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Should I be disappointed by my physio session?

(31 Posts)
FifiFerusha Wed 25-May-16 14:55:42


I put out a very long thread previously about really bad( and what I thought were sciatica) pains. Everyone on here have been so helpful and I thank you all for that. Anyway, I had got to a point where I couldn't walk but am now on other meds although they are not really that effective, I can manage waking in great pain and try and do most tasks sitting down. So They booked me in for urgent physio(I have a 9mo so am struggling). however the physio doesn't seem to know what it is. She doesn't really seem that interested. None of the usual tests show anything obvious but I am still in constant pain. I can't bear it anymore. I have spent my time looking into this that and the other, thinking about the anatomy, and playing about with positions to show her which one give me the most pain sensations etc... In attempt to help her figure it out I guess(but. I don't think she was too bothered about it) Today I asked her what she thought the problem might be. She kind of said 'mmm, maybe a disc thing, but definitely a nerve thing, not sure which nerve though'. I explained to her the muscles that give me pain and wondered if these could unveil a clearer idea or which part of the sling might effect these, or is a problem with these muscles that are pressing on a nerve. I was polite kind and enthusiastic. She just said that she didn't really have the time to go through the anatomy with me(it was nearing lunch hour I think). I never complain about anyone but it made me feel so sad and unimportant. I can't cope with this anymore and it is making me so low. It is through the NHS and my appointment lasted only 10 minutes. She changed the exercises she gave me but I am not confident really. I think she was given me generic exercises for something or other. She said she might not be able to see me for a while as she is on holiday soon. Wanted to cry, surely they should fit me in with someone else. Half the time I can hardly walk. Sorry to vent but is this normal? Is it just a thing we have to live with, constant pain. Am I suppose to be fobbed off. Feel gutted and really really low x x

LivingInMidnight Wed 25-May-16 19:27:12

NHS physios can be a bit hit and miss. Could you afford to go privately? Your GP might be able to refer you to a different one if not.

MatildaTheCat Wed 25-May-16 21:57:23

This is so rubbish. You need a diagnosis which means am MRI. I ended up paying for one which at least got the GPS, physios etc onside. It also lead to injections which do help some people a great deal. Could you either see your GP and insist on the MRI or otherwise scrape the money together ( or credit card?) and just get it done? NHS waiting times are usually 2-6 weeks. Privately it is on a sliding scale so more expensive today than next week etc. I paid about £250 for a week ahead.

Keep going, we can offer more support on the back pain thread if you want to pop in.

FifiFerusha Wed 25-May-16 22:30:30

Will an MRI scam definitely show what the issues are? Have been discussing this with DP. We don't realistically have the money for it but if it could give some solutions, and definitely, we would find a way. I am back to work (on mat leave now) in three weeks and I seriously don't know how I can work so need to get this sorted. I am also feeling weirdly low and sad and we are worried this may have lots of on going troubles x

Pico2 Wed 25-May-16 22:34:52

If physio is the answer then private physio is the way to go. An initial appointment is normally 45mins or so. 10 mins isn't going to get you very far. Some NHS physios are limited in the amount of hands on work they can do.

Pico2 Wed 25-May-16 22:35:40

But obviously there are some issues that a physio can't fix (e.g. ones that need surgery).

Veterinari Wed 25-May-16 22:38:02

Ask your gp for a neuro referral

FifiFerusha Wed 25-May-16 22:55:40

That's the thing. I am uncertain where to invest money(I don't have) if the diagnosis is uncertain. Do I get an MRi scan? Should I bother with a private physio if they can't help too. I am weighing cost and outcome out. I need to make sure anything I do privately will help. Argh, this is difficult.

And this is all new to me, I tend to never go to the doctors and generally am usually ok. Can I ask a doctor for a referral such as neuro referral? Can I even ask for an MRI scan with a positive response? You can see I am losing my faith in the NHS. Sad x

princessmi12 Wed 25-May-16 23:00:18

I remember your previous post! I knew this is the way it will go with nhs physio!
Please don't waste your time and go to private chiropractor,it's completely different attitude and real help for moderate price .

hollinhurst84 Wed 25-May-16 23:09:01

I've had a bad NHS physio and a great one. Private physio has been absolutely amazing, if you're in the NW I will happily recommend them

glassgarden Wed 25-May-16 23:35:24

some time ago I had sciatica pain which was severe when I was standing/walking and went off if I sat down, I went to a private physio who identified a prolapsed disc and treated me over about 6 sessions

the NHS one sounds rubbish, I've always gone private for musculo skeletal problem as I've had various issues (sports injuries) over the years.

Personally never found chiropractors or osteo's very helpful but the physio has been very good

RJnomore1 Wed 25-May-16 23:40:25

Ask around for a good sports Physio. They will not only sort it but will diagnose you. If I remember rightly you're nowhere near Glasgow are you, or I could recommend one or two. They should only see you 2/3 times do not a huge ongoing expense although I get if money's tight it's a lot.

I remain unconvinced by chiropractors - they seem to be effective at dealing with pain but not actually fixing issues whereas a good Physio can give you the tools to sore things although you will need to do as they tell you. <eyes dh>

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Wed 25-May-16 23:43:31

You need an nhs or private sports physio- massage, acupuncture or dry needling and exercises are the norm , not ten mins of uncertainty!

Ime some physios are appalling, the difference between good and bad ones are like night and day. Get a good one and it's life changing.

WhoTheFuckIsSimon Wed 25-May-16 23:45:09

Nhs physio I saw was quite useless. No clue what was wrong. Kept saying she thought it was my spine, I kept saying it's my pelvis. I can hear it pop every time I straighten my leg, I can feel the pain in my pelvis. She wasn't having it.

Went to a private physio. Knew what it was right away, loads of deep massage in the right place, exercises to do at home.

They all do a degree and have the same training though so think it must be pot luck if you get a decent nhs one or not. I suppose private ones you have more chance of them being decent as otherwise they'd go bust!

frank2011 Thu 26-May-16 00:11:16

Agree specialist sports physio sorted me out after useless general physio & chiropractor!
Honestly best money i have ever spent. Not cured as still get twinges but it came out of nowhere & i was in agony- wondered if i might have to give up my job.
Did take about 6 sessions though but could say pain decreased by about 50% after 2nd session. Was told it was actually neuro pain causing the sciatica. Don't waste your time with general physios. Know its expensive but so so worth to even get a couple of appointments

Backingvocals Thu 26-May-16 12:41:52

Yes that sounds rubbish. Especially when you really need a solution. I've never had much luck with physios tbh, but have found that osteopaths help me. I know it really varies depending on you and your problem.

I think you should go back to your GP, request a referral to a consultant who can get you an MRI, and go from there. GPs like to send you on to physios as I guess it's cheaper but sometimes they just don't have enough information to help. And you sound like you really need help as you are in such pain.

FWIW, three years ago I was getting increasing back pain. Not as acute as yours but chronic. Got to the point where I was avoiding walking for more than 10 minutes, or cooking because standing up for more than 10 minutes set me off. I got sent to an NHS physio who muttered about core strength and gave me some desultory exercises to do. I did them faithfully but it was not helping at all. Eventually I got an MRI which gave a rough indication of what the problem was but even then it wasn't a clear diagnostic. So I went to a specialist personal trainer who helped me properly build my core. I've been twice a week for two years and that keeps me on the straight and narrow. It isn't cured but it's under control.

Anyway, none of this is a solution for you (and you probably would not be safe to see a personal trainer right now - even setting aside the cost) but I just wanted to share my experience and let you know that it can be a long road but that there are things you can do.

first things first though - you need a more expert opinion from a specialist.

Zadocthepriest Thu 26-May-16 13:47:46

I spent ages seeing NHS physio, private physio, osteopath. Luckily I had private medical cover through work and could see the NHS system creaking slowly in the same direction as the private system. I ended up seeing a specialist and having steroid epidural injection which finally sorted things out.

I would go back to your GP and ask for a referral to specialist.

FifiFerusha Thu 26-May-16 14:37:53

Well, I had an appoinment with the GP today anyway. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaah, is all I can say. I tried to explain how much pain. I was in but he was very stern and said that the combinations of medicines he has given me should be sufficient. He also said that physios are there to advise on exercise not really to diagnose the issues so he defended the one I saw. Although. I tried not to come across like I was complaining. He said we will see what happens in the next six weeks. .gutted x

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Thu 26-May-16 14:39:50

He's talking bollox, utter bollox.

Try and see a private sports physio.

Backingvocals Thu 26-May-16 14:45:37

What an idiot. What's the point of "should be sufficient" when clearly they are not. You are entitled to a second opinion and I would go back and say you want to see a consultant and then find another GP who listens

icouldabeenacontender Thu 26-May-16 14:50:38

Sports therapist is where you should head.
I had terrible sciatica and saw a sports therapist who gave me really intensive massage, it was quite painful but it centred around a particularly painful area in my buttock.
Best money I ever spent, got some relief after one session and after 3 was nearly back to normal.
I would combine this with the exercises you already have.
Hope you get some relief soon. flowers

FifiFerusha Thu 26-May-16 14:57:00

. . .and to add I really didn't dare ask for a referral of any kind. This is so wierd. I think he seems to think it may go away over night. Well, O hope he is right but it really isn't looking that way forward. Think I will look up some private paths. I also have a friend whose husband does acupuncture so that may be worth a try. X

HardleyWorthit Thu 26-May-16 15:17:08

Physio here... NHS physios are limited in time but usually a new patient appt is 45mins-1hr depending on your trust with a follow up between 20 and 30 mins.

Without knowing the ins and outs (there may be a good reason why your session was short) I'd say 10 mins is not enough to assess and give you treatment/exercise, especially for a back. You are within your rights to call the physio dept and ask to see another more senior physio. Explain the pain you are in and that you didn't feel like you got all the answers or even a full assessment. Most NHS physios do acupuncture too so you can ask them about that too.

I really hope you get the help you need. flowers

HardleyWorthit Thu 26-May-16 15:21:34

Ah, on further reading I see it was a follow up that was 10 mins. Sometimes they can be shorter if the therapist felt that she had covered everything. Obviously you didn't feel that was the case though... I would call the department if you feel up to it and ask to speak to a senior member of the team about your concerns.

meffhead Thu 26-May-16 16:52:40

NHS Physio . What it is...... It's better than Speech and Language by 100 %...
If you are not happy then you need to go private. I've got a disabled DS and trying to get therapies is a battle!

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