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Class overview

Radicular pain is a relatively common condition encountered in clinical practice, and one of the most high stakes conditions too. Despite this, there is still confusion about the best way to assess and manage radicular pain, including sciatica. This course will help clarify things for you.

By the end of the course, the learner should not only know more about best practice for radicular pain, but also the evidence base and biological principles that underpin best practice, allowing them to make high quality, nuanced decisions for the patient in front of them.


4 modules


2 hours

About the presenter

Tom Jesson is a physiotherapist with extensive experience in musculoskeletal primary care and chronic pain. He has written extensively on the topics of radicular pain, chronic pain and clinical reasoning.

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Class modules


What are we talking about?

Runtime: 38:37
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This module starts with a brief overview of the history of a condition that has long has confused clinicians and scientists. We clear up some of the common words used to describe different kinds of back and leg pain, and the words used in MRI reports. And we take a deep dive into what is known about the pathology of the painful nerve root.

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Reasoning the assessment

Runtime: 30:35
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This module explains how to answer three key clinical questions. Is this person’s pain coming from their spine, or is it something else? Does this person have radicular or referred pain? And How is this person’s nerve functioning?

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Person-centred treatment

Runtime: 31:24
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This module draws from the qualitative research and patients’ own accounts to understand the condition from their perspective. It suggests various ways we can talk with patients to help them understand and manage their pain.

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Evidence-based treatment

Runtime: 29:25
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This module gives an overview of what the evidence base says for the most common interventions for the condition: exercise, injections, surgery and medications. It explains what the indicators are for referring on, and when.

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The Masterclasses have been of immense value for my clinical reasoning. They have challenged me to think more deeply about different topics along with practical applications which have improved my patient outcomes.

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