BCHC staff treating an adult patient


Adults' Services

MSK Physiotherapy

The service provides comprehensive treatment that empowers patients to improve their musculoskeletal health and encourage return to function, work or sport.

About our service

The musculoskeletal physiotherapy service offers patients across Birmingham a wide range of expert assessment and treatment options. Utilising specialist skills, the team works together to provide comprehensive patient-centred treatment. This is based on current, up-to-date research that empowers patients to improve their musculoskeletal health and facilitates prompt return to function, work or sport. 


Physiotherapy helps patients with restoring movement and function of limbs and muscles when affected by injury, illness or disability. It can also help in the management of long term conditions; empowering patients to effectively self manage their symptoms and remain independent.


As part of our commitment to providing accessible healthcare the service offers extended opening hours between 7am and 8pm. We are an adult service and see patients of 16 years old and older.


Some of the common conditions we can help with include: 

  •          Osteoarthritis
  •          Joint and muscle pain
  •          Back and neck pain
  •          Musculoskeletal injury

Physiotherapists maintain health by helping patients to manage pain and prevent further problems. It is likely that as part of your physiotherapy treatment you will be given a rehabilitation programme to complete at home. Exercise and activity is important to help your muscles and joints remain strong and resilient.


As part of our service we also run a number of group treatment sessions that, if appropriate, your physiotherapist may refer you into. These include: 

  • Back Skills
  • Pilates
  • Balance class
  • Escape Pain class for osteoarthritis



What to expect from physiotherapy

You will first be assessed by a physiotherapist to identify the nature of your problem. It would be preferred that you wear loose, comfortable fitting clothes and also to bring shorts and/or vest-tops to change into when expecting assessment of a back, hip or shoulder problem respectively. Please be aware that it is possible to feel some discomfort during and/or shortly following your assessment but this will be kept to a minimum.


It can take 3 months or more for your symptoms to improve. If you are concerned about your symptoms you can phone us on 0121 466 7600 (option 4) and leave a message with the Central Booking Staff and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.



What your physiotherapist would expect from you

Try to be on time for your appointments as being late may limit your assessment and treatment time.


Commitment to your rehabilitation programme. Your physiotherapist will guide you on how best to complete this.



Student physiotherapists 

We are a team committed to excellence and education and will often have student physiotherapists working alongside us. With this in mind, you may be asked if you are willing to be assessed by a student physiotherapist during the course of your treatment. Please be aware that the students work under the close supervision of an experienced physiotherapist but you may opt to be seen by a qualified member of staff at any point.



How to refer to physiotherapy

The MSK physiotherapy service accepts self-referrals as well as GP referrals.


GP referral

Some GP surgeries require you to see your GP before attending physiotherapy. If your doctor feels that you would benefit from physiotherapy, they are able to refer you to our MSK physiotherapy service. You will receive a letter in the post advising you to call and book your first appointment – please call us within the first 2 weeks of receiving the letter.



A lot of the GP surgeries across Birmingham now allow you to refer yourself for physiotherapy.  If this is the case at your surgery, please call 0121 466 7600 to start the referral process. You will be asked some questions to give us some basic information about the problems you are having and, if appropriate,  your appointment will be booked for you.


Waiting time

Once you have reached the top of the waiting list, you will be booked into the earliest appointment that is suitable to you, depending on clinic and time preference.


What you will need to bring to your appointments

If possible please wear loose clothing or bring appropriate clothing with you to change into (such as a pair of shorts or a vest top). Please be aware, as part of your assessment your physiotherapist may ask you to remove appropriate items of clothing.

You will also be asked about your current health and any medication that you are taking. Please remember to bring a list of you medication with you.


If you are unable to attend

If you are unable to attend an appointment for any reason, please call us on 0121 466 7600 and re-book or cancel your appointment. Alternatively, you can email us at bchnt.mskphysio@nhs.net to cancel your appointment. However, you will still be required to call to make a further appointment.


Please make sure you don’t miss appointments without notifying us. This has a huge impact on the service and waiting times and it is our policy to discharge patients if you do not contact us to cancel.


NHS England suggest that missed appointments cost the NHS over £216 million a year.

Patient resources

The MSK team has created some short instruction videos to help our patients maintain their exercise routines at home.























General activity resources

General exercise and activity is key to maintaining good physical and mental health. The World Health Organisation (WHO) suggest that healthy adults should try to partake in 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week.


When starting to increase your activity levels try to build up gradually. It is normal to feel a little muscle soreness following the start of a new exercise programme but as you continue your body will begin to adapt and get stronger. If you have any concerns about starting a new exercise programme due to health problems then it would be advisable to check with your GP prior to starting.


If you are looking to increase your activity levels, the following links may be helpful in getting you started with this.


Frequently asked questions

How long will I wait for my Physiotherapy appointment?

There is a waiting list for a physiotherapy appointment.  Waiting times vary and you will be contacted when you have reached the top of the waiting list.


 How long will my course of physiotherapy treatment last?

This will vary depending on what is being treated, however a large part of your treatment will involve exercise and completing a rehabilitation programme at home. This can often take up to 3-4 months for symptoms to improve, and will require a commitment to complete the exercise programme outside of physiotherapy treatment sessions.


How long will the appointment last?

Your first appointment will last up to 45 to 60 minutes. Further follow-up appointments will last up to 30 minutes. Please ensure that you arrive on time for your appointment, if you are late this can result in less time for your appointment with your Physiotherapist.


What should I bring?

Please wear lose fitting clothing. We may ask you to remove some items of clothing if you are happy to do so. This is so that we can complete a full assessment of your movements and have a further understanding of your condition. If you would like a chaperone in your appointment please let us know and this can be arranged.


Can I request to see a Male / or a female?

If you have a preference to be seen by a male or female physiotherapist please let us know when you call to book your appointment to ensure that we can accommodate your request.



Can I have access to an interpreter?

If you require an interpreter for your appointment please let us know at the time of booking. Please note that we require 24 hours notice for this booking to be arranged. If you have a preference for a male or female interpreter please let us know.



What should I do if I need to cancel an appointment?

Please let us know if you are unable to attend by calling 0121 466 7600. Alternatively you can cancel by emailing bchnt.mskphysio@nhs.net

It is important to let us know if you do need to cancel as this has an effect on our service and other patients who could have been seen. If you fail to attend without letting us know, our policy is that you will be discharged back to your GP.

Our patients and their carers and families are the reason we're here, so we want to hear your views about the Trust and our services.