Back pain is one of the commonest causes of time off work and of consultations with General Practitioners. In particular patients with lower back pain, caused by abnormalities in the lumbar spine, are seen regularly in our clinics. While most back pain is manageable and not serious, there are sometimes rare complications, for example cauda equina syndrome which can cause irreversible damage to nerve fibres. We have also seen a few cases of the rare condition discitis which is caused by inflammation or infection of intervertebral discs. Sciatica, where there is pressure on the long sciatic nerve, may cause pain radiating from the lumbar spine to the foot, usually unilaterally.
It is important to take a detailed medical history including looking for red flags indicating possible complications, and to perform a clinical examination looking for evidence of nerve damage. We have open access to MRI scanning on a walk-in basis and these scans are invaluable in being able to view the structures in the spine with a high degree of accuracy, enabling us to treat and refer the patient as necessary. Samedaydoctor Private walk in GP clinics are open up to 7 days per week and appointments can be made by phone or email or patients can walk in during our opening hours.