MT-1: Medical Screening, Differential Diagnosis, and Management of the Sensitive Nervous System

Contact Hours: 

  • Pre-Lab Didactic Course: 10 Hours 
  • Live Laboratory Course: 16 Hours 

Target Audience: Physical Therapists

Cost: $575.00 (Online + Onsite)

Cancellation Policy: Link

Ratio of Student/Teacher: 15 students/1 Instructor

 Course Description: 

This course is designed to provide clinician’s with the knowledge and skills to competently perform medical screening procedures, differentially diagnose, and prognosticate movement impairments.  These skills are foundational to orthopedic manual physical therapy practice and the management of patient’s with a sensitive nervous system.  In this course, clinicians will be exposed to a hybrid approach to learning with didactic online content reinforced by case-based learning and live discussions to prepare for an intensive onsite laboratory weekend.  The course will apply diagnostic theories with process skills (i.e. methodologies, differential processes, sensitivity, specificity, likelihood ratios, classification, etc.) in addition to manual therapy assessment and treatment techniques all to assist clinicians in their clinical reasoning approach.  These foundational skills will allow clinicians to identify appropriate medical referrals from patient’s who can benefit from physical therapy interventions.  This course is foundational to an orthopedic manual physical therapist to diagnose and prognosticate manual therapy interventions.  



Christopher Roosa, DPT, OCS, MTC, COMPT, PRC, TPS 

Course Objectives: 

  • Differentiate differential diagnosis of movement impairments from medical screening. 
  • Review neurobiological properties of the nervous system and discuss the latest evidence for Pain Neuroscience Education 
  • Apply knowledge of the diagnostics theory, and process skills to solve clinical problems. 
  • Conduct history and physical examination by identifying abnormalities, and signs and symptoms potentially arising from visceral structures of the head, neck, chest, abdomen, and pelvis.  This will include special age and condition-related variations with regard to screening infants/children, pregnant women, and older adults. 
  • Screen for comorbidities, depression, and integumentary conditions and abnormal lab values. 
  • Identify and conduct physical testing of a sensitive nervous system including: nerve palpation, neurodynamics, localization, graphesthesia, right/ left discrimination and 2-point discrimination 
  • Design a treatment plan for a chronic pain patients based on related output system dysfunctions which includes proper sequencing of Graded Motor Imagery (GMI) and correct application of neurodynamic treatment techniques.  
  • Identify need to make referrals to appropriate health care providers based on findings from physical examination/ screening. 
  • Understand interactive effects of commonly used pharmacologic drugs in patients presenting to physical therapy with common neuromusculoskeletal and medical conditions. 
  • Select appropriate mechanisms-based classification of musculoskeletal pain in order to efficiently and effectively conduct examination procedures and treatment programs 

 Key Content Areas: 


Auscultate Posterior Chest  Rule-out Abdominal Bruits  Criteria to Classify: 

  1. Central Sensitization  
  1. Peripheral Neuropathic Pain 
  1. Nociceptive Pain 
Hernia Inspection  Palpation of the Thyroid Gland 
Palpation of Supraclavicular Nodes  Weber’s Test Criteria  
Palpation of the Spleen  Peripheral Nerve Palpation 
Percuss the Anterior Chest  Neurodynamic Testing & Treatment   
Percuss the Liver  Screen for Myelopathy    
Rinne’s Test  Screen for Radiculopathy   


Live-Laboratory Didactic Course Agenda

Day 1: Saturday (8:00 AM to 5:30 PM) 

8:00 to 8:30 AM: Introduction to Program 

 8:30 to 10:00 AM:  Role of Physical Therapist as Diagnosticians, Differential Diagnostic Theories, and Application of Evidence 

 10:00 to 10:15 AM:  Break 

 10:15 AM to 11:00 AM:  Medical Screening Principles, Integumentary Screening, Pharmacological Issues and Clinical Case Studies 

 11:00 to 12:00 AM: Physical Examination Lab Procedures to Screen for Serious Disorders  

  • Clinical Skills Lab 
  • Head 
  • Neck

12:00 to 1:00 PM:  Lunch Break 

1:00 to 3:00 PM:  Physical Examination Lab Procedures to Screen for Serious Disorders  

  • Clinical Skills Lab 
  • Chest 
  • Upper Quarter

3:00 to 3:15 PM:  Break 

3:15 to 5:00 PM:  Physical Examination Lab Procedures to Screen for Serious Disorders (Continued) 

  • Clinical Skills Lab 
  • Chest 
  • Upper Quarter

5:00 to 5:30 PM:  Clinical Case, Final Questions, and Adjourn 


Day 2: Sunday (8:00 AM to 5:30 PM)  

8:00 to 10:00 AM:  Physical Examination Lab Procedures to Screen for Serious Disorders 

  • Clinical Skills Lab 
  • Low Back 
  • Pelvis 
  • Lower Quarter

10:00 to 10:15 AM:  Break  

10:15 AM to 12:00 PM:  Biomechanical Based Screening for Hernia, Marfan’s Syndrome, Ethler’s Danlos Syndrome 

  • Clinical Skills Lab

12:00 PM to 1:00 PM:  Lunch Break 

1:00 PM to 2:30 PM:  Screening Integration Laboratory, Problem Solving, Case Considerations 

  • Clinical Skills Lab

2:30 to 2:45 PM:  Break 

2:45 to 3:45 PM:  Treating the Sensitive Nervous System 

  • Clinical Skills Lab 
  • 2 Point Discrimination  
  • Localization 
  • Algometry 
  • Nerve Palpation & Neurodynamics Upper: Testing and Treatment Considerations

3:45 to 4:45 PM:  Treating the Sensitive Nervous System 

  • Clinical Skills Lab 
  • Right Left Discrimination 
  • Nerve Palpation & Neurodynamics Lower: Testing and Treatment Considerations

4:45 to 5:30 PM:  Clinical Case, Final Questions, and Adjourn 


Feb 26 - 27 2022


8:00 am - 5:00 pm




Pivot Physical Therapy
Germantown, MD
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