WORKSHOP 4

A Classification and Treatment protocol for Low Back Disorders, Based on the ground breaking research from the Specific Treatment of Problems of the Spine (STOPS)
Presenter: Jon Ford (1/2 day – morning)

Maximum number of participants: 60


Our recent trial on the Specific Treatment of Problems of the Spine (STOPS) evaluated a multi-modal physiotherapy approach for people with LBD and found it to be highly effective on short to intermediate term pain as well as long term function up to 2-years15. Treatment was individualized based on the biomedical, psychosocial and neurophysiological barriers to recovery/return to function.

The STOPS treatment protocol includes concepts that have been validated in the research literature including:

  • Functional restoration (FR) including concepts of individualised graded activity and exercise16, 17
  • Specific muscle activation within the concept of a comprehensive motor control retraining program18
  • Neurophysiological education19
  • An individualised rather than generic approach to treatment for persistent pain20
  • Manual therapy21 and the McKenzie approach22 in accordance with the original descriptions of these methods


This workshop will engage participants with the STOPS treatment protocol and provide resources to enable a new approach to managing LBD.

Course Objectives

  • Understand how biomedical, psychosocial and neurophysiological mechanisms shape clinical decision making
  • Identify pathologies, clinical patterns, neurophysiological and psychosocial problems not to miss
  • Learn to identify the STOPS subgroups and provide individualized treatment
  • Be able to develop a prioritised list of barriers to recovery and a treatment program individualized based on the barriers
  • Improve ability to provide patient explanations and advice using quality Patient Info Sheets and Clinical Decision Making Flow Charts in patient scenarios
  • Introduce treatment methods in addition to the STOPS subgroup based strategies including medication management, graded activity/exercise programs, acceptance and commitment therapy, a cognitive behavioural approach, goal setting, pacing, relaxation, sleep management and managing flare ups

The format of the workshop will be interactive presenter led training (30%), case studies (25%), small group role play (20%). At least 25% of the workshop will remain flexible for exploration of material deemed important by the participants.


More information here.

About the presenter:

Jon Ford PhD, Department of Rehabilitation, Nutrition and Sport, La Trobe University, Australia. 25 years experience in the management of low back disorders within a physiotherapy and multi-disciplinary setting.