MSK Team or Chiropractic care: Which is best?

Which is best? GP referred MSK Teams or Private Chiropractic care? 

You decide! We aren’t in a position to say that any one professional is more worthy of your time, energy, effort or money to another. That said, we are often asked by patients about what exactly are ‘MSK Teams’ and how are they different from private Chiropractic, Physiotherapy or Osteopathic care? In this blog we explain the pros and the cons. The right choice for you however depends largely on your circumstances, the research (what is best informed in line with your circumstance) and your preference. 

MSK stands for musculoskeletal. Your MSK Team will provide similar care to your Chiropractor, Physiotherapist or Osteopath.

In some cases they may even be the same people.

The ‘MSK Team’ that your GP refers you to is likely to be formed of NHS practitioners. Together these Physiotherapists, Osteopaths and Chiropractors will help you with musculoskeletal issues. Due to the make up of the teams you are more likely to see a physiotherapist than a Chiropractor or Osteopath, but this is not always the case.


MSK Chiropractic care

The benefits of seeing a Private Chiropractor

There are several potential benefits to seeing a private chiropractor instead of or in addition to the musculoskeletal team recommended by your GP. These include:

Access to care

Private Chiropractors tend to have more availability and shorter wait times than NHS musculoskeletal teams. This can be especially beneficial if you are experiencing acute pain or require more frequent or intensive treatment.

Tailored care

This is not to say that MSK Team care is not tailored, however private Chiropractors might indeed have more flexibility to provide individualised treatment plans tailored to your specific needs and goals, rather than being restricted to a standardised treatment protocol. This arguably should lead to better outcomes and a more personalised care experience.

Appointment times

Many private chiropractors may have longer appointment times than the musculoskeletal team, which can allow for a more thorough assessment and more time to address all of your concerns. This isn’t always the case, so it’s wise to check.

Continuity of care

By seeing a private chiropractor, you can establish an ongoing relationship with a healthcare provider who is familiar with your history and can provide consistent care over time. Given that Chiropractic care can be suitable for maintenance care, it can sometimes be a good idea to see someone from start through to the end of your issue.

Variety of treatment options

Private chiropractors may offer different types of manual therapies or complementary treatments that are not available through the NHS musculoskeletal team. This can give you access to a wider range of options for managing your pain and promoting healing.

The disadvantages of seeing a Private Chiropractor over your MSK team


You’ll have to foot the bill with private Chiropractic care, even where there are offers and discounts applied. Though Chiropractic care is often much more affordable than the effects of ill health, it is worth mapping out the affordability of it all at your initial consultation.

Selecting a Chiropractor

Through the MSK teams, it’s all done for you. You’ll know that all the practitioners are of the standard required to join the NHS teams. That said, finding a good Chiropractor is easy when you know what to look out for. Click here to find out more.

Automatic links to your GP

A GP referral often means the MSK team will report back and inform your GP about your progress. Though this can also happen privately, the chances of having to relate your findings to your GP is probably lower. That said, it’s sometimes good to have more information at your fingertips.

Referrals to other treatments

Registered Chiropractors will consider your rationale for care alongside alternatives to Chiropractic care. Where Chiropractic is not informed they are likely to refer to your GP or another specialised practitioner to assist you. When your GP is included from the get go, you can sometimes run many paths at the same time which may speed up your outcomes, depending on your circumstances

Our conclusion

All practitioners are there to help you, so it is up to you to determine which route is best for you to take. There’s nothing stopping you from doing both if you feel it is in your best interests to do so. The real thing, we’d suggest, is informing your practitioner if you are seeing other practitioners so that they are able to work alongside other practitioners to reach your goals and advice on how to best organise your care for maximum benefit.


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Connective Chiropractic Ltd,
55 Kingsclere Road,
RG21 6XG

01256 639 452


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Registered Company (10788728) in England & Wales, Registered Address: 55 Kingsclere Road, Basingstoke, Hampshire. RG21 6XG.

Site content last edited 11 September 2023 (Version 1.4) (Version 1.0 - 1st November 2017). Last update Monday 11 September 2023

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