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Lower back pain

If your lower back pain isn't going away, our spinal, neurology and orthopaedic surgeons can help


Low back pain (LBP) is a very common symptom that affects all age groups from the young to the elderly. It is one of the leading causes of disability. In most people with LBP a specific cause may never be found whilst in a minority there will be actual pathology which causes symptoms. Most cases of LBP resolve without active treatment but recurrence is common. In a minority the pain can become persistent and disabling. When this happens you can seek help from your doctor.

Need to know

  • Who is at risk of developing LBP? icon plus

    There are certain groups of people who are more likely to complain of LBP compared to others. Individuals working in physically demanding jobs, or who may have physical or mental health conditions, smokers and those with a high body mass.

    The cause of back pain can be multi-factorial and is therefore challenging to treat in a lot of cases. There are different ways of managing your back symptoms and you would need to discuss the best option available to you with your doctor.
  • Symptoms of lower back pain icon plus

    Lower back pain is a symptom which is representative of an underlying cause which may or may not be known. The pain typically occurs between the lower rib margins and the top of the buttocks. It can be associated with pain in one or both legs. Patients often complain of stiffness in the back as well. Some patients also have sensations of numbness, tingling and weakness in the legs.
  • Screening and diagnosis icon plus

    There are serious causes of LBP (Infection, cancer, inflammation and fractures) that require early identification and specific treatment but in most cases less invasive treatments will suffice.
    Your consultant will take your medical history and discuss your symptoms with you. This will help them to make a diagnosis and advise you on your next steps.
  • Potential treatment options icon plus

    Treatment of LBP depends on the cause. In most cases self-management in the form of exercise and simple analgesia for pain control is all that is required. Manual therapies including physiothherapy may help if the symptoms do not settle within a few weeks. When pain has been present for a long time psychological therapies may help as well. Doctors who specialise in pain management can play an important role in controlling pain. There are other specialised treatments including injections that may be available. Surgery may also be offered where the indications are appropriate. Each case is assessed individually and your consultant will discuss your treatment options with you. 

    If you require surgery, your treatment options might include: - A discectomy, where part of a slipped disc irritating the nerve is removed - A laminectomy, where the lamina (part of your vertebra) is removed to relieve pressure on the nerves - A foraminotomy, a treatment which enlarges the spinal nerve passageway to stop the nerves from being pinched - A spinal fusion, which removes damaged cartilage disk or the lamina and fuses the spine back together - A disc replacement, where a damaged disc is replaced with a synthetic implant - A vertebroplasty, a treatment which involves injecting liquid bone cement into the vertebra to reinforce crumbling bone.
Consultant in theatres

Our consultants

We're proud to work with leading experts across a range of medical fields, whose skills are matched by their integrity and compassion.

Our facilities

From complex surgery to straightforward procedures, we provide exceptional care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

  • The Wellington Hospital

    The Wellington Hospital

    Wellington Place

    London NW8 9LE

    Appointments 020 7483 5148
    Enquiries 020 7586 5959

  • London Bridge Hospital

    London Bridge Hospital

    27 Tooley Street


    SE1 2PR

    Appointments & Enquiries 020 7234 2009
    Imaging Appointments 020 7234 2773

  • The Lister Hospital Facility

    The Lister Hospital

    Chelsea Bridge Road


    SW1W 8RH

    Appointments 020 7730 8298

  • The Princess Grace Hospital Entrance

    The Princess Grace Hospital

    42-52 Nottingham Place

    London W1U 5NY

    Appointments 020 7908 8001
    Enquiries 020 7486 1234

  • The Portland Hospital

    The Portland Hospital

    205 - 209 Great Portland Street


    W1W 5AH

    Children's enquiries 020 7390 8020
    Maternity enquiries 020 7390 6068
    Gynaecology enquiries 020 7390 6200

  • facility-HSC-flag-hero-582x582

    The Harley Street Clinic

    35 Weymouth Street


    W1G 8BJ

    Appointments 020 7034 8181
    Enquiries 020 7935 7700

  • The Wilmslow Hospital Facility

    HCA UK at The Wilmslow Hospital

    52-54 Alderley Road


    SK9 1NY

    Call 01625 545 036

  • London Bridge Hospital Facility

    HCA UK at The Shard

    The Shard, 32 St Thomas Street


    SE1 9BS

    Call 020 3131 6888

  • London-bridge-31-old-broad-street

    31 Old Broad Street

    31 Old Broad Street


    EC2N 1HT

    Call 020 7496 3522
    Opening times 8am - 4pm, we will also be offering evening consultations available days are subject to change

Request an appointment

We're happy to help you make an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.

020 7079 4344
This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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