Teaching organisation150 hours of focused learning.
Unit rationale, description and aim
As a physiotherapist you need to be able formulate a problem list for a person with neuromusculoskeletal disorders of the spine, pelvic girdle and temporomandibular joints and develop, implement, evaluate and progress an intervention program which is efficient, effective, culturally responsive, evidence-based and person-centred. In this unit you will build on the knowledge acquired, and clinical reasoning skills developed in year 2 units (specifically exercise and, physiotherapy practice for upper and lower limb musculoskeletal disorders). You will gain new knowledge including specific conditions, the implications of surgery, and effects of trauma to the spine, pelvis and temporomandibular joints, and you will develop skills in the management of these conditions. The role of the physiotherapist in promotion of spinal health including consideration of recreational activities and workplace ergonomics will be also be covered. The overall aim for the unit is to prepare students for professional practice in the area of musculoskeletal physiotherapy.
|Learning Outcome Number||Learning Outcome Description|
|LO1||Describe, and discuss the implications for physiotherapy practice of, pathology, surgery and trauma to the spine, pelvis and temporomandibular joints|
|LO2||Safely and effectively assess and, develop, implement, evaluate and progress an intervention program, for a person with a neuromusculoskeletal disorder of the spine, pelvic girdle or temporomandibular joints which is efficient, effective, culturally responsive, evidence-based and person-centred|
|LO3||Educate, assess, and provide advice on spine health including correct ergonomic work space set-up|
|LO4||Demonstrate effective written communication with members of the multi-disciplinary team and relevant external bodies (eg Department of Veteran’s Affairs)|
Topics will include:
Pathology of spinal disorders
- Ankylosing spondylitis
- Clinical instability
- Disc degeneration
- Zygoapophyseal joint disease
- Inflammatory arthritis
- Muscle dysfunction
- Motor control disorders
- Neuromechanosensitivity disorders
Classification of lumbar, thoracic and cervical spine, pelvic girdle and temporomandibular joint disorders
Behavioural mechanisms of spinal pain
Physiotherapy assessment for neuromusculoskeletal disorders of the lumbar, thoracic and cervical spine, pelvic girdle and temporomandibular joints:
- Patient history
- Physical examination
- Muscle strength, length and co-ordination
- Movement pattern assessment
- Motor control
- Range of motion
- Accessory joint movements
- Joint stability and integrity
- Identification of contraindications to physiotherapy intervention
- Neurological assessment
- Diagnostic ultrasound imaging
Physiotherapy interventions for neuromusculoskeletal disorders of the lumbar, thoracic and cervical spine, pelvic girdle and temporomandibular joints:
- Exercise therapy
- Principles of and evidence for exercise therapy across the lifespan
- Functionally specific exercise
- Muscle re-education
- Principles of patient education
- Biofeedback techniques
- Manual therapy
- Joint mobilisation techniques
- Massage and other soft tissue techniques
- Neurodynamic techniques
- Taping and bracing
- Contraindications and precautions for physiotherapy interventions
- Evidence for physiotherapy interventions
Documentation of assessment and interventions
Written reports to other health professionals
- Occupational health
- Vocational rehabilitation
- Work place assessment
Learning and teaching strategy and rationale
This unit involves 150 hours of learning with a combination of face-to-face, online and other directed independent learning activities. The theoretical knowledge underpinning assessment and intervention will be delivered via lectures and online modules. Practical classes provide students with the opportunity to develop their clinical reasoning skills through the use of case studies and, communication, assessment and treatment skills through simulation learning activities. Students will be expected to take responsibility for their learning and to participate actively within group activities, demonstrating respect for the individual as an independent learner.
Assessment strategy and rationale
The assessment tasks align with the presentation of the content in this unit of study. This unit takes an authentic assessment approach allowing students to demonstrate their learning and competency for clinically relevant scenarios. Assessment tasks 1 and 2 (practical examinations) require students to assimilate and apply theoretical knowledge and perform clinical practice skills in order to demonstrate their emerging professional competence in the areas of assessment and treatment of people with neuromusculoskeletal conditions (case scenarios and demonstration on a peer). Assessment task 3 (written examination) requires students to demonstrate acquired theoretical knowledge and assimilate and apply this knowledge to clinically relevant case scenarios.
Overview of assessments
|Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment Tasks||Weighting||Learning Outcomes|
Mid-Semester Practical Examination:
Requires students to demonstrate competency in professional behaviour, clinical reasoning and the ability to undertake appropriate assessment and treatment techniques on a peer for conditions covered in the first half of the semester (the lumbar spine and pelvic girdle).
End Semester Practical Examination:
Requires students to demonstrate competency in professional behaviour, clinical reasoning and the ability to undertake appropriate assessment and treatment techniques on a peer for conditions covered in the second half of semester (the thoracic and cervical spine, and the temporomandibular joints).
End of Semester Written Examination:
Requires students to demonstrate their acquisition of knowledge and understanding of the implications for physiotherapy practice of neuromusculoskeletal disorders of the spine, pelvic girdle and temporomandibular joints and spinal health. Students will be required to articulate the rationale for assessment and intervention choices for clinically relevant case scenarios.
Representative texts and references
Hengeveld, E., & Banks, K. (Eds). (2014). Maitland’s vertebral manipulation (8th ed). Edinburgh: Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann.
Magee, D. J. (2007). Orthopaedic physical assessment (5th ed.). St Louis Missouri: Saunders Elsevier.
Mulligan, B. (2010). Manual therapy NAG’s, SNAG’s, MWM’s etc (6th ed.). Plane View Services Ltd PO Box 14488 Wellington 6241 New Zealand.
Bogduk, N. (2005). Clinical anatomy of the lumbar spine and sacrum (4th ed.). Edinburgh; Sydney: Churchill Livingstone.
Boyling, J., & Jull, G. (Eds). (2005). Grieve's modern manual therapy (3rd ed.). Philadelphia: Churchill Livingstone.
Brukner, P., & Khan, K. (2016) Brukner and Khan’s clinical sports medicine (5th ed.). Volume 1 – Injuries. Sydney: McGraw-Hill.
Jull, G., Sterling, M., Falla, D., Treleaven, J., & O’Leary, S. (2008). Whiplash, headache and neck pain – research based directions for physical therapies. Philadelphia: Churchill Livingstone.
Richardson, C. A., Hodges, P. W., & Hides, J. A. (2004). Therapeutic exercise for lumbo-pelvic stabilization: A motor control approach for the treatment and prevention of low back pain. (2nd ed.). Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone.