PHS313 Foundations of Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy Practice (8)

In this subject, students will learn the fundamental principles and practical skills for the physiotherapy management of musculoskeletal conditions (including sports injuries). Students will learn to use a problem solving approach in the assessment and management of specific conditions that may affect the musculoskeletal system. Learning in this subject will focus initially on the lower limb and progress to the thoraco-lumbar spine. Students enrolling in this subject are expected to have a substantive level of background knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of the musculoskeletal system, foundation levels of knowledge of physiotherapy practice, and a developing knowledge of biomechanics.


Session 1 (30)
On Campus
Albury-Wodonga Campus
Orange Campus
Port Macquarie Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: PHS313. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Community Health

Enrolment Restrictions

This subject is restricted to students enrolled in the Bachelor of Physiotherapy and Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Honours).



Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to plan and apply a range of physiotherapy assessment and evaluation techniques using tests, tools and outcome measures relevant to the lower limb and lumbar spine
  • be able to demonstrate foundation clinical reasoning processes which explore, explain and analyse assessment findings
  • be able to plan safe and effective physiotherapy intervention for disorders of the lower limb and lumbar spine, and recognise when physiotherapy intervention is no longer required, or referral to another practitioner is appropriate
  • be able to locate, evaluate and use evidence-based information to inform decision making and develop and guide their own knowledge, learning and practice
  • be able to demonstrate professional and ethical behaviour appropriate to musculoskeletal physiotherapy practice
  • be able to communicate effectively to involve the client and relevant others in the planning and implementation of musculoskeletal physiotherapy practice
  • be able to critically analyse resources, synthesise the information and communicate effectively according to the context and audience
  • be able to reflect on professional practice and recommend actions to improve their own skills and knowledge


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Theoretical principles of musculoskeletal management
  • Specific musculoskeletal history taking, imaging and physical examination procedures
  • Lower limb and lumbar spine musculoskeletal disorders and their implications for physiotherapy assessment and intervention
  • The implications of signs and symptoms to the assessment and management of clients with musculoskeletal disorders of the lower limb and lumbar spine
  • Appropriate application of physiotherapy skills in the management of lower limb and lumbar spine musculoskeletal disorders
  • Outcome measures relevant to musculoskeletal physiotherapy intervention
  • Evidence-based practice in musculoskeletal physiotherapy

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of PHS313 in Session 1 2020. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
Practical exam 1
Practical exam 2
Theory exam (online)

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.