This blended online/onsite course is designed to enhance the knowledge and skills of physical therapists, building upon entry-level training of orthopedic manual physical therapy in regard to joint movement for the lumbar spine, cervical spine, thoracic spine and pelvis. This course is based on The Guide to Physical Therapist Practice Manipulation Educational Manual and the latest research and clinical implementation of spinal manipulation for physical therapists. The focus of this course is safe and skillful application of the manipulation techniques taught in the class.

The class features a full day of spinal manipulation lab training of the lumbar, cervical and thoracic areas plus 4 weeks of online didactic learning prior to learning techniques. Physical therapy clinicians will be taught the latest research regarding issues related to spinal manipulation including the history of spinal manipulation, demystifying the concept of the “audible pop”, clinical prediction rules, safety including contraindications and precautions, consent for manipulation, efficacy of manipulation for spinal pain and models for the application of spinal manipulation. Furthermore, clinicians will be taught sound clinical reasoning skills to appropriately apply spinal manipulative procedures.

Complimentary treatments such as exercise, education, modalities and more will be discussed and demonstrated to provide the clinicians with immediate clinical applicable information. Safe and effective handling skills form the core of this course. Instructor to student ratio is monitored to ensure quality supervision and instruction


This course is delivered in a blended learning fashion, combining online and on-site learning experiences to facilitate participant learning. An interactive and media-rich online pre-course is provided to participants 30 days in advance of an intensive one-day on-site laboratory weekend.

The online pre-course provides an evidence-based overview of the management of spinal disorders using a series of web-based video presentations (approximately 30 minutes each), key evidence summaries, hand-outs and primary research articles. The online pre-course provides the necessary foundation needed to execute the physical tests and treatments associated with the weekend intensive class.

The on-site lab intensive day provides participants with hands-on demonstration and practice of selected examination and manipulative techniques for the spine. A heavy focus is placed on the skill development and proficient use of manipulation interventions for the spine. An online post-test and on-site skill assessment is used to reinforce course objectives and assess learning. Successful completion of this course requires 80% or higher on post-test, instructor feedback and attendance at each onsite day.

Target Audience: This course is only open to Physical Therapists.

Credits: 24 hours (16 online and 8 onsite)

Prerequisites: None

Appropriate dress: Participants are asked to bring appropriate attire for lab sessions (i.e. shorts and t-shirts and sports bras for women) and air-conditioned environments throughout the day (i.e. warm-up or work-out clothes).


Upon completion of this class, attendees will:

  1. Recognize the current best evidence for the implementation of spinal manipulation in clinical practice
  2. Have a working knowledge of the safety issues, precautions and contraindications to spinal manipulation and be able to apply them in the course and in clinical practice
  3. Safely and effectively apply the tests and techniques taught in the course
  4. Have a working knowledge in the choice of manipulative procedures in an evidence-based, multi-model approach to spinal pain including adjunct treatments such as exercise, mobilization, modalities and more


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