Skip to content
Back

MSK

Ask

icon

Would it be OK to spend a minute talking about something many patients with musculoskeletal pain find really helpful?

Insight

icon

As musculoskeletal pain affects an individual’s physical activity beliefs and behaviours, focusing on this can be a useful way to introduce the topic.

Using a non-judgemental and respectful way to get a conversation about physical activity started can keep the individual actively engaged in the conversation and decision making.

If done successfully, a 1-minute conversation can plant the seed for successful behaviour change.

Did you know?

Every conversation you have with people about physical activity is important in supporting behavioural change over the life course

Brisk walking can be easily incorporated into everyday life for many people and is an acceptable form of physical activity.

Download this great infographic showing the UK Chief Medical Officers’ recommendations (2019) for physical activity in adults and older adults

Real impact

“Why haven’t I received [physical activity on prescription] before? I have been in pain for many years.”

“Exercises shouldn’t be framed as six weeks, but forever. It only reinforces it as a short term thing.”

“When you have OA, your joints already hurt, so I assume they’re not up to it”

Explain

icon

Many people with musculoskeletal pain find that moving more helps them manage their condition and symptoms, as well as improving their general wellbeing. I wonder what you make of that?

Insight

icon

Asking a question such as ‘what do you make of this’ allows some space for people to talk and explore the information rather than asking ‘do you understand?’ which can shut things down. They may already have a good understanding of the benefits of physical activity, so if you’re pressed for time you can ask it like this without patronising them and also offer the opportunity for them to tell you that they know it already.

Did you know?

Every conversation you have with people about physical activity is important in supporting behavioural change over the life course

Brisk walking can be easily incorporated into everyday life for many people and is an acceptable form of physical activity.

Download this great infographic showing the UK Chief Medical Officers’ recommendations (2019) for physical activity in adults and older adults

Real impact

“Why haven’t I received [physical activity on prescription] before? I have been in pain for many years.”

“Exercises shouldn’t be framed as six weeks, but forever. It only reinforces it as a short term thing.”

“When you have OA, your joints already hurt, so I assume they’re not up to it”

Invite

icon

Would you be interested in talking a little more about how physical activity might help with your health and wellbeing on another visit?

Arranging follow up is important after a positively received 1-minute conversation. Offer a follow up opportunity with you or a colleague appropriate to the environment you work in and resources available.

“In the meantime I could give you some further information to read if that would be of interest”

Signpost the patient information section.

Insight

icon

Follow up may be with you, a colleague or another service, but try to capitalise on the opportunity provided and book the next step before they leave.
If they decline a follow up appointment offer them a patient information leaflet, thank them for taking the time to talk with you about physical activity and reassure them help is available when they feel ready for change.

Did you know?

Every conversation you have with people about physical activity is important in supporting behavioural change over the life course

Brisk walking can be easily incorporated into everyday life for many people and is an acceptable form of physical activity.

Download this great infographic showing the UK Chief Medical Officers’ recommendations (2019) for physical activity in adults and older adults

Real impact

“Why haven’t I received [physical activity on prescription] before? I have been in pain for many years.”

“Exercises shouldn’t be framed as six weeks, but forever. It only reinforces it as a short term thing.”

“When you have OA, your joints already hurt, so I assume they’re not up to it”