The BBC has put together a map of GP availability across the U.K., based on the number of patients per G.P. We don’t do too bad here, and certainly better than we used to in Cambridgeshire.
Of course, what we were interested in was the availability and waiting list time for soft tissue therapy. The NHS lumps this all under “physiotherapy”, and ominously makes multiple comments about waiting lists for their treatment being “long”. The local hospitals - which appear to be the access points for NHS physiotherapy - don’t have any waiting list data at all.
I suppose describing all MSK (musculoskeletal) issues as needing a physiotherapist makes things easy (it’s also probably much appreciated by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists), but it’s a bit like saying you need to see the head mechanic at a garage if your car’s headlights need changing; you *might*...but for a lot of people, that level of advanced, specialist help isn’t necessary.
Soft Tissue Therapists are not physiotherapists (or chiropractors, or osteopaths), nor do we pretend to be.
A Level 5 Soft Tissue Therapist can assess and treat both soft tissue injuries and chronic conditions and offer advice about avoiding injury in the future. This is the highest level of recognised Soft Tissue Therapist training; it is well worth asking any “sports masseuse” or masseuse what level training they have.
As Level 5 therapists, we can - and do - help with shoulder, back, neck, joint and muscle pain. We can - and will - point you to other specialists if we can’t help.
Unfortunately, we are not a treatment that you can get free on the NHS; although it’s our hope that one day that will change!