The Evolving Recovery Model in Spinal Cord Rehabilitation

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Why should a physical therapist, occupational therapist or athletic trainer take this spinal cord injury continuing education course?

Research for spinal cord injury rehabilitation is in an exciting phase with new evidence-based research directing rehab more towards an evolving recovery model. This new research demonstrates that the spinal cord can respond to rehabilitation, similar to the way the brain changes itself toward repair and neuroplastic recovery. With recent research studies, paralysis is not the only long-term option.

Develop critical thinking patterns to address each spinal cord patient as a unique individual with individualized needs. Todays rehab professional focuses on the importance of not “boxing” in a patient with a specific diagnosis, and being a true clinician that continually evaluates for any signs of function, leading to improved functional mobility.

Rehab clinical tools instructed in this spinal cord injury CE course to enhance your functional outcomes.

  • Combine the standard compensatory model of treatment of the past with more of a recovery model of training focuses on enhanced advanced motor learning
  • Evaluation and treatment progression concepts and techniques to achieve a higher level of functional mobility throughout their rehab program

Specific instruction that will enhance your understanding and ability to deliver better patient care.

  • Techniques for a therapist to engage in critical thinking when identifying each spinal cord patient’s unique level of function
  • A comprehensive recovery model plan for spinal cord injured patients to develop higher-level function and mobility despite a low-level spinal cord injury classification”
  • The reasoning behind the use of specific techniques to enhance neuroplasticity

Features unique to this spinal cord injury rehabilitation continuing education course

  • Two case studies of young adults progressing through the recovery model of care
  • Demo for transfer training, to/from wheelchair, mat, car and activities to assist
  • Parameters of when and how to utilize EMG, FES, and locomotor training
  • Physiological factors, outcomes and working through specific challenges
  • Hands-on-techniques to elicit functional movement
  • Locomotor preparatory exercises, stretching and demo of gait with the exoskeleton

Professional Accreditation

This is an intermediate level course applicable for PT, PTA, OT, AT. Physical Therapy Accreditation: For specific state information use the accreditation verification menu and select your state of license. AOTA: provider #4487, Occupational therapy professional development activity: Occupational Therapy Service Delivery, evaluation and intervention, and Foundation Knowledge: human body, development, and behavior. Athletic Trainers: BOC provider #P2047, category A. This course has not been submitted for Evidence-Based BOC approval.

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View PT, PTA, OT and AT Continuing Education Course State Accreditation

Responsible CME® - Testimonials

Excellent case studies! Thank you for the videos. -- Naomi, Physical Therapist

Great material that was taught by instructors who are experts in their fields. -- Joel, PT

It is a great course for patients with extreme spinal injuries. -- Erica, ATC

As a full time PT and mom, it can be very challenging to stay up to date and this course offered me the flexibility I need. The instructor is very experienced, knowledgeable, and brings several areas of new research to this short course. The case presentations and video demonstrations were very helpful too. -- Helana, PT

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The Evolving Recovery Model in Spinal Cord Rehabilitation


  • CE Hours: 3.5 hrs, .35 CEU
  • Delivered: Online
  • Instant Online Access, PDF Manual for Download, 365 days of access, Mobile Ready

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1 Year Access with Annual Renewal

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Prices are in US dollars
  • 12 months of access to all online courses, course tests and state approval certificates.
  • Meet all your CE requirements. Pre-approved for PT, PTAs in AK, AL, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, GA, HI, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, MA, ME, MI, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NM, NV, NY, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, and WY.
  • AOTA approved.
  • Designed for Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Athletic Trainers and Assistants.
  • Access to future courses and content.
  • Start, stop and resume, right where you left off in a course.
  • Real patient interviews.
  • Medical expert contributors.
  • 3D anatomy and medical illustrations.
  • Easy to use learning system for fast access to your courses.
  • Award winning content.
  • Top instructors teaching evidence based skills and techniques.

Course Objectives

Course Objectives

Upon successful completion of this course participants will be able to:

  • Identify the importance of ASIA testing and the anal-rectal exam.
  • Recognize how a diagnosis of a specific level of injury does not necessarily predict the potential for ambulation.
  • Identify and discuss the principles and parameters of the recovery model of training.
  • Recognize how to identify a very low-level functioning muscle (s) and utilize that minimum level to promote functional movement.
  • Recognize that a diagnosis of a specific level of injury does not dictate overall function or lack of function.
  • Identify the importance of manual muscle testing in alternate positions in order to elicit function and isolate specific muscle groups.
  • Discuss activity-based therapy and identify how to incorporate this into a treatment plan
  • Identify the parameters for using an exoskeleton for locomotion
  • Identify the parameters for utilizing a harness system when treadmill training for locomotion.
  • Discuss the importance of specific long-term training in order to elicit functional mobility.
  • Recognize the long-term plan when developing a comprehensive functional rehab program for spinal cord patients.
  • Develop programs that focus on full body movement engaging multi-segmental control throughout the phases of varying functional ability.
  • Develop programs that enhance movement therapy strategies including task-specific training, activity-based strengthening, and the benefits of neuromuscular re-education.
  • Identify how FES, EMG, and robotics can play an important role in locomotion recovery.
  • Recognize the national resources available to provide evidence-based research on spinal cord injury.

Learn From the Expert - Selina M. Morgan, PT, DPT

Learn From the Expert - Selina M. Morgan, PT, DPT

Selina M. Morgan, PT, DPT, 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 earned her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch in 2016. She has been actively involved in the physical rehabilitation of neurological compromised patients and assistive technology throughout her career. She currently serves as the spinal cord injury lead therapist in an outpatient rehabilitation center in San Antonio.

Selina first gained teaching experience through her faculty position at the Texas Tech School of Physical Therapy in 1995. She is an adjunct instructor at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, teaching the Management of the Patient with Neurological Dysfunction for the 2nd year doctoral physical therapy students.

Dr. Morgan has been 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. She has been an instructor for North American Seminars since 1999.

Introduction to the Course-Motor Learning

Introduction to the Course-Motor Learning
  • Rehab of patients following spinal cord injury has dramatically changed over the past several years
  • The NeuroRecovery Network
  • The principles of motor learning
  • Compensation strategy examples
  • Recovery strategies
  • Good kinematic postural control
  • Activity-based therapy (ABT)
  • Retraining the nervous system
  • Neuromuscular Recovery Scale
  • ASIA exam
  • incomplete ASIA C injuries
  • Medicaid funds and private insurance funds

Case Study: Alyssa a Young Adult Female Who Sustained a C5-7 Spinal Cord Injury in 2008

Case Study: Alyssa a Young Adult Female Who Sustained a C5-7 Spinal Cord Injury in 2008
  • 22 year old female who sustained a C5-7 spinal cord injury
  • ASIA Impairment Scale-A (AIS-A)
  • “Complete” injury such that there is no sensory or motor sparing
  • Transfers
  • Perform stretching exercises
  • Activities of daily living
  • The patient’s home environment

Case Study: Alyssa: Dr. Morgan’s Discussion and Demonstration of the Evaluation and Treatment Progression

Case Study: Alyssa: Dr. Morgan’s Discussion and Demonstration of the Evaluation and Treatment Progression
  • What about recovery?
  • A new focus in Alyssa’s plan of care
  • Full manual muscle test
  • Spastic responses
  • The spinal cord is capable of learning and capable of generating its own output even if it is functionally independent of the brain
  • Using static and dynamic postural control
  • A strong focus on full body movement engaging multi-segmental control
  • Surface-Electromyography

Case Study: Alyssa: FES (Functional Electric Stimulation), Preparation and Guidelines

Case Study: Alyssa: FES (Functional Electric Stimulation), Preparation and Guidelines
  • Functional electrical stimulation (FES)
  • Upper motor neuron lesions
  • Lower motor neuron lesions
  • The use of EMG
  • The exoskeleton
  • Key muscles that need to be stretched

Case Study: Alyssa: Car Transfer and Final Summary

Case Study: Alyssa: Car Transfer and Final Summary
  • The Car Transfer
  • The remarkable progress of this patient

Case Study: Jordan: Upright and Locomotor Training

Case Study: Jordan: Upright and Locomotor Training
  • a T12 spinal cord injury during a horseback riding accident
  • AIS-A designation during her spinal shock period
  • Lower motor neuron L4-5 potential damage
  • Eksobionics GT
  • The NRN is the gold standard flagship
  • Functional electrical stimulation

Case Study: Jordan: Young Adult who Sustained a T-12 Spinal Cord Injury During a Horseback Riding Incident

Case Study: Jordan: Young Adult who Sustained a T-12 Spinal Cord Injury During a Horseback Riding Incident
  • Body weight support system is from Biodex
  • Research projects that was done by NRN
  • Activity-based therapy
  • Sensory feedback from the treadmill belt
  • Facilitate medial hamstrings and anterior tibialis
  • The recovery-model approach to rehabilitation

Course Test - Evaluate your knowledge

Course Test - Evaluate your knowledge
  • Use the Healthclick proprietary online education system which provides the online student with:
    • Worldwide access to high definition video, anatomical animations and images, and written information
    • The highest quality film in the industry, you can see the difference!
    • Stop and resume within a course, the Healthclick system will optimize your course based on your device, connection and remembers where you left off.
    • Real-time course updates. We are always adding to each courses, updating content, adding animations, these are not static courses!
  • Evaluate your knowledge with the course test on any device.
  • Print your state course certificate for CE credit.
  • Take the online test as many times as need in order to achieve a 70 % or greater score.