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Physiotherapy Works: Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs)

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Physiotherapists are clinically effective and cost effective at managing and treating patients with musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs)

Physiotherapy

Size of the problem

  • Over 200 types of MSD
  • 1 in 4 UK adults affected by chronic MSDs
  • Low back pain is reported by 80% of people at some time in their life
  • MSDs are the most common reason for repeated GP consultation
  • 60% of people on long term sick leave cite MSDs as cause

Patients with MSDs are the largest patient population group treated by physiotherapists.

In 2010/11 in England, physiotherapy outpatient services managed 1.9 million adults with a first appointment and 4.8 million follow up appointments for MSDs.(1)

Rapid access to musculoskeletal physiotherapists can reduce the amount of time people are off sick and is vital in preventing a new acute problem becoming chronic and long lasting.(2)

Physiotherapists have pioneered innovative ways of providing speedy and appropriate access within existing services.

Self referral

The Quality, Innovation, Productivity and Prevention (QIPP) process in England has endorsed self-referral for MSDs to allow easier access to treatment.(3) It has been shown to not increase demand for physiotherapy in the long term and also reduces patient related costs; such as prescribing, X-rays, MRI and more expensive medical consultations.(2)

A Department of Health pilot showed savings of £25,207 per 100,000 of population.(2) Holdsworth et al(4) demonstrated that in Scotland, an episode of GP prompted self referral costs 10% less and full patient self referral costs 25% less than traditional GP referral for physiotherapy.

The English pilot(2) showed 41% of referrals came from the traditional GP route, 35.4% came from prompted self referral and 23.6% were full self referral.

This shows the potential for greater cost savings for three quarters of patients with MSDs if full self referral were properly promoted.

STarT Back Tool

Within the UK each year, up to 9% of adults see their GP about back pain.(5) 

Some patients have a simple ache which will correct itself whilst others will have a long standing pain. The evolution of ‘risk stratication’, where patients are screened to identify the risks which may affect their treatment outcome, allows patients to be directed to the treatment pathway they need rather than applying a one size fits all approach.

Keele University demonstrated that the STarT Back Tool for neck and back patients was clinically and cost effective. Signicantly improved outcomes at four months and £34.39 saving per patient was shown when comparing the STarT Back intervention group with those who received usual care.(7)

The STarT Back method asks patients to fill out a questionnaire with the GP or physiotherapist. This identies whether the risks that may affect the treatment outcome are low, medium or high. The STarT Back questionnaire takes into account the patient’s symptoms, their perception of their pain as well as how it is affecting their life. Patients can then be directed to an appropriate treatment pathway based on this assessment. The pathway may include greater emphasis on self management for low risk patients or greater management of psychological distress for high risk patients.(7)

Promoting self management

Musculoskeletal physiotherapists support self management.

Physiotherapists provide nationally or locally produced patient information booklets. GPs and other referrers should ask local physiotherapy services about self management tools which can be provided for suitable patients in primary care.

Providing self-management resources at an early stage can help avoid the need for referral to secondary care with its associated higher costs.

Conclusion

Speedy access to physiotherapy for people with MSDs is clinically and cost effective for the health service, for employers and society.

It prevents unnecessary GP and secondary care appointments as well as improving patients’ quality of life.

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Our Physio & Rehab Expertise

Specialist Rehab Group works with specialist physiotherapists and specialist rehab therapists who are highly trained, qualified, experienced and passionate to provide high level of expert care to our patients.

Areas of specialization

  • physiotherapy: back and neck (spine), sports, shoulder, hip, knee, ankle
  • hand therapy: forearm, wrist, hand and fingers
  • podiatrist: leg, calf, ankle, foot and toes
  • read more on our specializations here

All our therapists are fully insured and registered with Allied Health Professions Council (AHPC) and Traditional Chinese Medicine Board (TCM). See our entire team here by location and specialization.

Initially, our specialist physiotherapists will carry out a thorough assessment, helping them to select the most appropriate treatment to help you recover. They then provide expert treatment for your pain as well as prescribing specific exercises to reduce your risk of re-injury and giving you a long term solution.

To call for inquiries or appointments, please contact us at:

SMS/Call/Whatsapp: 96402670

Email: ask@specialistrehabgroup.com

Tell A Friend About Us

We appreciate you as a patient and want you to know that the #1 way we grow as a clinic is through word of mouth referrals from valued patients like yourself.

We do not rely on advertising - instead, we prefer and appreciate the goodwill and positive reinforcement from patients.

When you have the opportunity, please take the time to tell your family, friends and physicians about the positive results and experience you have had in our clinic.

Thank you so much, and stay healthy!

SPECIALIST REHAB APPOINTMENTS & ENQUIRIES
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Disclaimer
We are a wholly Singapore Private Limited group of licensed physiotherapists, hand therapists, podiatrists, chiropractors, sports massage therapists, clinical pilates practitioners and TCM physicians practicing in our scope of rehabilitation and its areas of specializations. As listed in our website are the list of services we provide our clients as referred by their medical doctors or by self referrals/word of mouth.

The range of rehabilitation results vary from patients to patients, depending on a variety of factors and reasons such as severity of condition, genetics, gender and age. However, we will still deliver the best evidence-based-practice of physiotherapy, hand therapy, TCM, sports training and deep tissue release therapy that we can deliver.

The information available on this site is for educational purposes only, if you need a full professional advise on physiotherapy, hand therapy and occupational therapy, please schedule an appointment with us by contacting our staff by Call/SMS/WhatsApp at xx, thanks!

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EMAIL US

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Physio, Rehab &  Insurance

Your physio, hand therapy and rehab with us may be covered under your medical insurance or cashless - find out more here.

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Testimonials

Finally I know what I have, my pain decreased and now I'm back to work!

Derrick
Regional Sales Manager

OMG. The pain levels in my hands have dropped dramatically, about 60-70%

Deepak
Banker

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