McGill Method 2 - Assessment: Converging on a Precise Diagnosis


Level 2 is full


Global Objectives:

To update delegates on some recent developments in assessing the cause of low back pain and dysfunction of the most challenging patients. To create linkages to corrective and therapeutic exercises and drills. Develop skills in pain provocation tests to reveal the pain mechanism. To give practice and technique development with workshops at the assessment table throughout the day.


Restoring a painful back begins with a detailed assessment. Learn the patterns and recognition skills. Pain provocation skills through mechanical and neurological approaches intended to reveal the cause of pain are developed. The algorithm is based on branching logic. Delegates will hone their manual skills, together with clinical reasoning skills, work-shopping tests both on and off the exam table. This will lead to a precise diagnosis that forms the foundation for teaching the patient how to wind down their pain sensitivity. The second stage begins when pain is controlled, and the objectives shift to enhancing function and performance.

This is a smaller more intimate course, primarily around the exam table.

Structured outline:

1: The foundation

Background (Lecture)
Movement assessments and screens
Mechanisms of function, injury and pain
Medical images (MR, CT, Ultrasound) interpretation
Differential diagnosis

2: The assessment (hands-on workshop at assessment tables)

Assessment Clinic
Assessment forms
Provocative tests, movement tests
These include motions, postures, loads and then specific tissues. Specific common pathways will be honed such as directionally frictioned nerve roots, multiple pain sources, dynamic disc bulges, aberrant joint micro-movements, pelvic ring laxity, among many others.