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Assessing and treating musculoskeletal conditions

This page was last updated: November 24th, 2021

If you have persistent pain from a musculoskeletal condition that has developed over time, such as osteoarthritis, your GP will refer you to our musculoskeletal service for further assessment and treatment.

What is the musculoskeletal (MSK) service?

It’s a service for anyone aged over 16 who has an MSK condition that may affect your spine and upper limbs or lower limbs.

We help people with acute or more severe conditions including pain management, rehabilitation needs or referral for surgery.

Our team will give you a clinical diagnosis. We help you to understand and manage your condition so you can return to normal life and activities including sport and exercise.

How do I get referred?

You’ll need to see your GP first. They’ll refer you to the MSK service for an appointment where our team will assess you and advise on appropriate treatment.

What happens when you’re referred to the musculoskeletal interface service?

Before your appointment, we may ask you to complete a questionnaire.

We advise you to wear comfortable, loose fitting clothing for your assessment appointment so you can move your limbs and joints freely. This will also help our clinician to assess your symptoms.

Your appointment will last around 40 minutes. We will ask you for details about:

  • any medication you’re taking
  • your weight
  • if you smoke
  • any other conditions you have
  • any relevant x-rays and ultrasounds you may have had.

This will help the clinician to tailor a treatment plan to your needs, and can help to provide steps to a healthier lifestyle.
You may need x-rays, an MRI or an ultrasound.

What happens after your initial assessment?

Depending on the severity of your pain and your condition, we’ll discuss a treatment or management plan with you.

We may refer you directly to a physiotherapist or an occupational therapist. A member of our team may also give you advice on how to cope with persistent pain.

You may see an orthopaedic consultant who may decide that you will benefit from joint replacement surgery.

You may also need a follow-up appointment to review your progress and decide if you need any other help.

Find out more about the treatment or management we might offer you:

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