Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy C (PHTY3068)


This unit of study develops the skills required for primary care management of low back pain at a level to commence a musculoskeletal practicum. Students learn to 'triage' patients to distinguish patients with non-specific pain from those suspected of having underlying disease/pathology. The unit covers the basic epidemiology of spinal pain (risk factors, clinical course, prognostic factors) and the assessment of treatment outcome. The evidence base for management options is explored and students learn to apply a range of treatments such as education and advice, manual therapy, exercise, McKenzie therapy etc. This unit will integrate knowledge from earlier foundation science and physiotherapy units of study. Students will develop the ability to select and implement interventions based on clinical reasoning, principles of evidence-based practice and safety. This unit of study builds on skills and knowledge learned in Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy A (MS A) and MS B, complements that learned in MS D and MS E and lays the foundation for MS F which will further develop skills and reasoning in more complex musculoskeletal conditions.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


2-hr lecture/week, 2-hr tutorial/week


Mid semester practical assessment (20%), end semester practical assessment (20%), end semester written exam (60%)


Recommended reading Refshauge K, Gass E (2004): (eds) Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy. Clinical Science and Evidence-based Practice. (2nd ed) Oxford: Butterworth Heinemann. Maher C, Latimer J, Refshauge K (2000) Atlas of clinical tests and measures for low back pain (from book shop or can be ordered through the APA- order form on web) Maitland, G. (2005) Vertebral Manipulation 7th Edition. Elsevier. Waddell G (2004) The Back Pain Revolution. 2nd Edition. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone. Magee DJ (2002). Orthopaedic Physical Assessment (4th Edition). Philadelphia, Saunders.

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules


PHTY2054 and PHTY2055


PHTY3069 and PHTY3070

Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.