Musculoskeletal Aches and Pains


Over one million people in Scotland consulted their GP for muscle and joint problems in 2011. This included minor injuries sustained at home or at work, as well as other medical conditions that affected bones, muscles and joints.

Health care professionals often call these problems “Musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions”. It is a broad term covering injuries from a sprained ankle to stiff neck.

Currently, in Lothian, waiting times for physiotherapy can be in excess of 8 weeks. This lack of early intervention can be frustrating and painful for patients.

Resources for People with Musculoskeletal Problems

To help with the hassle of having to make an appointment with your GP, and the long waiting list for physiotherapy, a new library of self management resources is now available for people with musculoskeletal (MSK) problems. You can find this information in a variety of places.

You can visit On the site there is access to advice on common MSK problems and some simple exercises. The information can also be printed by people with MSK problems or for people they know, on one piece of paper via the links on the right side of each problem page. The most up to date versions of all this information will always be online.

Digital TV
Via the NHS 24 Digital TV Channel (Freesat and SKY customers: Community Channel 539. Virgin Media customers: ‘Home’button then ‘Interactive’)

The new MSK app is available free from the iTunes App Store and at the Play Store for Android devices. Download it today and recommend to anybody with a muscle, back or joint problem.

All of the information used by these resources has been produced with input from patient groups, a multi disciplinary expert panel, NHS inform and The Plain English Campaign.

National Musculoskeletal Advice and Triage Service

If you had a look at some of the resources above, and followed the advice they give, but you’re not improving, you can now phone the new Musculoskeletal Advice and Triage Service and speak to someone for further advice. They will also be able to assess whether an onward referral to physiotherapy is required, and if so they will be able to handle that referral for you directly.

0800 917 9390

The phoneline is for adults only, and is available Monday-Friday, 9am to 5pm.