Pain is the most common complaint for which we seek medical and physical therapy treatment. For the remainder of this class, we will focus on foundations for utilizing physical agents as interventions for tissue healing and pain management. We will apply documentation principles to case simulations and select standardized assessment tools for tracking pain and pain responses during a course of physical therapy.

Pain presentations can be complex, localized, referred, and chronic. Individuals who seek physical therapy must be assured that their complaint is heard and that treatment planning is focused on minimizing the impairments, functional limitations, and disabilities associated with painful symptoms.

Lesson Objectives



  1. Describe the cardinal signs of inflammation
  2. Describe tissue response to injury and the three phases of healing.
  3. Describe common symptoms associated with common musculoskeletal injuries
  4. Identify appropriate physical therapy interventions based on the tissue healing stage and plan of care
  5. Identify spinal levels for the major plexi: cervical, brachial, lumbar, sacral
  6. Distinguish acute and chronic pain characteristics
  7. Describe the primary pain cycle and the interrelationship between its components
  8. Predict expected responses to treatment interventions for muscle and soft tissue injury
  9. Select appropriate tests and measures to determine the effectiveness of a treatment for a patient with a soft tissue injury