With many potential causes of back pain, an accurate diagnosis is an important first step in getting you the help you need. Depending on your symptoms, you may initially see a Consultant Spinal Surgeon or a Consultant in Pain Management.
Seeing a doctor with experience in assessing and treating back pain can help reduce the time it takes for you to get the most effective treatment. They will then carefully monitor the results of any treatment and support you as you return to a more active lifestyle once more.
When you first meet you consultant at Bath Clinic, they will ask you about your back pain and will want to know:
- When your first noticed your back pain
- Where in your spine you experience pain
- The type of pain you have
- How your pain is affecting you and limiting you
- If you have any other symptoms that are causing you concern
- Whether you experience any weakness
- Whether you experience any bladder or bowel disturbance
- Whether you have any underlying medical conditions
- Whether the pain has been getting worse over time
During your consultation, they will normally carry out a clinical examination of your entire spine, from head to pelvis. They may also examine your hip and leg if they suspect your pain may be referred from there areas.
This examination may be all that is needed to confirm a diagnosis, but further diagnostic imaging such as X-rays and an MRI scan will often be required. An MRI scan is particularly helpful when investigating certain spinal problems, such as inflammation, compression of nerve roots by discs or bony narrowing compressing the spinal cord or spinal nerve roots.
As you would expect, the diagnostic facilities at Bath Clinic are comprehensive, with X-ray, MRI, CT and ultrasound all on-site and easily arranged for you if needed.
Once the results of your imaging are available, your consultant will meet with you again to explain the diagnosis and to discuss treatment options that are available to you.
You will probably have some questions at this point, and your consultant will be very happy to talk these through with you.