Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy 3 (PHTY5198)


This unit of study develops the skills required for assessment and 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 subjects. 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 1 and Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy 2, complements that learned in Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy 4 and lays the foundation for Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy 5 and Physiotherapy, Healthcare and Society 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 lectures/week, 2-hr tutorials/week


Mid semester practical assessment (20%), end semester practical assessment (20%) and 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

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules

Prerequisites and assumed knowledge

PHTY5193 , 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.

Find a non-award course for this unit of study

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.

Find a cross-institutional course for this unit of study