Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy Information Leaflet
Did You Know...?
That Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy is the term used to describe the field of Physiotherapy, which relates to disorders of the musculoskeletal i.e. muscles, bones, joints, nerves, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and spinal discs?
That approaches to management in the field of Musculoskeletal involve not only ‘manipulation', but also manual assessment and treatment techniques, specific therapeutic exercise, electrotherapy and advice on posture and movement disorders?
That the most common problems treated by a Musculoskeletal Chartered Physiotherapist include: Sports Injuries, Shoulder Pain and Injuries, Knee Pain, Fractures and Dislocations, Back Pain and Sciatica, Neck Pain and Headaches and Work Related Problems (RSI)?
That 2000-2010 is the 'Bone and Joint Decade', a UN endorsed initiative to help promote musculoskeletal health - that is healthy bones, joints and muscles?
That early treatment of musculoskeletal disorders with physiotherapy minimises pain, swelling and tissue damage, prevents stiffness and ensures a quicker return to sports, work and other activities?
That Chartered Musculoskeletal Physiotherapists are obliged to keep up to date with current research and use this research to guide the management of their patients in order to provide the highest possible level of care?
That low back pain is very common with up to 90% of people experiencing an episode at least once in their lifetime?
That physiotherapy combined with pain education has been shown to significantly reduce pain and disability in non specific chronic low back pain patients when compared to GP management alone?
That about 10% of Low back pain is specific, i.e. a cause for your pain can be found on an MRI scan? The remainder is termed non specific back pain.
That with most kinds of back or neck pain, the best advice is to stay active?
That when medical practitioners and chartered physiotherapists refer to acute and chronic they are referring to the length of time that the problem has been present for? Many people think that chronic pain means that it is more severe or extremely difficult to treat but this is not always the case.
That neck pain is very common and affects 10-15% of the population at any point in time? Disorders of the neck can cause shoulder pain, arm pain (pinched nerve in the arm) headaches (often called cevicogenic headaches) and facial pain.
That nerves can be pinched in your arms or legs- in the legs this is commonly called sciatica? The source of the problem is usually in the spine.
That some headaches come from your neck? They are called cervicogenic headaches and can be successfully treated by physiotherapy consisting of manual mobilisation or manipulation of the joints of your neck as well as exercises to achieve optimal muscles balance and posture.
That research has shown that manual mobilisation and manipulation of the neck joints is effective in treating mechanical neck pain?
That research has shown that exercise is effective in the treatment of pain and disability associated with mechanical neck pain?
That work related neck and upper limb disorders are among the highest occupational problems in Europe and account for up to 50% of all occupational disorders?5
Most back pain resolves in about 6 weeks but the chance of a repeated episode is high - between 60-84%. Exercise is the only thing that has been found to be effective in the prevention of low back pain. Specific exercise prescribed by a Chartered Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist has been shown to be more effective at preventing the recurrences of low back pain than GP management or general physiotherapy.
Pain may be coming from a number of sources including the muscles, facet joints (small joints on either side of your spine), and ligaments. Often the pain arises from the stresses and strains we put on our spines through our habitual postures, the way we work and move. A Chartered Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist can assess your spine to help diagnose the source of your pain and provide you with ways to help eliminate the pain, improve your posture and work practices and strengthen your spine.
This has been shown to be the most effective "treatment" in resolving acute (i.e. recent) back pain. You should try to move within your pain tolerance and seek the advice of a Chartered Physiotherapist regarding the appropriate levels of activity for you.
A Chartered Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist can assess the problem to find the origin of your pain. Physiotherapy can be successful in many cases. Some cases are too severe and need to be referred for an MRI scan and/or a surgical review. Your Chartered Physiotherapist can advise you on this.
The incidence of upper limb pain can be up to 41% over a 12 month period. Common complaints include: repetitive strain injury (now commonly called non specific arm pain), lateral epicondylitis (or tennis elbow) and carpal tunnel syndrome. A Chartered Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist is extremely well placed to assess these conditions, provide you with a diagnosis and successfully treat the condition. Treatment often focuses on work practices and postures which may have contributed to the problem in the first place.
Physiotherapy and Musculoskeletal Therapy