Cervical-Thoracic Spine and Ribs: 2021



Evidence-Based Evaluation and Treatment Utilizing Classification Systems, Manual Therapy and Exercise

There are many effective rationales and methods of treating this region from both New Zealand and the USA. This course takes what is best from both counties and brings them together in a syndrome and evidence-based manner to give the participant a most current and effective methodology to treat problems in this region.

An important aspect of treating these areas is to be able to determine the ‘Drivers’ or true source of the problem, not just where the pain is. Is it the shoulder girdle, the cervical or thoracic spine, or a combination of these?

Participants will be taught how to treat the cervical and thoracic spine in addition to the ribs, utilizing a syndrome classification system that allows manual therapy techniques to be selected based on the patient’s condition, instead of anatomical classification.

Treatment techniques will include various manual therapy approaches, including disc centralization rationale, mobilization, active mobilization as well as new effective patient and clinician friendly techniques such as physiological overpressure mobilizations (POMs), muscle energy, POSTLATION and five forms of manual traction.

This is a practical clinic ready course for the outpatient clinician.


Audience: ATs, PTs, PTAs




  • Apply a clinically based manual therapy approach
  • Classify problems of the cervical and thoracic spines according to treatable categories
  • Identify and treat headaches of cervical origin
  • Distinguish between pain and dysfunction arising from the shoulder girdle, ribs, cervical and thoracic spines
  • Evaluate and treat rib dysfunctions
  • Evaluate joint integrity to enable safe treatment
  • Apply treatment rationale for the management of derangement syndrome, joint hypo- and hyper-mobility and neuromuscular imbalances.
  • Select and perform the most effective manual therapy techniques for each type of problem
  • Progress treatment as appropriate for the patient’s condition




07:15    Sign in and breakfast

08:00    Evidence based practice related to the cervical and thoracic spine.

09:00    Syndrome based classification system

09:30    Red-flag considerations and neurological evaluation

10:00    Break

10:10    Upper quarter posture and evaluation

11:00    Shoulder screening

12:00    Lunch (0n own)

01:00    Upper cervical stress and vertebral artery testing

02:00    Cervical quadrant testing

03:00    Break

03:10    Cervicogenic headache presentation and evaluation

04:00    Treatment of cervicogenic headache dysfunction

05:00   End of day one

07:30    Breakfast

08:00    Treatment of cervical dysfunction syndrome

09:15    Treatment of cervical stenosis syndrome

10:00    Break

10:10    Treatment of cervical derangement syndrome

11:30    Rib dysfunction assessment and treatment

12:00    Lunch (on own)

12:30    Thoracic spine evaluation

01:15    Thoracic dysfunction and derangement treatment

02:30    Exercise discussion

03:00    End of course

Categories: Orthopedic

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