In the years consulting client’s for acute and chronic pain, ECP Neil Liffen answers some of the common questions the client  discusses during their consultation.


“What is my diagnosis?” or “What do you think is going on?”

These are common statements I receive from clients’ who require a diagnosis. ECP vision is to provide excellence, and providing this excellence from the outset is for the diagnosis to be as accurate as possible. This is why Neil Liffen has extensively trained in diagnostic ultrasound in clinic to enhance our decision making and forming a diagnosis alongside your history and physical examination to ensure suitable management of your condition. Please note and a word of caution, diagnostic ultrasound has many advantages, but also has limitations and although very useful to rule in or out pathology, it does not always change a client’s management/treatment. The correlation between structure and pain can be weak at times.


“How do I know if I need an diagnostic musculoskeletal ultrasound?” 

You may or may not know if a diagnostic ultrasound for your injury is helpful in your management, however this can be discussed directly with Neil Liffen before your clinic or at consultation.


“I do not want treatment until know what the problem is?”

This is completely understandable statement, but unfortunately there are times, even with ultrasound and/or other investigations e.g. MRI, a specific diagnosis cannot always be achieved. In some cases investigations are used to rule out pathology and provide reassurance. However, no investigation would not prevent commencement of treatment.


“I have been told my diagnosis is…X…Y…Z!”

Commonly, a client may arrive in clinic with more than one diagnosis having discussed it with GP, other health care professionals, a neighbour or googled it leading to a confused and dismayed client. That’s why ECP has the advantage of using diagnostic ultrasound to confirm these diagnoses and to ensure were treating what we think we are treating! Usually ultrasound can improve the diagnosis and findings can be discussed in clinic to reassure the patient or dispel previous diagnoses.


“What does my diagnosis mean?”

Once a client gets a diagnosis the next question is what implication does the diagnosis have on the person. Most investigations will identify pathology (abnormal tissue appearance), but this abnormal tissue does not always correlate with pain. Therefore, diagnostic ultrasound findings have to be clinically correlated to the patient’s injury and in some cases will not be relevant.


“What can I do to treat my diagnosis?”

Specific treatment is discussed in clinic following your complete examination.


Other common questions regarding ECP services…

“Can I self refer to ECP for a consultation or do I need to be referred by a Doctor?”

Yes, please contact ECP directly via email, telephone or text.


“How do I know if you are a fully trained Chartered Physiotherapist?”

Chartered Physiotherapist’ is now protected title and all physiotherapists have undergone strategic and thorough training to enable them to practice. The ‘Chartered Society of Physiotherapists’ (CSP) are the physiotherapists union, which regulate all aspects of physiotherapy including safety, training and regular ‘continuous professional development’, commonly called CPD. The physiotherapists of ECP will be pleased to show relevant certificates and registration documents on request, or alternatively safety checks can be made direct to the CSP.

“Are Health Care Professional Council (HCPC) and Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks approved?”

Yes. The physiotherapists of ECP will be pleased to show relevant certificates and registration documents on request, or alternatively safety checks can be made direct to the HCPC and/or DBS.


“Does ECP treat children?”

ECP is happy to except referrals for children of 8 years and over. All persons aged under 18 years need to be accompanied with parent or guardian.


If your questions are not answered please contact ECP for further information.

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