This blended online, on-site course offers a comprehensive investigation into the physical dysfunction of the lumbar, thoracic and cervical spine and its physical evaluation and treatment. The course is designed to provide the clinician with the skills to diagnose common spine pathologies, recognize subjective and objective signs and symptoms of common spine pathologies, determine the necessary precautions and contraindications and design comprehensive treatment protocols, including manual therapy, exercise, pain science, neurodynamics, motor control and more. Additionally, this course will blend pain neuroscience with manual therapy, providing a unique pain science view of spine disorders. New and updated clinical pathology of the lumbar, thoracic and cervical spine, along with pain science and clinical reasoning form the framework from which spine pathologies and pain patterns are discussed. Physical therapy treatment, as well as medical interventions and diagnosis will be discussed in relation to the new and updated research information. The material covered in this course is immediately applicable in the clinic. Topics include common conditions such as disc lesions, nerve root pain, facet joint injuries, aging, spinal stenosis, radiculopathy, sacroiliac joint dysfunction, rib dysfunctions, osteoporotic compression fractures, thoracic outlet syndrome and more. Clinicians will be instructed in safe and effective handling skills during the evaluation and treatment of the spine. Treatments covered include pain neuroscience education, joint mobilization, traction, neural tissue mobilization, soft tissue treatment, spinal stabilization, sensorimotor retraining and more. This course is only open to Physical Therapists.


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 lumbar, thoracic and cervical spine disorders using a series of web-based video presentations, key evidence summaries and primary research articles. The on-site two-day lab intensive provides participants with hands-on demonstration and practice of selected examination and manual techniques for the lumbar, thoracic and cervical spine region. A heavy focus is placed on the skill development and proficient use of mobilization interventions for this region. An online post-test as well as instructor feedback are used to reinforce course objectives and assess learning. Successful completion of this course requires 80% or higher on post-test and attendance at each onsite day.

Target Audience: Intermediate level course open to licensed physical therapists.

Course Format: Blended model of online coursework and 1 onsite weekend intensive (2 day)

Credits: 28 contact hours (12 online and 16 on-site) from EIM Institutes of Health Professions

Prerequisites: None

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


  1. Identify and perform key elements of the lumbar, thoracic and cervical spine subjective and objective clinical examination, with particular emphasis on active and passive motion testing with overpressure, pain science recognition, differential testing, and special tests.
  2. Synthesize and analyze data from the spine clinical examination based on signs and symptoms within a pain science paradigm.
  3. Determine a diagnosis and/or impairments and use sound clinical reasoning and treatment-based classifications to guide patient/client management.
  4. Engage in the diagnostic process to establish differential diagnoses across systems & across the life span.
  5. Utilize a consistent clinical process to effectively screen for systemic disease and non-musculoskeletal pathology in patients with spine pain.
  6. Justify the selection of manual therapy techniques or integrated exercise using clinical reasoning, pain science, and application of current best evidence.
  7. Perform selected spine mobilization techniques in patients with spine pain or

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