Musculoskeletal (MSK) Physiotherapy

Out-patient Musculoskeletal (MSK) Physiotherapy Services are here to help if you if you have a problem relating to your joints and muscles or associated tissues such as ligaments and nerves. We can help if you have a new MSK  problem that is failing to resolve or worsening of a long-term MSK condition that is impacting on your ability to do your usual activities. Physiotherapy takes a ‘whole person’ approach to health and wellbeing. We look at a range of factors that may be influencing your symptoms including tissue injury, other health conditions, lifestyle, exercise, sleep and stress.

Access to an MSK Physiotherapy assessment may start in primary care where most people can book directly to see a First Contact Physiotherapist (FCP) within their GP practice. The FCP is a highly skilled Physiotherapist who will provide an assessment, diagnosis and advice. They may also offer specific treatments such as joint injections, referral to other services, such as for a course of Physiotherapy or to Orthopaedics, as well as for diagnostic tests. Alternatively you may be referred to your local MSK Physiotherapy Department by your GP, a consultant or another NHS service.

In all Community Hospitals there is a MSK Physiotherapy Team which will include advanced practice clinicians. Following a comprehensive assessment that is usually face to face but in some cases may be via telephone, we will discuss the findings/diagnosis and together set goals and an agreed plan for management of your problem. Options for treatment might include a personalised exercise programme, advice and education on managing your pain or long term condition, manual therapy, gait re-education or a group exercise programme which may be delivered in a local leisure centre. Your Physiotherapist may refer to you other services.

Extended Scope Physiotherapists (ESPs) for Hip/Knee and Shoulder Orthopaedic triage are highly specialised Physiotherapists who run clinics in most of the Community Hospitals. You will be referred to this service by your GP or MSK Physiotherapist if your problem is not responding to usual treatment and a second opinion from a highly specialist Physiotherapist is required to assess if you are suitable for a surgical option, a second opinion or other diagnostics/interventions are required.

Last updated: March 17, 2023.