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The Musculoskeletal (MSK) Physiotherapy Service provides assessment, diagnosis and treatment of adult musculoskeletal conditions. MSK Physiotherapy aims to help you improve and manage problems that affect muscles, joints and soft tissues like ligaments and tendons.

We offer MSK physiotherapy assessments through First Contact Practitioner (FCP) sessions located in a wide range of GP practices throughout the daytime.

We provide MSK physiotherapy treatments at our main bases within Ellesmere Port Hospital, Fountains Health, and Tarporley Hospital, as well as at a number of GP practices.

We also provide a community pain clinic, the Active 4 Life healthy back rehabilitation group, and work closely with the clinical experts in our triage service to ensure that those needing specialised care can access it.

We also have specially trained physiotherapists who can inject painful joints and soft tissues where clinically indicated.

Our team is more than 30 members strong and includes advanced musculoskeletal practitioners, clinical specialists, physiotherapists, clinical support staff and administrative support staff.

Your assessment may be over the telephone, or face to face, depending on what is on your referral and what you have asked for. Your assessment is designed to help your physiotherapist reach a diagnosis and then to decide on a treatment plan with you.

Your physiotherapist will ask you detailed questions about your condition, and how it is affecting you day to day. They will examine you carefully to help diagnose the problem, and this may include testing muscles and soft tissues, or feeling how your joints are moving. They will talk to you about what they find and what your treatment choices may be.

You may need to partially undress to help your physiotherapist complete a proper examination, so you may want to bring a pair of shorts if your problem is in your legs or your back. Your physiotherapist will never ask you to remove your underwear. You are welcome to request a chaperone or a male or female therapist, but please let us know in advance so we can organise this.

You are welcome to ask your physiotherapist questions during your assessment.

You need to ensure you attend your appointments. If you cannot attend a pre-agreed appointment, you will need to give us at least 24 hours’ notice.

If you miss your first appointment, you are automatically discharged back to your GP.

If you miss a follow-up appointment, you have five working days to ring us to make a new appointment. If you fail to attend a subsequent appointment, you will be discharged automatically.

This service is open to anyone above the age of 16 who is also registered with a GP in West Cheshire. Children with non-complex MSK conditions can also be seen in this service if their doctor thinks it is appropriate.

You can directly access a physiotherapist without seeing your doctor first. We offer a number of daytime First Contact Practitioner (FCP) sessions within GP practices. Our aim is to help you manage your MSK condition in a locality near you, but if you do need specialist care from a hospital doctor, we can ensure you are referred to the right service through our close links to the Adult Musculoskeletal Assessment and Management Service (AMAMS).

For useful advice, tips, and resources, please download our advice document.