This course will cover current best evidence in the physical therapy management of neck pain. Lecture material will summarize the developing body of literature regarding the subgrouping of cervical spine patients. We will present and discuss relevant safety concerns of evidence based treatments with a special emphasis on cervical spine thrust manipulation.

The laboratory component will focus on the safe and effective delivery of thrust and non-thrust manipulation to the cervicothoracic spine and supporting mobility and motor control exercises. The didactic portion will comprise 30% of the class with 70% of the time being spent in the lab.

Target Audience: Physical therapists, doctors of medicine, doctors of osteopathy, university faculty

Contact Hours: 16 CEUs

Upcoming Courses


Day Two:

  • 8:00am-8:30: Patient expectation and HEP compliance

  • 8:30-9:30: Upper Csp: Risk/ligament testing

  • 9:30-10:00: Lab - Instability testing, CN test, BP

  • 10:00-11:00: Lab – Upper cervical thrust

  • 11:00-12:00pm: Open lab – demonstration

  • Lunch 12:00pm-1:00pm

  • 1:00pm – 1:30: Lab – Upper thoracic thrust

  • 1:30-2:00: Legislative Update

  • 2:00 – 2:30: Lab – Cervicothoracic junction

  • 2:30 – 3:30: Lumbar manipulation: Broad overview

  • 3:30 – 4:00pm: Open lab – review and demonstration 

Day One:

  • 8:00am-9:00: Subjective exam and clinical reasoning

  • 9:00-9:30: Cervicothoracic examination

  • 9:30-10:00: Examination lab

  • 10:00-10:30: Subgrouping and manual therapy

  • 10:30-11:00: Cervical manipulation safety

  • 11:00-12:00pm: Lab – Cervical thrust lab

  • Lunch 12:00pm-1:00pm

  • 1:00-1:30: Cervical mobilization lab

  • 1:30pm-2:30: Cervical mobility/motor control

  • 2:30-3:30: Lab – Mid thoracic manipulation

  • 3:30-4:30: Thoracic mobility/motor control

  • 4:30-5:00pm: Lab – Student demonstration



  1. Understand the risk factors associated with spinal manipulation and be able to screen patients properly using a thorough history and targeted physical examination

  2. Understand the strengths and limitations of current objective tests for vascular insufficiency in the cervical spine

  3. Perform a thorough objective examination using clinical practice guidelines and current best evidence to determine which data to collect

  4. Demonstrate an excellent understanding of current best evidence in regards to manual therapy, thrust and non-thrust joint mobilization techniques, in the treatment of patients with neck pain.

  5. Demonstrate proper technique with cervical mobilization and thrust manipulation to the cervical and thoracic spine

  6. Demonstrate proper technique with all cervical and thoracic mobility exercises and their home exercise counter parts

  7. Perform upper cervical ligament integrity testing