Musculoskeletal thread promises practical value

Robert Millett explores a strand  at congress that tackles pain from every angle

Hundreds of eager physios will descend on Liverpool next month for the 2011 CSP Congress. Members will be treated to a line-up of expert speakers and a diverse array of tantalising topics, all designed to educate, enlighten and empower.

The musculoskeletal strand is one that promises to provide a wealth of highly practical information.

‘You won’t hear somebody telling you about a study that has no relevance to what you do,’ says Simon Mesner, a clinical specialist at London clinics Back in Action UK, and the man responsible for planning the MSK Congress programme.

‘All the presenters have been given guidance that there has to be something practical for people to take away – either an element that you can apply to yourself, or to your patients, to change the way you run your department.’

Mr Mesner compiled the programme with guidance from clinical special interest groups. It will focus on four main subjects: cervical spine issues, treatment of the knee, pain management and new opportunities that have become available for physiotherapists, in areas such as prescriptions and injection therapy.

Psychology and biology

There will be a keynote lecture by Dr David Butler, director of the Neuro Othopaedic institute at the University of South Australia.  

Dr Butler’s lecture will explore and explain ‘Bio-psychosocial management strategies in the treatment of MSK pain’.

‘If you’ve studied physiotherapy in the UK in the last 20 years you will almost certainly have heard about him or read his work,’ says Mr Mesner.

Dr Butler made his reputation examining the mobilisation of the neural system. His presentation will touch upon this area of expertise and offer advice on treating people with MSK pain.

‘It will be about how you work with an individual who’s dealing with pain,’ explains Mr Mesner. ‘He will be looking at what effect the biological processes of the body have on the psychology of the individual, and how that might affect them more widely, for instance when they are at work.’

A number of presentations will highlight potential opportunities, such as the growing scope for physios to administer prescriptions and injections.

CSP professional adviser Pip White will speak about the prescription of medicines by allied health professionals (AHPs) and the forthcoming legislation covering this area.

‘Independent prescribing is around the corner and this talk is about what’s coming up next, how far away we are from it and what implications it has for your practice,’ says Mr Mesner.


Freeing a frozen shoulder

Eoin O’Conaire, MSK clinical lead at Central London Community Healthcare NHS trust, will present the findings of a recent study into a pioneering treatment for adhesive capsulitis (‘frozen shoulder’).

The technique uses ultrasound guided injections of an inert saline solution, which distends the shoulder capsule and allows a greater range of movement.

‘Physios with the appropriate injection therapy training would be able to use this technique straightaway, without having to get a doctor’s consent, because the procedure doesn’t involve any drugs,’ says Mr Mesner.


How pain impinges on the mind

Two physios from the Kent Neck Pain Centre will be reporting on cervical spine issues. Neil Langridge will be speaking about cervical dysfunction and Chris Worsfold will present the latest research on whiplash.

‘One of the problems with whiplash is that there is a lot of pain inhibition that affects the muscles, and obviously the psychology of the individual,’ explains Mr Mesner.

‘So this talk will look at how pain affects the muscles but also affects the mind – and the things you can do to counteract that.’

Another segment will focus on trauma, with talks on the London system and regional networks presented by Lucy Silvester, principal physio in trauma and orthopaedics at St. George’s Healthcare NHS Trust, and Pip Nott, clinical team leader in major trauma and orthopaedics at Royal London Hospital.

Do extended scope practitioners or standard physios offer the best service in trauma clinics? This is a question that will be explored by Katrina Kennedy, orthopaedic physio at Poole NHS Trust.


Triage and treatment

In the pain management section, Mark Johnson, professor of pain and analgesia at Leeds Metropolitan University, will speak about the use of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation in pain management.

Greg Myer, co-director of research for sports medicine at Cincinnati children’s hospital medical centre, is travelling from the USA to speak about the treatment of patellofemoral dysfunction in young athletes.

‘This is all about the alignment and biomechanics of the knee and how that can cause problems with the back surface of the patella,’ explains Mr Mesner.

Nadine Foster, professor of MSK health in primary care at Keele University, will provide a presentation on the NHS Physio Direct telephone assessment and advice service.

‘Nadine Foster’s talk is about the triaging of patients via telephone service – how well that works, how cost-effective it is and if it actually has the desired effects for patients,’ says Mr Mesner. fl


For everybody

The overall concept of this year’s congress is ‘for you, for us, for them, for everybody’. The MSK presentations aim to exemplify this theme by providing universally applicable, cutting-edge information.
The MSK line-up will be informative, practical and professionally driven, says Mr Mesner.

‘You will be able to go back to your boss or whoever holds the purse strings and say “Why don’t we do it like this? What do you think?” or “Why don’t we run a pilot study based on this information and see what happens?”,’ he says.


Congress dates

CSP congress 2011 will be held at the BT Convention Centre in Liverpool on Friday 7 and Saturday 8 October.


The five key themes cover:


  • associates
  • musculoskeletal
  • neurology
  • cardio-respiratory
  • management, clinical  leadership and public health.

It’s not too late to book



Robert Millett

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