REHA 3016 Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy B

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 401200

Coordinator Daniel Thomson Opens in new window

Description This subject focuses on client assessment and treatment using manual physiotherapy techniques. An emphasis is placed on diagnostic reasoning and evaluation, understanding the implications of pathology in a physiotherapy context, prioritising problems and integrating manual therapy with other physiotherapy treatments. This requires strong communication skills, ethical and professional behaviour and an appreciation of interprofessional care.

School Health Sciences

Discipline Physiotherapy

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 2 10cp

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Undergraduate Level 3 subject

Pre-requisite(s) REHA 3003

Equivalent Subjects REHA 3014 - Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy

Restrictions Students must be enrolled in 4706 - Bachelor of Physiotherapy and 4733 - Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Hons). Students in this program are required to participate fully in practical classes. This involves disrobing to shorts and singlet or swim-suit equivalent in mixed gender classes. Students will practice hands-on physiotherapy examination and treatment techniques on both genders, and will personally experience these techniques which will be performed on them by other students and relevant academic staff.

Assumed Knowledge

Human anatomy, human physiology and pathophysiology equivalent to that covered in 400868 - Human Anatomy and Physiology 1, 400869 - Human Anatomy and Phsyiology 2 and 400138 - Pathophysiology 1.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:
  1. Perform a safe and effective subjective and physical examination for a client with a musculoskeletal pathology, dysfunction or disorder.
  2. Develop a problem list and list of differential diagnoses for a client with a musculoskeletal pathology, dysfunction or disorder.
  3. Develop short and long-term goals for a client with a musculoskeletal pathology, dysfunction or disorder.
  4. Demonstrate and explain the clinical reasoning in the use of appropriate physical examination procedures, exercise and manual therapy techniques for the client with a musculoskeletal pathology, dysfunction or disorder.
  5. Monitor and evaluate the effects of manual therapy on a client with a disability, dysfunction or disorder.
  6. Apply professionalism, ethical behaviour and effective communication skills.
  7. Integrate manual therapy with exercise and other physiotherapy modalities whilst working alongside other health professionals in the management of a client with a musculoskeletal pathology, dysfunction or disorder.

Subject Content

1. The focus of this subject is on the role of physiotherapy assessment and treatment in an inter-professional setting for clients with musculoskeletal disorders.
2. Diagnostic reasoning and manual therapy is a major focus, as is prioritising client problems, and integration of other modalities including exercise.
3. Students will learn how to assess and treat clients with spinal and peripheral joint dysfunction, bone and soft tissue injuries and neuromuscular disorders.
4. Manual techniques that will be taught will include passive physiological and accessory mobilisations, soft tissue palpation and testing, special diagnostic tests, neurological testing, muscle length and strength measures.
5. Students will learn how to prescribe and evaluate the use of safe and effective exercise in clients with musculoskeletal disorders.


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Type Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Intra-session Exam 2 hours 40 N Individual
Practical Exam 20 minutes x 2 60 N Individual

Teaching Periods

Spring (2023)



Subject Contact Daniel Thomson Opens in new window

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