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John asked...

My wife suffers from back pain.

My wife suffers from back and shoulder problems (56), she has seen her doctor, had x-rays but still he is unable to give her any help with her problems. How can I get her some independent advice?

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The answer

Firstly it is important to establish the cause for the back pain and it seems that there have been some investigations. Without further details of the symptoms and information about possible injury mechanism it is difficult to determine the cause but it is possible that the shoulder pain could be coming from a nerve root entrapment within the neck, which in turn could be related to the back problems. The neck and back are connected, so if one aspect of the spine becomes dysfunctional this can cause problems at a different level, particularly if normal posture has been lost.  

It would be helpful to have a physiotherapy assessment as it is most likely that it will be physical therapies which will be the first line of treatment for most on-going back, shoulder and neck pain. NHS physiotherapy can be arranged via your GP but if the waiting lists are more than a couple of weeks then you may wish to choose your own private physiotherapist to get an opinion and start more quickly on a treatment plan.

Answered by Dr A Wright.


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