Zippetydoodah, I’m finally getting NHS physio

January 28, 2009 at 2:26 pm | Posted in arthrits, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, joint pai, Me, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) | Leave a comment

Yay, I’m finally getting some physiotherapy on the NHS for my RA. It hasn’t actually taken QUITE this long – I started just before Christmas and this afternoon will be my fifth session … and my physio has achieved a ton in that time … in spite of this week’s flare up! Further good news is that so far she’s shown no sign of the two things I was dreading: Saying ‘I can’t treat that bit of you – only your shoulder and knee were referred’ or saying, ‘Right you’ve had four sessions, that’s your lot.’ Mind you, I’ve also heard rumours about six sessions being the lot, so we’ll see what happens next week!

After taking a thorough history and getting me to go through a range of ‘range of motion’ exercises to assess the issue,and after establishing that I’d actually been referred for the wrong shoulder she was more than happy to agree that if ultrasound had helped in the past it would probably help now, and do some. That’s one:nil to the Dereham physio over the Norwich one! She started off doing ultrasound and some massage and giving me new exercises to do – and also telling me to stop when it hurt. Seem obvious? Not to me it didn’t, having come through the old ‘No pain no gain’ eighties regime!

Then a couple of weeks ago I went in and said, ‘I know I’ve not been referred for this, but my neck is causing major problems’ so she did a thorough investigation of that and then two treatments specifically around the neck area – massage and manipulation. Apparently I have a lot of stiffness in some of the joints in the neck/upper back, which she’s been working on, and apart from the flare up, I’ve seen a big improvement. I’ve also got some strengthening exercises and, as previously mentioned, a neck brace for when things get really bad …although that has issues of its own. (See my post about that.) She’s happy to listen to me when I go in, with regard to what the problems are this week and what needs most work, and she’s also quite friendly and happy to chat about ipods, children, embroidery, home decorating or any number of other fairly random topics while ultra-sounding. (While massaging she’s too busy going, ‘Oh did that hurt? Is it bearable’ etc. to chat.)

It’s slightly difficult to chat as, and this is my only very minor whinge, being an old NHS hospital (which i suspect is being slowly run down until they close it), the physio ward is just that, a ward with curtained couches, not separate rooms. So you can hear the lady next-door telling her tale of woe about how she can’t look after her elderly sister, while a man across the aisle talks about his knee problems, and a girl using traction wonders how many inches she’ll grow by the end of the session … I try not to listen, but boy it’s hard!

Still, all in all I’m very happy … so far. Let’s wait and see if I’m still saying that in a couple of weeks’ time, or whether she’s kicked me out for having too many sessions!


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