Online Physical Therapy Courses

Course Instructor

Selina M. Morgan, PT, ATP, graduated from Texas A&M University with a BS in Health Education in 1984, and the University of Texas Health Science Center in Dallas, School of Physical Therapy in 1986. She has been actively involved in the physical rehabilitation of neurological compromised patients with a special interest in spinal cord injury and assistive technology. She has held offices in: The National Spinal Cord Injury Association-South Texas Chapter; the ad hoc committee to improve accessibility in San Antonio; and the Access Planning Committee of the Alamo Dome.

Selina first gained teaching experience through her faculty position at the Texas Tech School of Physical Therapy in 1995. She continues to teach in the areas of spinal cord injury, seating/mobility and assistive technology at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (schools of PT and OT), and the Army Baylor School of Physical Therapy at Fort Sam Houston.

Selina has credentialed by RESNA as an Assistive Technology Practitioner since 2003. She is involved in and serves as a Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation Mentor since 2012.

Spasticity, Abnormal Tone and Recovery Strategies

This two-day advanced course is designed to provide progressive concepts to the medical professional involved in the rehabilitation management of the spinal cord-injured patient with respect to specific understanding of spasticity/flaccidity and mixed tonal syndromes. Understanding the complex and multi layered neurophysiological changes of sensory and motor neurons and muscle tissue following spinal cord injury is essential to understanding how to utilize spasticity/flaccidity and developing volitional control of motor output in a functional manner. Further utilizing the healing and learning capacity that we now know exists in the spinal cord is the cornerstone for neuro-recovery. Expecting a higher level of functional outcome requires a paradigm shift in our traditional thought process. The focus of discussion in this course will be on current treatment approaches related to managing tone as a major portion of SCI rehabilitation. Special emphasis will be placed on specific evaluation skills using standardized and modified testing techniques. Spasticity management including utilizing assessment tools, identifying neural vs. non-neural origins of spasticity, and advances in local and systemic medical intervention will be discussed. Participants will also be exposed to state of the art information to enhance their understanding of the motor control treatment environment for the spinal cord injured population including the use of static and dynamic weight bearing programs, augmentative movement therapies; and assistive/body weight supported gait intervention stimulating central generating processors. This course will also explore seating and positioning for addressing the effects of tonal changes following SCI. This will also include switch placement for range and control. Clinicians will be able to immediately apply the information from this course in the clinical setting and will be able to significantly impact the care of their patients by appropriately goal setting/documenting; and understanding the availability of current resources for the spinal cord injured patient.

Category: spinal cord-injured patient, Spasticity management, physical therapy continuing education course, occupational therapy continuing education course

  • Demonstrate understanding of the pathophysiology of flaccidity and spasticity.
  • Identify key elements in the flow of events following spinal cord injury which effect the alterations in the excitability of various excitatory and inhibitory spinal pathways which influence spasticity development.
  • Understand pharmaceutical and surgical options for managing spasticity, spasms and contractures.
  • Demonstrate understanding of the administration of an Intrathecal Baclofin pump trial.
  • Perform a modified Ashworth scale and describe pitfalls in the assessment of the spinal cord injured patient using this tool.
  • Perform a modified manual muscle test and describe pitfalls in the assessment of the spinal cord injured patient.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the secondary effects of flaccidity and atrophy and identify treatment strategies for developing muscle bulk.
  • Identify on-command spastic movement patterns and develop strategies for creating functional movement for task performance.
  • Demonstrate understanding of SCI movement therapy strategies including Neuro-Recovery Network model intervention, activity based strengthening and the benefits of neuromuscular re-education through weight bearing and supported gait tactics.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of administering serial casting for contracture reduction; including precautions, sequence of cast application, materials and tools selection and principles of follow up.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of seating and postioning intervention for managing postural control.
  • Demonstrate the use of switch access with respect to range and control.
  • Demonstrate understanding of specific goal writing toward funding therapy interventions for spinal cord injured patients in today’s funding environment and justify billing codes in therapy treatment.

  • Course Brochures are in Adobe PDF format. Right click and choose -Save Target- As to download brochure. If you would like to open the brochure in your browser windows, select the link.

    Spasticity, Abnormal Tone and Recovery Strategies






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