Thoracic and Lumbar Spine Differential Diagnosis


About the Course:  
The purpose of this course is to improve the knowledge and skills of physical therapists in differential diagnosis of thoracic and lumbar conditions. This course will outline possible sources of thoracic and lumbar spinal conditions as well as review red and yellow flags for therapists to consider. Therapists will understand important subjective and objective findings to consider to accurately diagnosis thoracic and spinal conditions.  

Course Objectives: 

  • Outline possible systemic and viscerogenic sources of thoracic and lumbar spine conditions.
  • Describe red flag and yellow flag conditions for thoracic and lumbar spine conditions.
  • Describe important subjective, objective, and physical examination findings to consider when accurately diagnosing thoracic and lumbar spine problems.

About the Author 
Dr. Lorie Schleck, PT, DPT, MA  is a graduate of the University of Minnesota and Evidence in Motion Institutes of Health Profession and a board-certified clinical specialist in geriatrics. She has authored and taught dozens of continuing education courses focused on sports medicine, orthopedic, and geriatric topics, and she has instructed classes for physical therapy doctorate and physical therapy assistant students. She currently works in clinical and operational quality for Optage Home Care in St. Paul, Minnesota. 

How to Receive Credit

  • Read the entire course online or in print.
  • After completion of the course, complete the final examination. A passing grade of 75% is required. Test questions link content to learning outcomes as a method to enhance individualized learning and material retention. 
  • Note to Nursing professionals: Depending on your state requirements, you will be asked to either affirm that you have completed the course, or you will be required to complete the Post-test included in the course.
  • Provide required personal information and payment information.
  • Complete the mandatory course evaluation.
  • Print your Certificate of Completion.

Resolution of Conflict of Interest 
The contributors to this course have no conflicts of interest relative to its content. Colibri Healthcare, LLC implemented mechanisms prior to the planning and implementation of the continuing education activity to identify and resolve conflicts of interest for all individuals in a position to control content of the course activity. 

Sponsorship/Commercial Support and Non-Endorsement 
It is the policy of Colibri Healthcare, LLC not to accept commercial support. Furthermore, commercial interests are prohibited from distributing or providing access to this activity to learners. 

The information provided in this activity is for continuing education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical judgment of a healthcare provider relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient’s medical condition. 

©2024: All Rights Reserved. Materials may not be reproduced without the expressed written permission or consent of Colibri Healthcare, LLC. The materials presented in this course are meant to provide the consumer with general information on the topics covered. The information provided was prepared by professionals with practical knowledge of the areas covered. It is not meant to provide medical, legal, or professional advice. Colibri Healthcare, LLC recommends that you consult a medical, legal, or professional services expert licensed in your state. Colibri Healthcare, LLC has made all reasonable efforts to ensure that all content provided in this course is accurate and up to date at the time of printing, but does not represent or warrant that it will apply to your situation or circumstances and assumes no liability from reliance on these materials. Quotes are collected from customer feedback surveys. The models are intended to be representative and not actual customers. 


Colibri Healthcare, LLC’s Direct Access courses are approved by the Pennsylvania State Board of Physical Therapy. Colibri’s courses meet the standards for physical therapy continuing education activities in Pennsylvania.