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Back pain: not all patients are getting the proper care
- Clinical Negligence
Patients with lower back pain are not always offered the correct treatment, according to experts.
They say medical professionals shouldn't be offering ineffective and potentially harmful treatments to patients as most back pain is managed by keeping active.
Experts believe surgery, injections and strong drugs are generally overkill with little evidence that they actually help relieve the pain.
Although patients will sometimes require a scan, these experts believe they are often deemed unnecessary as they are likely to be inconclusive.
Back pain is very common in adults and most will experience it at some point with usually short-lasting symptoms.
Experts recommend health staff shouldn't treat back pain with equipment such as belts or foot supports, acupuncture or electrotherapy.
Hannah Bottomley, clinical negligence solicitor at Potter Rees Dolan, said:
I was very interested to read this study as one of our specialties here at Potter Rees Dolan is acting on behalf of patients who have suffered a permanent spinal injury due to clinical negligence.
I think this article has really hit the nail on the head that with back pain there is no 'one size fits all'. It is undoubtedly true that in the majority of cases, back pain is not as a result of anything serious and therefore changes to lifestyle and physiotherapy can have a positive effect. However, in some instances, back pain can be as a result of a more serious condition and surgery should not be dismissed out of hand.
As Prof Helen Stokes-Lampard, chair of the Royal College of GPs, commented in this article there may be cases of back pain with more serious cases and changes to lifestyle will have a limited effect.
I therefore welcome the discussion on back pain, causes and appropriate treatment but hope that GPs and treating doctors don’t adopt a standard approach to all patients presenting with back pain but look at the individual and their circumstances to ensure serious conditions are not missed and that patients are able to access the treatment that is right for them.
Hannah Bottomley is a clinical negligence solicitor here at Potter Rees Dolan. Should you have any queries about clinical negligence issues or indeed any other aspect of this article and wish to speak to Hannah or any other member of the team please contact us on 0161 237 5888 or email Hannah directly.