and Posture Examination:

Your doctor will inspect your spine and posture for any structural changes.

  • Movement Analysis:

You might be asked to bend or lift your legs to see how movement influences your pain.

  • Neurological Tests:

These include checking your reflexes, muscle strength, and sensation.


Imaging & Blood Tests

While only sometimes necessary, additional tests can be helpful in some cases.

  • X-rays:

These are used to detect bone fractures, ageing changes, or spinal alignment issues.

  • MRI Scans:

Employing a powerful magnet, MRI scans provide detailed images of soft tissues, including discs, ligaments, and nerve roots.

  • CAT Scans:

These scans offer three-dimensional views of your back, which can help diagnose spinal canal and surrounding tissue problems.

  • Electrophysiological Tests:

Tests like electromyography (EMG) measure muscle electrical activity, helping to identify muscle and nerve issues.

  • Bone Scans:

Using radioactive materials, bone scans reveal details in the spine, such as fractures and infections.

  • Blood Tests:

These can uncover causes of back pain like inflammatory or medical disorders.


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Back Pain Treatment

Effectively managing back pain involves a diverse range of treatment options tailored to your condition.


Medications can offer relief and reduce inflammation. Examples include:

  • Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers: 

These are available in oral or topical forms.

  • Anti-Inflammatory Drugs:

These oral medications target inflammation and pain.

  • Muscle Relaxants: 

These are useful for chronic back pain due to muscle tension.

  • Injections:

Anti-inflammatory or numbing injections are effective for pain caused by nerve compression, often evident in leg pain.

  • Prescription Pain Relievers: 

These are for cases of severe acute back pain.


Non-Medicinal Treatments

In addition to medications, other strategies may play a crucial role:

  • Cold and Hot Packs:

Cold packs relieve pain, and hot packs promote muscle and tissue healing.

  • Activity Modification:

Rather than complete bed rest, you can modify activities to avoid pain triggers and gradually increase physical activity.

  • Physical Therapy:

Exercises for back pain can strengthen back-supporting muscles, improving mobility and posture.

  • Lifestyle Changes:

Incorporating healthy habits like proper body mechanics, regular exercise, relaxation, consistent sleep patterns, a nutritious diet, and smoking cessation can also help.

  • Complementary and Alternative Treatments:

These include spinal manipulation, TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation), and acupuncture.


Surgical Treatments

Surgery is considered when other treatments don't provide relief. Options might include:

  • Laminectomy:

This addresses spinal stenosis by removing bony spurs and parts of vertebrae.

  • Discectomy and Microdiscectomy:

This procedure involves removing part of a herniated disc. Microdiscectomy uses a smaller incision.

  • Spinal Fusion:

This fuses vertebrae to treat degenerative disc disease and spondylolisthesis.

  • Disc Replacement Surgery:

This involves replacing a damaged disc with a synthetic one.

  • Laser Surgery:

This works to reduce disc size to relieve nerve pressure.


Start Your Consultation

From Home or Face to Face, all at your convenience 

Schedule a Video Consultation or a Face-to-Face appointment at your convenience by using our online booking system.


Schedule a Video Consultation or a Face-to-Face appointment at your convenience by using our online booking system.

Your dedicated Specialist Doctor will provide you with personalized treatment, tailoring it to your specific needs, and may include necessary medication.

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Take the First Step Towards Relief

Dealing with a herniated disc can be challenging, but remember, you're not in this alone. Our London clinic is ready to offer you the expert care and support you need.

By scheduling an appointment with us, you're taking a meaningful step towards managing your symptoms and improving your quality of life.

Our team is dedicated to providing you with a personalised treatment approach. Let us be your partner in navigating this path to recovery. Contact us today.


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