Advice on how to approach doctor

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This topic contains 4 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Di 1 year, 1 month ago.

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    I have been suffering pain in my feet for about 6 months now. I was initially diagnosed incorrectly with sciatica. After it got really bad a few weeks ago the doctor finally decided it was something to do with mu metatarsals. The pain was so bad that I have just returned to work after being signed off for 3 weeks. I have privately seen a podiatrist who said it stems for my calf muscles being too short and given me exercises to stretch them but this is going to take weeks and weeks and I haven’t had any reduction in pain yet. For pain relief I was initially prescribed amitriptyline when it was thought to be sciatic, then naproxen, then dicoflenac both of which were totally ineffective, then prescription strength co-codamol which had an effect but doesn’t last long enough. Finally I was prescribed tramadol which really does bring relief. I understand why doctors are reluctant to prescribe opiates but I was prescribed 60 to last me the next month but having returned to work 2 is not enough to get through the day. I really want to be able to work but I’m terrified that they won’t extend my prescription until there’s some progress in the underlying cause. I believe there’s a bit of a catch 22 situation and doctors think that anyone asking for painkillers is just about the last person you should give painkillers to.

    To make things worse, I never get to see my own GP because she is always booked up for weeks and I end up seeing a locum or one of the other practise doctors who probably are looking to get through this appointment rather than a long term plan. Would it be a good idea to ask to be referred to a pain management specialist? Sorry for the wall of text, basically I want a plan of what to say when I next visit.




    Sorry to hear about your feet and the trouble getting someone to help you.

    Have you had an xray? I’ve got osteoarthritis in both feet and the medical profession fobbed me off, sent me to podiatrist for 6 appointments who tried different insoles which didn’t help, had physio etc. What they wouldn’t do was listen to me when I explained I’d had an operation when I was 10 to correct my bunions. They told me they do the easiest and cheapest way of sorting out your problem first.. what a waste of time and money, my xrays showed lots of arthritis as I’d predicted!


    Jan Sadler

    You might find an article I wrote helpful, ‘Finding a Diagnosis’. At the end of the article is a checklist for you to fill in.

    We also have a page on ‘Getting the Best out of Medical Consultations’:

    Getting the Best Out of Medical Consultations

    And another about Pain Clinics;

    Pain Clinics and Pain Management Programmes

    I hope you find the help you need very soon.

    Let us know how you get on.

    Jan at PainSupport



    Thanks for the replay Laura, I hope you’re getting effective treatment now.

    I felt I’d already written a big wall of text so I didn’t give all the details. But I’ll add a bit more/ Yes, I had an x-ray and blood tests just over a week ago, but no results back yet. I’m also diabetic, but GP, diabetic nurse and podiatrist don’t think it is related. I’ve been using voltarol cream which sometimes brings very short term relief. I have a revitive electronic foot massager which feels reasonably pleasant to use but I’m not convinced it reduces pain. I have also seen a hypnotherapist,the emphasis there was more on being able to sleep than pain, but it didn’t really work for me. I also had physio provided by my company’s occupational health dept. That didn’t work although the initial diagnosis of sciatica was wrong, but the physiotherapist was hell-bent on it all being due to lazy-bottom syndrome and I think she just didn’t believe I was doing the exercises when I said it hadn’t worked



    I’m afraid if you are looking for pain relief soon so you can work, a pain clinic isn’t the answer. the waiting times are extremely long. My local clinic is 6 months, the one I was first referred to was 9 months despite me being totally bedridden with the pain. I now travel to a clinic I love but I think the waiting time there is around 10 months. Have you tried phoning teh practice manager to explain tat you really need to see your own GP rather than a locum but you are finding it impossible. If you do it as if you are asking for their advice and help on how to see him and it’s affecting your work you will get further than if it sounds like a complaint

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