Differential Diagnosis in PT, P-07: Screening for Systemic Disease-Sacrum, SI Joint, Pelvis (U)


This course, Screening for Systemic Disease: The Sacrum, Sacroiliac and Pelvis is Part 7 of a 10-part series entitled Differential Diagnosis in Physical Therapy. The overall course will introduce students and clinicians to the role that health screenings and review of systems (ROS: see Part 5 for detailed explanation of ROS in the screening process) play in the clinical decision making that leads to a physical therapy diagnosis.

This course is designed for physical therapists working with clients in all settings and at all levels from beginner to advanced. This section will review clues suggesting systemic or viscerogenic causes of sacral, SI and pelvic pain and take you through each system that can refer pain or symptoms to these anatomical areas. This will include the arthritic conditions, GI, gynecologic, male reproductive system and vascular causes of sacral, SI or pelvic pain.

A cognitive processing-reasoning orientation will be utilized throughout the course to encourage students to gather and analyze data, pose and solve problems, infer, hypothesize and make clinical judgments as mechanisms for making appropriate differential diagnoses and referrals. Case studies will be used to integrate screening information in determining a physical therapy diagnosis and making decisions regarding intervention versus referral.

The instructional focus of this course is on developing advanced clinical reasoning skills related to determining a client’s appropriateness for physical therapy. The course builds on concepts of evidence-based clinical practice as they are used to identify conditions that might mimic neuromuscular or musculoskeletal dysfunction. In particular, screening the sacrum, SI, and pelvis for systemic disease is the focus of this Part 7 of the series: Differential Diagnosis in Physical Therapy.

Upon completion of this course, the Learner will be able to:
    • Describe 3 common symptoms of systemic origin affecting the sacrum, SI and pelvis in adults.
    • List the 5 pain patterns referred to the sacrum, SI originating from the viscera or diseases.
    • Recall 3 of the special questions to ask men and women with significant risk factors, significant past medical history, suspicious clinical presentation and/or associated signs and symptoms
    • List 4 situations that aggravate or relieve pain of a neuromusculoskeletal (NMS) source

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