When should you see the team?

Your physiotherapist may have referred you to the Spinal Service for many reasons, which may include:

  • Your pain has been present for longer than the normal expected timeframe.
  • Your pain is very severe and stopping you from being able to sleep or perform your normal daily functions, including work or caring for someone else.
  • You require an opinion as to whether Orthopaedic treatment may be able to help your recovery.

Most patients seen in Spinal Clinic are referred because they have spinal related buttock and leg pain (sciatica) or neck related arm pain (brachialgia), which is not improving as expected.

Approximately 70-80% of patients with sciatica and brachialgia tend to get better within 4 months spontaneously. This is due to natural healing and can be aided with the help of physiotherapy and medication.

Nerve root pain is the name for irritation of a nerve root as it exits the spine. This can cause symptoms of pain, numbness or weakness in your limbs. Although it can be very painful, it will normally subside on its own.

We will ask you questions about your symptoms to help aid diagnosis. It is very helpful to take note of how far down the limb your symptoms go, as well as the areas of the limb you feel symptoms in.


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