Certificate in
Differential Diagnosis in Physiotherapy (Cert. DD)

Upon successful completion of DD series (Upper and Lower quadrant), candidates are awarded the Certification in Differential Diagnosis (Cert. DD) credential. Many serious pathologies of the spine mimic musculoskeletal disorder as their early clinical manifestation. With physiotherapy profession progressively assuming first contact roles and direct access worldwide, there is a need for advanced training, knowledge, clinical reasoning, differential diagnosis, and triage skills. Above all, it is essential that clinicians have the ability to recognize the key elements of the patient history, and the physical examination which may be indicative of serious pathology or a potential risk of serious adverse events. The key objective of any examination is to filter out those patients who are outside the physiotherapy scope and may need referral for further examination or testing to ensure the best prognosis.

[DD-1] Differential Diagnosis in Physiotherapy
Screening for Referral of the Cervical Spine

Clinical Practice Guidelines recommend to rule out serious pathologies in individuals complaining of neck pain as a priority. However, the differential diagnosis of the cervical spine is a real challenge for clinicians. During the course, serious pathologies of the neck, with their pathophysiology, prodromes and clinical manifestations will be presented. In addition, relevant red flags, clinical decision rules, tests, and screening tools will be practiced. For each pathology commonly mimicking non-specific neck pain, real clinical cases will be discussed in advanced differential reasoning sessions. The ability to perform a complete neurological examination and an up-to-date diagnostic process of cervical radiculopathies will be explored. Finally, attention will also be paid to interdisciplinary communication in an emergency setting.

Regularprice:550€ LUNEXalumni:450€ ALKmembers:450€ Placementpartners:450€ LUNEXstudents:350€

Useful informations

During this 16-hour course (30% theory, 70% hands-on practical), ongoing up-to-date evidence will be presented that underpins a modern, effective, and safe delivery of high velocity low amplitude spinal thrust manipulation for spinal disorders. Participants will learn the contraindication and to deliver one technique for each region of the spine:

  • KNOWLEDGE: The main symptoms and signs of serious pathologies that commonly mimic a musculoskeletal manifestation; Understanding the theoretical basis of the screening for referral process, the structure of clinical reasoning and decision making for the purpose of the physiotherapist's differential diagnostic process; an updated diagnostic process for cervical radiculopathies; the fundamentals of neurological examination.
  • HARD SKILLS: Apply and interpret efficiency, effectiveness, appropriateness and safety of theoretical principles and screening tools useful to triage pathologies outside the physiotherapy scope.
  • SOFT SKILLS: A modern physiotherapist with advanced proficiency in the processes of differential diagnosis, in the assessment and management of neck pain resulting from serious pathologies as well as competencies and communication skills to deal with other health professionals, general practitioners or branch specialists.

Registrants must be licensed physiotherapists or medical doctors in their respective state or country. Physiotherapy students are also allowed to participate. However, they must be at least at their third year of the bachelor degree.

Meet the instructor
Dr. Firas Mourad

Our educational level is in line with the highest international education standards. Dr. Firas Mourad is a Senior Lecturer at LUNEX University, has earned a PhD on the topic, and is experienced having taught spinal manipulation around the world.

LUNEX – International University of Health, Exercise and Sports S.A.

50, avenue du Parc des Sports / 4671 Differdange / Luxembourg

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Good to know

Application for a Bachelor’s programme:
1. Fill out our Online Application Form.
2. Take part in one of our Application Days. We will invite you to attend in person.
3. After successful participation in the Application Day we will email you with your study agreement. Please print it out, sign it and then send it to LUNEX University by post, along with the evidence documents specified in the email.

Application for a Master’s programme:
1. Fill out our Online Application Form.
2. If you have met all the prerequisites for the Master’s programme, we will email you with your study agreement. Please read it carefully, print it out and sign it.
3. In order to complete your application, please send the signed study agreement along with all other required evidence documents by post to LUNEX University.

As an applicant for one of our Bachelor’s programmes, you will be invited to attend an Application Day online. A selection procedure will take place on this day to check whether you meet the necessary prerequisites for the course.

More about the Application Day

The language of instruction in all courses at LUNEX University is English. You should therefore be able to speak and understand English well. You have the opportunity to participate in the Foundation Programme and improve your English if your language skills do not meet the entrnce requirements for study at Bachelor level.

We will inform you in the course of the application process which supporting documents have to be provided and when. In principle, we need the following documents for your application:

  • Copy of your personal ID
  • Copy of the highest educational and/or vocational qualification
  • Language certificate (if applicable)

Depending on the degree programme (Bachelor/Master) and your country of origin (EU/non-EU), further documents may be required. More details will be provided to you in good time.

To secure a study place, we recommend that you send us your documents as soon as possible – but at the latest two weeks before the start of your studies. If you are an applicant from outside the EU, you should note that the application process for a visa can take four to 60 days. Please make sure you give yourself plenty of time.