If you have joint, back or muscular pain, then obviously you want the fastest – and longest lasting – relief possible. Below are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.

A musculoskeletal physiotherapist with advanced postgraduate training is skilled in the assessment and diagnosis of musculoskeletal conditions.

Apart from providing pain relief, there are a number of other important ways that a musculoskeletal physiotherapist can help.

 These include:

•  Identifying exactly what’s wrong with your back, neck or other areas of the body because they’re trained to diagnose the specific causes of body pain.
•  Teaching you exercises that will help with the cure or the prevention of your problem.

Customised programs to improve power, endurance, work tolerance and overall fitness are often the best methods to stop pain recurring.

Manipulation, mobilisation, stretching, massage and exercise are all part of your musculoskeletal physiotherapist’s expertise.

Co-ordinating muscle action is vital for smooth, pain free movement. Precise, specific exercise advice can help correct faulty movement.

Prevention is better than cure
By identifying the factors that led to your problem in the first place, a musculoskeletal physiotherapist can advise you how to avoid problems in the future. By using advanced skills including pain management, musculoskeletal physiotherapists offer a broader range of treatment options than other health professionals. As a result, they are in the best position to improve your overall strength, mobility and co-ordination.

• Your medical history is reviewed
• You have a thorough physical examination
• You are diagnosed and your questions are answered
• You are treated to relieve pain and regain movement
• You are taught techniques to use at home to manage your problem
• You are referred for alternative treatment if physiotherapy is not the best option
• Your musculoskeletal physiotherapist will work with you to develop an action plan for future management of your problem. The plan will give you a realistic estimate of the number and frequency of treatments you are likely to need and outline what to do at home and/or work to help speed up your progress.

A doctor’s referral is not necessary to see a physiotherapist.

Physiotherapists, doctors, and other health professionals will often work as part of a team to plan and manage treatment for a specific condition.

Not really and certainly no more than your actual problem and with treatment, the problem gradually resolves.

Comfortable, loose clothing. You may need to undress for treatment so it’s a good idea to carry a vest and a pair of shorts to your first appointment.