Step by Step



Clinical Decision Making & Algorithm Handout

Forms & Questionnaire

Post Test




Credit Hours: CME 0.50

Target Audience:

This course is designed to provide the Physical Therapist with an introduction to the classification based approach to management of low back pain.

The Low Back pain module series is structured to present a format for evaluation and treatment of the lumbo-pelvic spine, utilizing strategies consistent with current evidence in literature. Emphasis will be placed on enhancing clinical decision-making skills regarding selection of patients appropriate for Physical Therapy, screening patients for neurological involvement and classification and treatment of simple back ache. The course includes online lectures and recorded demonstrations of techniques used in diagnosis and treatment. In addition to this, evidence supporting each method is included in the form of statement summaries, journal articles and article synopsis.

Educational Objectives:

At the conclusion of the Low Back Pain (LBP) multi-course training, you will:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the treatment based classification system for management of Low Back Pain (LBP)
  • Demonstrate ability to identify non-musculoskeletal causes of LBP ("red flags")
  • Demonstrate competence in the performance of the examination procedures utilized in the clinical assessment of lower quarter dysfunction including assessment of neurological involvement
  • Demonstrate ability to classify patients into sub-groups based on their clinical presentation and physical examination findings
  • Utilize and understand the expected outcomes of a variety of treatment interventions, that include manual therapy, stabilization, direction specific exercise and bio-behavioral intervention
  • Design effective treatment protocols based upon clinical classifications for patients with low back pain
  • Analyze and interpret information collected prior to the first patient encounter through the Medical History Questionnaire, Health Related Quality of Life Questionnaire (Modified Low Back Disability), Body diagram and Fear Avoidance Beliefs Questionnaire (FABQ)
  • Use of this information collected through these questionnaires to develop preliminary hypotheses regarding the patient's Low Back Pain

Method of study:

The information provided in this course is evidence based, detailed and outlines steps in management of low back pain from initial contact with the patient until discharge.

Once you have registered for the course, you will have access to printable material, recorded lectures, case presentations, summaries to journal articles and links to full texts for journal articles (pdf).


If you have completed this training in the past and are doing it as a refresher, please click on the 'retake' button.

1. Shane Conley, PT, DPT, OCS — Adjunct Instructor
Senior Physical Therapist
Centers for Rehab Services
UPMC Rooney Sports Complex
No relationships with industry relevant to the content of this educational activity have been disclosed.
2. Brian Caricato, MS, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT — Adjunct Faculty and Clinical Instructor University of Pittsburgh School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
Assistant Regional Director (North/Central) UPMC Centers for Rehab Services
Facility Director UPMC Centers for Rehab Services - Allison Park
No relationships with industry relevant to the content of this educational activity have been disclosed.
No other members of the planning committee, speakers, presenters, authors, content reviewers and/or anyone else in a position to control the content of this education activity have relevant financial relationships with any companies whose primary business is producing, marketing, selling, re-selling, or distributing healthcare products used by or on patients.

This activity is approved for AMA PRA Category 1 Creditâ„¢

The University of Pittsburgh is an affirmative action, equal opportunity institution.