10 Best-Practice Principles For The Management Of Musculoskeletal Pain

“Musculoskeletal pain refers to an unpleasant sensory or emotional experience arising from actual or perceived damage to muscles, joints, ligaments or tendons”.

At Instinct Health, we are experts at managing all types of musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction, using best practice guidelines and thorough assessment and treatment techniques.

We will describe the 10 best-practice principles that our Physiotherapists implement to ensure optimal outcomes for our clients.

Common misconceptions in today’s information driven world:

Studies have found that the regular overuse of radiological imaging (X-rays, CTs, and MRI’s), surgery and opioid prescription, as well as failure to provide best practice clinical education to clients, is common within healthcare practice in Australia.

Unfortunately, some healthcare providers are making the same mistakes over and over again, these mistakes cost their clients valuable time and resources, and in extreme cases, are potentially harmful to their clients if overused, and when not indicated.

What can Physiotherapists do about this?

Physiotherapist’s are primary care practitioners, which means we can be seen without a referral, who should always aim to provide care that is aligned with best-practice clinical recommendations. This ensures that the best possible outcomes are achieved for their patients!

10 care principles that Instinct Health physiotherapists strive to deliver to our clients:

  1. Client-centred/focused care:

Physiotherapists should be act as a personalised knowledge and support resource, acknowledging and responding to their clients individual expectations, contexts and preferences and working together with their clients in a shared-decision making approach

  1. Routine screening for more serious pathologies(eg: Referral to a GP for a blood test or further investigation).

In certain instances, there will be a specific problem or condition that will require further investigation or more complex multi-disciplinary care.

  1. Assessment and management of psychosocial factors

Our minds and bodies do not exist in isolation; we do need to ensure we look at the complete individual and picture when assessing a client that walks through our door.

  1. Ordering radiological Imaging (eg: X-rays or MRI scans)

This practice is discouraged in the initial management of individuals whom present to the clinic, unless there are obvious red flags (clues) that something weird/interesting is going on, that is out of the blue.

  1. A detailed and thorough assessment should always be conducted

To get to the bottom of your symptoms and find a pattern that may explain the clients presentation and serve to guide recovery.

  1. Progress should be tracked and reviewed with a Physiotherapy Management Plan

This ensures we are seeing improvements and our clients are getting better. If not, we need to explore other options.

  1. Communicating to and educating our clients appropriately/effectively

So our clients are educated about their condition and the best management options to help them.

  1. Effective Physiotherapy Management Plans should always include physical activity and exercise

Let’s not beat around the bush, almost any injury or condition will benefit from clinical exercise prescription. Plus, moving our bodies has so many other positive benefits – improved mental health being one of many!

  1. Passive manual therapy (including joint mobilisations, soft tissue massage and passive stretching techniques) should always be used as an adjunct/in combination with other evidence-based active treatments

The active involvement of the client in managing their injury or condition through supervised exercises, stretching and self-management strategies is key to optimal outcome and resolution of injury and return to work/sport.

  1. Continuation or resumption of work or chosen exercise

Physiotherapists should always be promoting and facilitating continuation of a client’s work and functional activities within manageable limits as soon as possible. Research shows a early return to work, even in a reduced capacity, will have a far more positive long term effect thank relying on passive treatments for extended periods.

At Instinct Health we are a group of passionate, positive and knowledgeable practitioners, who are constantly striving to provide the best clinical care to our client’s and local community. We ensure that we stay true to our Instinct values by always incorporating the above 10 principles into our clinical practice.

If you have ongoing pain or discomfort, or have recently sustained a new injury, come in and see us and see these principles in action, we will get you back to doing what you love to do! And as always, remember to ‘Trust your Instinct”!

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10 Best-Practice Principles For The Management Of Musculoskeletal Pain