MUSCLE & JOINT
Your go-to MSK health expert
Osteopaths have a well-deserved, evidence-based reputation for expertise in the treatment of muscle and joint pain, often referred to as musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions.
From back pain to frozen shoulder, tennis elbow to tendinopathies to arthritic conditions, and every muscle and joint in between, osteopaths will undertake a thorough examination to establish the cause of your issue and provide a package of care and advice tailored to your needs.
Your osteopath will also work with other specialist healthcare professionals such as consultants, rheumatologists, and orthopaedics where a multidisciplinary approach to patient care is required.
Whether a minor niggle or something that feels more substantial, it’s always good to visit a specialist MSK healthcare professional to seek advice.
11% of people under 35 are living with an MSK condition
Around 8.5 million people in the UK have osteoarthritis
10 million people in the UK have back pain
ABOUT MSK CONDITIONS
MSK pain can affect people of all ages, from all walks and all genders. There is a wide range of MSK conditions from those that are easily managed and resolved to those that require more complex and specialist care
- Common overuse issues such as tendonitis often seen in the ankle, elbow or shoulder respond well to care and treatment.
- Back and neck pain, also known non-specific back pain, is rarely caused by anything serious. Early diagnosis and treatment can aid recovery and get you back to normal activities more quickly.
- Wear and tear of joints, known as osteoarthritis, often affect the knees and the hip joints, although can occur in any joint of the body. Early intervention can keep you moving and minimise the impact on your quality of life.
- More complex conditions such as inflammatory MSK conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, need more specialist management and care from a range of healthcare professionals.
When you visit an osteopath for MSK pain, they will take the time to understand your symptoms, medical history and lifestyle which in turn will help them make an accurate diagnosis of the cause of your issue and formulate a treatment plan with you that will achieve the best outcome.
Your osteopath will also need to undertake a physical examination which they will explain to you beforehand. This will often comprise of you undertaking some movements and for the osteopath to examine areas to feel for any tightness in the muscles and stiffness in the joints to identify problems.
Sometimes the cause of the problem may be in a different area to the pain, for example, pain in your lower arm may be linked to the nerves in your neck, so they may need to examine your whole body.
After your initial examination, your osteopath will discuss the options available to you and together you will decide on an appropriate and suitable treatment plan.
Osteopaths will utilise a wide range of gentle hands-on techniques which will be dependent on your age and diagnosis, together with rehabilitation exercise and advice as relevant, designed to promote and maintain healthy muscles and joints.
This plan may involve several visits and, very occasionally, further tests and/or referrals to your GP or a specialist for additional investigations or treatment.
The UK National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) provides guidance for health services that recommend manual therapy, such as that provided by osteopaths, as part of a package of care for the management of low back pain and sciatica.