Why Pathology Knowledge Is Important

Published on 27th November 2017



Many people are surprised to find out how detailed our anatomy and physiology course is and how much is covered on pathologies including a requirement by our exam board ITEC to complete a homework on the subject.

So how well do you know your bursitis from your bunion, your colitis from you colic and your arthritis from your angina?

Of course as therapists with relatively short training in anatomy and physiology we can't know everything.  There are hundreds of diseases and disorders (pathologies).It takes doctors 6 years to qualify and they don't know everything but often specialise in a particular area of medicine.

However on our anatomy and physiology courses we do teach some pathology to ensure that when you become a therapist you do work safely with the public.

The exam board ITEC have set a homework that needs to meet a required standard before gaining the qualification:Certificate in Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology for the Complementary Therapist.

Knowledge of pathology for therapists and exercise instructors covers 3 main areas

1/Contagious conditions such as verruca - you don't want to catch what your client has or pass it on

2/Inflammatory conditions such as arthritis where a therapy could make it worse (it means inflammation)

3/Acute conditions such as irritable bowel where the client is having a bad episode and a therapy could make it worse

The golden rule is if in doubt don't. Certain conditions are contra-indicated (not advisable) for therapies such as massage:

Complete contra-indication

Presence of temperature



Seriously ill with diabetes

Areas of pain

Full stomach



Heart conditions











Scar tissue - minor for 6 months or major for 2 years

Varicose veins   



Arthritis in inflammatory stage

Any inflammation e.g. swollen ankle, inflamed irritable bowel

Receiving treatment from another practitioner

Areas with no pain receptors




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ITEC Level 3 certificate in Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology
British Register of Complementary Practitioners
Association Systematic Kinesiology
BowenTraining UK

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