"Waiting to be referred for lower back pain"

About: Lanarkshire Community Services / Physiotherapy

(as the patient),

I have just been to the physio for the 4th time. I explained that I had been to my GP and the hospital and was told I had a slipped disc and would need referal to a back specialist for a scan and op.

I had already taken my pain killers so the pain was less and was told my symptoms did not require a referal. I am in extreme pain in the mornings and explained this but was told to do exercises which I have been doing for 6 months now to no avail. I was also told by a chiropractor 6 months ago that I needed a scan.

Why is it a GP cannot refer me as this would have been sorted months ago? I now need to wait 3 weeks to see a senior phsiotherapist

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Response from Janie Thomson, Head of Profession, Physiotherapy Services, NHS Lanarkshire

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Dear superwell

I am really sorry to hear that you are struggling with your back pain despite sticking to your physiotherapy regime.

In NHS Lanarkshire we have evidence based protocols for the treatment of low back pain with escalation processes to clinical specialists who can request investigations should they be necessary.

Obviously each case is different and I am sure that Ruth Currie, the physiotherapy manager for musculoskeletal services, would be happy to talk with you on the phone to look into your experience to date. ( 01698723246)

Best Wishes

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Response from Ruth Currie, Musculoskeletal Manager, Physiotherapy Services, NHS Lanarkshire

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Dear superwell,

Thanks for getting in touch. I appreciate that living with a long term condition and having to manage pain can be difficult and stressful. I hope that the clinical specialist physiotherapist was able to help you. It is really important to follow the exercise programme agreed with your physiotherapist when managing a long term condition and I wish you well with your ongoing rehabilitation.

Best wishes,


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