/ How (and where) to get immediate advice on health/injuries?

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OneLifeOneHeart - on 01 Dec 2012
I am in my mid 20s and new to climbing, and started after a somewhat non-sporty lifestyle (though I was not sedentary - I hiked a lot already, even walked for hours and hours without stopping). I am overweight and also have back pain due to some very old accident. I can say that climbing is the first sport that I am interested in pursuing regularly.

Since about one month I have started to climb indoor once a week, and now I am trying to increase that number.

After the first few times I always had very sore muscles, but I don't have that anymore now.

However, today when I woke up in the morning, and also after climbing indoor, my shoulders started making the clicking noise when I was trying to stretch, and also the ankle when I was trying to stretch it.

Short question:
I am not 100% sure on how to take care of my body and am already a bit concerned about all these physical changes and new symptoms I have...

They say "consult your doctor", but does that mean not doing any physical activity while waiting for the appointment with the GP in 2 months??
Which "doctor" can I ask at any time, especially for this kind of sports related issues? Will they know what is best for me?
I assume this is not NHS-related.

I am a bit confused and also frustrated since I am trying to pursue some sport in order to stay fit, but am not sure whether I am already causing some damage - and I don't even know whom to ask!
OneLifeOneHeart - on 01 Dec 2012
In reply to OneLifeOneHeart:
By the way, I am based in London. I feel like I would appreciate if I could ask quite urgently, since the noise has been there the whole day and I don't think it's just muscle pain :(
Ciro - on 01 Dec 2012
In reply to OneLifeOneHeart:

My right ankle clicks on the stairs a lot of the time.

My right shoulder occasionally clicks.

If I move my shoulders forwards and backwards, something in my upper back clicks every single time, and has done so for years.

I'm currently rehabilitating a slipped disk, and some of the stretches I have been doing have been causing a click in my lower spine too.

I'm no doctor, and of course yours could be completely different, but it's not something I'd get too worked up about.

However, if you want to see a physio I can recommend Cristiano Da Silva - he's a climber himself, has a clinic at the WestWay, and you can find him on facebook "Climbing Physiotherapy Solutions London".

Richard Wilson - on 01 Dec 2012
You should not have to wait 2 weeks to see a doctor never mind 2 months.

In fact I dont think I ever have to wait 2 days.
Kevin Woods - on 01 Dec 2012
In reply to OneLifeOneHeart: Yes clicking shouldn't be too much of an issue?? My knees (used to) click every time I bent them and I was 19 at the time. For some reason they don't anymore even though I walk a lot more than I used to....

Most of the time climbers pick up tweaks (I've had sore elbow tendons, a deep pain in my shoulder but these have all disappeared short lay-offs) but it's only by (ab)use once the tweak is picked up that they'll turn into injuries (my wrist is an ongoing pain in the -----). Often a few days off (and possible modification of normal routine) will sort them out and stop it occurring again. For the really unlucky it will be a pulley snapping in a finger or a shotgun in the forearm because they pulled too much on a mono or something. But that's real unlucky, and then you're talking a couple months off.

It's right though to get concerned about the shoulder. They've great flexibility, but it also makes them unstable. Treat them well, I dread to think about the day I injure mine. I've heard of people never recovering from rotator cuff injures - bit scary.

But ultimately I think everyone will end up picking up tweaks sooner or later. Maybe the real skill is knowing when to worry and when to rest and let it recover.

To answer your question, physio seems the obvious way to go. Maybe get the shoulder checked - although I know people (inc. myself) with clicking joints that aren't an issue, I'm sure as hell not a doctor either.
OneLifeOneHeart - on 01 Dec 2012
I think my main question is due to my own ignorance about the health system, which I have rarely used in the UK (grew up elsewhere).

I mean, I am completely unaware of what exactly I need to do.

Just search some physiotherapist on the internet and go there...?!
No need any kind of registrations or stuff like that...?
Kevin Woods - on 01 Dec 2012
In reply to OneLifeOneHeart: 2 options then - if you're registered with a doctor you can get them to refer you to a physiotherapist (though mine keep giving me a self-referal sheet. I should just stop losing the sheet)

Or you can book a private physio. It's pretty expensive but a Google will give you ones in your area.
Kevin Woods - on 01 Dec 2012
In reply to OneLifeOneHeart: Forgot to mention the physio through the NHS is free. Some say they aren't that helpful but I've heard as many viewpoints saying the opposite.
Timmd on 01 Dec 2012
In reply to OneLifeOneHeart:

I click in my shoulders i've just realised after experimenting just now.

since last January i've been doing lots of different practical things to do with conservation outdoors, and havn't noticed anything wrong with my shoulders.

Chances are you might just have clicky shoulders? (:-))

It might be that you need to look at your posture or something like that, and the doctor won't find anything wrong? I have quite bad posture.

I'm not at all medically quallified, but I personally worry more if I get pain happening than if something clicks.

Try not to think something is worse than it might be...
Timmd on 01 Dec 2012
In reply to OneLifeOneHeart:
> I think my main question is due to my own ignorance about the health system, which I have rarely used in the UK (grew up elsewhere).
>
> I mean, I am completely unaware of what exactly I need to do.
>
> Just search some physiotherapist on the internet and go there...?!
> No need any kind of registrations or stuff like that...?

You need the physio to be registered as a chartered physiotherapist, but you don't need to be registered to see one.
Timmd on 01 Dec 2012
In reply to OneLifeOneHeart:My click is only a quiet click in one shoulder when I windmill my arm backwards though, i've just found out, they both clicked before, but now only one does.

Good luck, hope all is well.
JLS on 01 Dec 2012
In reply to OneLifeOneHeart:

Clicking joint tend to be caused be little vacuums forming an collapsing as damaged/swollen tendon runs through its sheath. With sport and an active lifestyle we pick up these things. Some get better, some we live with. You'll not die from them so I wouldn't bother a GP with them. If you are in discomfort they I suggest you go see a private sport physio.

Look up RICE on the Internet. It stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation and along with ibruprophen is the mainstay of self treatment for sports injuries.
Bouldering Ben - on 02 Dec 2012
In reply to OneLifeOneHeart:

http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=119

This article might answer some of your questions, basically you need to improve the stability of your shoulders not just the strength.

Ben

balmybaldwin - on 02 Dec 2012
In reply to OneLifeOneHeart:

My fingers click all the time, as does my right shoulder and big toes if I angle my feet right. More irritang is my right hip that clicks really quite loudly when i'm having sex. Despite this it doesn't worry me in the slightest.

On the doctor side of things, find your local surgery and get yourself registered, then if its anything like mine, phoning at 9am gets you an appointment the same day 90% of the time.
John_Hat - on 02 Dec 2012
In reply to OneLifeOneHeart:

Go and see a private physio. You don't need a doctors referral. if you ring around a bit you should be able to get one to see you within the next few days. It'll cost you about 30-40 quid but if you're worried the peace of mind may be worth paying for.
OneLifeOneHeart - on 02 Dec 2012
I think my main concern is the fact that I might have some "special needs", because I have been "unsporty" for my whole life except for starting to walk/hike recently.

My background thought is that since I have never done sports throughout my childhood or teens, I might be "fragile" and thus might be more prone to all sorts of injuries than the majority of people.

In fact, I got my back accident just by doing a stretching exercise several years ago. All doctors and physios said I was fine but I still have that backpain and have therefore been VERY conservative with my physical activity.
I'd say I almost have a fear of doing sports.

Climbing is the first activity where I feel it might be worth challenging that fear and try to push for more. But I want to be sure, very sure, before I proceed.

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