Musculoskeletal Disorders in Women

Subject PHTY90097 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2015:

September, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 07-Sep-2015 to 12-Sep-2015
Assessment Period End 02-Nov-2015
Last date to Self-Enrol 08-Sep-2015
Census Date 18-Sep-2015
Last date to Withdraw without fail 16-Oct-2015

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: Course run in block mode
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours


Working knowledge and clinical experience of orthopaedics, spinal and skeletal structure and function, manual therapy.

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

Working knowledge and clinical experience of othopaedics, spinal and skeletal structure and function, manual therapy.

Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Melbourne School of Health Sciences
The University of Melbourne
Alan Gilbert Building, Level 7, 161 Barry St
Carlton Victoria 3010 AUSTRALIA
T: +61 3 8344 4171
F: +61 3 8344 4188

Subject Overview:

This subject provides the opportunity for students to further advance their knowledge and clinical competency in the area of women's health physiotherapy. It exposes students to advanced theoretical knowledge and skills required of physiotherapists working as primary contact practitioners in women's health clinical practice, with the focus on musculoskeletal disorders

This subject covers theory and management of conditions affecting women throughout the lifespan. Topics include conditions that affect women in their child-bearing years: pelvic girdle pain, thoracic and low back pain, coccydinia, abdominal and pelvic floor muscle weakness, breast conditions, myalgias, gestational diabetes mellitus; conditions that affect women in their older years: osteoporosis, gynaecological and breast oncology, and lymphoedema. Other topics include pelvic pain, including somatic and visceral disorders and conditions affecting recreational and elite female athletes. Sound clinical assessment with a strong emphasis on clinical reasoning, differential diagnosis and effective evidence-based physiotherapy management will be taught. This subject leads into (and precedes) the 'partner' subject in the Graduate Certificate in Physiotherapy ('Group Exercise for Women'), as a natural progression from individual assessment and management of these conditions, to group exercise and overall rehabilitation.

Learning Outcomes:

The subject aims to provide:

  • A greater understanding of the role and responsibilities of physiotherapists as first contact practitioners in the unique field of women's health
  • Advanced theoretical knowledge of the conditions that present specifically in pregnancy, parturition, menopause
  • The ability to perform an appropriate examination of female patients, with due cognisance of the anatomical, physiological, gender, and cultural issues that present in women at various life-stages
  • Clinical competence in selecting and applying evidence-based physiotherapy treatment skills, specific to the presenting woman and disorder
  • The ability to refer for appropriate investigations and to other relevant health providers when required

Written assignment 3,500 words, end of semester (70%)
Case study presentations to group, mid-semester (30%)

Prescribed Texts: None
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

On completion of the subject, students will have developed the following generic skills:

  • A capacity for self-directed learning and the motivation for life-long independent learning.
  • Well developed problem solving abilities, with flexibility of approach.
  • An advanced level of oral and written communication at the graduate level. The ability to understand and articulate complex situations An appreciation of the team approach to learning in complex areas.
  • An advanced understanding of professional responsibility and ethical principles in relation to individuals and community.
Related Course(s): Master of Physiotherapy
Postgraduate Certificate in Physiotherapy (Exercise and Women's Health)

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