Integrating Evidence-Based Rehab Progression with Current Surgical Procedures for the Cervical and Lumbar Spine

Why take this Continuing Education Course?

This 20.5 hour responsible CME® course is an intermediate level course that blends online home study training from a professionally filmed and mastered DVD/online access with a one day live interactive instruction experience with hands on lab sessions. This in depth course provides details on performing a comprehensive evaluation for post surgical cervical and lumbar spine and the preparatory work for pre-surgical candidates. Comprehensive evaluation techniques and tools are presented. Carol also discusses the efficacy of common outcome tools that are currently utilized in the clinic and the importance of pre surgical and post surgical values. A step by step evaluation process is discussed and demonstrated to include: postural assessment, neurological assessment and muscle testing. Carol will take you through the process of identifying specific key muscles necessary for the recovery after spine surgery and how to properly evaluate each individual muscle group for a baseline for treatment.

Manual therapy techniques to improve soft tissue mobilization and intervertebral motion is presented with concurrent evidence based information to support the clinicians decision to utilize specific treatments with the post surgical spine pattern. The Literature review will enhance the clinicians ability to utilize information in current research articles and apply appropriate techniques when developing progressive rehab programs.

Recent evidence on exercise selection and prescription can greatly help with specificity of treatment. There are multiple current opinions and theories on exercise training which will be explored and compared to traditional ideas to help clinicians more easily organize their goal setting and intervention plans to achieve optimal functional outcomes. Discussion and case examples from the course participants, in addition to those presented by the instructor, are greatly encouraged in this course.

By combining the learning formats of both the live and online portions of this course, clinicians will experience information in a stimulating, easy to learn format. The step by step videos and comprehensive online information works synergistically with the live hands on experience, case study analysis and interactive lecture of the live course. Each section of the course also provides a comprehensive manual. This course is applicable for PT’s , PTA’s, OT’?s and AT’s.


Physical therapy and Occupational Therapy Continuing Education Courses
  • Explain the use of spinal surgical procedures such as lumbar microdiscectomy, laminectomy and fusion, kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty, artificial disk replacement and anterior cervical fusion.
  • Identify the standardized outcomes tools that can be utilized to track and compare outcomes.
  • Describe the fundamental components of a post-op spinal evaluation.
  • Perform a post operative spinal evaluation utilizing certain techniques for the varying stages of post-op progression.
  • Describe the importance of key history questions to ask during your patient initial evaluation to appropriately utilize when developing a progressive treatment program.
  • Identify specific tests to utilized during a neurological exam, and the key tests for surgical candidates.
  • Define the four functional loss characteristics used to help determine the most tolerable movements for patients.
  • Utilize the functional loss characteristics to identify treatment interventions and assist with goal setting.
  • Utilize the inclinometer to measure cervical and lumbar ROM and when this is helpful for surgical management.
  • Explain the standardized outcome instruments you can utilize to assist with your overall goal planning and intervention selection.
  • Develop a comprehensive approach to post-op spinal evaluations to include the identification of specific tests to perform at different stages of post-op spinal surgery.
  • Perform a post-operative neurologic exam and use findings to track progress and plan program.
  • Compile a patient evaluation problem list together with the specifics of the spine procedure and select interventions to address each problem that also contribute to perioperative care for that procedure.
  • Recognize the importance of motor control exercises for the cervical and lumbar spine, and their role in decreasing pain, improving strength, stability and function outcomes.
  • Evaluate deep cervical flexors (segmental stabilizers) using stabilizer and emphasize the need for conditioning these muscles for return of cervical spine alignment and protection.
  • Teach a patient to activate specific segmental muscle stabilization in the lumbar spine with a motor control focus.
  • Describe the purpose of combining segmental stabilizers with global stabilizers for functional strength and mobility
  • Create balance routines for retraining proprioception and muscle control in the lower extremities.
  • Integrate exercise bands into appropriate exercises routines in order to intensify the effect on targeted muscle groups.
  • Develop a post surgical cervical spine stabilization exercise program with a motor control focus.
  • Build a comprehensive exercise program that both stabilizes and strengthen key muscle groups in the post surgical spine patient.
  • Describe purposes, safe time frame, and basic techniques used in manual therapy for postoperative lumbar and cervical spine.
  • Perform manual therapy on the post-op cervical and lumbar spine and explain the rationale for each technique depending on the patient’s diagnosis.
  • Identify typical problem areas, complications, and barriers that can occur during various phases of spine rehab, including hospital stay, early post discharge care, and out patient rehab.
  • Develop a patient education program for the post op spine patient.
  • Identify how to utilize the information in research articles to perform the most effective tests and develop evidence-based rehab programs.
  • Instructor name

    Carol McFarland, PT, PhD, OCS

    I have had nearly 40 years of experience as a therapist, but for the past 30 my focus has been on spine care. With this focus in mind, I completed a PhD in order to have a more in-depth understanding of this particular patient group.
    More Instructor Info

    OT PT Continuing Education Courses, Dates & Locations

    October 14, 2017 - October 14, 2017

    8.5 Hours Live / 12 Hours Online hours of CME credit

    John Heinz Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine

    Wilkes-Barre, PA

    Tuition $ 399.00



    State Continuing Education Course Approvals

    All courses are pre-approved by the state licensing boards for physical therapists, physical therapy assistants and occupational therapists, occupational therapy assistants and athletic trainers for license renewal in the state the course is offered.

    Courses provided by AOTA providers are accepted by NBCOT. 1 hour = 1.25 PDU. North American Seminars is and AOTA provider, provider #4487

    North American Seminars, Inc. (BOC provider #P2047) is approved by the Board of Certification, Inc. to provide continuing education to Athletic Trainers. This program is eligible for the maximum stated hours of Category A hours/CEUs. Athletic Trainers should claim only those hours actually spent in the education program.

    Online Continuing Education Course Resource Included With This Course

    PT PTA OT Online Continuing Education Course

    The online information will be reinforced in the hands on live portion

    You arrive prepared with the information to maximize your hands on training!

    The online course also included a course manual. The DVD contains the film information with a focus on the hands on skills

    Evaluation techniques for the post-operative cervical and lumbar spine patient:

    • Early postoperative spinal evaluation components and pointers: Symptom description, incision assessment, spinal contour, functional mobility description
    • Early postoperative spinal evaluation components and pointers: Postural Assessments
      • Inclinometer measures of posture and ROM
    • Early postoperative spinal evaluation components and pointers: Neurologic testing early
      • Neurologic exam demonstration: dermatome testing for lumbar spine using light touch and myotome testing for early postoperative lumbar
      • Initial straight leg raise test for neural tension.
      • Instructions to patient if positive
      • Postoperative spinal evaluation components and pointers: Body mechanics during functional movements
        • Assessing proper log roll and safe supine to sit transition. Ideas for patient instruction
        • Functional testing, body mechanics, testing, balance
        • Functional testing, valid spine scales
        • Functional testing, gait and transitional movements

      Evaluation techniques, lumbar spine

      • Segmental stabilization in the lumbar spine: tranversus abdominis and multifidus
      • Increasing evidence of the importance of segmental stabilizers for protection of the spine during movement and loading.
      • Importance of training the segmental stabilizers
      • ROM evaluation, when is it applicable post surgically?

      Basic components for intervention specific programs

      • Spine protection with posture, position and support
      • Unloading techniques
      • Pain management strategies and patient education
      • Reconditioning cardiovascular
      • Procedure details for therapist program selections Manual therapy, lumbar spine
      • Soft tissue mob along incision
      • Soft tissue mob sidelying for lumbodorsal fascia, quadratus umborum & hip muscle complex
      • Contract/relax quadratus lumborum sidelying
      • Contract/relax to iliopsoas in supine
      • Posterior /anterior pressures to lumbar spine to help patients increase mobility into extension
      • Close up post/ant pressures lumbar spine
      • Passive intervertebral motion into flexion in sidelying, for spinal stenosis or artificial disc replacement
      • Passive intervertebral motion into lateral flexion in sidelying, with painful side up, for spinal stenosis or artificial disc replacement
      • Muscle facilitation in sidelying directed towards hip rotators
      • Rhythmic stabilization for trunk muscle facilitation
      • Seated localized muscle recruitment with manual resistance at each vertebral level
      • Sidelying localized muscle recruitment with manual resistance at each vertebral level Manual therapy, cervical spine

      Introduction to cervical spine manual therapy section: Description of techniques

      • Assisted shrug with upper trap stretch, using contract/relax/ stretch technique, maintaining neutral cervical spine
      • Seated levator scapula stretch, using contract/ relax/ stretch technique, maintaining neutral cervical spine
      • Seated scalene stretch, using contract/relax/stretch technique, maintaining neutral cervical spine
      • Seated stretch of upper cervical & thoracic paraspinals using contract/relax/stretch, cervical spine in slight flexion
      • Seated suboccipital release, thumb pressure below occiput
      • Levator scapula contract/relax/stretch release
      • Scalene contract/ relax/ stretch release
      • Cervical and upper thoracic paraspinal release and elongation stretch
      • Supine suboccipital release, maintained pressure over tendon attachments with neutral cervical spine.

      DVD is shipped to your home prior to course or to course site depending on date of registration


    *Promotional prices for e-learning products are only provided when registering for live course attendance