Musculoskeletal Advice and Triage Service

Call free on 0800 917 9390 - Monday to Friday 9am-5pm


This helpline is a phone triage service for people experiencing muscle, back or joint problems.

These problems are often known as musculoskeletal or MSK for short.  Many MSK problems will settle with self-care and often you do not need to see a Healthcare Professional.

Fully trained call operators, supported by clinicians, offer expert advice about what you can do to treat and manage your condition.

If required, they can refer you to a local NHS Healthcare Professional – such as a Physiotherapist or Podiatrist

MATS helpline CAN help with:

  • Safely directing you to key information and advice to help with your problem
  • Finding out if you need to see an NHS Healthcare Professional about your MSK problem
  • Arranging for your details to be sent to a Healthcare Professional if required

MATS helpline CAN’T help you with:

  • Booking and managing appointments
  • Arranging home visits – this should be arranged by your doctor

What happens when I phone?

You will be asked a series of questions normally lasting around seven minutes.  

Callers will be directed to key self-care information to help with their MSK problem.  This information can be found on the website by clicking here

If you require additional support, it may be suggested that your details are sent to your local NHS service who will arrange an appointment for you.

No Improvement With Self-Care Advice

You might feel some pain and discomfort when you start to exercise, this is normal.  If you symptoms don’t improve after two weeks following advice on the website call MSK service back.

Referral to an NHS Healthcare Professional

If your details have been sent to your local NHS service, you do not need to call them.  They will contact you about an appointment for physiotherapy treatment.


To use this service you must be aged over 16 and registered with a GP.

MSK Help App

The MSK help app has great self-care info for use on the go. 

The app is available on Google Play and the App Store for iPhone and iPad