Online Course
Classification of Lumbar Spine Impairments
Recognise signs and symptoms to appropriately categorise and manage patients with low back pain

1.5-2 hours





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Shala Cunningham
Course instructor

Dr. Shala Cunningham is an experienced physiotherapist and professor who specialises in orthopaedics and manual therapy

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Low back pain is the leading cause of disability in many countries. Because of its prevalence and high burden, several classification systems for low back pain have been developed to optimise patient outcomes. These systems help clinicians classify patients based on their presenting symptoms and impairments and then select an optimal management approach based on this classification. This course explores two evidence-based classification systems: Treatment-based Classification (TBC) and another related system that incorporates International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) terminology.


This course aims to illustrate how classification systems can be used to identify optimal interventions for individuals with low back pain based on their symptom presentation.


This course is made up of videos, reading, discussions and a final quiz. The course content is split into the following sections:

  1. Videos
  2. Reading activity
  3. Quiz

Target audience

This course is aimed at Physiotherapy and Physical Therapy clinicians, students and assistants. Other interested professionals such as athletic trainers, occupational therapists, nurses or medical doctors interested in this subject are also invited to participate.


  • Availability - this course is online and can be completed on your own schedule.
  • Hours of Learning - No deadlines are applied to this course and it can be started and completed in your own time according to your personal schedule. We expect the required elements to take around 1.5-2 hours depending on your schedule and learning style. Additionally there are many optional resources provided and if you choose to review these the course could take longer to complete.
  • Types of Activities - Watching videos, reading, a final quiz and participating in an international discussion forum.
  • Certificates - At the end of the course, when you have completed all of the required elements, you will be able to download a certificate of completion and 1.6 Plus points will be added to your personalised learning dashboard.

Requirements to complete this course

In order to complete this course and receive a course completion certificate plus CEUs/CCUs/CPD points you will need to:

  1. Respect the Plus Community Culture.
  2. Log all the required learning activities as complete (represented by the orange icons!).
  3. Actively and appropriately participate in the course discussions.
  4. Pass a final quiz with a score of 80% or more.
  5. Complete a course evaluation form.

Learning outcomes

At the end of this course you will be able to:

  • describe the two levels of triage in the Treatment-based Classification system
  • differentiate between the six categories of low back pain in Delitto et al.’s 2012 classification system
  • select an appropriate intervention for individuals with low back pain in simple case scenarios using Delitto et al.’s 2012 classification system

Instructor financial and non-financial disclosures

No relevant relationships disclosed by instructor.


For special needs or accommodations please contact us with details of how we can meet your needs.