Lots of us experience back pain – it is common among people of all ages, and when we consider the hard work our spines do it is also unsurprising. Our backs are made up of an intricate network of 26 muscles, 149 joints and a myriad of ligaments and tendons. Any combination of these can become strained and inflamed from improper posture, heavy lifting and over-use causing short-term or acute, or long-term, chronic, back pain.
There as many types of back pain as there are causes but typically when we talk about back pain we will usually refer to pain in three main areas: the upper, middle and the lower regions. The most common type of back pain is lower back pain. The lower back, also known as the lumbar spine, can sometimes be strained due to the task of supporting the upper body.
Common symptoms of back pain include the following:
Discomfort and stiffness along the spine area
Pain in the leg and hips
General body numbness
Pins and needles
Our Assessment Process
The first step would be to find out whether a patient has suffered an injury to the back, including the joints, ligaments, and or discs as a result of some type of trauma. Our specialists will therefore ask about any recent incident such as an accident, fall or strain that may have triggered your symptoms. We’ll be interested in your lifestyle too – whether it is sedentary, so you sit a lot or perhaps spend many hours using a keyboard. We will be interested in the type of pain you are experiencing, and where the pain is felt, so will carry out a full physical examination of your spine. Certain tests, using CT, MRI or x-ray scanning, will help our specialist doctors reach a diagnosis quickly.
Most back pain, like a muscle or tendon problem, tend to heal over time. The healing process can be speeded up with the use of aids like hot or cold pressure, pain relief and exercise. More serious problems, like infections or injuries, may need additional intervention to reduce inflammation and/or to correct a disc that has slipped out of place.
With back pain, there are certain ‘red flags’ that need to be acted upon quickly and our specialists will be on the look-out for these too. These include fever and chills, difficulty or loss of control during bowel movement, severe trauma, or unexplained weight loss. People who are under 20 or over 55 years of age, experiencing pain that is constant and getting worse, on steroids or who are cancer patients, cancer survivors or HIV positive should have any pain in the spine investigated immediately. In these instances, pain can be a sign of some other underlying cause other than mechanical.
Our spine unit specialises in difficult-to-diagnose conditions and those that have failed previous treatment. Our aim is to reduce inflammation, repair damage, reinforce stability and strengthen spinal structures so that the body can heal naturally and without the need of major spinal surgery. In terms of treatment, our aim is to offer a holistic, patient experience and so we will look first at:
Physical therapy and rehab
Surgical procedure, as a last resort
At The London Spine Unit, we have an excellent and world-renown reputation for providing quick, effective and highly specialised care with great outcomes for people with back problems. We take time to understand your history, lifestyle and goals so that we can work with you to find the best solution. Our aim is always to provide treatment that works without being disruptive to your daily life.
Specialist in Minimally Invasive Spinal Surgery and Medical Director of The Spine Unit
Specialist in Spinal Surgery and previously worked as a consultant in Norway
The London Spine Unit was established in 2005 and has successfully treated over 5000 patients. All conditions are treated.
The London Spine Unit specialises in Minimally Invasive Treatments allowing rapid recovery and return to normal function
The London Spine Unit provides the highest quality care to all patients and has VIP services for those seeking exceptional services
If you have any emergency Doctor’s need, simply call our 24 hour emergency