Physiotherapy helps restore movement and function to as near normal as possible when someone is affected by injury, illness or by developmental or other disability.
Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy is a specialised area of physiotherapy treating injuries and conditions which affect the muscles, joints, and soft tissues. Injuries which can be treated by musculoskeletal physiotherapy can include:
• Ligament sprains
• Muscle strains
• Cartilage tears
• Pre and post-surgery rehabilitation
• Fracture rehabilitation
• Back pain
These injuries can require a musculoskeletal physiotherapy assessment and a treatment session to optimise healing and speed the recovery process. Upon assessment the physiotherapist will set goals and develop an appropriate rehabilitation plan. Some of the treatments which the musculoskeletal physiotherapist may use can include:
• Exercise therapy
• Manual therapy
• Self-management strategies
The most appropriate treatments will be selected upon the clinical judgement and the experience of the Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist on the findings from the initial assessment. Treatments for musculoskeletal injuries aim to:
• Optimise healing
• Speed the recovery process
• Increase strength
• Restore normal movement
• Decrease pain
• Decrease swelling and inflammation
• Increase independence
These will all be considered by the Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist when they are developing the treatment plan.
At the first appointment you can expect the following; however, you may be referred for alternative treatment if it is decided that physiotherapy is not the best option.
• Review of medical history
• Physical examination
• Accurate diagnosis and all questions answered
• Treated to relieve pain and regain movement
• Techniques taught to use at home to manage the problem
• Joint agreement to develop an action plan for future management of the problem; a plan which will provide a realistic estimate of the number and frequency of treatments likely to be needed and an outline of what to do at home and/or work to help speed up progress.
You may be allocated to see a male or female physiotherapist; they will record history information and perform a thorough examination after which you may need some treatment, exercises and/or advice. Here are a few points in order for your physiotherapy sessions to be successful:
Prepare for your physiotherapy appointment
• Write down your concerns or symptoms in advance, so you don’t forget to talk about them.
• Bring a list of all prescription and non-prescription medications you take, plus any vitamins or supplements.
• Jot down notes about your diet and exercise habits – factors important to your overall health not just your back pain or sports injury.
Wear appropriate clothing
• Bring shorts and a vest top with you if you are worried about stripping down to your underwear; your Physiotherapist will need to be able to see and feel your body in order to treat you successfully.
• Bring a pad and pen to take notes as you will certainly end your visit discussing a treatment program for your condition.
Don’t be embarrassed
• If you don’t understand something your Physiotherapist has told you please ask for it be explained until you are happy with what you are being told.
Educate yourself about your condition and treatment plan
• If you are diagnosed with a specific kind of injury do a little research on the internet or at the local library. It doesn’t hurt to have a more thorough understanding of your condition or treatment.
Once you agree on a physiotherapy treatment plan, follow it through
• Physiotherapists help your body to heal itself. The exercises that your Physiotherapist asks you to do at home will be a vital part of the overall treatment plan.
Do not ignore the lifestyle issues
• Lifestyle may contribute to your susceptibility to your pain or injury; as an example, many of the root causes of back pain are lifestyle related, in particular increasingly sedentary work and recreational practices and long hours operating computers or equipment are frequently found to be contributory causes of back pain or could increase the likelihood of suffering a sports injury.
GP Debenham Group Practice, IES CCG Prescribing and Diagnostics Lead
We are experts in musculoskeletal and pelvic health physiotherapy, providing specialist assessments, management and self-management to our communities, helping them to return to optimal health and stay healthy.