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Advances in the Clinical Evaluation and Treatment of Cervical and Upper Thoracic Spine Disorders

Why take this Continuing Education Course?

This advanced level seminar is designed to help clinicians achieve superior outcomes when treating patients with cervical spine and upper thoracic spine disorders. The best current evidence is incorporated throughout the course to help participants diagnose and manage cervical spine disorders with greater confidence and cutting-edge proficiency. Cervical spine functional anatomy, mechanics and pathomechanics are reviewed as a foundation for evidence-based practice. Considerable time is devoted to refining and improving the clinicians ability to examine vascular, articular, and peripheral nerve integrity; segmental motion and pain provocation, and muscle performance. Disorders affecting the connective, muscular and nervous tissues of the cervical spine are reviewed. Differential diagnoses discussed include cervicogenic headache, derangement, hypomobility, hypermobility, postural syndrome and sprain/strain. Consideration is also given to the role of the lumbopelvic and thoracic spine in cervical spine disorders. Current classification schemes and a novel algorithm are presented to help guide intervention planning. Considerable lab time is devoted to learning thoracic spine manipulative and mobilization techniques in addition to cervical spine and 1st rib mobilizations. Numerous treatment approaches and recent advances in spine research are integrated to provide the clinician with a diverse array of options to help optimize biomechanical function and functional ability. Special rehabilitation considerations pertaining to cervicogenic headaches, acceleration injuries and cervical spine orthopedic operative procedures are discussed. This course is intended to facilitate immediate and confident clinical application and hands-on lab time is liberally incorporated during the course to promote deep learning.


Physical therapy and Occupational Therapy Continuing Education Courses
  • Describe the functional anatomy, mechanics, and pathomechanics of the upper cervical spine region, lower cervical spine region, and the upper thoracic spine.
  • Explain the etiology of common cervical spine disorders.
  • Identify signs and symptoms that warrant immediate referral to another healthcare provider.
  • Recognize behaviors that are associated with an increased risk of long-term disability.
  • Select appropriate tests and measures based on the patient interview.
  • Perform a thorough and systematic examination of the cervical and upper thoracic spine region.
  • Assess for occipito-atlantal and atlanto-axial instability and vertebral-basilar artery insufficiency.
  • Classify cervical spine disorders, based on examination findings, for purposes of care planning and intervention decision-making.
  • Integrate evidence from literature on the cervical spine with clinical experience.
  • Formulate a safe and efficacious postoperative rehabilitation program.
  • Perform manipulative and mobilization techniques to the thoracic spine, 1st rib and cervical spine.
  • Competently utilize therapeutic exercise to treat cervical and upper thoracic spine disorders.
  • Choose and incorporate appropriate physical agents into the treatment of patients with disorders of the cervical and upper thoracic spine.
  • Effectively manage patients with cervicogenic headaches and acceleration injuries.
  • Instructor name

    Chris Durall, PT, DPT, SCS, LAT, CSCS

    Due to the ever-changing body of evidence, expertise is somewhat something of a moving target. However, after 20+ years experience of treating the neck and 10 years experience teaching clinicians how to do the same, it’s fair to say that I have acquired a certain level of mastery.
    More Instructor Info

    OT PT Continuing Education Courses, Dates & Locations

    There are no course dates available for this course. This is available for a private course at your facility, Learn more

    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 For This Course

    PT PTA OT Online Continuing Education Course

    Clinical Examination and Treatment of the Cervical and Upper Thoracic Spine

    Price when purchased with registration: $ 79.95

    Delivery: DVD (if DVD - delivered to course site)

    More Info

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