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I have started to compile the best topics to go through when studying for the NPTE. The next National Physical Therapy exam is just a couple of months away. Try to study one body system at a time. For me, I started with the Musculoskeletal system. So here’s the overview:

Musculoskeletal System

Anatomy and Physiology
  1. Muscle, Tendon, Ligament anatomy, physiology and function.
  2. OIAN and joints of major muscle groups
  3. Active and Passive Insufficiencies
  4. The beloved Force Couples on the major joints of the body
Joint Biomechanics
  1. Joint types and Muscle Lever Types
  2. Osteokinematics (Flexion. Extension, Abduction, etc…) and Arthrokinematics (Roll, slide, Glide)
  3. Open and Closed kinetic exercises and movements (Purpose for each)
Physical Assessment
  1. Special Tests
  2. Manual Muscle Testing
  3. Brachial and LumboSacral Plexus
  4. Upper Limb and Lower Limb Tension Tests
Musculoskeletal Conditions/ Common Injuries or Diseases Related to these joints/areas:
  1. Head and Cervical Spine
  2. TMJ
  3. Shoulder
  4. Elbow
  5. Forearm, wrist and hand
  6. Thoracic spine
  7. Lumbar Spine
  8. Pelvis
  9. Hip
  10. Knee
  11. Below Knee, Ankle and Foot
  1. Normal Gait
  2. Abnormal Gait Patterns (include amputee gait patterns)
Differential Diagnosis Connective Tissue Conditions and Diseases
  1. Sprains vs. Strains
  2. Tendonitis vs. Tendonosis
  3. Other diseases (Rheumatoid vs. Osteoarthritis, Scleroderma, Polymyositis vs. Dermatomyositis, Systemic Lupus Erythmatosus…)
Musculoskeletal Medical Management
  1. Diagnostic imaging
  2. Common Lab test
  3. Common Surgical Procedures
Musculoskeletal Physical Therapy Applications/Interventions
  1. Effects of exercise (benefits, soreness, fatigue…)
  2. Therapeutic Exercise (Per body part/ hip, knee…)
  3. Manual Techniques (Joint Mobilization, PNF, McKenzie)
Study and Review for the NPTE: Recommended Textbooks and Reviewers
  1. TherapyEd’s National Physical Therapy Examination Review and Study Guide 2015
  2. Differential Diagnosis in Physical Therapist: Screening for Referral 5th Edition by Goodman
  3. McGraw-Hills NPTE National Physical Therapy by Mark Dutton
  4. Orthopedic Physical Assessment 6th Edition by David Magee
  5. Therapeutic Exercise: Foundation and Techniques