Back Pain – should you see your doctor first?

ChiropracticNick1200BBy Nick Loftus, Chiropractor

Our clinic’s new patient survey has revealed that 38% of new patients visit their doctor first when suffering from back pain.

Obviously, it’s a natural choice to see your doctor first when you find yourself in pain. With most health issues, this is the most sensible choice.

However the vast majority of back pain is benign and mechanical in nature.

Generally your doctor will give you pain killers and refer you for physiotherapy.  An NHS referral may not come through for several weeks however, and if you are in a lot of pain you may wish to get to the root of your problem sooner.

Is there any risk in not seeing your doctor first?

Most GPs don’t have a lot of training regarding back pain and are often glad when someone else can reduce their workload by seeing patients suffering with it.

Chiropractors are trained to recognise when the back pain they are presented with is pathological in nature (they may take x-rays to help establish an accurate diagnosis) and will then refer you back to your GP if they feel conservative care is not the answer.


Of course a lot of people go to their GP first because they aren’t even aware of the existence of chiropractors.  As a chiropractor, if you do come to see us first, then we routinely write a summary letter to your GP so they are kept informed and up to date with your progress.

Chiropractic is not available on the NHS, but is covered by most medical insurers.

How many treatments you may need is subjective. This will be clearly explained to you at your first appointment once we have got to  the cause of your problem –  how many chiropractic treatments should you need.

The main thing is you realise you have choices and we are here to help. Even if  it just means ringing the clinic to speak to one of our practitioners for some reassurance and advice. A 10 minute telephone consultation is free.

To call the clinic telephone 020 8943 2424

Nick Loftus, Chiropractor Waldegrave Clinic

Nick Loftus, Chiropractor Waldegrave Clinic

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