Musculoskeletal Direct

Musculoskeletal Direct is an online questionnaire designed to help you receive the right care at the right time for problems such as back, neck and joint pain.

Please read the following information carefully to make sure MSK Direct is the right service for you.

What is a musculoskeletal problem? 

Musculoskeletal (commonly referred to as MSK) problems, can affect your bones, joints, muscles, spine or nerves. They are a common cause of pain and disability and can affect you at any age.  

Musculoskeletal conditions can cause pain, joint stiffness, change in body shape and limitations of movement. They vary over time and can be unpredictable.   

Musculoskeletal problems include:  

  • Osteoarthritis of the hip, knee, neck and back  

  • Back and neck pain 

  • Muscles, tendons, ligament and nerve pain 

  • Sports and exercise injuries

Use Musculoskeletal Direct if you: 

  • are 18 or over 

  • are registered with a City & Hackney GP Practice 

  • have a musculoskeletal problem 

Do not use Musculoskeletal Direct if you: 

  • have an urgent health problem  

  • have had your musculoskeletal problem for less than 7 days  

  • have already been referred to Physiotherapy by your GP or First Contact Practioner (FCP) 

  • have an appointment with a FCP or GP already

  • have more than 2 areas of pain

Musculoskeletal Direct is not suitable for help with: 

  • a neurological condition (such as Stroke or Multiple Sclerosis) 

  • a gynaecological condition (such as prolapse or incontinence) 

  • a respiratory condition (such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmorary Disorder (COPD) or Cystic Fibrosis) 

  • lumps, bumps or rashes.

Where can I access Musculoskeletal Direct? 

You can access Musculoskeletal Direct online - anytime, anywhere and from any device. 

You do not need to see your GP to use this service.  

Start the questionnaire

How long does it take? 

Most people take 15-30 minutes to complete.  

Please select no more than 2 body areas. If your problem affects more than 2 body areas, please book an appointment with your GP or FCP.  

Do I have to complete this all at once? 

No, You have 24 hours to complete your questionnaire.  If you leave the web page, you will receive a text message with a link to carry on where you left off. If you wait longer than 24 hours you will need to start again. 

What will happen at the end of the questionairre? 

Musculoskeletal Direct will recommend an NHS service for you based on your answers. At the end of the questionnaire you will be given information on what to do next. 

Potential outcomes: 

  • Referral to Physiotherapy 

  • Advice to call NHS 111 or attend A&E 

  • Advice to book a GP or FCP appointment 

Can I still be referred to Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy by my GP? 

Yes, if you would prefer to see your GP or FCP please contact your practice.