Reappraising entrapment neuropathies: pathomechanisms, assessment and management

Starts on 15.03.2024



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Tags: Generiek toegankelijke kinesitherapie , Ergotherapie , Neurologische aandoeningen , Manuele therapie , sport , Ouderen , Multidisciplinair


Entrapment neuropathies are the most common peripheral nerve disorders and a condition that is frequently seen by physiotherapists. They are caused by pressure and/or irritation of peripheral nerves and nerve roots as they travel through narrow anatomical spaces. Common conditions include cervical or lumbar radiculopathies, carpal tunnel syndrome or cubital tunnel syndrome. Diagnosis and treatment of entrapment neuropathies are often challenging. This can in part be attributed to a limited understanding of the pathophysiology of the diverse symptoms and signs (e.g., numbness, pain, allodynia, motor deficits, paraesthesia, etc.) as well as the conflicting (and often confusing) evidence regarding treatment of these patients. This course aims to provide a detailed insight into recent scientific advances in regard to the pathophysiology, assessment and conservative management of patients with entrapment neuropathies.

In the first part of the course, participants will be updated on recent advances in the understanding of pathophysiological mechanisms underlying entrapment neuropathies. The scientific evidence for mechanisms such as neuro-inflammation in the peripheral and central nervous system, myelin and axon degeneration or cortical changes will be discussed in relation to common symptoms and signs in patients with entrapment neuropathies. An improved understanding of underlying pathomechanisms will not only facilitate a targeted assessment of these patients but will also have implications for the management and prognosis.

In a second part of the course, we will use the example of spinally referred pain to introduce a clinical framework of classifying different types of neural pain. It will be discussed how clinical tests may assist in identifying and differentiating the underlying pathomechanisms if interpreted in the context of loss or gain of function. In practical sequences, participants will learn skills that will go well beyond bedside neurological testing and neurodynamic testing. A focus will be placed on quantitative sensory testing and how it can help diagnosis as well as treatment planning in a therapeutic setting. We will also highlight how these methods and other screening tools (e.g. questionnaires) can help to differentiate neuropathic from non-neuropathic pain in patients with suspected entrapment neuropathies.

The third part of this course concerns the management of patients with entrapment neuropathies. This part will include an update on the scientific evidence for the efficacy and benefit (or lack thereof) of physiotherapeutic interventions in the management of patients with these pain disorders. We will also touch on pharmacological options as well as the decision on when surgical intervention may be indicated.

Upon completion of the course, participants will have a deep understanding of potential pathomechanisms at play in patients with entrapment neuropathies. They will know how to differentiate the dominant mechanisms in individual patients using methods beyond the commonly used neural integrity and neurodynamic tests. Participants will also be competent in designing a targeted intervention for different subgroups of patients using the example of spinally referred pain and can confidently interpret changes associated with the delivered intervention.

Learning goals

  • To enable the participants to understand the basic principles of pain physiology associated with entrapment neuropathies and to incorporate this knowledge into their reasoning framework;

  • To be familiar with the practical performance and interpretation of bedside neurological testing and quantitative sensory testing methods in the context of entrapment neuropathies;

  • To understand the clinical framework for subgrouping different types of spinally referred pain;

  • To be competent in designing a targeted intervention for patients with entrapment neuropathies and to interpret changes associated with the delivered intervention.

Target audience

Physical therapists, Occupational therapists, Sports and movement scientists, Physicians, Medical specialists


Coffee breaks, lunch and course materials are included.

Pay via KMO portfolio (for small or medium-sized enterprises): 30% discount. ACREHAB - DV.O103194 (confirmed).

Accreditation by Pro-Q-Kine.

Course number:
Short- en long-term programmes
Area of interest:
Academic year:
2023 - 2024, 2024 - 2025
Starting date:
Annina Schmid
Contact person:
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