Classifying Low Back Pain: Differential Diagnosis - PT56

Classifying Low Back Pain: Differential Diagnosis

by Ann Elsasser-Root, PT, DPT
(4.4 / 1951 ratings )

This course is credentialed for:
Physical Therapy (1.00 Hour(s))

Price: $19.00
CE-PRO Price: $9.50


Due to its high incidence and prevalence in the United States, low back pain (LBP) has become a frequently discussed topic in the literature and among insurance payers and governmental bodies. Because LBP is the most commonly treated musculoskeletal condition in the United States, it is important for physical therapists to be able to obtain superior treatment outcomes in a shorter period of time. By continually screening LBP patients throughout the episode of care, physical therapists can differentially diagnose patients with LBP and improve treatment efficiency and efficacy.


The goal of this program is to help physical therapists effectively and efficiently screen patients for potential pathological conditions and non-organic causes of low back pain (LBP), determine the sources of patient symptoms, and improve physical therapists’ decision-making ability regarding an appropriate plan of care. After taking this course, you should be able to:
  • Identify red flag signs and symptoms that may indicate serious underlying pathology.
  • Determine whether a patient’s LBP symptoms are related to a musculoskeletal, pathological, and/or a non-organic process.
  • Determine reasons a patient may fail to respond to treatment as expected.
  • Classify a patient with LBP into an appropriate treatment group that best matches signs and symptoms.

Approval Information
The course is intended for physical therapists
Relias LLC (formerly OnCourse Learning) is an approved sponsor by the New York State Education Department of CE for physical therapists and physical therapist assistants from 6/11/2019 to 6/10/2022.
This activity is provided by the TX Board of PT Examiners Accredited Provider 2202008TX for 02/01/2019 to 02/28/2022 and meets continuing competence requirements for physical therapist and physical therapist assistant licensure renewal in Texas. The assignment of Texas PT CCUs does not imply endorsement of specific course content, products, or clinical procedures by TPTA or TBPTE.
OnCourse Learning is recognized by the Physical Therapy Board of California as an approved reviewer and provider of continuing competency courses for the state of California for 4/5/10 to 12/31/18. Relias LLC is recognized by the Physical Therapy Board of California as an approved reviewer and provider of continuing competency courses for the state of California as of 1/1/2019.
Relias LLC (formerly OnCourse Learning) is a licensed physical therapy continuing education sponsor (#216.000290) with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation from October 2018 through September 30, 2020.
This course has been approved as meeting the continuing education requirements for PTs and PTAs by:
The OH PT Association (approval no. 19S2418 for 12/1/19 to 12/1/20).
The NJ Board of PT Examiners (approval no. 1801-245 for 02/01/18 to 01/31/20).
The MDState Board of PT Examiners for 0.1 CEU for 07/01/17 to 07/01/21.
This course has been approved by the NV State Board of PT Examiners for 0.1 units of continuing education for 12/27/2019 to 7/31/2021.
Other states may accept this course for meeting their CE requirements. Check with your state association or board.
Relias LLC reports completions to the following states utilizing CEBroker: FL, MS, SC, TN (provider # 50-1489).
Please note: The Orthopaedic Nurses Certification Board has designated this educational activity to receive 1.0 contact hour in Category A and 0 contact hours in Category B toward recertification.

Course Originally Released on: 3/14/2013
Date of Most Recent Review: 10/21/2019
Course Termination/Update Date: 10/21/2022


Unless stated above, the planners and authors of this course have declared no relevant conflicts of interest that relate to this educational activity. Relias LLC guarantees this educational activity is free from bias.

Please see CE Course Instructions to learn how to earn CE credit for this module.


For Florida professionals:

This course completion will be electronically reported to CE Broker as required per Florida Statute 456.025(7). Click here to view your CE Broker transcript and check the status of your CE requirements with a FREE 7-day CE Broker trial subscription. It may take up to 24 hours for the course to appear on your CE Broker transcript.

It is now required that all CE is completed and reported to CE Broker before you renew your license. When you complete continuing education with us, OnCourse Learning will report your hours for you.

Read more about the new license renewal process at and claim your free Basic Account in CE Broker to see what has already been reported for you.

Please check the licenses/certifications section under my account (after logging in) to make sure you have entered a valid FL license number. This information is required for correct reporting of your course completions to CE Broker.


Reports to CE Broker


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Natasha F - Pflugerville, TX  ·  May 28, 2020
Good new information on classification of treatments.
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Roselle A - ,  ·  May 19, 2020
It will be better with AV aids.
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Scott Tillotson, PT T - Ellinwood, KS  ·  May 08, 2020
the test provided alternative potential diagnoses for LBP
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Megan S - Apex, NC  ·  May 06, 2020
Good information in easy to read charts
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Brad H - HOUSTON, TX  ·  May 06, 2020
Course content appropriate
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Price: $19.00
CE-PRO Price: $9.50