Musculoskeletal Disorders in Women

Subject PHTY90097 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

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

This subject is not offered in 2016.

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:


Dr Debra Virtue

Dr Margaret Sherburn

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 and conditions affecting female athletes. Sound clinical assessment with a strong emphasis on clinical reasoning, differential diagnosis and effective evidence-based physiotherapy management will be covered.

Learning Outcomes:

The subject aims to provide:

  • A greater understanding of the role and responsibilities of physiotherapists as first contact practitioners in the 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.
Links to further information:
Related Course(s): Graduate Certificate in Physiotherapy (Exercise and Women's Health)
Master of Physiotherapy
Postgraduate Certificate in Physiotherapy (Exercise and Women's Health)

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