Good GP - clueless about arthritis!!!

EnglishBriarRose
EnglishBriarRose Member Posts: 14
:? Hi, Newby here! I developed osteoarthritis the middle of last year, and it's got worse in terms of mobility/pain. I've been offered NSAIDs, but as I also suffer from diverticular disease/IBS I don't want them, as understand they can upset the stomach.

A month or two ago, I asked my GP - who is generally very good, about hydrotherapy and he looked as if I'd asked about training to be an astronaut! :wink: (I'm 63.) He said he wasn't aware of any such service in this area - I was surprised, because I remember my local hospital fund-raising for it about 20 years ago, but just assumed it had been the victim of cuts in the NHS.

Today, I went back to him, and asked if he would refer me to a physiotherapist, to work out an appropriate exercise programme, partly to build muscle tone to support the joints - as I say, I'm 63 with other health issues, so don't want to do anything to make things worse. He said that a physiotherapist would just say - Well, we can't build muscle if the patient can't move! (I can move - I'm not totally crippled :o )

Instead, he is referring me to the Falls Clinic. Well, fine, it would be helpful I'm sure, to learn how to guard against falls. BUT - when I checked on your site, it specifically says that a physiotherapist can design an exercise programme for the patient, to increase ROM, strength etc - which is exactly what I wanted! I then went onto my local hospital site, and find that their Physio Dept includes a hydrotherapy pool!!!! :x

I don't want to change doctors, and I don't want to be too "aggressive" because, as I say, he is generally very good. But, in this instance, I've totally lost faith in him :( I have thought that, if I am referred to the Falls Clinic, I could slip in that I wanted physiotherapy, and possibly get a referral that way? However, any advice as to how I "educate" my GP, without ruining a fairly good relationship, would be much appreciated.

Many thanks

Rose
«1

Comments

  • Loulou11
    Loulou11 Member Posts: 86
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    See if you can pick up some leaflets from the physio when you visit and take the to your docs, at the next visit start talking about treatments available and show him the leaflets and any advice the physio has said you would benefit from and also what is available in your area
  • elnafinn
    elnafinn Member Posts: 7,412
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    :lol: He may be a good gp in listening and dishing out the meds but as you say he appears to be clueless about all the help there is out there available to his patients, ie physio, pain clinic, hospital gym sessions, hydrotherapy. Does he know how an OT helps patients?

    You have done well to persevere and find out things for yourself. Perhaps when you next see him for meds or whatever, let him know that you carried out some investigations and are now under the guidance of a physio and enjoying hydrotherapy at a local hospital.

    By all means, get referred to the falls clinic, as that may well open more doors for you, if not and if you find it is not really what you need, you can always discontinue.

    Good for you I say, give yourself a gentle pat on your back. :)

    Elna x (forum member)
  • EnglishBriarRose
    EnglishBriarRose Member Posts: 14
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks for all the advice and support :D Trouble is, I have no idea when (if?) I'll be referred to the Falls Clinic - I doubt if I'm high priority, because I haven't actually fallen, I'm just possibly "at risk" of doing so. Then, I'm hoping/assuming the Falls Clinic is run by physios - but I know some of them are run by nurses - so whether they could refer me to to a physio I've no idea :?

    I am just gobsmacked :o that my local hospital has this whole Physio Dept, with gym, hydrotherapy, physios, etc - and my GP of 20+ years knows nothing about it :x :x :x

    I know in some areas you can refer yourself for physio - I suppose I could contact the physio dept myself and ask? As I say, I don't want to screw up my relationship with my GP cos he is good in lots of ways - but in this one he's totally lost the plot! :shock:

    Thanks again for the support, great place to talk about stuff!

    Rose xx

    PS Don't want to moan (why not, I ask myself :wink: ) - but he's done me a power of no good, when I know there is help out there but can't access it! So frustrating!
  • elnafinn
    elnafinn Member Posts: 7,412
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi again,

    If your local hospital has all the facilities and you need to be referred by your gp, if it was me, I would go back and tell him what you have found out and please would he refer you? There is no harm in doing that and why should he be offended, he will have learned something from you, although he probably will not admit it. Now if he refuses to refer you then perhaps that is the time to go see another gp, who will ;)

    Elna x
  • helpline_team
    helpline_team Posts: 2,765
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello Rose

    Like Elna said there is no reason why you cannot go to him now with what you know and ask to referred to the hydrotherapy facility he knew nothing about. If he refuses you have every right to ask why not? Unfortunately GPs are one of the systems you have to go through in order to access certain services. Fair enough he can't refer you to what he doesn't know about but now that you have had a chance to inform him, it is his duty as a practitioner to help you access the services out there. if you are having difficulty in getting the message through to your GP and would like to talk things through just give us call.

    Good Luck!
    Simona

    PS Nowt wrong with a good moan! Good way to ease the frustration caused by the hurdles you are forced to clamber over ;)
  • EnglishBriarRose
    EnglishBriarRose Member Posts: 14
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello Rose

    Like Elna said there is no reason why you cannot go to him now with what you know and ask to referred to the hydrotherapy facility he knew nothing about. If he refuses you have every right to ask why not? Unfortunately GPs are one of the systems you have to go through in order to access certain services. Fair enough he can't refer you to what he doesn't know about but now that you have had a chance to inform him, it is his duty as a practitioner to help you access the services out there. if you are having difficulty in getting the message through to your GP and would like to talk things through just give us call.

    Good Luck!
    Simona


    PS Nowt wrong with a good moan! Good way to ease the frustration caused by the hurdles you are forced to clamber over ;)

    Thanks, Simona! :) Think what I'll do is wait to see if i get a referral to the Falls Clinic - soon! - and ask them the question. If that takes too long, I'll go back to my GP and say - haven't heard from Falls Clinic, and found out more about physio - so can we go that route? I feel that would give me - and him - an "out" - rather than my just going back and basically telling a GP he doesn't know what he's talking about - which tends to p*ss them off, in my experience :wink:

    I may very well ring the helpline if I do need to go back to him, to get some ideas as to how to approach him. I really don't want to damage a generally very good relationship - I just want the treatment I know is available and believe will be beneficial.

    Thanks again for the advice - and the "permission" to moan! Clambering over hurdles with arthritis is painful :wink:

    Rose xx
  • elnafinn
    elnafinn Member Posts: 7,412
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi EBR :D

    Please do not wait too long for this Falls Clinic appointment. :wink::)

    After all it is your life not his! He does not need the physio and hydrotherapy but you would like a try to see if it helps you. Look at it this way, you could not only be helping yourself to speed things up but also helping others who visit your gp in the future and would benefit from this type of treatment.

    Elna x
  • frogmella
    frogmella Member Posts: 1,115
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi,

    I understand that this suggestion depends somewhat on your financial circumstances but how about taking yourself to physio privately and then going to the gp with the info that you could get from that appointment? Once you have seen a physio you will have the evidence that it can help so then you should be able to get the GP to refer you. A first appointment with a physio isn't massively expensive and it would give you a start on some exercises while you wait for the NHS appointment.

    Good luck
  • valval
    valval Member Posts: 14,911
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    well this is a first as gps usually like to use physio as a first step i know you only get so many weeks but it does give them an idea of if it helps. as others have said do not wait to long. you can always mention a friend got refured and mentioned it to you as they felt it would help you it very important you stay as active as possible helps with weight as well as movement good luck val
  • elnafinn
    elnafinn Member Posts: 7,412
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    As Val ponts out, physio is generally what most gps recommend after an xray has diagnosed osteo arthritis in a certain joint. It may not help but the gp refers you for a minimum of 6 sessions, so that it can be ruled out if making no difference.

    Elna x
  • EnglishBriarRose
    EnglishBriarRose Member Posts: 14
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    :) Thank you all so much for all your support, advice and ideas - especially to the helpline team, who I rang the other day and got some wonderful support - you know who you are, you're a star :D bless you! Made an appointment to see my GP again, and downloaded loads of stuff from the internet re physio and hydrotherapy, which i plan to print off and take with me. :) I've been in real pain the last few days :( - I'm sure other people are in more, but i'm just not prepared to put up with it, not at only 63, when there's treatment out there that might help :x

    So thank you all again, and wish me luck, I'll let you know how I get on :roll:

    Love

    Rose xxx
  • elnafinn
    elnafinn Member Posts: 7,412
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    :D So pleased you called the helplines. Many people are greatly helped by them. :D I truly wish you well with all this. Good for you, we only have one body, so we must look after it the best way we can and if there is help out there, which there is, we must grab it and let others know too, including your good GP. :wink::lol::D

    Looking forward to hearing how you go on.

    Elna (who will be 62 at the end of this year :) ) x
  • EnglishBriarRose
    EnglishBriarRose Member Posts: 14
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    :) Thanks, Elna - I must admit, i wonder how many other patients with similar conditions my GP has "put off" because he just doesn't know what's available!!! :roll: Pretty bad for a GP who's been working in this area for 20+ years not even to know his local hospital HAS a hydrotherapy pool! :o So, with any luck, I might help other people as well, if I push hard enough. Not too good at "pushing" - the helpline adviser said i come over as very "polite" - well, I were brung up proper lol :wink: I will continue to be "polite" but try to be a bit more assertive - wish me luck with that, not my best point! :?

    Love

    Rose xxx

    PS Maybe I should change my screen name to "Prickly Rose"! :wink:
  • elnafinn
    elnafinn Member Posts: 7,412
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    :D:lol: By all means be polite, (I was brought up to be polite as well) and being assertive, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that at all. :D I have worked on that one myself and improved. If one feels passionately about something and this is an excellent example, you will most certainly be able to do it. :wink: You must not let your own health suffer when you know there is just the facility you require, out there, for you to use!

    If you do change your user name to "prickly Rose" I will still know who you are. :lol::wink:

    Knowledge is power! :D Also gives one confidence to be that little bit more assertive. ;)

    Hugs
    Elna x
  • wall1409
    wall1409 Member Posts: 294
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Good on you, you know what you want and have paid years into this system so should be entitled to it. I like you have OT of the spine and diverticulits aswell as other numerous problems. My rheumatologist referred me to physio for strengthening exercises, I decided to go swimming in a very nice heated accessible pool(not hydrotherapy), and promptly got told off, apparently unless you put your head under water whilst doing breast stroke you will put strain on your spine, silly me and I thought swimming was always good for you. Stick in there.
  • EnglishBriarRose
    EnglishBriarRose Member Posts: 14
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    :D Thanks, Elna and Wall

    Yes, I will go on being "polite" - not sure I could be any other way - but I've been in so much pain the last few days, I WILL be more assertive :x I just find it so frustrating that, when everything I've ever read about osteoarthritis says "exercise is good for it" - my doctor doesn't seem to know that! :shock: Particularly as, for the most part, he's a great doctor, and has been lovely to me in other ways. Obviously a blind spot 8) !

    Wall, sorry you found swimming was bad for it - I :oops: can't swim at all, i have tried, but have absolutely no co-ordination - don't think I've ever caught a ball in my life, and used to disgust my old dog by throwing a stick with all my might, only to have it land a metre/yard or so away :o He wasn't impressed lol!

    Elna, I'll probably stick with my screen name - after all, briars are prickly, aren't they? :wink: And if my doctor doesn't come up with the goods soon, I'll be able to hit him with my zimmer frame! :lol:

    Bless you all, good luck with all your own particular struggles with this illness! :)

    Love

    Rose xxx
  • beautifulviews
    beautifulviews Member Posts: 2
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    My GP referred me to a nhs physio.Absolutely hopeless,I told her about the treatment I had received privately. All she was prepared to do was print out a sheet of exercises.I explained what the other physio had done and how beneficial THE HEAT TREATMENT AND MASSAGE had been,and asked why couldn't she do similar. Her reply was, I may sue her !I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I WALKED OUT IN DISGUST.I intend to return to the private sector again as soon as I can afford it.
  • EnglishBriarRose
    EnglishBriarRose Member Posts: 14
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    :o That's disgraceful - I think you should make a formal complaint through the NHS Complaint procedure!

    Good luck with finding a decent physio

    Rose xxx
  • beautifulviews
    beautifulviews Member Posts: 2
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you Rose for replying .I mentioned it in passing to a Consultant I was seeing about another matter and he nodded!!I will think about a formal complaint. Where we lived previously the Nhs Physio. Dept .were really helpful after I had a knee replacement and worked hands on to help my mobility.
  • EnglishBriarRose
    EnglishBriarRose Member Posts: 14
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    You really should complain - I used to work with complaints in the NHS - and they hate them! That physio should be disciplined - or lose her job, she doesn't deserve it! Neither, come to that, do her patients! :x Good luck!

    Rose xxx
  • elnafinn
    elnafinn Member Posts: 7,412
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    There are good NHS physiotherapists as there are good GPs and so on. It is finding them that can prove problematic at times. My husband was most unimpressed with a private physio, so it is luck of the draw whatever "side" they work on and some work on both sides, consultants anyway.

    We have to persevere to find the right person to help us if we find a problem with a medic. It is good to complain as it is to compliment and I am the first to do both.

    Elna x
  • EnglishBriarRose
    EnglishBriarRose Member Posts: 14
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Dear All

    thank you all so much for all your advice and support - sorry I haven't replied before, but haven't been good :( I thought I posted earlier but probably did something dopy ;)

    Well, I've downloaded some stuff from the internet about physiotherapy, and printed some off, so will take that with me when I see my GP again tomorrow. Will admit to being nervous (very nervous) - but I refuse to be "sidelined" - my sister's word - any more. Don't know what his problem is about referring me to a physio, but it's his problem - I refuse to let it be mine! :? If he wont refer me, I'll find a doctor who will! :x

    Wish me luck!

    Thanks for all the support, couldn't have done it without you all!

    Rose
    xxxxx
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,088
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I don't think you need luck, Rose. You sound determined and 'well-armed' and that really should be enough. However, I shall be thinking of you and hoping very much that it all goes to plan because it's a very good plan.
  • EnglishBriarRose
    EnglishBriarRose Member Posts: 14
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks so much, Stickywicket! I do feel quite determined, actually, I will be nervous, but I've got all my "ammunition" - don't really see what excuse he can offer for not referring me! If he's reluctant, I'll ask why -I don't think there is a medical reason, so his reply should be interesting ;)

    Thanks again :)

    Rose
    xxxxx
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,088
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    He'll find it hard to produce a medical reason when every half-decent arthritis website will tell you that the best thing you can do is keep the muscles strong and supporting. Please let us know how you get on.

Who's Online

7
7 Guests