On this page:

The team use a range of evidence-based research and clinical expertise to ensure your treatment is individually tailored and you achieve your maximum potential.

Self-management strategies are vital to your rehabilitation, the approach taken by the team is to make you independent rather than dependent.

Movement and exercise

Physiotherapists use various exercises such as posture retraining, muscle strengthening, cardiovascular training and stretching. Therapeutic exercise aims to mobilise and strengthen the affected body area.

The exercises given by your therapist need to be repeated regularly, usually daily, for a number of weeks. The therapist will advise you accordingly, you may be invited to attend one of our exercise classes.

As well as specific exercises to address your symptoms, gentle activities such as walking or swimming may be recommended to improve your general well being. Your physiotherapist can give you more information about this when you see them.

Manual therapy

Manual therapy involves the therapist using their hands to help mobilise joints and soft tissues. This includes stretching, manual resistance training, and mobilisation and manipulation, including spinal mobilisation. These techniques: improve blood flow, improve movement, and relieve pain & stiffness.


Electrotherapy is used infrequently, as often there is an exercise or treatment that is more effective. Electrotherapy includes the use of ultrasound, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) and other machines.

Ultrasound as a deep massaging effect on cells and is useful for localised swelling or deep painful inflammation from acute soft tissue injuries.

A TENS machine delivers an electric current to the affected area though two self-adhesive electrodes. The tingling sensation produced by the current can help block or suppress pain signals to the brain.


Acupuncture is used alongside other physiotherapy techniques and can sometimes help to alleviate pain or muscle spasm. It involves the insertion of fine needles into particular points of the body.

Physiotherapists using acupuncture are required to train to a minimum standard and are bound by professional code of conduct through the health professionals council. You can read more on acupuncture in our patient information leaflet.

Other techniques

The physiotherapist may use other techniques as part of your treatment. These can include taping & strapping, providing walking aids such as sticks, gait re-education and general advice such as good working posture or correcting a sporting technique.


The service runs a variety of exercise classes, these are held in the Bader Gym at Queen Mary’s Hospital, which is situated next door to the outpatient physiotherapy department. All classes are run by chartered physiotherapist and are provided for patients undergoing physiotherapy for specific conditions and are not open to the general public.

The aim of each class is to help you reach your potential through supervised exercise and education, so that you have the knowledge and confidence to continue exercising on your own.

The following classes are available to patients:

  • Lower limb class
  • Core conditioning class
  • Fitness for Function (an exercise class with an educational component)
  • ESCAPE back class

Patients are individually assessed prior to starting a class and usually will have already been given exercises to do at home. At the end of the classes patients are encouraged to continue exercising and can join ongoing exercise sessions at the Bader Gym where appropriate.

The classes are constantly updated in accordance with current research finding so that you always receive the best possible care available.

If you feel that you would benefit from an exercise class like those offered here please approach your local leisure centre, health professional or GP practice for further advice. If your GP feels that it is appropriate for you to receive physiotherapy treatment then they can refer you to the department.

Class timetable

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Core conditioning class 08.00hrs – 09.00hrsSix weeks 09.00hrs – 10.00hrsSix weeks 08.00hrs – 09.00hrsSix weeks
Fitness for Function 09:30hrs -10:30hrs 15.00hrs-16.00hrs
Lower limb class 08.00hrs – 09.00hrsSix weeks
ESCAPE back class 14.00hrs -15.00hrs 12400hrs -15.00hrs

Musculoskeletal clinical assessment service (MCAS)

The MCAS offers musculoskeletal interface clinics for assessment of spinal, lower and upper limb conditions by a specialist physiotherapist for patients aged 16 and over.

You can find more information on the musculoskeletal clinical assessment service page.