Gransnet forums


A very long wait!

(23 Posts)
phoenix Sun 13-Mar-16 15:18:44

I have been having a lot of pain in my left shoulder and arm, along with pins and needles, tingling right down to my fingers etc.

In November and December I had a few sessions with an osteopath, but couldn't afford to keep going. Towards the end of January, I saw my GP who referred me for physio.

A few weeks ago I phoned the local hospital as I hadn't heard from them and was told that the first available appointment was the 5th April shock !!

I realise that it isn't a life threatening thing, but at times the pain is almost unbearable, and I'm concerned that the longer it goes on, the longer it's going to take to put right.

Doesn't help that I'm left handed!

merlotgran Sun 13-Mar-16 15:33:06

These waits are awful, phoenix. My poor DD has been waiting for a laparoscopy for endometriosis since last November. It's booked for 24th March and as it's so close to Easter she's praying there won't be another postponment as it's only her pain management medication that's keeping her going.

We're on tenterhooks because if they find anything nasty they will go ahead with invasive surgery so waiting is obviously making her more anxious.


merlotgran Sun 13-Mar-16 15:35:01

Have you thought of acupuncture, phoenix?

I had synovitis in my left shoulder and upper arm and acupuncture helped a lot although it took a few months to clear up completely.

Indinana Sun 13-Mar-16 15:52:44

I do sympathise phoenix. My DS has somehow trapped a nerve in his neck/shoulder and is having the same pain, tingling and pins and needles as you describe. He has physio weekly and its slowly - very slowly - improving. But I think each session is around £35. He's lucky he can afford it - i certainly couldn't! The lengthy waits for NHS physio are so upsetting. I hope they can at least sort it fairly quickly when the time comes. flowers

phoenix Sun 13-Mar-16 16:08:03

Thanks for the replies. I think my GP has been known to do acupuncture himself, must check that out, although it can be hard to get an appointment with him, he is cutting down his days ready to retire.

My sessions with the osteopath were £35 a go, and at the moment it is just not affordable, hence the referral to the NHS physio, I just never imagined that it would be such a long wait!

Charleygirl Sun 13-Mar-16 16:13:48

phoenix I am aware that this is not going to be much help to you but the pain you are getting may well be coming from your neck if it is radiating down your shoulder and arm and you are having pins and needles. I will not bore you by telling you which nerves are causing the pins and needles because it is treatment you need.

That is a long wait- I think that the general feeling is that you may well be better by then so may not need the appointment.

I do not know what to suggest because you must exercise that shoulder and arm within the limits of your pain. Does a soothing bath and painkillers help? It is not easy especially as I am aware that you are working.

NanKate Sun 13-Mar-16 16:53:21

Acupuncture worked for me with exactly the same symptoms. Hope you can get an appointment with your Doctor. I could only sleep with my arm resting on a pillow.

phoenix Sun 13-Mar-16 17:00:54

Charleygirl I do stretching exercises, use a heated wheat bag in the evening whilst watching TV, and when having my morning shower spend time standing so that the water goes directly onto my neck/shoulder, not sure that there is much more I can do!

I do try also to do basic housework (wiping down worktops, vacuuming, dusting etc) with my right arm, but often fail as it feels so wrong!

rosesarered Sun 13-Mar-16 17:15:33

phoenix I get the same pains minus the pins and needles. the hot shower helps me a lot.I think it does radiate down from my neck as charleygirl suggests and may be a trapped nerve.Or..... Too much time spent on the iPad, computer and reading, so I try and limit my time for each activity.

rosesarered Sun 13-Mar-16 17:16:30

Do hope that your treatment will help, let us know if physio does any good?

POGS Sun 13-Mar-16 17:46:48


It also sounds a tad like onset Spondylosis , a question worth asking your doc.

It's a right royal pain in the neck innit.

Charleygirl Sun 13-Mar-16 17:52:34

I do not think that you can be doing anymore- it is soothing having a shower with the hot water hitting the spot. I do not recommend this old age lark.

As rosesarered said, too much time spent typing on whatever instrument you use does not help but you do need distraction therapy and that can be it.

M0nica Sun 13-Mar-16 20:47:50

Phoenix This sounds exactly like the problem DH has had since December.
I have just written about it and the treatment he had on the thread 'Metformin to prevent cancer'. It was trapped nerve caused by wear and tear on his neck vertebrae, some were worn and some were out of place. The specialist he saw recommended that his GP prescribe gabapentin, a drug usually prescribed for epilepsy but also blocks neural pathways. It was effective. He has since had a series of steroid injections in is neck, which have enabled him to give the drugs.

I confess we went private as the GP told us he would otherwise have to wait six weeks for an appointment. At that point he had had to give up driving and was spending most of the day slumped in a chair in too much pain to do anything. I was having to accompany him to GP appointments because the pain came between him and any dialogue with his doctor.

Judthepud2 Sun 13-Mar-16 23:51:38

When my father was diagnosed with Parkinson's he was referred by his GP for physiotherapy to help with the stiffness he was experiencing. 2 years later, he died of cancer, still waiting for an appointment. About 4 months after that, an appointment with a physiotherapist arrived. My brother rang to cancel it and said DF wouldn't be attending as he was now dead and put the phone down.

That was 20 years ago. Things don't seem to be improving!

M0nica Mon 14-Mar-16 07:35:02

What made me so angry was that the process of seeing a specialist involved the GP referring him and then a NURSE ringing DH to triage him to make the final decision as to whether he needed to see the specialist or not. Since when have nurses been reviewing decisions made by doctors?

I also feel we were nudged towards seeing the specialist privately, because we then paid for the treatment as well and by doing that we did, of course, save the practice a significant sum of money.

trisher Mon 14-Mar-16 10:17:25

phoenix I am shocked and suddenly realise how lucky I was. This must be a case of local NHS services being badly organised. I had a minor knee injury last year and was referred for physio. I expected to wait ages but within a week I had a telephone call for an initial assessment (this included pain rating) I was then offered an appointment about 3 weeks ahead and asked if I would take a cancellation. Of course I said "yes". I missed a call on my mobile for an appointment the next week but rang back and was contacted the next day with a new appointment. So only a couple of weeks since my referral! It is an incredibly efficient service. One of their requirements is that you contact them the day before your appointment to confirm you are going to attend, if you don't they give your slot to someone else. Really cuts down the DNAs. Have you told them you will take a cancellation? Hope you get something sorted soon. Pain is so debilitating and it prevents you doing all the things you want to.

merlotgran Mon 14-Mar-16 10:29:41

Postcode lottery? I had severe pain in my left knee last year which turned out to be caused by a Baker's cyst. I saw the GP and was sent to our local community hospital for an X ray within a week. It then took a few days to get back to the GP for the results and the appropriate meds but it was all pretty quick.

We're very lucky here.

annsixty Mon 14-Mar-16 10:42:29

I have had a Baker's cyst confirmed by a scan and I think the pain I am now having is it that has filled up again ,which can happen. I was never given meds so am interested in yours Merlot .I have been given a booked appt with my GP for April 7 th yes you read it right. I rang for an emergency appt this am but couldn't get through, a typical Monday morning.

Stansgran Mon 14-Mar-16 11:42:19

I had pain in my left shoulder a year ago and was told that it was a torn ligament. I was also told that it would be very unlikely for anyone over 60 not to have a torn ligament. I had a steroid injection and physio. It seems to have worked.

Charleygirl Mon 14-Mar-16 14:39:56

The average wait for a physio appointment is around 2 months minimum unless one is very lucky.

merlotgran Mon 14-Mar-16 14:50:23

Just Naproxen annsixty with Omeprazole to protect the stomach. I'm hoping it doesn't come back again because it was more painful when it started to drain.

Hope you get yours sorted soon.

annsixty Mon 14-Mar-16 15:53:20

Thank you Merlot I was sent to A&E as the GP thought it was a DVT. When it was established it wasn't they did a scan which showed the cyst had ruptured. It was as you say very painful, as it is now but feels a bit different to then.

phoenix Mon 14-Mar-16 17:31:42

Thank you for the replies.

When I queried it with the local hospital they said that they just don't have enough staff to meet the demand. They also have their own "grading" system to decide who is given priority, so must have decided that I was OK to wait!