"My ongoing back pain"

About: Croydon PCT

(as the patient),

I have had back pain for several years since 1999 and it has caused me a lot of misery. I have found the doctors in my old practice unhelpful and often felt brushed off with an 'oh it's nothing attitude'. I don't feel the problem with my back was ever fully investigated. One of the first times I went the doctor just asked me to bend over then said 'oh it's nothing'. Another time a different doctor kept saying to me 'you've had your five minutes' and yet a different doctor in the same practice said to me (when I'd gone in for something else then burst into tears because of the pain when I sat down) 'You don't help yourself, you don't exercise, your overweight' Without asking if I exercised and how often and without weighing me! If she had asked I would have told her that I walked 40 minutes everyday and my job is quite active.

Last year I finally got an appointment with the pain clinic. The lady gave me the impression I would be seeing her again so I gave her copies of my medical notes about my back and she referred me for x-ray. She said to give them a call after I had an appointment with the doctor to discuss the x-ray results. The x-ray said lack of disc space height in the L5 s1 area. The doctor said 'it’s normal and there is nothing we can do'. I called the pain clinic to make an appointment and the lady at the other end said 'we'll call you if we can give you an appointment'. I was flabbergasted.

Four weeks ago I wrote a letter to the pain clinic asking what I am supposed to do next, I have received no reply and it has been three months since I called the pain clinic.

I now have little faith in doctors and the NHS now as the pain has severely impacted my life and at times I have been severely depressed from it. I have just now changed practice and can only hope they treat me better though I have low expectations now.

One other thing I was grateful for was when I was referred to physio (three times for neck, upper back, low back) but think it would have been better for my back to have been fully examined at the start of the troubles and to have had physio on all three areas at the same time this I believe would have cost the NHS less money rather than concentrating on one part of my back three separate times.

It would have been nice to have had an x-ray sooner too.

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