Course Overview

For new graduate physiotherapists or those who are starting to learn management of back pain patients. 

**Graduate Academy Members get 40% off this course. Use your Graduate Academy coupon code at checkout. Find out more about Graduate Academy.  

This course teaches practical hands-on assessment and management of people with LBP. Learn how to identify which patients you can manage yourself with good quality basic care and identify those patients who need more advanced knowledge/experience or referral for specialist advice or intervention.

Covered in the course:

  • Red flags
  • Clinical history
  • Physical examination of LBP
  • Simple LBP treatment

The use of video presentations, real patient video cases, plus easy to use interactive forms for clinical notes, will give you the confidence to assess and manage people with low back pain. 

You also get complimentary 60-day access to Quick Q&A online questionnaire service to help you efficiently identify patients with red flags and those with a high risk of experiencing persistent pain.

Chapter 1: The Clinical History. 

This chapter will step you through the definition and terminology of low back pain, essential screening questionnaires for red flags and risk stratification, how to take a basic clinical history integrating the questionnaire scores, and presents a real-patient case study to show how the clinical history works in the practice setting. 

Chapter 2: The Physical Examination. 

This chapter will teach you how to conduct a basic physical examination for a patient with LBP. This includes observation, range of motions testing and basic neurologic screening examination and talks you through clinical reasoning process to help interpret the results of physical examination tests. A video of a physical examination shows you how this works in the clinical setting. 

Chapter 3: Treatment. 

This chapter will teach you how to treat those patients with mild or moderate pain and with low or medium risk of persistent pain. You will learn how to do the simple things well: an extension protocol, a flexion protocol, and how to select which protocol to use. Learn the specifics of what advice to give, what exercises and posture instruction to recommend, what self-treatment works for most of these patients. Learn how to follow up, progress and discharge patients. Learn basic reporting for back pain patients

Learning outcomes:

  1. Knowledge of prevalence and impact of back pain on the individual and society
  2. Able to carry out an evidence based clinical history
  3. Able to select appropriate questionnaires to identify red flags
  4. Use the StartBacK screening tool to assess psychosocial distress and risk of persistent pain.
  5. Identify cases with possible radicular pain and/or radiculopathy
  6. Able to identify that subgroup of patients suitable for basic level guideline care, and those patients who require more advanced or specialist level care
  7. Able to do a standard physical examination that includes observation, differentiating between normal asymmetry and relevant deformity, neurologic screening for nerve root compression.
  8. Able to select appropriate treatment protocols for each patient. 
  9. Lean to follow up in a timely and appropriate manner.
  10. Able to discharge patients in a timely and appropriate manner
  11. Able to adequately document baseline, initial and follow up assessment/treatment findings in clinical notes.

Study time: 10 hours approx.


Instructor Dr Mark Laslett


Physiotherapy Specialist Musculoskeletal

Mark has over 50 years of clinical experience in musculoskeletal practice. He completed his PhD in “Diagnostic accuracy of the clinical examination compared to available reference standards in chronic low back pain patients” at the University of Linköping, Sweden in 2001 and in 2014 he became the first Specialist Physiotherapist registered in New Zealand.

His academic and research interest is in the theory and practice of diagnostics, has over 40 publications, contributed chapters to two multi-author books and published his own text Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy: The Upper Limb in 1996.

He became a Fellow of the New Zealand College of Physiotherapy in 2007, was made an honorary Life Member of Physiotherapy New Zealand in September 2014, and of the New Zealand Manipulative Physiotherapists Association in 2015.

He continues to practice as a consultant clinician in Christchurch, NZ and remains active in clinical research.

More info about Mark Laslett:

Mark’s publications: