Tel: 01707 888 229

Emergency help?




There are often so many reasons for pain in your back or joints.

Some more obvious reasons  may be:


  • Trapped nerves – sciatica pain down leg or arm.
  • Muscle tear/strain – spasm, tender, pain with movement.
  • Pulled ligaments – pain with end of range movement/stress.
  • Reflex muscle spasm – old injury area/severe stabbing pain.
  • Spinal joint sprain – often worse leaning back/up from sitting.
  • Pulled rib – twisting or pain radiating round your rib cage.

These tend to resolve within a week or two with good management.






Symptoms of a trapped nerve may begin suddenly or gradually


Herniated Disc (Slipped Disc)

Sudden aching in the back or neck or being unable to straighten without extreme pain are signs of herniated disc problems. Numbness, tingling, or weakness in one or both arms is another sign of herniated discs.

Other common symptoms of a herniated disc include:


  • Slight or extreme pain that radiates to the legs or arms – Pain that travels to the legs or feet may feel like a shooting pain or electric shock. This type of pain may be from a disc pressing against the nerve.
  • Numbness or tingling in your legs or arms – Any sensation of numbness, tingling or the feeling of a part of the body ‘falling asleep’ can indicate a disc problem. This sensation may occur in the legs or areas surrounding the spine.
  • Muscle weakness or unusual feelings – If the nerve is involved, it may interfere with muscle contractions and reflexes. There are many reasons for pain if you can’t reach us please call your Doctor and medical services for help.


Bladder Problems, Numbness Wiping Bottom (Saddle Anesthesia) 

Emergency Problems with bladder or bowel function such as loss of function or numbness  could be a symptom of a herniated disc. If this is the case it should be treated and evaluated immediately at your A&E  STRAIGHT AWAY. Don’t leave it or “wait and see “. The bowel and bladder nerves can become perminantly damaged. Please call us if you are concerned or want advice on 075 909 242 66. All of these symptoms may be caused by a herniated disc pressing against the spinal nerves. We have a competent and highly experienced team specialising in acute pain relief. We use proven techniques to reduce and manage your acute pain. We will get you pain free fast. 


As with most medical conditions early diagnosis is vital in achieving a speedy recovery, delays in diagnosis of many conditions can impede recovery by weeks. Many of the conditions that we treat can be found on the web site. If you are in doubt please call The Welwyn & Hatfield Practice  emergency number and ask  for advice or talk to Ian Norman. During office hours our appointments usually take between 25 to 45 minutes depending on how complex your condition and of course how much pain your in. Your specialist will use a combination of calming and relieving techniques so that you feel better FAST and recover QUICKLY. We will advise you about whether any further treatment is necessary or direct you to one of our specialists. The acute pain from a herniated disk should go away within a few weeks, but some pain may remain for a few months. Backaches may be common in those with a history of disk problems, therefore continual back strengthening and stretching exercises from our Physio are recommended. Good biomechanics are also essential to protect the spine when lifting exercising to stop further episodes.

Many people find that heat is comforting

If a muscle is tight or has gone into spasm, heat is very beneficial. However, if you have actually torn tissues and there is bleeding inside, a bruise for example, heat will exacerbate this – hence the advice to use ice in these instances for the short term. You may need to alternate hot and cold as you improve  over the next week or so and either see you Physio, Osteopath or GP.

Pain Killers ( Click for list of local pharmacies )

Paracetamol is the painkiller of choice especially the soluble type as it has a fast acting effect. Aspirin and Ibuprofen can aggravate asthma, digestive problems and slow down healing. Do make sure you only take the recommended dose, and do not mix with other medicines (including cold remedies). If in any doubt please talk to your GP or pharmacist.Although if you are in pain your doctor may prescribe a muscle relaxant or strong anti inflammatory.

For a non-pharmacological alternative, try arnica (either as a cream, or tablets). If there is a lot of swelling or bruising, or you suspect a fracture or the pain is unbearable, you should seek medical help straightaway. Visit your Welwyn and Hatfield Practice Physiotherapist, Acupuncturist or Osteopath as soon as you can  for a full evaluation and advice and drug free management


Remedial Care to Reduce Inflammation ( RICE )

If you have just suffered a recent traumatic injury, the following general  advice may help if you are unsure please contact the Welwyn and Hatfield Practice or your own GP as soon as possible.

REST – rest the injured area for the first 24 hours if possible. Gentle movement (within your pain free range) is advisable; but full weight bearing on a sprained ankle for example should be avoided.

For back strain, carefully alternating between lying down and gentle walking can be of great benefit. If the strain is minor, keeping active is vital for your recovery.

ICE – apply an ice pack or cold compress to the area. Only do so for 10 minutes at a time – any more, and you could cause more damage. It is best to protect the skin with a towel or Vaseline – do not apply the ice directly to the skin. Wrapping some ice-blocks in a warm wet towel and crushing the ice and applying this to the inured part is the most practical. A pack of frozen peas or veg  is a very good substitute (ice is best used in the first 24 hours)

COMPRESSION– a supportive compression strapping can be applied, using crepe bandage or tubigrip. It must not be so tight as to cut off the circulation – and do allow for swelling to occur. Raising the injured (and possibly swollen) part above your heart level will help limit the swelling, and aid drainage.

ELEVATION – People often find that raising a limb leg, knee or ankle helps to reduce a fluid build up called oedema. This is an important part of healing. If too much is left behind it can slow healing and create further stiffness and pain. Although rest is of prime importance during the first twenty four hours you should gently try to move the affected area as soon as possible. If you feel any undue pain or are worried please call The Welwyn and Hatfield Practice on 01707 888229 for advice


Home visits are available


Special Circumstances

Bank Holidays, Christmas, late night and Sunday Appointments are charged at a premium rate mainly due to the time taken to travel to your house  and/ or open the Practice.  The emergency clinic fee is  £85.00 –  for the consultation and treatment (this is typically less than you can pay the plumber!). We will of course as always do our best to be sensitive and our try our  hardest to settle your pain on the day where possible.

For advice, emergencies and specialist treatments please call Ian Norman (Lead Osteopath)



Working Hours – 01707 888229

Out of Hours/Emergency – 075 909 242 66