Physiotherapy Services

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Pennine Acute Trust’s Physiotherapy Services approach to back pain can help reduce GP consultations

Research shows that each year in the UK 6-9 per cent of all GP consultations are for back pain with only 20-40 per cent of these patients no longer reporting symptoms at 12 months.

The Pennine Acute Hospital NHS Trust’s Physiotherapy Services can provide the solution for many of these patients and as a consequence reduce GP consultations for back pain.

All patients with low back pain referred to Pennine Acute Physiotherapy Services attend a spinal assessment clinic.  A triage assessment is carried out followed by appropriate investigations e.g. MR scans where diagnosis is required.

All chronic pain patients undergo a detailed bio-psychosocial assessment, when barriers to rehabilitation are assessed. A stratified care** approach is then utilised, where patients are matched to the most appropriate intervention. 

Patients with low psychosocial risk factors are managed with conventional physiotherapy approaches and those with identified psychosocial risk factors are referred to the physiotherapy pain management programme at Fairfield General Hospital or North Manchester General Hospital.

This programme is not a conventional physiotherapy programme but, rather, based on a bio-psychosocial model of pain management and is underpinned by cognitive behavioural principles. The overall aim is to reduce disability and distress caused by chronic pain by involving the participants in physical and practical techniques to improve their quality of life.

Clinical outcomes are excellent with patients reporting large decreases in disability.  In addition, positive work outcomes are reported with 37 per cent of patients returning to work and a further 30 per cent seeking work but not yet employed.

Pennine Acute Trust’s Physiotherapy Department continues to be actively involved in research into chronic pain to help ensure that patients benefit from the most up to date evidence based approach.

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