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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    I have back pain - which specialist should I see?

    I fell off the first rung of a ladder and landed on my backside. Minutes later I had excruciating spasms in my lower back. After a lot of morphine, things seemed to settle. I had a CT scan which showed disc bulges at or around L3 L4 which may have been impinging on nerves. I went back to work and two weeks later I twisted awkwardly trying to grab my seat belt. I felt something pop in my lower back. Pain set in over a short period of time and now goes into spasm if I sit or stand or lay still for more than 5 minutes and my lower back feels badly bruised and extremely painful to touch. I was seeing a physio but he has suggested I see a specialist as when he touches certain areas on my lower back, my legs twitch and he is concerned of nerve damage. I am able to walk distances reasonably well and I am able to drive which seems to sooth my back but being stationary causes me serious issues. Sleep quality is bad at the moment due to waking with spasms. What type of specialist should I be seeing?
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  • 2


    Dr Frank Thomas

    Pain Medicine Specialist

    Dr Thomas studied medicine at the University of Otago in New Zealand, graduating with distinction in 1992. He subsequently trained in anaesthesia and pain medicine, … View Profile

    I suggest you see a local pain specialist (specialist pain medicine physician). You should expect to be assessed, investigated, diagnosed and then directed to the most appropriate therapy, be that further physical therapy, procedural therapy, psychological therapy, pharmacological therapy (usually time-limited), mutidisciplinary management (ie incorporating all of the former) or surgical intervention (unlikely given your description above).

    Good luck

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