Yetminster Health Centre

Open Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 6.30pm

Self-referral Physiotherapy

Got Aches and Pains?

We understand how aches and pains in your joints, muscles and bones can cause frustration and worry, impacting on your daily activities. In most cases, these can be treated by yourself, in your own home. The is guidance available on the Dorset NHS Musculoskeletal Matters webpage to help you self-treat.

However, if you continue to suffer with a condition or injury affecting muscles, joints and soft tissues such as low back pain, shoulder pain, neck pain, a Physiotherapist may be able to help.


You can now refer yourself to see a Physiotherapist for an assessment, without the need to consult your GP first. If you are registered with a GP Practice in Dorset and over the age of 16, simply visit and complete the required information on the Self-Referral Form.

Is self-referral right for everyone?

This service is not available for neurological conditions (such as stroke or MS), gynaecological conditions (such as prolapse or incontinence) respiratory conditions (such as COPD or cystic fibrosis) or if your condition is related to pregnancy.

What if I don’t have access to the internet?

If you, a relative or carer are unable to access the internet please advise the health centre or attend the local library in Sherborne where help should be available to fill in the self-referral form.

Can I still ask my doctor to make a referral?

If you have any ongoing concerns or problems with the self referral service your GP or another healthcare professional at the health centre can refer you to your local specialist service in their usual way.

What can I do to help myself in the meantime?

Research has shown that resting for more than a day or so does not help with problems such as back pain and may actually prolong pain and disability. You may need to modify your activities initially, but the sooner you get back to normal activity the sooner you will feel better. Initially moving stiff joints and muscles can be painful, but this is a normal response and not a sign of damage. Feeling a bit sore initially is also normal and often a good sign that you are making progress. Gentle movements of the joints/muscles will help to prevent continued pain and stiffness. Changing your position or activity frequently throughout the day will help to prevent and reduce stiffness. Try to build up your general activity gradually.

Hot or Cold?

If you have a recent injury (less than 72 hours) you may benefit from a pack of frozen peas or ice wrapped in a damp towel for 10 – 20 minutes. This may help to reduce any heat/swelling. If you have an old injury or recurring problem you may find that holding a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel on the affected area for 10 – 20 minutes reduces pain. Movement of the affected area will aid in preventing stiffness and pain.

Please Be aware that hot and cold can BURN and that you need to check (every 5 minutes) that your skin does not become very red or blotchy. If this happens STOP immediately.

Should I take painkillers?

‘Over the counter’ painkillers can be helpful. A pharmacist or dispenser will be able to advise you on the appropriate tablets. If you are in a lot of pain or your symptoms worsen make an appointment to see your GP.

Further Information

The following websites contain some information you may find useful to help your recovery

Some useful exercises for a variety of conditions:

Some tips and guidance on Physical activity with ‘Fitness Studio’ videos/tutorials:

Advice to support your recovery with advice on health and wellbeing:

Some useful information if you have longstanding pain:

Date published: 13th November, 2019
Date last updated: 11th August, 2023