Upper Cervical Spine:  Evaluation & Treatment Through Integrating Manual Therapy & Exercise


Course Description

The upper cervical spine is at once one of the more challenging and rewarding areas to treat in the world of manual therapy.  Paradoxically it is a commonly occurring dysfunction causing a great deal of concern in both the providers & patients yet it is under represented in the physical therapists primary education.

In all regions of the spine pattern recognition allows experts to recognize when they are faced with a known phenomenon, which has been shown time and time again to respond in a familiar way in the hands of many clinicians.  The upper cervical spine is no different.  For the physical therapist to develop expertise in evaluating and treating this region it they must become competent in pattern recognition, stability testing, soft tissue mobilization, joint mobilization, specific exercise and the integration of all of these for the intervention phase of treatment.  Additionally we need to be well versed in educating our patients to postural training, management & ergonomics for management & prophylaxis. 

This class will be primarily hands on participation with a minimum of lecture via patient demonstration to give context to the content.  As in the vast majority of our course work the class is willfully designed to be efficient with your time as well effective with developing, improving or mastering your skill set.  The content will be completed in one day.  All participants will receive the didactic portion of the class before the actual class day allowing time for absorption before the physical interface.  This will ideally liberate the class to spend the majority of the time together in a genuine “hands on” refinement of skills to be assimilated into their present matrix.


Upper Cervical Spine (UCS) Course Objectives


1.    Develop a conceptual framework for evaluating and treating the UCS patient

2.    Understand the evolution from the clinical perspective of common clinical syndrome recognition.

3.    Discuss the genuinely common UCS clinical syndromes, the rapid recognition of them and the applicable treatments.

4.    Understand the application of principles for UCS mobilization on a continuum through to manipulation.

5.    Develop manual skills in mobilization of soft tissues & joints of the UCS region.  A level of proficiency in the techniques will be emphasized as the class comes to conclusion.

6.    Understand the application of principles for therapeutic exercise augmenting manual intervention, to development of control and prophylaxis in the cervico-thoracic through mid cervical and UCS.

7.    Nurture continued development of skills with accurate and informative feedback from the ‘patient’ therapists with each session.  Understand the experiential nature of motor skills.

8.    Frame a system of patient management that is efficient and effective in the care of the cervical patient.


Tuition:  $275