The lumbar area of the spine is situated behind the stomach and stretches to the pelvis.
Anyone can suffer from lumbar spine pain or lower back pain, but it typically starts in your early 20’s and lasts throughout adulthood. It can be brought on by muscular problems, injury, overuse and arthritis.
People whose job involves heavy lifting or prolonged periods of sitting are prone to suffer from lumbar spine pain.
Symptoms can range from a dull ache through to sharp shooting or stabbing pains.
Our renowned medical team provides a range of treatments, from the traditional to the innovative:
This is an effective and well-researched procedure that’s a potential alternative to surgery. It takes advantage of the blood’s natural healing properties to reduce pain and improve joint function. It uses a specially concentrated dosage of platelets prepared from your own blood to repair damaged cartilage, tendons, ligaments, muscle and bone. Depending on the root of the back pain, PRP can be injected into the discs (intradiscal), facet joints and paraspinal muscle. Patients usually see their symptoms improve within six weeks of having the injections. Read more clinical evidence supporting PRP here.
In a recent study, 91% of patients with chronic low back pain reported a significant reduction in pain, six months after PRGF treatment. This treatment involves applying plasma rich in growth factors (PRGF- Endoret) using intradiscal injections to repair tissue in the low back.
A pioneering new treatment using your body’s own stem cells from a combination of Lipogems® and Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy to treat pain and inflammation. It harnesses natural repair cells removed from your body fat to target problems affecting discs, joints, tendons, ligaments and muscles.
The procedure takes around an hour and early results suggest an improvement for 75% of suitable patients. The minimally invasive procedure is a possible alternative to having an operation or can be used after surgery to help healing.
Also called facet or nerve root blocks, they are recommended if you’ve not had much success with the first-step approaches of painkillers, rest, stretching and physiotherapy.
You’ll be given a mild sedative and be asked to lie face down. Using fluoroscopic (X-ray) for guidance, the doctor will find the best path for the thin needle. They will then insert the needle into the centre of each disc that needs treating.
It’s a quick procedure and you’ll up and moving around 30 – 40 minutes after the procedure and back to full mobility after one week.
Lower back pain or lumbar spine pain has several causes including:
• Muscle strain from heavy lifting or strenuous exercise
• Sciatica – when a disc that sits between the spine bones (vertebrae) wears down and the soft inner centre pushes through and presses on the sciatic nerve
• Twisting of the spine
• Sitting for long periods
• Carrying heavy bags, particularly backpacks
• Overuse – persistent movement of the lumbar part of the spine, either through work or playing a sport
• Poor posture, particularly slouching
• Herniated disc – a weakened disc can bulge and put pressure on the spinal nerves
• Being overweight as this puts additional pressure on the spine
• Spinal stenosis – a narrowing of the space around the spinal cord
• Spondylitis – inflammation of the spinal joints
Arthritis is the inflammation of one or more of your joints. People typically tend to suffer from osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.
Osteoarthritis is more common and is caused by the cartilage wearing away.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease that causes the joint lining to swell and leads to pain and stiffness in the joint.
Symptoms you’ll experience with lumbar spine pain will vary depending on the cause, but they typically include:
• Pain in the lower back that ranges from a dull, aching pain to a sharp, shooting or stabbing pain
• Muscle spasms
• Pain and discomfort in the hips and pelvis, which tends to be worse after sitting for a long time
• Limited range of movements
• Pain which eases after changing position
If you are experiencing lower back pain, a doctor will examine you applying pressure to different areas to see where it hurts. In some cases, the doctor may refer you to have an:
• Spinal X-ray – to see if there any other bone problems which could be causing the pain
• MRI – using a magnetic field and radio waves a detailed image of the affected is created which can reveal subtle changes in the soft tissue and bones
• CT scans – which uses radiation to create detailed images of the body
Treatment for lumbar spine pain aims to relieve symptoms and improve the function of the neck and spine.
Initial treatment may include medications such as analgesics which help reduce the pain, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs – NSAIDS – which reduce the pain and inflammation and steroid injections which reduce inflammation and provide short-term relief.
Wearing a back brace may also help relieve pain and discomfort and improve mobility. Your doctor may also refer you to see a physiotherapist who will show you a range of exercises that can help reduce pain and increase your flexibility.
Our expert team specialises in treating degenerative disc disease using advanced non-surgical techniques including stem cell therapy, AMPP® Activated Mesenchymal Pericyte Plasma (using Lipogems® technology) and Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy.
Surgery is rarely needed for lumbar spine pain, but if your symptoms don’t improve using non-surgical options, surgery may be recommended.
The type of surgery needed will depend on what is causing the lumbar spine pain. Your surgeon may decide that a microdiscectomy is needed to relieve pain that is being caused by nerve root irritation.
A microdiscectomy involves making a small incision in the lower back and removing part of the herniated disc which is causing the pain.
For the treatment of spinal stenosis (narrowing of the space around the spinal cord), a lumbar laminectomy is usually recommended. This procedure involves removing segments of the vertebrae (spine bones) to alleviate pressure on the spinal cord.
Our experienced consultants will undertake a thorough examination exploring non-surgical and surgical treatments. They’ll also discuss your suitability for our state-of-the-art biological therapies.
Your consultation will be with one of our spine specialists, Mr. Shahid Khan, Prof. Arun Ranganathan or Dr. Stefano Palmisini and will last approximately 30 minutes. On the day, or the day before you will be asked to attend for an MRI scan.
As well as undertaking an examination, our specialists will take details of your medical history and discuss your symptoms. They will also detail all your treatment options and cover their potential benefits and risks.
Our expert team comprises of highly experienced surgeons, sports medicine doctors and physiotherapists who are committed to delivering a high level of care and the correct treatment option so you can quickly get back to moving around.
The first step is to book a consultation for a thorough assessment. Click here to make an appointment.
Autologous translates as ‘from the same person.’ In brief, it involves using your own cells to encourage healing. The major benefits are that there is no chance of rejection, infection or contamination as you are using cells from your own body rather than a donor.
We offer a range of therapies based on this principle which can be considered if traditional treatments including surgery aren’t relieving your pain.
Biological treatments are pioneering procedures and we’re continuously monitoring and recording its effectiveness. Patients undertaking these treatments are asked to complete pre-operative and post-operative questionnaires.
The information obtained from these questionnaires allows us to monitor your progress and it also contributes to our evidence-based database and other global studies on biological treatments. All information gathered is anonymised.
Intradiscal and intra-articular facet infiltrations with ‘Endoret’ plasma rich in growth factors reduce pain in patients with chronic low back pain. Read full paper.