/ NHS encourages sports, but no (urgent) response to injuries

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OneLifeOneHeart - on 09 Apr 2013
I have lived in 3 countries, and in all 3 countries there seems to be a quite ridiculous and shameful coincidence:

In case I injure myself or get pain while doing sports/physical activity, and I want to get treated immediately (for whatever reason - but I guess the main reason being that I don't want it to deteriorate over time), I end up being absolutely clueless on where to look for help.

Unless I Google and find private sport clinics, osteopaths, chiropractors, alternative therapists etc., but they are also shamefully expensive.

I hope this is only a bad dream, and that maybe I am wrong. Maybe there is a hidden NHS service somewhere, where I can call or walk-in and they know exactly what to do if I didn't stretch well before climbing and suddenly got arm/elbow pain (Instead of me having to wait weeks/months to even diagnose and use ice in the meantime).

For F's sake - does the public healthcare service really not to care?

Is there some sort of hidden business interest in not making this service more available to normal people?

And apart from the above rant-ful questions, I really am in pain right now and need help. As I mentioned, I Googled but didn't find where to start. I live in central London - in case anyone knows where to look for help, I would very much appreciate it.

I WANT TO BE TREATED NOW!
puppythedog on 09 Apr 2013
In reply to OneLifeOneHeart: general practitioner urgent appointment. They can help with pain and refer you onwards if necessary. By which I mean if they think it is necessary. This is the second post very much like this from you. Are you registered with a GP?
JayPee630 - on 09 Apr 2013
In reply to OneLifeOneHeart:

If it's urgent you go to A&E, yourself if you can, or in an ambulance you call if you need one medically (not just as a taxi) otherwise urgent GP appointment.

Apart from that, stop whinging. If you're in pain take pain killers and RICE it.

OneLifeOneHeart - on 09 Apr 2013
Thanks, but in my experience A&E never cares about "minor issues", and I understand they have more serious patients to treat, who have life-threatening conditions.

GP appointment requires couple of days.

Been there, done that. Total waste of time.

In my case it is definitely something minor. I know it's not serious now, and I can bear the pain, BUT I am afraid that if I don't treat it immediately it could get worse over time.

And... I have heard and read about RICE (or PRICE), and I have also read extensively about stretching. However, I always get it wrong for whatever reason.

I am totally neglected at that stuff. Sorry if it sounds like I white, but please consider that I haven't done almost any physical activity throughout my life and basically self-taught myself as an early adult.

For some reason, I always end up in pain. For some reason, the establishment doctors never think it's anything serious and it will go away with time.

But last time doctors told me so, the pain didn't go away even after SIX YEARS! So please understand why I am so p-d off at the healthcare system. Or at my health, whatever.

Thanks
JayPee630 - on 09 Apr 2013
In reply to OneLifeOneHeart:

If you keep ending up in pain you need to have a think about what you're doing wrong and change it.

TBH that's not the job of the NHS, you need to go and see someone else or see your GP and get referred to a physio.
EeeByGum - on 09 Apr 2013
In reply to OneLifeOneHeart:

> Been there, done that. Total waste of time.

Right, but that is the way into treatment. If you don't go and see someone about your pain, how are you ever going to get referred? Unfortunately the system is not set up such that you can just walk off the street into a consultants room.

Go back to your doctor, ask to be referred to a specialist and if he / she doesn't play ball, ask to see a different doctor. Be persistent, but understand that you just have to play the system. Fighting against it will achieve nothing.
puppythedog on 09 Apr 2013
In reply to OneLifeOneHeart: In many areas you can self refer to Physiotherapy via NHS. Your GP will know about it, you can get painkiller advice from any pharmacy regarding over the counter painkillers and this should keep you okay until you can see a GP in a few days. You may not like that you cannot access immediately what you think you need but then the service is free at point of contact and is populated by professionals able to assess your actual needs.
In reply to OneLifeOneHeart:
> Thanks, but in my experience A&E never cares about "minor issues", and I understand they have more serious patients to treat, who have life-threatening conditions.
>
> In my case it is definitely something minor.

You really can't see why you can't get any urgent responses?


Chris
Milesy - on 09 Apr 2013
Took me 6 months to see a physio on NHS. First appointment was paper print out of exercises to do and told to come back in 8-12 weeks. I kindly explained to them I had been waiting 6 months already and was already well versed in all the appropriate exercices. They didn't care. Paid to use the physio at Hampden Park sports injury clinic and they started immediately to deep massage the scar tissue out of the problem area. A few more sessions and I felt brilliant.
JH74 - on 09 Apr 2013
In reply to JayPee630:
> (In reply to OneLifeOneHeart)
>
> If you keep ending up in pain you need to have a think about what you're doing wrong and change it.

+1. Best advice you'll get here I reckon. Lots of different ways to go about this change. NHS physio probably not the way - in my experience there's no detail, just standard exercises and stretches - far too simplistic.
Rob Exile Ward on 09 Apr 2013
In reply to OneLifeOneHeart: What are you wittering on about? If you're registered with a GP, go and see them; if your GP doesn't have an emergency appt system, (our GP doesn't have an appt system at all, you just turn up and wait and it works fine), and/or you're in too much pain to wait then A & E is the place to go. If you get to see a doctor (it sounds like you have) but you don't like what you have heard (which again is what it sounds like) then go private. How many sprts phyiso therapists does Google return?

I have no idea what you are whingeing about tbh, it seems straightforward to me. DO you think someone from NHS should be following your round giving you personal advice every minute of teh day?
victim of mathematics - on 09 Apr 2013
In reply to OneLifeOneHeart:

> I WANT TO BE TREATED NOW!

So do all of the other people who are actually ill.

The reason there isn't the pathway to urgent treatment for minor ailments that you want is that the NHS doesn't consider it to be worthwhile to fund. So you can fund it yourself and go private, or go through the normal, slower, NHS channels.

It might be frustrating for you, but the NHS has to prioritise somehow. Who are you going to deny treatment in your place?
Jamie Wakeham - on 09 Apr 2013
This is an ongoing troll, right? A few weeks ago this chap's apparently having a heart attack and spending hours online asking UKC where he should go for help, and now this?

The Lemming - on 09 Apr 2013
In reply to Milesy:
> Took me 6 months to see a physio on NHS. First appointment was paper print out of exercises to do and told to come back in 8-12 weeks. I kindly explained to them I had been waiting 6 months already and was already well versed in all the appropriate exercices. They didn't care. Paid to use the physio at Hampden Park sports injury clinic and they started immediately to deep massage the scar tissue out of the problem area. A few more sessions and I felt brilliant.

I have to agree NHS physios do as little as they can and it seems like some sort of unwritten competition to see who can treat a patient with the least effort possible.

I am off work at the moment with, I hope soft tissue injuries. Initially my employer was able to offer me four private treatments from an approved physio. At the same time, I was able to self-refer to see an NHS physio.

An example of the difference between the first two visits was frightening. The private physio gave me 90 minutes of his full attention with a variety of tasks. The first NHS treatment consisted of 10 minutes on a TENS machine and nothing else. Many, many weeks later I am reliant on NHS physios which I attend weekly. The best session I had lasted five minutes, of just conversation, before I was sent on my way.

I have several more months yet to go with NHS physio treatment, and I mean that in the looses sense, until I can return to work.

Private physios are excellant, and I pay for them when I can. NHS physios are limited by time, volume of patients and how much money they have to spend on treatment.

To the OP if you are in pain, get yourself to A&E, sit there for four hours and see a doctor. That way you will start the process of treatment. You will probably be told what you already know and are doing but, most importantly, you may get referred to another department for further treatment another day. If you want immediate treatent, such as physio then get your wallet out.

Carolyn - on 09 Apr 2013
In reply to OneLifeOneHeart:

I'm with those who've suggested it's a case of working out what you're doing "wrong" to get injured on a frequent basis. (Probably doing too much too soon, as you say you're pretty new to exercise). And that you're not likely to get any helpful advice from a doctor on that - specialist sports physio, or maybe a personal trainer, sound like far better options to me....and shock, horror, you might need to pay them. They need to earn a living, after all.
nufkin - on 09 Apr 2013
In reply to Carolyn:

> specialist sports physio, or maybe a personal trainer, sound like far better options to me....and shock, horror, you might need to pay them

As a follow on to this, since you live in central London, I think both the Castle and Westway have staff, or ex-staff, who work as physios, ostios, trainers etc, would be familiar with typical climbing injuries, and advertise at the walls.
captain paranoia - on 09 Apr 2013
In reply to Jamie Wakeham:

> This is an ongoing troll, right? A few weeks ago this chap's apparently having a heart attack and spending hours online asking UKC where he should go for help, and now this?

That crossed my mind, too...

However, the basic premise has some merit; you are encouraged to keep fit, but if this gives you some pain, the usual response does seem to be 'well stop doing it, then'. But I'm trying to keep fit like you keep telling me to...
drunken monkey - on 09 Apr 2013
In reply to OneLifeOneHeart: Man-up wet pants. make a doctors appointment like everyone else.
OneLifeOneHeart - on 09 Apr 2013
Thanks for your replies.

I can bear the pain. Pain is not the issue. I have learned to bear pain after 6 years of chronic back pain thanks to some incompetent doctors in yet another country['s healthcare system].
What makes me nervous and demand urgency is that pain cannot be random, right? It's a symptom of some underlying cause - right?

And if the cause is not solved, the more time passes, and the more difficult it will be to cure, am I right?

What's the point in calming the symptoms without treating the causes?

That's what keeps me in a state of anxiety (and maybe helplessness).

I don't give a damn about the perception of pain, but about what it means!

BTW, I think a couple of people here who think they are so cool that they can call me "whiner" or "troll" are really disrespectful, have no manners or empathy of how people can feel when they are in pain (and even make fun of my previous healthcare experiences) - if you have enough courage to tell it to me in person, come and tell me, I would manually castrate them - so they can go enjoy A&E themselves. Just like the Nazi swines.
(end rant)
puppythedog on 09 Apr 2013
In reply to OneLifeOneHeart: yet you expect urgent response for issues you describe as non urgent. That's not how our system works. You can Pay for that if you wish though. Oh and stop whining about Nazis and I would say that to your face despite your threat.
ads.ukclimbing.com
Jamie Wakeham - on 09 Apr 2013
In reply to OneLifeOneHeart: Godwin's Law *and* physical threats in one post? Accusing people of a lack of empathy, when your last thread described how you deliberately walked into women as a game? You really wonder why I called troll?

But - on the off-chance this is a serious question - go to your GP. Ask to be referred. If they won't, ask to change your GP. This will probably take a little while, but you will note that you are charged absolutely nothing for the service. This is not a 'bad dream' and there's not a 'hidden service' for you to find.

If you can't wait, go to a sports physio, probably charging a very reasonable 30/hour or so. But, to be honest, given you recently described how you went from a very sedentary lifestyle to exercising quite hard, you've probably just over-done it. A physio would confirm this.

Rob Exile Ward on 09 Apr 2013
In reply to OneLifeOneHeart: Er... I have a profile. You don't. Who's calling who what?
Andrew Lodge - on 09 Apr 2013
In reply to OneLifeOneHeart: Do not go to A&E, you will be wasting their time, you have not had an Accident and it is not an Emergency. There is a clue in the name and that is why they keep people waiting for several hours, it discourages them from going inappropriately.

As has been said, make an appointment to see your GP, see the pharmacist for pain relief in the meantime and if you want to see somebody right now you just have to go private.

On a broader note, does the NHS exist to treat people who sustain minor injuries doing sport? I would suggest not, it is a Health service, not a lifestyle service.
If somebody is seriously injured then of course they get treatment however it is caused but if the injury is sustained partaking in a pastime that is by definition risky how much liability should the state have to get us back to our pre injury state? Should we get patched up enough to get back to work and the rest be down to the individual?
I say this as somebody who in his leisure time is usually either climbing or motorcycling.
I also work in NHS hospitals and frequently end up supplying devices such as expensive knee braces to people who have injured themselves skiing, they can walk and manage everyday life absolutely fine but want to ski again and so the NHS buys them a knee brace. Why? Surely that should be down to them as individuals, it is now part of the kit they need to do the sport so why shouldn't they buy it?
adstapleton - on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to Andrew Lodge:

F*ck off!

For the money i contribute to the NHS it most definitely exists to help support my lifestyle choices, robbing bastards!!

Free my arse!!!

Too right they should 'give' me knee braces and what-have-you if i need it.
JayPee630 - on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to OneLifeOneHeart:

I'd say whatever I said on here to your face, so less of the slightly odd threats and Nazi comparisons please you very odd person.

I suggest you just calm down a bit, make an appointment to see a GP, and if that doesn't work go and pay for someone like a physio.

The fact you need to come on here to ask for very basic common sense advice speaks volumes about you and your mental state.

Now go away.

timjones - on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to The Lemming:
> (In reply to Milesy)
> [...]
>
> I have to agree NHS physios do as little as they can and it seems like some sort of unwritten competition to see who can treat a patient with the least effort possible.
>
> I am off work at the moment with, I hope soft tissue injuries. Initially my employer was able to offer me four private treatments from an approved physio. At the same time, I was able to self-refer to see an NHS physio.
>
> An example of the difference between the first two visits was frightening. The private physio gave me 90 minutes of his full attention with a variety of tasks. The first NHS treatment consisted of 10 minutes on a TENS machine and nothing else. Many, many weeks later I am reliant on NHS physios which I attend weekly. The best session I had lasted five minutes, of just conversation, before I was sent on my way.
>
> I have several more months yet to go with NHS physio treatment, and I mean that in the looses sense, until I can return to work.
>
> Private physios are excellant, and I pay for them when I can. NHS physios are limited by time, volume of patients and how much money they have to spend on treatment.
>
> To the OP if you are in pain, get yourself to A&E, sit there for four hours and see a doctor. That way you will start the process of treatment. You will probably be told what you already know and are doing but, most importantly, you may get referred to another department for further treatment another day. If you want immediate treatent, such as physio then get your wallet out.

Whilst you may not be having the best of experiences at present it is unfair to tar all NHS with the same brush.

I've had cause to use 2 NHS physios in the last 30 years and both were excellent. They asked what I wanted to achieve and got on with helping me get there.
Carolyn - on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to OneLifeOneHeart:

> And if the cause is not solved, the more time passes, and the more difficult it will be to cure, am I right?
>
> What's the point in calming the symptoms without treating the causes?
>
> That's what keeps me in a state of anxiety (and maybe helplessness).

Well, personally my experience is that whilst (fairly minor) pain is a symptom of an injury, it's largely just a warning for you to ease off a bit whilst the body heals itself, rather than needing "treatment" of any kind. And that odds are it'll go away if you do that, rather than get worse. So no, I don't think what you describe is inevitable. But if it keeps happening when you exercise, then so advice (from an exercise professional, rather than a health professional) might help you avoid that.
JayPee630 - on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to Carolyn:

Agreed, stop flapping about a little pain. Rest and being sensible (not doing the thing that caused you the pain again) will most likely sort you out.

Do you have anxiety and health issues, you seem to be very over anxious about this kind of thing.
Blue Straggler - on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to OneLifeOneHeart:

I think you should ignore all this Nazi advice about GPs, A&E, physio and whatnot, and get yourself to the nearest witchdoctor. They are in the Yellow Pages.
Frank the Husky - on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to OneLifeOneHeart: You said it yourself. You are absolutely clueless. Try putting in some effort to get help instead of expecting people to come running.

NHS Direct, 111, your GP. There. that was easy. You are lazy and determined to complain. I would not want to have to treat you.

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