Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy

The musculoskeletal system covers soft tissue, bones and joints. Our physiotherapists provide treatment for routine and specialist musculoskeletal conditions and injuries. We provide high quality care to improve the quality of life of all patients and give them information so that they can manage their condition better in the future.

Musculoskeletal physiotherapy

Musculoskeletal physiotherapists treat a wide range of conditions and injuries, including:

  • Complex orthopaedic injuries resulting from trauma
  • Post-operative elective surgery e.g. anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) repairs, hip resurfacing and arthroscopy
  • Muscle and ligament strains e.g. tennis/golfers’ elbow, frozen shoulder, repetitive strain injury
  • Joint dysfunctions
  • Long term conditions e.g. osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis
  • Spinal conditions including degenerative and acute dysfunctions
  • Fractures
  • Vestibular rehabilitation.

For some patients we combine our skills and knowledge with other healthcare professionals to achieve the best care possible. This will often include working with podiatrists, occupational therapists and orthotists.

Musculoskeletal triage service

GPs refer to this service, which provides highly specialist triage, assessment and diagnosis for more complex musculoskeletal conditions. After the initial assessment and diagnosis, patients may require a range of physiotherapy treatments.

Treatment facilities

Most of our treatment is based on exercise and manual therapy. However, we do offer additional treatment facilities:

  • Traction – for patients with back or neck pain. This painless treatment stretches the small joints of the spine and relaxes the muscles.
  • Acupuncture – the insertion of very fine needles to ease symptoms of pain and discomfort. This is considered to be a comfortable treatment.
  • Gym rehabilitation – specialised exercises to help regain strength, balance and fitness. Along with exercises we may use a variety of techniques including hands-on treatment mobilising/manipulating, electrotherapy and acupuncture. Patients have their treatment on a one-to-one basis with the therapist and may do circuits or classes with others when appropriate.
  • Electrotherapy – the use of electrical machines which help reduce inflammation and pain. Treatment with these machines doesn’t hurt.
  • Injection therapy – the administration to a corticosteroid injection to help with pain and inflammation.
  • Hydrotherapy – exercises in our hydrotherapy pool use the buoyancy and turbulence of the water to help strengthen muscles, improve mobility, balance and coordination and reduce swelling. It is also an effective method of pain relief, and can be beneficial for people with muscle and joint problems (such as arthritis) and those with neurological conditions (such as multiple sclerosis). You do not need to be able to swim to benefit from this treatment. Hydrotherapy is only available at Harrogate District Hospital and access is only via your physiotherapist, except for aquacise.

If you would like to find out more about the facilities and classes available in our Physiotherapy Departments, please visit our main physiotherapy page.

Opening times

Physiotherapy Department, Harrogate District Hospital:

Monday-Friday, 7.30am-6pm.

Physiotherapy Department, Ripon Community Hospital:

Monday-Friday, 8am-4pm. On some evenings we open until 6pm. Please call the Department for more information.

Physiotherapy clinics are also held at the following GP surgeries for the patients registered at those surgeries:

Beech House Surgery, Knaresborough Monday and Wednesday mornings
Church Avenue Surgery, Boroughbridge Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings
Feastfield Medical Centre, Pately Bridge Tuesday afternoons
Leeds Road Surgery, Harrogate Tuesday mornings and Friday afternoons
Kirby Malzeard Surgery Thursday mornings
Mowbray Square Medical Centre, Harrogate Monday, Wednesday and Friday
Stockwell Road Surgery, Knaresborough Monday and Thursday mornings
The Grange Medical Centre, Dacre Thursday mornings
The Spa Surgery, Harrogate Tuesday and Thursday mornings
Ashfield House, Kirby Malzeard Thursday mornings
Wetherby Health Centre Thursday afternoons


Harrogate District Hospital

Therapy Services Department, main wing, ground floor
Harrogate District Hospital
Lancaster Park Road

Ripon Community Hospital

Martindale Wing, to the right of the main hospital building
Ripon Community Hospital
Firby Lane


Patients are referred to us from a range of healthcare professionals, including GPs and hospital consultants. Depending on the injury or condition, physiotherapy may be provided either at the GP surgery, or at Harrogate District Hospital or Ripon Community Hospital.

Useful links

The Musculoskeletal Partnership is a joint venture between local organisations and individuals who promote and provide community activity for people with musculoskeletal conditions: Age Concern Knaresborough and Backcare North Yorkshire & York. Their objective is to create activity programmes that will guide people of all ages towards better health and well-being. For more information, email: [email protected] or [email protected] or ring 01423 864956.

National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society is a UK society providing information on rheumatoid arthritis.

Arthritis Care Society is the UK’s largest organisation working with and for people with arthritis.

Arthritis Research UK is is the leading UK funder of research into the cause, treatment and cure of arthritis.

National Osteoporosis Society is a national charity dedicated to eradicating osteoporosis and promoting bone health in both men and women.

National Ankylosing Spondylitis Society is a charity that gives support to people suffering from Ankylosing Spondylitis.