Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy 3 (PHTY5198)


This unit of study develops the skills required for assessment and management of acute and chronic spinal 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 degenerative joint disease (osteoarthritis) 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. Students will also consider the implementation of management guidelines for work-related injuries, including whiplash, soft tissue injury and musculoskeletal injury of the low back, neck and upper limb. This unit will integrate knowledge from earlier foundation science and physiotherapy subjects. Students will develop the ability to select and implement interventions based on clinical reasoning, principles of evidence-based practice and safety.

Further unit of study information


2-hr lectures/week, 2-hr tutorials/week


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


Brukner P and Khan K (2012): Clinical Sports Medicine (4th Ed). Sydney: McGraw-Hill

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules

Prerequisites and assumed knowledge



PHTY5199 and PHTY5194

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.