Evidence-Based Examination of the Lumbar Spine

presented by Chad Cook

Accreditation Check:

In this course covering examination of the lumbar spine by Dr. Chad Cook, users will evaluate the economic impact and prevalence of lumbar spine dysfunction. The imperative patient history elements of a lumbar examination will be discussed. Users will be able to identify the link between observation of posture and low back pain or dysfunction, and what certain postural elements related to low back pain may mean. Compare and contrast different tests used for differential diagnosis and screening for red flags in the lumbar region. Evaluate the benefit of palpation and manual muscle testing as part of a dedicated clinical examination. Identify the most diagnostic lumbar spine oriented special tests and apply the tests to the appropriate diagnoses. Current research is presented throughout the course to provide learners with the proper tools for evidence-based management of these patients. This course is part of a 19 course comprehensive clinical series covering examination and intervention for the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine, as well as the upper (shoulder, elbow, wrist, and hand) and lower (hip, pelvis, knee, foot, and ankle) quarters.

Meet Your Instructor

  • Chad Cook, PT, PhD, MBA, FAAOMPT

    Chad Cook, PT, PhD, MBA, FAAOMPT

    Chad Cook, PT, PhD, MBA, FAAOMPT is professor at Duke University, the program director of the Doctor of Physical Therapy division with a category A appointment in the Duke Clinical Research Institute. He is a clinical researcher, physical therapist, and profession advocate with a long-term history of clinical care excellence and service and 17 years of academic experience. His passions include refining and improving the patient examination process and validating tools used in day-to-day physical therapist practice. He received his BS in Physical Therapy from Maryville University (St. Louis) in 1990 and PhD (2003) from Texas Tech University. Dr. Cook received fellowship status at the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Therapy in 2006. Dr. Cook has published over 200 peer reviewed papers and has keynoted in 6 continents and numerous countries. He has two textbooks in their 2nd edition and a third textbook in its first edition. Dr. Cook has a long-standing history of service roles as an editor-in-chief or associate/special topics editor for multiple journals including JOSPT and BJSM. Dr. Cook has won numerous awards locally at Duke for teaching, is the 2009 Baethke-Carlin award winner for the American Physical Therapy Association, is the 2008 recipient of the Helen Bradley career achievement award, and is the 2005 winner of the J Warren Perry Distinguished Authorship Award. In addition, Dr. Cook is also the 2011 winner and was the 2012 and 2013 co-winner of the AAOMPT Excellence in Research Award. He has been married 26 years to a physical therapist (Amy) and has three wonderful boys, Zach, Jaeger and Simon.

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

  1. Prevalence and Economic Impact

    1. Prevalence and Economic Impact

    Evaluate the economic impact of lumbar spine dysfunction. Consider the prevalence/incidence of low back pain and how this influences clinical practice. Debate our results and reasons for these results.

  2. Patient History and Outcomes Measures

    2. Patient History and Outcomes Measures

    Discuss the imperative patient history elements of a lumbar examination. Define which patient history components are affiliated with lumbar pathology. Discuss the most common forms of self report patient outcomes measures for lumbar pain.

  3. Observation

    3. Observation

    Identify the link between observation of posture and low back pain or dysfunction. Understand what certain postural elements associated with low back could mean.

  4. Triage and Screening

    4. Triage and Screening

    Identify the best tests used to diagnosis red flag conditions of the low back region. Compare and contrast different tests used for differential diagnosis.

  5. Motion Testing

    5. Motion Testing

    Synthesize the importance of the concordant/comparable sign, during examination. Compare and contrast the goals of the three primary phases of the initial examination.

  6. Palpation and Muscle Testing

    6. Palpation and Muscle Testing

    Evaluate the benefit of palpation as part of a dedicated clinical examination. Evaluate the benefit and types of manual muscle testing for the lumbar spine.

  7. Special Tests

    7. Special Tests

    Understand the language of diagnostic accuracy. Identify the most diagnostic low back oriented special tests. Apply the tests to the appropriate diagnoses.

  8. Physical Performance Measures

    8. Physical Performance Measures

    Demonstrate the most commonly used physical performance measures of the lumbar spine. Identify the utility of the physical performance measures of the lumbar spine.