Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy

Musculoskeletal physio servicing Essendon, Moonee Ponds, Strathmore, Brunswick West & Ascot Vale

Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy Essendon

Musculoskeletal physiotherapy is the hallmark of our service at Northwest Physio Group and involves the diagnosis and treatment of any condition affecting joints, muscles, and nerves.


What conditions can be treated with musculoskeletal physiotherapy?

musculoskeletal-physio-treatmentThese conditions may include, but are not limited to:

    • lower back pain
    • neck pain
    • headaches and migraines
    • shoulder pain and rotator cuff tendinopathy
    • hip pain and gluteal tendinopathy
    • knee pain and ACL injuries
    • ankle pain and ligament sprains
    • elbow pain and tennis elbow
    • nerve-related conditions like sciatica and radiculopathy
    • post surgical rehab

Essendon Musculoskeletal Physiotherapists

At Northwest Physiotherapy Group, our highly experienced team assesses every client using a biopsychosocial (BPS) framework.

essendon-musculoskeletal-physiotherapistsWhat does this mean? We know that any musculoskeletal pain can be complex. There are usually biological factors (involving muscles, joints, and nerves), psychological factors (beliefs about their pain or their condition), and social factors (work-life balance, stress levels, sleep hygiene, and diet) that can contribute to a client’s condition.

We assess all of these to work out the main contributors and develop a treatment program to get you back on track to achieving your goals as soon as possible.

This approach is evidence-based, meaning that there is a lot of research to support the use of the BPS model in the field of musculoskeletal physiotherapy.

We always place the client at the centre of our approach  your goals and values are paramount. Our expertise involves careful assessment, treatment, and the reassessment of your movements to ensure our treatments are working effectively for you.

Understanding Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy

What is Musculoskeletal physiotherapy?

Musculoskeletal physiotherapy is a type of physical therapy that treats injuries and conditions affecting the muscles, joints, and soft tissues. Injuries treated by musculoskeletal physiotherapy can include ligament sprains, muscle strains, arthritis, cartilage tears, and more. This type of therapy can also be used for rehabilitation before and after surgery, as well as for fracture rehabilitation and back pain.


What does a Musculoskeletal physiotherapist do?

The musculoskeletal physiotherapist’s goal is to help patients restore as much movement and function as possible. They will consider many factors when developing a treatment plan. The most appropriate treatments will be selected based on the physiotherapist’s clinical judgment and experience. Treatments for musculoskeletal injuries typically aim to:

    • Speed the recovery process
    • Restore normal movement
    • Decrease pain
    • Decrease swelling and inflammation

What Musculoskeletal physio treatments do we use?

  1. Manual therapy – this is hands-on techniques that may include joint and soft tissue mobilising, trigger point release, joint manipulation, muscle activation, inhibition strategies, and muscle stretching.
  2. Neural techniques – aimed at reducing tension within the neuromuscular system. Nerve and nerve interface mobilizing (mobilising structures that may impede normal neural gliding) to improve the normal gliding action of nerves. This serves to reduce overall muscle guarding/tension and improves the response to treatment. Is Nerve Tension Causing Your Pain?
  3. Therapeutic exercise – to address muscle imbalances, weakness, and muscle shortening issues, as well as regain/maintain mobility in spinal and peripheral joint structures.
  4. Motor Control exercises – to address poor postural awareness and ideal muscle activation.
  5. Dry Needling – to release tension quickly in tight muscles that are contributing to a client’s condition.

All our treatment sessions are one on one, hands-on primary contact with our clients.

We do not use electrotherapy modalities that have not been substantiated in their clinical use.

We’ll never put you on a machine and go to treat someone else!

What’s Different About the Way We Do Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy?

We expand on the “Bio” in the biopsychosocial model to assess your whole body and anything that may be contributing to your condition.

Why? Because we know from our experience and research in the field that the location of your pain may not be where the cause is.

We have achieved amazing results with clients by being very thorough and testing in areas that most practitioners would assume are not connected to your presenting condition. These “remote contributors” can often be the primary drivers of a persistent and long term problem and they are often over-looked!

A remote contributor is an unhappy joint or muscle within the body that is not in the area of a client’s pain. We can easily test whether an unhappy area is affecting a clients problem by doing a treatment trial, a mini treatment on the remote area, and then immediately re-testing a restricted movement related to the client’s condition. For example, a client with low back pain may have a restricted forward bending test. They may have an unhappy joint in their neck, and we can release this as the client is bending forward to determine if this makes any difference.

This process is a systematic problem solving methodology, known as the Ridgway Method.

You can learn more about this here: Why Do a Whole body assessment?

Also, you need to consider that strain can accumulate and cause pain.

What is Accumulative Strain and How Does it Explain Your Pain?

Ridgeway Method: Model of Musculoskeletal Health

In our experience, this model explains why 95% of our clients develop a painful condition, especially if this has developed slowly over time.

Strain builds up in our bodies over time.

So, these upcoming things in our daily lives are important things to watch and monitor… 

Top 10 reasons that cause musculoskeletal problems?

These can affect all of us on a daily basis and can be from:

  1. Sitting too much
  2. Poor posture
  3. Too much or not enough exercises
  4. Poor technique or faulty movement patterns
  5. Lifting groceries
  6. Lifting and carrying small children
  7. Moving furniture or home renovations
  8. Gardening
  9. Poor sleep and/or poor diet
  10. Stress and anxiety

This strain manifests as muscle tension, joint stiffness, poor neural gliding, and faulty movement patterns.


If this strain builds up beyond the safe pain threshold, our brains will send us a signal of pain, alerting us to the problem and protecting the body from further damage. The purpose is to trigger a change in our behaviour to restore the balance in our body and stop the strain from continuing to build.

The primary area of strain that the brain is protecting may not be in the region of our pain.
This is why we do a whole body assessment and use the Ridgway Method  to find the primary source of the pain and fix it effectively for the long term. Read Why Am I in Pain.

What is the difference between physiotherapy and musculoskeletal therapy?

The difference between physiotherapy and musculoskeletal therapy is defined below:

Physiotherapy can be used for a wide range of conditions, from increasing the range of movement to helping with rehabilitation after injuries. Musculoskeletal therapy (MSK therapy) or musculoskeletal physiotherapy is a more hands-on approach that is designed specifically for treating conditions affecting the musculoskeletal system.

Musculoskeletal physiotherapists are trained in movement; this is where the therapist moves the limb/joint whilst you keep your muscles relaxed.

What techniques do musculoskeletal physiotherapists use?

musculoskeletal-physiotherapist-techniquesMobilisation and manipulation are two techniques that musculoskeletal physiotherapists use to help people with pain and stiffness around joints or muscles.

1. Mobilisation is when the therapist uses smooth movements of force, either large or small, anywhere within the joint’s range of movement.

2. Manipulation is when the therapist applies a thrust of small force on the joint at the end of its range of movement.

How to book an appointment with a musculoskeletal physiotherapist in essendon

The way we treat musculoskeletal injuries is different from other Melbourne musculoskeletal physiotherapists. With our unique approach, we can get you back on track quickly!

Call our musculoskeletal physiotherapy Essendon clinic on (03) 9370 5654

With our experience, knowledge, networks and systems, we can achieve a fast and durable result for you.

Conditions Treated with Musculoskeletal Physio

lower back pain
neck pain
headaches and migraines
shoulder pain and rotator cuff tendinopathy
hip pain and gluteal tendinopathy
knee pain and ACL injuries
ankle pain and ligament sprains
elbow pain and tennis elbow
nerve-related conditions like sciatica and radiculopathy
post surgical rehab
groin pain treatment
hip soreness running
hip labrum tear treatment
tennis elbow essendon
hamstring tear
knee pain from running
pulled hamstring
hip labrum tear
golf elbow