Be empowered with Physiotherapy

Our specialist Physiotherapy team is person-centred, evidence-based, community-focussed & Consultant-led... keeping our assessment and management skills so current.

The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy outlines that physiotherapy “helps restore movement and function when someone is affected by injury, illness or disability”[1].

Physiotherapy is a degree-based healthcare profession that is provided by specially trained, chartered and regulated practitioners called ‘physiotherapists’[2]. Hence, ‘physiotherapist’ is a protected title.

Physiotherapy is rooted in science and as an evidence-based profession it is concerned with ‘whole person’, patient-centred care. This means that the patient is encouraged to be involved in “their own care through education, awareness, empowerment and participation in their treatment.”[1].

As well as restoring movement and function when a person is affected by injury illness and disability, physiotherapists also have a key role in the prevention of injury, illness or disability[3].

Physiotherapists work in many different health-related and social care settings and some physiotherapists are also involved in education, research, service management and professional leadership.

At SHP Health (SHP) we have a Consultant-led service. The key components of the consultant physiotherapist role include clinical expertise, research, education and professional leadership[4]. For more information about our expertise in these areas please see our Evidence-based practice webpage.

Physiotherapy includes a broad scope of practice for assessing, preventing and treating specific conditions. Typically, the main approaches physiotherapists use are education & advice, movement & exercise, psychologically informed techniques, and manual therapy. Other techniques such as acupuncture (For more information click here) and manipulation require additional postgraduate training and are often referred to as “adjuncts” or additions to the main physiotherapy approaches. At SHP our team has developed the necessary training, experience and expertise to deliver these management approaches.

The role of the physiotherapist has grown in terms of scope of practice. The skill set of physiotherapists can now include:

  1. Diagnostics (ordering, performing and interpreting investigations) e.g. Blood tests, X-rays, MRI and ultrasound scanning.
  2. Advanced clinical expertise in a specific speciality e.g. musculoskeletal medicine.
  3. Management of complex cases.
  4. Psychologically informed therapies e.g. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) or Acceptance & commitment therapy (ACT) techniques.
  5. Advanced treatment skills e.g. medical prescribing & therapeutic injections.

Physiotherapists who developed and used these skills used to be referred to as extended scope practitioners (“ESPs”), however, given that these skills are now considered to be part of an advanced physiotherapy role, ESPs are now referred to as “Advanced Practitioners” or “Advanced Practice Physiotherapists (APPs)”[5]. Advanced practice is defined as “a combination of advanced skills, knowledge and attitudes together with the core set of physiotherapy skills and knowledge, tailored to individual patients and local environments.”[6]. Having these advanced practice skills allows physiotherapists to tackle complex problems, using complex & critical thinking, for patients with familiar and unfamiliar problems, competently and safely. For more information about APPs please CLICK HERE. At SHP our team has expertise and training in the majority of these areas… and if not, we have the knowledge and clinical relationships necessary to help the patient have “the right care, in the right place, at the right time”.

The development of the role of the physiotherapist in musculoskeletal care has also led to the development of the “First Contact Practitioner” role, where physiotherapists see patients with musculoskeletal problems instead of those patients being seen by their GP. This approach has been shown to be both safe and beneficial for patients[7,8]. Dr Massimo Barcellona has contributed to this initiative as part of the Standardised National Data Collection For First Contact Physiotherapy Practitioners[9].

A musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) refers to problems including joint, back, neck, bone and muscle symptoms such as pain, ache, stiffness and/or swelling, and the associated functional limitation; which can lead to disability. MSDs cover “any injury, damage or disorder of the joints or other tissues in the upper/lower limbs or the back”[10].

An estimated 20.3 million people live with a musculoskeletal problem in the UK; representing approximately one third of the UK population[11]. For people living in Surrey the estimated prevalence is 16.7% for either back pain or osteoarthritis of the knee, and 10.3% for osteoarthritis of the hip[12]. These and other musculoskeletal conditions represent areas of musculoskeletal clinical and research expertise of the SHP team. For more information see our Evidence-based practice webpage.

At SHP we have the necessary clinical experience, knowledge, training & expertise to assess, manage & facilitate the prevention of a number of conditions including:

  • Neck pain
  • Back and pelvic pain
  • Pelvic girdle pain
  • Headaches
  • Sciatica
  • Shoulder pain
  • Arm pain
  • Muscular problems
  • Joint problems
  • Sports injuries
  • Hypermobility syndrome
  • Work-related disorders and repetitive strain injury
  • Childhood musculoskeletal / sporting injuries
  • Rheumatological conditions
  • Post-operative rehabilitation


Knowing that the key risk factors for developing certain musculoskeletal conditions are physical inactivity, obesity and multiple long-term conditions[11], our health and wellbeing services, our team, and our beautiful premises on the Denbies Wine Estate – known affectionately as “The Barn” – have all been expertly fashioned to put you and your wellbeing at the centre of all we do.

  1. Physiotherapy. 2017. (accessed 9 Jan 2022).
  2. What is physiotherapy? Chart. Soc. Physiother. (accessed 9 Jan 2022).
  3. Meyer C, Denis CM, Berquin AD. Secondary prevention of chronic musculoskeletal pain: A systematic review of clinical trials. Ann Phys Rehabil Med 2018;61:323–38. doi:10.1016/
  4. Stevenson K. A new dawn: a consultant physiotherapist in musculoskeletal disease. Musculoskeletal Care 2003;1:65–70. doi:10.1002/msc.40
  5. Advanced and consultant practice physiotherapy. Chart. Soc. Physiother. (accessed 9 Jan 2022).
  6. Sedgley C. Advanced practice in physiotherapy – a UK vision. Physiotherapy 2016;102:e165–6. doi:10.1016/
  7. Goodwin RW, Hendrick PA. Physiotherapy as a first point of contact in general practice: a solution to a growing problem? Prim Health Care Res Dev 2016;17:489–502. doi:10.1017/S1463423616000189
  8. Martini K, Kelly R. The provision of first contact physiotherapy in GP surgeries with non-advanced practice clinicians: a service evaluation. Physiotherapy 2017;103:e31. doi:10.1016/
  9. Hensman-Crook O, McComiskie E. standardised National Data Collection for First contact physiotherapy practitioners. 2018;:19.
  10. Musculoskeletal disorders. (accessed 12 Mar 2019).
  11. State of Musculoskeletal Health 2019. Arthritis. /about-arthritis/data-and-statistics/state-of-musculoskeletal-health-2019/ (accessed 6 May 2020).
  12. Long Term Conditions – Surrey-i. (accessed 12 Mar 2019).
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