Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy

Musculoskeletal Physiotherapists (or Manipulative Physiotherapists) in Australia study for 5 years full-time for their qualifications and have world leading expertise in the effective management of pain related to the musculoskeletal system (discs, joints, ligaments, muscles, spine and vertebrae)

Their advanced skills in the assessment, diagnosis and management of musculoskeletal conditions, particularly neck, back, shoulder pain and headaches, assist with an accurate diagnosis and appropriate evidence based management of conditions. They employ the most advanced techniques and their results are sometimes instantaneous. Their high level of knowledge and skill is maintained through a compulsory professional development program.

Approaches to management in the field of musculoskeletal physiotherapy involve manual handling with active and passive examination and treatment techniques, therapeutic and specific exercises, mobilisations and manipulations, advice on posture and movement disorders.

A Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist is trained to know exactly when and where to apply manipulation. Although these techniques are more intensive than those used by other Physiotherapists, they will always be applied safely and effectively.

Research has shown that Musculoskeletal Physiotherapists are highly skilled in their examination through which they are able to form a diagnosis similar to or better than those determined by sophisticated imaging processes. For example, studies have shown that Musculoskeletal Physiotherapists are skilled in the diagnosis of symptomatic facet joints (these are the joints of the spine) (Philips and Twomey 1996), symptomatic intervertebral discs (Donelson et al 1997) and lumbar instability (Avery 1997).