All medical chat and queries in here. Please don't start a new one for every single medical question.

DocSavage

Clanker
Sorry if this has been mentioned before, but I couldn't find a specific thread on my problem.

I'm 32 male, very fit and physically active, with a manual heavy lifting job. In 2017, I attempted to join the Army Reserve in a non-frontline role.

I was rejected as P8L8, due to "a history of sciatic pain". This "history" refers to a minor rugby injury sustained 15 years ago in 2005, with one flareup in 2006. I had a slight twinge in my lower back after training and was annoyed that it temporarily prevented me from playing rugby and so went to my GP who sent me on to a consultant who said there was "no evidence of any red flags" and that I had only been "slightly hurt". Physiotherapy and rest in between seeing the GP and the consultant, left me largely without symptoms. Subsequent to that consultation, I have never had back problems again.

I appealed, but my initial appeal did not make reference to the consultant's notes, instead my GP wrote a supporting letter, saying I had no symptoms from 2006. The Army rejected this appeal on the grounds that I "had symptoms of lumbago and sciatica in 2006" and "such a history is a permanent bar to army entry".

Feeling discouraged I abandoned my application, moving abroad to Australia for work. On my return I decided to re-apply and the Army have flagged my outstanding "level 1a appeal".

I am being asked to provide "new medical evidence" again. My question folks, is what more do they want? Other than reference to the consultant notes, there isn't any more. I haven't had any symptoms for 14 years. What new evidence can I show them, other than to stress this point - with support from my GP - whilst also hinting that I am joining a unit which will not see the frontline or be engaged in heavy lifting?

My GP at present (different to the last), will write another support letter, but is being slightly difficult over the wording of the Army's medical regulations. My contention is that "a history of back pain" means frequent occurrences of back pain, which is not true - this has happened to me twice in 32 years. He argues that "a history of back pain" means just one instance. Should I also get a support letter from a private GP or back specialist? The recruiters have said the wording in the regulations has subtly changed meaning I have a chance of getting in, but I'm unconvinced. Having read the JSP online it still seems "Candidates with a history of sciatic pain with or without back pain are graded P8L8", that is to say, no chance of joining.

Does anyone have any experience of passing an appeal after a first rejection and does anyone have any experience of sciatic pain in the context of Army recruitment?

Apologies for the essay, I just really want to give it my best shot and to serve.

Cheers,
Unfortunately, when we use the expression "a history of.." in a medical context it means that the event described has occurred , even if it is only once. It does not matter how long it lasts for or how many times for it to qualify as part of your medical history.



Specifically looking at back pain, the Army is rightly concerned at recruiting anyone who has had to have time off work or sport due to back pain as military service is linked to causing or worsening back problems and there is a considerable loss of service personnel due to back problems. If your medical notes make any reference to sciatic pain then current JSP regulations are not going to be in your favour.



If your GP is being difficult over the wording you want him/ her to use then it is probably because to support you the way you want would involve them either lying or stretching the truth more than they are comfortable with. (please note I am not accusing you of lying but your interpretation of your medical record will not be as strict as theirs) Also to a GP this is not part of their routine job contract and particularly in the current climate all they have to do is provide a copy of your records to the MOD and no supporting letters can be forced from them if they don't want to do it.



A letter from a private GP would be a waste of your money time and effort as they will probably not have access to your full medical records so they will effectively be producing a letter that says "this person has paid me to write this letter that says they have no back pain" and the MOD will still look at your original medical records and they will carry a lot more weight than a private GP letter written without the notes



Sorry to be negative but the detail of exactly what is in your medical records is what counts here
 

DocSavage

Clanker
Hi, just recently had my medical application deferred due to a form of ongoing treatment and they said earliest I can re apply is when I’ve been fully discharged from the hospital so I have began that process and will continue my application once I have the letters to prove it.

What I am wondering is, they’ve mentioned other issues I might have in my application may be from my knees problems and have provided no more detail so I’m assuming I will be rejected and have to appeal, but from reading the JSP, it mentions you may be graded L2 if you have been 12 months free of and symptoms or treatment, which I have. However I’m aware I have been the doctors more than 3 times over a period of many years, I am only eighteen and 2 of which being growing pains which I’ll mention in my appeal when I comes to it and will aim to get the doctor to state I received a misdiagnosis of Patellofemoral Pain.

Just wondering if anyone has any experience with appealing knee problems or any knowledge on the likelihood of my appeals success because I don’t hold out much hope I will be very successful
Sorry BigRed but "growing pains" don't exist. It is something said instead of "we cant tell you what the cause is" and is often used along with it will get better on its own (and 99% of soft tissue and joint pain does get better by itself)
If you have had 3 GP reviews for knee pain by the age of 18 then the army will very likely look at that as long term knee problems and list you as P8
Patellofemoral pain is a descrtiption, not a diagnosis - the Army used to refer to anterior knee pain in this category and it is usually not looked at favourably
If you have had several episodes of knee pain and no diagnosis then that should be a higher priority than joining the army which at present is not looking likely for you. If your pain can be identified to a specific condition that can be treated then you may have no knee pain and the ability to join the army

I would suggest you ask to see a knee surgeon who can assess your knee properly and give you some specific advice on the best way forward
 

Fang_Farrier

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Anyone know if a few red spots on skin and spots on face mean fail at assessment medical?
In a kind mood so will just say it depends.
 

Cam26

Swinger
Sorry if this has been mentioned before, but I couldn't find a specific thread on my problem.

I'm 32 male, very fit and physically active, with a manual heavy lifting job. In 2017, I attempted to join the Army Reserve in a non-frontline role.

I was rejected as P8L8, due to "a history of sciatic pain". This "history" refers to a minor rugby injury sustained 15 years ago in 2005, with one flareup in 2006. I had a slight twinge in my lower back after training and was annoyed that it temporarily prevented me from playing rugby and so went to my GP who sent me on to a consultant who said there was "no evidence of any red flags" and that I had only been "slightly hurt". Physiotherapy and rest in between seeing the GP and the consultant, left me largely without symptoms. Subsequent to that consultation, I have never had back problems again.

I appealed, but my initial appeal did not make reference to the consultant's notes, instead my GP wrote a supporting letter, saying I had no symptoms from 2006. The Army rejected this appeal on the grounds that I "had symptoms of lumbago and sciatica in 2006" and "such a history is a permanent bar to army entry".

Feeling discouraged I abandoned my application, moving abroad to Australia for work. On my return I decided to re-apply and the Army have flagged my outstanding "level 1a appeal".

I am being asked to provide "new medical evidence" again. My question folks, is what more do they want? Other than reference to the consultant notes, there isn't any more. I haven't had any symptoms for 14 years. What new evidence can I show them, other than to stress this point - with support from my GP - whilst also hinting that I am joining a unit which will not see the frontline or be engaged in heavy lifting?

My GP at present (different to the last), will write another support letter, but is being slightly difficult over the wording of the Army's medical regulations. My contention is that "a history of back pain" means frequent occurrences of back pain, which is not true - this has happened to me twice in 32 years. He argues that "a history of back pain" means just one instance. Should I also get a support letter from a private GP or back specialist? The recruiters have said the wording in the regulations has subtly changed meaning I have a chance of getting in, but I'm unconvinced. Having read the JSP online it still seems "Candidates with a history of sciatic pain with or without back pain are graded P8L8", that is to say, no chance of joining.

Does anyone have any experience of passing an appeal after a first rejection and does anyone have any experience of sciatic pain in the context of Army recruitment?

Apologies for the essay, I just really want to give it my best shot and to serve.

Cheers,

Griff
I applied last year and got medically deferred P8L8 due to sciatica. I appealed which was successful and I was sent for selection. I sent them a letter from my doctor stating that I do present any symptoms of having sciatica and haven't been back to the GP for 3 years since getting diagnosed with it so there wasn't enough evidence that I suffered from it. I also wrote them a letter to go with the GPs letter to explain that it no longer affects me. It took around 2-3 months to get my application back on track.
 
Question on foreign medical records:

I took sertraline for about 16 months (didn't need to take it for anywhere near that long but I was moving a lot during that period and in order to come off it you need to have consistent access to the same doctor so they can monitor you).

My final 4 prescriptions were given to me in France by a private doctor. Would the army be able to find any record of that? I'd rather let them believe my treatment ended in August so I can join sooner (JSP950 mandates 12 months between cessation of medication and joining up).
 

Fang_Farrier

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Question on foreign medical records:

I took sertraline for about 16 months (didn't need to take it for anywhere near that long but I was moving a lot during that period and in order to come off it you need to have consistent access to the same doctor so they can monitor you).

My final 4 prescriptions were given to me in France by a private doctor. Would the army be able to find any record of that? I'd rather let them believe my treatment ended in August so I can join sooner (JSP950 mandates 12 months between cessation of medication and joining up).
It's amazing how many people have been prescribed drugs that they didn't need.

But to your question, lying about such things will not get you in sooner merely earning you a discharge before you even start on integrity grounds
 

Bob65

Old-Salt
I took sertraline for about 16 months
Wikipedia says

It is used to treat major depressive disorder, obsessive–compulsive disorder, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and social anxiety disorder. Sertraline is taken by mouth. Common side effects include diarrhea, sexual dysfunction, and troubles with sleep.
It is likely any of those on records that the Army do have access to would result in closer scrutiny.
 

Jam12bix

Old-Salt
Question on foreign medical records:

I took sertraline for about 16 months (didn't need to take it for anywhere near that long but I was moving a lot during that period and in order to come off it you need to have consistent access to the same doctor so they can monitor you).

My final 4 prescriptions were given to me in France by a private doctor. Would the army be able to find any record of that? I'd rather let them believe my treatment ended in August so I can join sooner (JSP950 mandates 12 months between cessation of medication and joining up).
Are you commonwealth ?
 

Bob65

Old-Salt
I am on medication for high blood pressure, my blood pressure has been stable for years thanks to the medication
If you are reliant on medication it will almost certainly be a "no" as the Army cannot guarantee to be able to supply it when deployed. You would need to be clear of the condition for X years, where X is a number in JSP950.
 
Still waiting for the sickle cell blood test.

Regarding medical appeals, mine was positively answered in three days.
I guess the information I supplied and the letter I wrote must have been deemed extremely convincing. I for one was flabbergasted at the speed. I was anticipating never less than 3 weeks.
Daniel have you had your sickle cell blood test yet??
 

IceKing

Swinger
Anyone know about what happens with antibiotics for a tick bite. Prescribed as a precation to hopefully not get lymes disease or any infection - can getting prescribed these anibiotics defer my medical? Cheers.
 

Hollz2412

Swinger
Anyone know about what happens with antibiotics for a tick bite. Prescribed as a precation to hopefully not get lymes disease or any infection - can getting prescribed these anibiotics defer my medical? Cheers.
I had the same back in 2018 but I wasn’t told there was any issue. So either it doesn’t matter or the army don’t have the records of it cuz mine was in America.
 
Sorry BigRed but "growing pains" don't exist. It is something said instead of "we cant tell you what the cause is" and is often used along with it will get better on its own (and 99% of soft tissue and joint pain does get better by itself)
If you have had 3 GP reviews for knee pain by the age of 18 then the army will very likely look at that as long term knee problems and list you as P8
Patellofemoral pain is a descrtiption, not a diagnosis - the Army used to refer to anterior knee pain in this category and it is usually not looked at favourably
If you have had several episodes of knee pain and no diagnosis then that should be a higher priority than joining the army which at present is not looking likely for you. If your pain can be identified to a specific condition that can be treated then you may have no knee pain and the ability to join the army

I would suggest you ask to see a knee surgeon who can assess your knee properly and give you some specific advice on the best way forward
The pain that I did have, whatever the cause, has now completely gone and has for a period of over 12 months as the JSP states is required for a L2 grading, and those visits that I have had to the doctors were still isolated incidents of some pain, understandably still a ‘history’ of knee pain.

What I’m thinking is, if I was to get a knee consultant to check over and examine my knees, and write a note stating they’re ok (in the event that they are that is) and no chronic issues have occurred etc, along with some other evidence like a training diary, would a successful appeal be likely and the JSP doesn’t say its a bar to entry and does have reasons an L2 could be given.
 

DocSavage

Clanker
The pain that I did have, whatever the cause, has now completely gone and has for a period of over 12 months as the JSP states is required for a L2 grading, and those visits that I have had to the doctors were still isolated incidents of some pain, understandably still a ‘history’ of knee pain.

What I’m thinking is, if I was to get a knee consultant to check over and examine my knees, and write a note stating they’re ok (in the event that they are that is) and no chronic issues have occurred etc, along with some other evidence like a training diary, would a successful appeal be likely and the JSP doesn’t say its a bar to entry and does have reasons an L2 could be given.
Big Red
You say earlier that you visited your GP regularly over 6 years with knee pains but now you have been pain free for 12 months. I would put more emphasis on the 6 years of problems than 12 months reported pain free. If you were pain free for a significantly longer period and working / exercising to a high level of loading then maybe you might get through on appeal. I would expect 3-5 yrs pain free as an adult if I were to give any weight to an appeal.

A private civilian knee consultant will not change those facts as I suggested above , paying someone to look at your knees will result in a letter that effectively says this man has paid me to say he has no pain. (it will have to be private as no GP is going to refer you on the NHS to use up resources if you have no pain)

Sorry but your medical records will state repeated episodes of knee pain and the Army are not likely to gamble on you with that history
 
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Fang_Farrier

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Anyone know about what happens with antibiotics for a tick bite. Prescribed as a precation to hopefully not get lymes disease or any infection - can getting prescribed these anibiotics defer my medical? Cheers.
As long it was a preventative dose and not one to treat lymes.
 

IceKing

Swinger
Yeah so when i rang the gp's the gp said is there any redness. I said that there was not really apart from a small bit of redness where i had removed the tick. So the gp said get the antibiotics just in case as the head may still be stuck in my leg. So hopefully should be fine.
 
Hi I had mild eczema in the creases of my arms when I was a child. Sorted it out with some emollient gel. Worried this is going to be a problem when they look at my medical records...any advice?
 

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