Back pain and sciatica are conditions we are often asked to investigate. Our Consultant Radiologists offer expertise in all aspects of imaging the spine including investigation of neck pain, thoracic pain and lumbar spine symptoms.

If you have longstanding back symptoms then please speak to you GP, hospital consultant or other health care professional to see if they think that investigation of these symptoms would be beneficial.

Sciatica (pain passing down the legs due to a trapped nerve in the back) is a very common condition which can have a significantly detrimental effect on quality of life. MRI of the lumbar spine is a thorough investigation for sciatica, providing detailed analysis of the likely cause of sciatica. This may be treatable using X-ray guided steroid injection by one of our expert musculoskeletal radiology consultants.

We also investigate pain thought to be due to a trapped nerve in the neck, which can cause pain or numbness in the arm or hand.

Occasionally young people with stiff and painful backs will have a diagnosis of inflammatory conditions, such as ankylosing spondylitis. MRI is commonly used to look for very early signs of this condition. If you think you have this condition then you should discuss your symptoms further with your GP or Consultant Rheumatologist who can refer directly to us for an MRI.

Our Consultants include Dr Graham Lloyd-Jones and Dr Andy Morris who provide expert radiological services for the Duke of Cornwall Spinal centre, based at Salisbury District Hospital.

MRI - Lumbar spine

  • Investigation of sciatica
  • Cervical spine pain
  • Thoracic spine pain
  • Spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal)
  • Stiffness and inflammatory back pain
  • Suspected ankylosing spondylitis
  • Suspected spinal cord disease

MRI - Cervical spine

  • Cervical spine radiculopathy
  • Nerve entrapment (causing arm/hand pain)
  • Suspected multiple sclerosis of the spinal cord

MRI - Thoracic spine

  • Suspected osteoporotic fractures
  • Thoracic spine pain
  • Suspected spinal cancer


  • Detailed anatomical analysis of spinal bones
  • Suspected spondylolisthesis (vertebral slip)
  • Suspected spinal cancer