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Back Pain

Introduction to back pain

Back pain is extremely common with 80% of the population reportedly suffering from it at some point in their lives, whether with mild aches and pains or a chronic condition. Back pain is particularly common in those aged 35 to 55 but occurs in people of all ages, including children and the elderly.

Your back is one of the most important parts of your skeleton, helping you stand up, move around, bend and twist. It also protects your vital organs. So, if you are experiencing problems, it's best to visit a specialist who can diagnose what's causing the issue and help with pain management.

What causes back pain?

Most back pain is mild and temporary, often as the result of a sprain or strain. More severe back pain can be caused by a range of conditions, including:

  • Spinal stenosis Degeneration causing narrowing for the nerves
  • Sciatica The compression of your sciatic nerve
  • Stress fractures Minor breaks in your back which can lead to degeneration
  • Slipped discs When the tissue between your bones pushes itself out of place
  • Congenital disorders Back problems that have been present from birth, such as spina bifida
  • Spinal deformities Such as scoliosis, where your spine curves sideways in an 'S' or 'C' shape
  • Sports injuries Which may have caused problems with your back, such as stress fractures or ligament strains

Hospital treatment for back pain

If your back pain becomes unmanageable and doesn't go away on its own, you may be referred to a spinal surgeon. This sometimes happens if you're under the care of a physiotherapist, osteopath or chiropractor and the treatment hasn't resolved your issue.

Your therapist may also refer you to a spinal consultant if your symptoms are getting worse over a short period, the pain is severe or you're becoming less mobile.

Referrals for back pain

Referrals may be made by other specialists or your GP. Mr Blagg works closely with Dr Neal Evans, Consultant Pain Specialist. They draw on each other's knowledge and expertise for joint patients and complex cases.

Once you've been referred, you'll have an initial consultation before you start any treatment. During the consultation, Mr Blagg will take the time to understand what's causing your symptoms and talk to you about your medical history.

Scans are very useful for investigating the cause of back pain, especially in easily identifiable conditions like slipped discs. Mr Blagg will often refer you for MRI scans or X-rays if needed.

Mr Blagg's approach involves finding the most appropriate treatment for you. He seeks to understand your specific condition in detail before making a recommendation for treatment.

Many people think surgery is usually necessary for back problems, but very often, this isn't the case. Mr Blagg is a surgeon, but this does not mean he seeks to offer surgery at every opportunity. There can be pros and cons of surgery, and there are often more suitable alternative options. Mr Blagg will talk you through all the different treatments available so that you can make an informed decision. He'll always try and manage your symptoms as conservatively as possible, causing the least disruption to your body and lifestyle.

Once steps have been made to resolve any pain you're experiencing, Mr Blagg will explore how it can be prevented further through rehabilitation and post-operative care with close collaboration with your therapist.

Book an appointment or ask a question

If you think you may require specialist care for back pain or would like to learn more about the referral process, contact us to book a consultation. We'll be happy to talk to you in more detail.