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Tuesday 21:00-21:30
Repeat Wednesday 16:30
Dr Mark Porter gives listeners the low-down on what the medical profession does and doesn't know. Each week an expert in the studio tackles a particular topic and there are reports from around the UK on the health of the nation - and the NHS.
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LISTEN AGAINListen 30 min
Listen to 24 January
PRESENTER
DR MARK PORTER
Dr Mark Porter
PROGRAMME DETAILS
Tuesday 24 January 2006
Painful lower backache

Full programme transcript >>

Back Pain
Four in five adults will experience back pain. Yet, because the back is so complex, every sufferer needs individual treatment options. Dr Mark Porter investigates the latest medical techniques to prevent and treat this often debilitating condition.

Joining him in the studio is Dr Stephen Longworth. He's a GP from Leicester with a special interest in back pain who sees patients both in his own surgery and at the spine clinic at Leicester General Hospital .

Pain Management 
If you have back pain in the same place for 12 weeks or more, it is likely to be classified as chronic pain. This is more difficult to help than acute pain and people with chronic pain often need specialist advice and support.

St Thomas' hospital runs the Input clinic, where patients learn strategies for managing long-term pain.

Caroline Swinburne visits the Real Health Institute in West London, where a similar course helps sufferers control their pain. 

Expert Patient Programme
Nearly a third of the UK population suffers from a chronic medical condition, and more working days are lost to back pain than to any other type of injury or illness.

The expert patient programme enables those with chronic back pain to take more control over their illness by understanding it better. Mark talks to Pete Moore, who lives with persistent back pain on a day to day basis but has learnt to manage his condition.

Surgery
Surgery is of course the last resort and has a poor record at curing back pain. We speak to spinal surgeon Mike Grevitt, from Queens Medical Centre in Nottingham, about the types of back pain where surgery can make a difference. We hear from a recent spinal surgery patient, Liann, about her experience of back surgery.

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