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  • Hello, for 8 months I have had severe upper back pain (right side) which spreads to my chest and arms. I also have low back right side problems and was diagnosed with 2 slipped discs (l4 and l5) over 3 years ago. My doctors have said there is nothing they can do for my new upper back pain and perscribed me painkillers, I have had physio and they let me go and I do pilates on my own which is not helping. I went privately to an osteopath and also massage but iam still in severe pain and would like another steriod injection (had one in low back) and an mri as iam very worried and dont know what else to do. Iam becoming very down about my pain. All I know is that my spine is "very straight" and my discs are flat, could I now be having upper disc problems? Am I entitled to an mri and injection on the nhs? iam 23 female from sunny scotland, many thanks.
  • Hi, welcome to the forum. I wanted to let you know that this forum is great and the people have been so helpful and kind. I feel for you. I have had lumbar pain for yrs. and have had 3 lumbar surgeries. I began having thoracic back pain in Jan. of this yr. and also had the chest and upper abdominal pain. This was new to me and when I went to my NS who did 2 of my surgeries he immediately sent me for MRI and did have herniated disc at T7-T8 level which I had operated on May24. Im sorry you are having problems getting your NS to do any testing or injections. Maybe it is time to find a new NS. I believe I would call him and let him know that you are in severe pain and he needs to do something and if he isn't willing then go elsewhere. Please keep in touch and feel free to PM me:)

  • Thank you for replying, it is very good to hear your story and I am sorry to hear you have had such trouble with your back. When I first got back pain years ago, the doctors told me I had pulled a muscle as I am young and I hobbled around for months in agony untill I begged for an MRI which showed 2 slipped discs 3 months after I first went to the doc, so I can see this happening all over again. I cant afford to go private at the moment so I am going to go back to my doc and ask for an MRI, thank you for encouraging me - I always feel I am wasting the docs time but need to realise that my back is very important and I am doing everything I can to help it on my own - even if it means begging again!
  • mickkrmmickkr Posts: 166
    edited 08/02/2012 - 12:57 AM
    Laura, hello and welcome.
    The way the NHS works is that you keep on at your GP until he/she sends you for a referral or scan, etc. If the GP isn't showing enough interest, then change your GP. It isn't hard to do. The GP is the gatekeeper to the system. Once you are through the gate everything suddenly becomes available to you.

    Tell your GP you are prepared to travel any distance for an MRI then he/she should look around for the earliest appointment rather than just stick you on your local hospital waiting list. It's a lot better to endure an hour's train ride than wait 6 months.

    It was only when I was admitted to hospital that I discovered that emergencies are top of the list, in-patients and private (paying) patients are next and GP referrals are at the bottom. I waited 5 months and never moved up the list. Once I had been admitted as an in-patient, I had two MRI's in one day. I mentioned this to the radiographer who said " Why did you wait? You should have gone to Colchester Hospital, they've got two scanners because they are a garrison (army base) town. You would have had your scan the next day or week! They just e-mail the scans through or put them on a disc and send them." Colchester is just a 40 minute train journey from where I lived.

    I'm not young enough to know everything - Oscar Wilde
  • Hello Mick,

    Thank you for your reply. I had never thought of travelling for a scan - great idea! I have an appointment with my GP this week so I am going to be persistent persistent!

    Many thanks,

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