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Physiotherapy & You

How Connect can help you

Your bones, cartilage, muscles, joints, tendons and ligaments in your body make up the complex structure of the musculoskeletal system. Unsurprisingly, disorders can be both complicated and challenging, and can range from mild discomfort to debilitating pain.

Problems with the musculoskeletal system are common. In other words, you’re not alone – but with the right professional advice and an appropriate management programme it’s possible to reduce pain, improve function and improve quality of life.

Going Beyond the Symptoms

The first step is to speak to a Connect specialist, who will take the time to understand the problem and gain your trust.

All our Connect physiotherapists are trained to get a ‘complete picture’, so your assessment will not simply cover physical symptoms, it will also take into consideration your lifestyle, your work and even your home environment.

Following your detailed assessment, we do all we can to help you understand the issues specifically affecting you. Even if the problems are complex, we’ll explain it in a way that makes sense to you – we can get technical, we can keep it simple, it’s entirely up to you. The more you know, the more informed choices you can make.

Personalised Treatment Plan

Connect’s clinical experts understand and work with human function and movement to help you to achieve your full physical potential. The musculoskeletal system was designed for movement, so naturally movement lies at the heart of Connect’s treatment programmes.

Our aim is to get you moving, alleviate, prevent or manage your pain, as quickly as we possibly can. But that’s not all; we will help you identify the risks that could get in the way of an effective management plan, and offer practical advice and support to help you with your recovery.

Your trained Connect clinician will advise and recommend a plan that’s yours, and yours alone. We also encourage self-management so you take control of your treatment. At Connect, we carefully tailor your management plan so it not only fits in with your lifestyle, but also develops at a pace you feel totally comfortable with.

Depending on your progress, your physiotherapist will then ‘fine-tune’ your treatment, but you will always be a part of that development process. We’ve found that patients feel more involved and motivated when they play an active role in planning their management programme.

We work hard to reduce any anxiety, no matter how small, because minimising your stress levels can also minimise symptoms. In fact, we create enjoyable, rewarding sessions that our patients look forward to.

While Connect are the leading specialists in musculoskeletal care and the wellbeing profession, we strive to continually improve by keeping up to date with the latest research and development. We then share our knowledge and expertise to help you manage your rehabilitation and recovery, and ultimately get you moving again.

Suffering from muscular or joint pain?

Click on the hot spots to find out more about the symptoms you are suffering and the treatments that might help.

Common Conditions

  • Ankle sprain
  • Knee injuries
  • Lower back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Sprains and strains
  • Tennis elbow
  • Whiplash

Our clinical experts

Our Connect clinicians are approachable and attentive practitioners, who ensure a patient remains the primary focus throughout the entire assessment, treatment and management of their condition.

 

 

What is a senior physiotherapist?

Physiotherapists help people affected by injury, illness or disability to keep moving through exercise, movement, manual therapy, education and advice. A senior physiotherapist will have practiced for a number of years, completed a degree in physiotherapy and also met standards set out by the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC).

Qualifications

Our senior physiotherapists have all completed a degree in physiotherapy. They are all chartered physiotherapists and meet the standards set out by the Health & Care Professionals Council (HCPC).

Training

To ensure they offer the most effective treatment, ongoing continuous professional development training is provided to all Connect physiotherapists. They also regularly attend courses and conferences to keep up to date with medical developments and new treatments.

Experience

Our senior physiotherapist will usually have been working for at least two years as a physiotherapist and developed more advanced assessment and treatment skills in this time.

What treatments do they specialise in?

Senior physiotherapists specialise in disorders of the musculoskeletal system. They have developed the skills required to design your exercise programme, offer appropriate manual therapy and in some cases, electrotherapy or acupuncture may be offered.

What can I expect?

An assessment by a senior physiotherapist involves being asked a number of questions about your condition. This is usually followed by a physical examination and, depending on the nature and location of your condition, you may be required to partially undress so an accurate assessment can be made. A personalised treatment plan will then be offered and your physiotherapist will be able to answer any questions, or discuss any concerns you may have.

Where might I see them?

You could be seen by a physiotherapist at a primary care centre or GP surgery in the community free of charge through the NHS. Or you may choose to visit one of our private clinics to be treated. Visit our Find a physiotherapist page to locate your nearest physiotherapist. 

How to book an appointment

Your GP may refer you to see a physiotherapist, or you could be referred by another health professional such as a hospital consultant or practice nurse. In some instances, it can be quicker and easier to self-refer to see a physiotherapist; simply call one of our private clinics, found on the Find a physiotherapist page, to book an appointment.

What is an extended scope practitioner (ESP)

Extended scope practitioners (ESPs) are physiotherapists working at a high level of expertise who have extended their practice and skills in a specialised clinical area. There are not just extended scope physiotherapists; some podiatrists and occupational therapists also work in extended roles.

Qualifications

Most ESPs have completed Masters level qualification or are working towards an MSc in advanced musculoskeletal (MSK) training which will include injection therapy, radiology, advanced MSK diagnosis and clinical management.

Training

Connect’s continuous professional development programme allows our team of specialists to maintain the high standard of clinical competence in their area of expertise.

Experience

ESPs have a breadth of clinical experience in a number of areas of medical care and advanced rehabilitation. They will also have up-to-date knowledge of the most clinically effective treatments to manage MSK conditions.

What treatments do ESPs specialise in?

  • Advanced rehabilitation
  • Injection therapy
  • Manual therapies
  • Cognitive behavioural therapies
  • Prescribing medicines to treat MSK conditions
  • Knowledge on referrals for surgery, advanced complex medical conditions and post surgery aftercare

What can I expect?

You will be assessed by an experienced and expert physiotherapist specialising in muscle and joint problems. They will ask a few simple questions about the nature of your problem and carry out a physical examination. They will then diagnose your condition and discuss your management plan options.

Finally, your ESP will discuss with you the most the effective treatment for your clinical condition. They may refer you for diagnostic tests, or recommend treatment options such as self-management, physiotherapy, medication, pain management, or refer you for a surgical opinion.

Where might I see them?

You would most likely be seen by an ESP at a primary care centre or GP surgery, which are often more conveniently located than your nearest hospital.

Book an appointment

To see a extended scope practitioner, your own GP will need to refer you to a Connect MSK CATS or IMATT services.

What is a sport and exercise medicine (SEM) consultant?

The role of a SEM consultant includes assessing patients and leading or supporting multidisciplinary teams using expertise in physiotherapy, nutrition, psychology, musculoskeletal (MSK) and general medicine.The work primarily involves diagnosing and managing any musculoskeletal problem, simple or complex, using their specialist expertise.

An SEM Consultant can help people of all ages with musculoskeletal complaints but have a lot of experience in sports men and women advising on all aspects of performance, injury and illness minimisation. Expertise in Ultrasound scanning added to an expert clinical assessment is a powerful tool in accurate diagnosis and therefore optimum management. This ability is fairly unique to SEM Consultants for MSK care.

A SEM consultant may also be involved advising on physical activity in special groups such as pregnant women, those with diabetes, cardiovascular disease and the overweight and obese, endorsing exercise as a means of reducing the impact of disease.

Qualifications 

SEM consultants are likely to have completed a 4 year run through training rotation with three years spent within a hospital setting and one year within a community setting.  Our qualified SEM consultants hold an NHS or equivalent consultant level appointment and are on the General Medical Council’s (GMC) specialist register as a consultant in SEM.

Training

To ensure they offer the most effective treatment, ongoing continuous professional development training is provided to all Connect clinicians and specialists. They also regularly attend courses and conferences to keep up to date with medical developments and new treatments.

Experience

SEM consultants at Connect have extensive experience at high level sport and also working with the general public. They are highly trained to assess and manage a broad range of musculoskeletal conditions and injuries in all ages and all physical abilities.

What treatments do they specialise in?

Sport and exercise medicine consultants specialise in disorders of the musculoskeletal system. They have developed the skills and knowledge to quickly and accurately assess, diagnose and treat MSK conditions and injuries using clinical skills in examination, ultrasound and injection therapy.  

The range of treatments that may be considered includes many common complaints:

  • Tendon pathology e.g. Achilles, Patella tendonopathies
  • Tennis elbow
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Shoulder pain
  • Groin pain
  • Foot and ankle pain
  • Exercise induced leg pain
  • Arthritic joints

What can I expect?

An assessment by a SEM consultant involves being asked a number of questions about your condition. This is usually followed by a physical examination and, depending on the nature and location of your condition; you may be required to partially undress so an accurate assessment can be made.

You will then be guided to receive the most appropriate treatment for your condition through referral into our multidisciplinary teams which include senior physiotherapists, podiatrists and specialist musculoskeletal clinicians. If surgery is need to treat a complex injury or condition our SEM consultants will direct you to the most appropriately skilled orthopaedic surgeon for your needs.

Where might I see them?

You may be seen by a SEM at a primary care centre or GP surgery in the community, or we are very privileged to have an SEM consultant available for private appointments at both our Durham and Gosforth clinics. 

How to book an appointment

Your GP may refer you to see a sport and exercise medicine consultant, or you could be referred by another health professional such as a physiotherapist or hospital consultant. In some instances, it can be quicker and easier to self-refer to see a SEM consultant privately; you can call either our Durham or Gosforth clinics to book an appointment at your convenience.

What is a Sports Therapist?

A sports therapist has a specialist and in-depth knowledge of musculoskeletal conditions caused by sporting activities. They can assess, diagnose and treat injuries, and provide highly personalised exercise or rehabilitation programmes. Their work also involves educating and advising on how to train and compete safely, improve performance, prevent injuries, and help those who are injured return to full fitness. Where appropriate, our sports therapist can refer on for specialist advice and intervention.

Qualifications

Our sports therapist based at Connect Gosforth, is a highly experienced healthcare professional with a BSc in Sports Therapy, Foundation degree in Sports Training & Rehabilitation, and a Member of the Society of Sports Therapists (MSST).

Training

Connect’s continuous professional development programme allows our team of specialists to maintain the high standard of clinical excellence in their particular area of expertise. 

Experience

As well as four years with Connect, our sports therapist has three years’ experience working alongside English Institute of Sport as a Strength and Conditioning Coach. He’s also provided sports therapy expertise to Northumbria University Rugby, and at events such as a 3500-mile charity Cycle Challenge and North-East Triathlon.

What treatments do they specialise in?

A sport therapist will plan and deliver individual programmes and strategies for the prevention and management of injuries sustained as a result of sports and exercise. They can also draw up personalised rehabilitation programmes, which may include sports massage or exercise, or a combination of both. 

What can I expect?

On your first visit, you will have a 40-minute appointment with a Connect sports therapist who will ask a number questions to gain a full understanding of your situation, condition or injury. They will then assess your needs, offer a diagnosis and if appropriate, discuss the treatment options available to you. Where necessary this may include a combination of hands-on therapy and exercise with the potential to implement a detailed written exercise plan. 

Where might I see them?

You can make appointment to see our experienced sports therapist at the Connect clinic on Ivy Road in Gosforth. 

Book an appointment

If you would like to make an appointment to see a Connect sports therapist, please call the Connect team in Gosforth on 0191 213 5116.

What is an Occupational physiotherapist?

Occupational physiotherapists are chartered physiotherapists who specialise in the area of occupational health and ergonomics. They are usually based in the workplace e.g. a factory, warehouse or office, and provide employees and employers with rapid and convenient access to specialist assessment, treatment and advice that is tailored to a particular workplace.

They develop strong working relationships with employees, managers, occupational health, human resources and health and safety personnel, and aim to:

  • Improve employee health and wellbeing in and out of the workplace
  • Improve employee performance and productivity
  • Help employees to work safely, effectively and efficiently
  • Improve workplace job design and promote health at work
  • Reduce musculoskeletal sickness absence
  • Reduce presenteesim (being less productive at work whilst suffering from an MSD)
  • Help businesses reduce their costs

Qualifications

Our occupational physiotherapists have all completed a degree in physiotherapy, practice as chartered physiotherapists and meet the standards set out by the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC).  They are also members of the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Occupational Health and Ergonomics (ACPOHE) and received comprehensive post-graduate training in occupational health.

Training

Connect's continuous professional development programme allows our team of occupational physiotherapists to maintain the high standard of clinical competence in occupational health and ergonomics.

Experience

Initially working for at least five years as physiotherapists before specialising, many of our occupational physiotherapy team have over five years’ experience working exclusively in occupational health. 

What treatments do occupational physiotherapists specialise in?

It’s vital that treatment is not limited to the clinic room, but is also available actually in the workplace.  Manual therapy, exercise, electrotherapy and acupuncture in the clinic can be combined with more specialist workplace intervention such as functional assessment and task analysis, work conditioning, health promotion, ergonomic assessment and manual handling training. 

What can I expect?

An assessment by an occupational physiotherapist will involve you being asked a number of questions about your condition and how it impacts on your job. This is usually followed by a physical examination of the part, or parts, of your body that are affected.

Where appropriate, the occupational physiotherapist will visit your workplace to look at factors that may influence the problem and the rehabilitation involved. Your condition will then be explained and treatment options discussed with you. A detailed report is then issued to help support you and your employer.

Where might I see them?

If your employer has access to Connect’s occupational physiotherapy services, it’s highly likely you will see the occupational physiotherapist at your place of work.

How to book an appointment

This all depends on the arrangement with your employer and whether you have access to onsite occupational physiotherapy. Speak to your line manager or employer for information about the services available where you work.

What is a chiropodist or podiatrist?

A chiropodist or podiatrist can be thought of as a type of foot doctor; they can give you advice on how to look after your feet and what type of shoes to wear and they can treat and alleviate foot problems such as heel pain, ingrown toenails and bunions. 

Qualifications

Our chiropodists and podiatrists are all qualified to degree level. They are all members of the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists and meet the standards set out by the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC).

Training

To ensure they offer the most effective treatment, ongoing continuous professional development training is provided to all Connect clinicians and specialists. They also regularly attend courses and conferences to keep up to date with medical developments and new treatments.

Experience

Chiropodists and podiatrists at Connect have extensive experience and are highly trained to assess and manage a broad range of foot conditions and biomechanics.

What treatments do they specialise in?

Chiropodists and podiatrists specialise in advice and treatment for painful feet, thickened or discoloured toenails, cracks or cuts in the skin, growths such as warts, scaling or peeling on the soles or any other foot-related problem. Podiatrists can also supply orthotics, which are tailor-made insoles, padding and arch supports to relieve arch or heel pain. You put the orthotic device into your shoe to realign your foot, take pressure off vulnerable areas of your foot or simply to make your shoes more comfortable.

What can I expect?

An assessment by a chiropodist or podiatrist involves being asked a number of questions about your foot condition. This is usually followed by a physical examination and, depending on the nature and location of your condition; you may be required to remove your shoes and socks so an accurate assessment can be made. Any minor problems that are picked up can usually be treated on the spot. For more complex problems, a personalised treatment plan will then be offered and your clinician will be able to answer any questions, or discuss any concerns you may have.

Where might I see them?

You could be seen by a chiropodist or podiatrist at a primary care centre or GP surgery in the community free of charge through the NHS. Or you may choose to visit one of our private clinics to be treated. Visit our Find a physiotherapist page to locate your nearest clinic. 

How to book an appointment

Your GP may refer you to see a chiropodist or podiatrist, or you could be referred by another health professional such as a hospital consultant or practice nurse. In some instances, it can be quicker and easier to self-refer to be seen privately; simply call one of our private clinics, found on the Find a physiotherapist page, to book an appointment.

What is a specialist pain consultant?

A pain consultant is a medically qualified doctor with special training in long-term pain management. They have in-depth knowledge of a wide range of all different types of pain and its physiology. They can assess patients with complex pain problems, diagnose painful conditions and have the skills to perform procedures. They also play a pivotal role in coordinating additional care such as physiotherapy and rehabilitation programs to ensure any treatment plan is as effective as possible.

Qualifications

Pain consultants are likely to have anaesthetic qualification (FRCA - Fellowship of the Royal College of Anaesthetists, or similar) and also Fellowship of the Faculty of Pain Management of the Royal College of Anaesthetists, indicating they have completed advanced training in pain management.

Training

The majority of pain consultants will have been trained in anaesthetics and then gone on to specialise in pain management.

Experience

Specialist pain consultants at Connect have extensive experience and are highly trained to assess and manage a broad range of chronic pain.

What treatments do they specialise in?

There are a number of different ways in which your pain management specialist can help you manage your pain. While it’s not always possible to completely eliminate pain, you will be advised on specific treatment and pain management plans that can help you regain control and enhance your quality of life. Any medication or injections will aim to moderate your pain to a point where you can be more active.

The range of treatments that may be considered includes:

  • Medication
  • Injections (depending on location of pain and likelihood of response)
  • TENS
  • Specialist pain management physiotherapy
  • Pain Management Psychology
  • Pain Management Programme

What can I expect?

On your first visit, your pain management consultant will start by asking questions to understand fully your pain, what changes your pain for good or bad, and how it impacts on your everyday life. They will want to know what previous investigations and treatments you may have had and what difference those treatments have made. If necessary, they may examine you to assess exactly where the pain is and how it is affecting you. They may know exactly what is causing your pain, or further investigations that aren’t readily available may be needed.  Whatever type of pain you have, you will leave Connect consultant with a clearer understanding of your pain and what further evaluation or treatment is planned.

Where might I see them?

You are most likely be seen by a Connect specialist pain consultant at a primary care centre or hospital near your home, making it easier and more convenient to get highly specialised MSK care.

Book an appointment

Referrals to see a Connect specialist pain consultant are arranged through your GP to a community musculoskeletal service, or you may have the option of referring yourself to the service.

What is an orthopaedic surgeon?

An orthopaedic surgeon is a surgeon who has been educated and trained in the diagnosis and preoperative, operative, and postoperative treatment of diseases and injuries of the musculoskeletal system.  Orthopaedic surgeons treat a number of conditions that affect the bones, joints, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and nerves. They also play a pivotal role in coordinating additional care such as physiotherapy and rehabilitation programs to ensure any treatment plan is as effective and as possible.

Qualifications

Connect’s orthopaedic surgeons have all completed a degree in biology, pre-medicine or a related field, and are likely to have completed an additional four years of medical school, followed by a four-to-six year orthopaedic surgery residency in a hospital. They are all General Medical Council (GMC) registered and meet the standards set out by the GMC specialist register.

Training

The majority of orthopaedic surgeons will have been trained in general surgery, and gone on to specialise in orthopaedic-specific training. It is likely that they may specialise further in subspecialties, such as orthopaedic sports medicine or paediatric orthopaedics.

Experience

Orthopaedic surgeons at Connect have extensive experience and are highly trained to assess and manage a broad range of musculoskeletal conditions.

What treatments do they specialise in?

Some treatments offered by orthopaedic surgeons include:

  • Joint replacements
  • Surgical fusion of a joint
  • Keyhole surgery to remove bone and cartilage debris
  • Fixing of fractures resulting from injury or osteoporosis
  • Repairs or reconstructions to tendons or ligaments.

What can I expect?

On your first visit our orthopaedic surgeons will discuss the surgical options available to you. They will advise you on the potential pros and cons of having or delaying surgery, taking into account your age, health and level of activity. The surgeon will also give you advice about other treatments (where appropriate); explain the benefits and risks of each method and the likely outcome if you decide not to have treatment.

Where might I see them?

You are most likely be seen by a Connect orthopaedic surgeon at a primary care centre or hospital near your home, making it easier and more convenient to get highly specialised MSK care.

Book an appointment

Referrals to see a Connect orthopaedic surgeon are arranged through your GP to a community musculoskeletal service, or you may have the option of referring yourself in to the service.

What is a general practitioner with special interest (GPwSI)?

A GPwSI supplements their role as a generalist by providing an additional specialist service while still working in the community. They help improve clinical services for patients by reducing delays in treatment, improving access and keeping assessment, diagnosis and treatment closer to a patient’s home.

Qualifications

GPwSIs will have general medical training as a general practitioner (GP), but will also have advanced musculoskeletal (MSK) training which will include injection therapy, radiology, advanced MSK diagnosis and clinical management.

Training

Connect’s continuous professional development programme allows our team of specialists to maintain the high standard of clinical competence in their area of expertise. 

Experience

A GPwSI will have a breadth of clinical experience in a number of areas of medical care and advanced rehabilitation. They will also have up-to-date knowledge of the most clinically effective treatments to manage MSK conditions.

What treatments do GPwSIs specialise in?

  • Injection therapy
  • Prescribing medicines to treat MSK conditions
  • Knowledge on referrals for surgery, advanced complex medical conditions and post surgery aftercare

What can I expect?

You will be assessed by a doctor specialising in muscle and joint problems. They will ask a few simple questions about the nature of your problem and carry out a physical examination. They will then diagnose your condition and discuss your management plan options. 

Finally, your GPwSI will discuss with you the most the effective treatment for your clinical condition. They may refer you for diagnostic tests, or recommend treatment options such as self-management, physiotherapy, medication, pain management, or refer you for a surgical opinion. 

Where might I see them?

You would most likely be seen by an GPwSI at a primary care centre or GP surgery, which are often more conveniently located than your nearest hospital.

How to book an appointment

To see a GPwSI, your own GP will need to refer you to Connect’s MSK CATS or IMATT services.

 

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Accreditations

All Connect physiotherapists are registered with the Health and Care Professions Council and the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.

Connect is also a member of the Commercial Occupational Health Providers Association.

  • COHPA - Advancing Occupational Health.
  • Chartered Society of Physiotherapists.
  • Care Quality Commission.
  • Health Professions Council.