Back and spine conditions

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The spine is split into three different sections: the lumbar region (lower back), the thoracic region (middle of your back) and the cervical region (upper back and neck). The lumbar spine and cervical spine are very prone to muscle strains and sprains because of their weight bearing ability and their involvement in moving and bending. Strains and sprains can often cause severe inflammation and pain.

Man getting out of a chair with back pain

Some spinal conditions can affect other parts of the body which may result in acute and chronic pain. Chronic pain is a common, complex and a distressing problem that has a profound impact on individuals and society.

Over time, wear and tear in the spine can result in range of spinal conditions, such as disc degeneration and spinal claudication. This means that as we get older, we are more likely to need treatment for back pain. Likewise, those who are required to bend and lift heavy objects at work are more prone to injuring their back and, therefore, needing treatment.

We appreciate that spinal conditions can be painful and limiting, often leaving you unable to stand, sleep or complete daily tasks. Spinal pain can develop and prevent people from working, moving freely and enjoying a normal lifestyle. When pain is distressing you and your loved ones, it can be daunting trying to find the right consultant and treatment plan for you.

Harley Street Specialist Hospital specialises in non-invasive and minimally invasive treatment options to support patients looking to explore other options before considering major surgery. Our spinal experts are keen to avoid major spine surgery where possible and will explore minimally invasive options, such as specialised spinal injections, with you.

Common spinal disorders our specialist consultants treat include:

Back and neck pain

Back and neck pain is extremely common and affects huge numbers of people. Our consultant team, which includes experts in Spinal Medicine, offers a holistic approach, directing you to the most appropriate medical intervention, combined with the best physical therapy and in some cases, specialised medications for your condition. Read more about pain management options here.

Slipped disc

A slipped disc, also known as a disc prolapse or herniated disc can also be a cause of lower back or neck pain, numbness or tingling, pain when bending over or pain in the buttocks, hips or legs. The prolapse is caused by a soft cushion of tissue between the bones in your spine pushing out causing pain as it presses on nerves. A slipped disc may get better on its own with rest, exercise, and painkillers.


Sciatica is a painful condition which may cause pain and/or tingling in your bottom, the back of your leg, or your feet and toes. The pain can vary from stabbing or shooting to burning. Sciatica occurs when the sciatic nerve, which runs from your lower back to your feet, is irritated or compressed. It usually gets better in 4 to 6 weeks but can last longer. Exercise and pain killers can help.

Spinal claudication (also known as spinal canal stenosis back pain)

Spinal claudication is due to marked narrowing of the spinal canal with resulting pressure on the cauda equina (the nerves at the base of the spine). The characteristic symptoms are variable discomfort in the back and legs, brought on by exercise and/or extension movements of the hips and low back. Treatment can include physiotherapy to stretch and strengthen muscles; anti-inflammatory medication and spinal steroid injections. Surgery may only required where these non-invasive methods fail to improve the problem.

Cervical myelopathy

Cervical myelopathy is a common spinal cord disorder. It results from degenerative changes in the spinal column which reduce the space for the spinal cord and thus cause compression and hence a spinal cord injury. Treatment may include non-surgical options such as physiotherapy and a cervical collar brace. Surgery may however be necessary to eliminate the compression of the spinal cord and prevent worsening of the condition.

Why choose Harley Street Specialist Hospital?

At Harley Street Specialist Hospital, you can expect:

  • Our team of expert orthopaedic spinal surgeons and neurosurgeons to offer rapid assessment and the latest treatments in comfortable central London surroundings, as well as video consultations from the comfort of your own home.
  • Holistic care where you are an equal partner in the creation of your individualised treatment plan.
  • State of the art diagnostic imaging – you don’t need to go elsewhere as we have in house X-ray, ultrasound and image intensifiers.
  • Day-case and outpatient investigations and surgical procedures in a modern clinical setting.
  • No waiting lists and your treatment can take place at a convenient time for you.

We welcome patients with private medical insurance or those wishing to pay for their own treatment.

Our back and spine consultants