I still have pain, what next ?

Doctors will always try to make an accurate diagnosis and will treat pain as best they can.

Sometimes and particularly when dealing with back pain, it is not possible to be certain where an individuals pain is coming from.

Tests, such as mri scans, are very good at ruling out serious illness but not so good at telling us what hurts.

Thus, there will be a percentage of patients for whom we do not have  satisfactory diagnosis.

Those patients are often told that they have a non specific back pain.

Usually such patients can be helped, to an extent, by painkillers and lifestyle changes, but not always.

If all appropriate treatments have been tried and have failed then we do sometimes reach an impasse.

If I cannot help a patient and yet they feel that there must be a solution to their problem, I will explain that they are at liberty to ask their GP to arrange a second opinion.

Sometimes, but not always, a fresh pair of eyes will see a problem in a different light and will suggest alternative treatment.

But, to be clear, sadly it is not the case that all patients with spinal pain can be successfully treated so that their pain goes away completely.