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Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy

Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy Outpatients

What are Musculoskeletal conditions?

Musculoskeletal conditions include problems with muscles, joints, tendons, discs, nerves and bones for example in the back or neck, shoulders, elbows and hands or hips, knees and feet. Problems may occur without any apparent cause or be related to other reasons e.g. postural strain; age changes; arthritis; following sport and leisure activity injuries ( e.g. sprains, strains, tendonitis) or following broken bones or fractures or after surgery.

How can I help myself?

A lot of aches and pains can be improved by following the simple advice on our 'how can I help myself' web-page.

What can our Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy team offer to patients?

People often come to us with conditions that cause pain, stiffness, weakness, pins and needles or other symptoms. These types of problems can result in difficulty with daily tasks, sleep, work, leisure or sport.

What we can offer you as a patient:-

Assessment :
We give time to listen to you, in order to understand your individual condition and the problems it causes and how it is affecting your life.

We examine you thoroughly to form an opinion on diagnosis. We discuss our findings with you and how the condition may best be treated.

Advice and information:
We will offer you advice and information about your condition, especially in regards to how you can help yourself manage your condition better.
For more information visit NHS Choices

Treatment choices and shared decisions:
We will discuss your treatment options and we will make decisions together forming an individual plan to suit your condition, your choices and your needs in order to help you return to work, sport and leisure activities.

The treatment may include:
• Exercises (as an individual or in groups) to stretch and strengthen; to improve posture; to improve your core stability muscles(Pilates approach); to become physically more active; to improve general health and fitness and to help rehabilitate to work, sport and leisure activities.

• Mobilisations, massage and manipulations - movements we or you can apply to joints or muscles and tissues.

• Relaxation strategies

• Cortico-steroid injections for some joint and soft tissue problems

• Hydrotherapy (water based exercise therapy)

• Custom made splints to protect recently injured hands

Fitness for work and activities:
We can make sure treatment supports you planning your return to work or activities.

Further referral for investigations and opinion with medical colleagues:
We have expert physiotherapists who work in the Musculoskeletal Advanced Practitioner Service. Advanced Practitioners have had extra training with medical colleagues so they are able to request investigations (tests such as x-rays and some scans) and to refer you to consultants or surgeons if necessary.


Who is in our Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy team?

Reception and administrative staff: are here to help to make your appointments, deal with enquiries and greet you on arrival.

Physiotherapy Team: We have a large team of specially trained Physiotherapists and Assistants working under their supervision. Specialist and expert Physiotherapists work within our service and add their advanced knowledge and skills by being available to help whenever necessary. They also help train Physiotherapists and other health professionals locally, regionally and nationally.

Hand Therapists: We have specially trained Physiotherapists who work together with Occupational Therapists to help patients to manage problems affecting the hand. Problems may include wounds, scars, tendon and nerve injuries, fractures, amputations, repetitive motion disorders and arthritic conditions. (Hand Therapists provide a comprehensive service including functional assessment and rehabilitation, ergonomic advice, exercise, splinting, sensory re-education and desensitisation.)

Advanced Practitioners: We have experts called Advanced Practitioners who have had extra training with medical colleagues, especially Orthopaedic and Spinal Surgeons, allowing them to request investigations (tests such as x-rays and some scans) and to refer you to consultants or surgeons if necessary.

Women’s and Men's Health Team: These Physiotherapists help patients with musculoskeletal problems during and after pregnancy, bladder conditions, bowel conditions, pelvic organ prolapse, pelvic pain and problems following treatment for breast cancer e.g. shoulder stiffness or cording

We also have Emergency Physiotherapy Practitioners who have had extra training in minor injuries working with Emergency Department doctors.

Consultant Physiotherapist: We have a Consultant Physiotherapist who helps lead our teams and who is responsible for training and education programmes, service improvement and making sure we offer a safe and effective service.

Working Well /Occupational Health: We have specially trained Physiotherapists in Occupational Health providing services to staff health and to local industry. They also provide training to the local teams in supporting return to work for patients. For more information visit  Working Well

Pain Management: We have specially trained Physiotherapists working in the multi-disciplinary Pain Management Programme.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: We have specially trained Physiotherapists working with patients suffering Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

Closely working with Medical Consultant and Surgeon colleagues: We work as part of the hospital teams and this close working with doctors helps with training, helps with patient diagnosis and requesting tests or investigations where needed.

Closely working with GPs: We routinely write to your doctor at the end of treatment but we will also contact them if required.

Partnership working: We are continually working to link with other organisations across Gloucestershire to bring specialist treatments closer to home.:-

• Physiotherapists supporting exercise in the community