If you have recently suffered a severe pain in your arms or your legs accompanied by an acute episode of back pain, then often this is due to a suspected slipped disc or prolapse. If you have had ongoing symptoms of pins and needles going down your arms or your legs and disturbing a sleep and your quality of life, then this another feature of disc prolapse.
We often see a number of patients who have started to have symptoms due to a slipped disc and by the time they come to us, it has been years down the line. If they had come earlier, we might have been able to come up with a set of strategies that would have given them a good quality of pain relief and recovery and restoring the quality of life.
What is a pain consultant going to do different?
Pain due to slipped disc in most cases does not need surgery. It can be managed well with the care of your GP and quality physiotherapy. Occasionally if the symptoms are more severe than it is important in some cases of a slipped disc or a prolapsed disc to get an intervention such as a nerve block quicker and earlier so that you can prevent muscle spasm from persisting.
The pain consultant makes a difference because they have the ability and the skills to recognize when a injection based treatment needs to be introduced and stronger painkillers may need to be added at the right time to get a successful outcome.
What are the treatment options then that are existing for slipped discs?
Surgery is very rarely required. Emergency or urgent MRI scans can be done and based on that you may be suitable for a nerve block combined with a very aggressive physiotherapy can result in excellent outcomes and good functional recovery.
These can be put in place by the pain consultant because all of us work with a good team consisting of physiotherapists and other complementary therapists to create a more bespoke approach and use a multidisciplinary strategy to improve outcomes and faster recovery and quality of life.