This intermediate level seminar is designed to provide the clinician with a systematic approach towards the management of cervical spine disorders.


The course includes updates and insights on functional anatomy and biomechanics to develop a clinically driven knowledge base and clinical reasoning framework that respects current evidence and novel principles of contemporary management of cervical disorders. This lab-intensive course will serve as a springboard to develop expert level manual therapy skills to manage the most common to the most challenging patients with cervical spine disorders. Participants will learn diagnosis/classification matching specific manual techniques with relevant motor learning methods.  

The course contents will help participants expand the management skills associated with soft-tissue lesions and joint restrictions associated with myofascial pain syndrome, articular derangement, somatosensory control issues, and peripheral and central sensitization. Participants will gain appreciation of an eclectic treatment approach that complements current methods by building upon motor control principles and manual therapy skills based on evidence-informed practice. 

A detailed course manual with illustrations and step-by-step instructions is provided to enhance competence and comprehension. All course participants will have the opportunity to establish a skill and knowledge base that facilitates hypothesis-oriented clinical decision making. Students will learn to develop a treatment program, which incorporates a balanced approach to restoring functional mobility and achieving pain relief to meet the patients’ expectations and garner respect from referral sources.

Course Objectives

- Understand a movement-based approach to neuromusculoskeletal conditions of the cervical spine

- Develop competency in a systematic clinical assessment of the cervical spine to identify dysfunctional movement patterns and postural imbalances

- Establish competency with application of evidence-informed somatosensory control and pain-science models

- Realize systematic clinical process for medical screening and pre-treatment risk assessment

- Appreciate the role of the neuromuscular system and myofascial chains in postural control and cervical stability.

- Develop a progressive exercise and retraining program that gets results through reactivation of postural control and functional movement patterns

- Develop skill-based approach to manual therapy and motor learning. Perform soft tissue and joint specific mobilizations to restore segmental mobility and relieve pain.

- Identify the influence of the kinematic chain for cervical spine and upper quadrant function

Course Schedule

DAY 1 

07:00 - 08:00 Registration
08:00 - 09:00 Introduction
09:00 - 10:00 Movement Science Approach
10:00 - 10:15 Break
10:15 - 12:30 Clinical Examination Concepts
12:30 - 01:30 Lunch
01:30 - 03:30 Clinical Examination Lab
03:30 - 03:45 Break
03:45 - 05:00 Clinical Patterns
05:00 - 06:00 Case Studies


08:00 - 10:00 Motor Control
10:00 - 10:15 Break
10:15 - 12:30 Motor Control & Endurance Testing
12:30 - 01:30 Lunch
01:30 - 02:30 Management Strategies
02:30 - 03:30 Functional Techniques Lab
03:30 - 03:45 Break
03:45 - 06:00 Restorative Techniques Lab


08:00 - 09:00 Management Strategies
09:00 - 10:00 Junction Manipulations
10:00 - 10:15 Break
10:15 - 12:00 Exercise Lab
12:00 - 01:00 Lunch
01:00 - 02:00 Neurodynamics Lab
02:00 - 03:00 Review and Questions 



Who Should Attend

Physical Therapists
Physician Assistants
Occupational Therapists

Required Reading

No Required Reading

Recommended Reading

  • George SZ, Beneciuk JM, Bialosky JE, et al. Development of a Review-of-Systems Screening Tool for Orthopaedic Physical Therapists: Results From the Optimal Screening for Prediction of Referral and Outcome (OSPRO) Cohort. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2015;45(7):512–26. doi:10.2519/jospt.2015.590


  • Jones M, Edwards I, Gifford L. Conceptual models for implementing biopsychosocial theory in clinical practice. Man Ther. 2002;7(1):2–9. doi:10.1054/math.2001.0426


  • Abbott JH, Flynn TW, Fritz JM, Hing WA, Reid D, Whitman JM. Manual physical assessment of spinal segmental motion: intent and validity. Man Ther. 2009;14(1):36–44. doi:10.1016/j.math.2007.09.011.


  • Cook C, Brisme J, Fleming R, Jr PSS. Identifiers Suggestive of Clinical Cervical Spine Instability : A Delphi. Phys Ther. 2005;85(9):895–906.


  • Rushton A, Rivett D, Carlesso L, Flynn T, Hing W, Kerry R. International framework for examination of the cervical region for potential of Cervical Arterial Dysfunction prior to Orthopaedic Manual Therapy intervention. Man Ther. 2014;19(3):222–228.