Our pain clinics see patients who have had pain for more than three months that they cannot ease or manage with usual treatments such as simple painkillers or physiotherapy.

You are usually transferred to us after first being seen and treated by one of our physiotherapists. Sometimes, you are offered an appointment with one of our pain specialists directly from your GP referral.

What happens at the clinic?

You are usually assessed by a pain consultant. They will ask you about your problem, take a detailed history and examine you. Their aim is to help you manage your condition as best as possible. If they need more information about your condition, they may arrange for you to have investigations such as blood tests, x-rays and MRI scans. You may also see a pain clinical nurse specialist (CNS) .

What we treat

Common problems that we treat include:

  • lumbar back pain, with or without pain that runs into your leg
  • sciatica
  • cervical spine pain such as whiplash injury or cervical spondylosis
  • thoracic spine pain
  • hip pain related to osteoarthritis or trochanteric bursitis
  • shoulder pain related to osteoarthritis, tendinitis or capsulitis.

Our Self-help section gives you more information about the range of chronic pain problems we care for and what you can do to manage your condition.

Treatments we offer

We usually start by helping you to manage your condition and so ease your pain. This includes giving you more information about your condition. We also advise you about things you can do yourself, such as appropriate exercise and taking painkillers.

If you need medical help we may:

  • prescribe the use of a TENs machine
  • give you injections such as epidurals
  • recommend a pain management programme including Pain Management Education Classes (PDF). 

Where can I have my treatment?

We run Pain clinics at Queen Mary’s Hospital, Sidcup, and Erith and District Hospital. If you would like your consultation at another NHS hospital, please tell our booking team when they contact you.

What happens next?

Once you are managing your pain, we usually refer you back to your GP. We also sometimes transfer patients to orthopaedic surgery for treatment.