Mobilization of the Cervical and Thoracic Spine and Ribs

Course Description

​This class focuses on taking an area of the body – the neck, upper back and ribs - and simplifying it so that the therapist feels comfortable treating it. Treatment approaches include Muscle Energy Technique (MET) and direct articulations to the thoracic spine and ribs. The class is evidence based and every technique is repeated multiple times throughout the class so each participant has the chance to learn them well. When you leave this class you will walk away with a comprehensive and strong foundation for treatment of the neck, upper back and ribs.

As with all of our manual therapy courses, this seminar will follow a progression of principles and reinforce them throughout the 16 hours, is at least 75% hands-on lab, and will give the clinician hands-on skills they use immediately upon their return to the clinical setting. 

View Cervical-Thoracic Schedule

Course Objectives

At the completion of this seminar, the participant will be able to:

  • Correctly describe the normal and abnormal biomechanics of the vertebrae in the Upper Cervical spine (OA, AA), Lower ervical Spine (C2-7), Thoracic spine (T1-I2) and ribs
  • Confidently describe 5 specific spinal and rib anatomical structures
  • Correctly describe the neurophysiological mechanism behind muscle energy technique (MET)
  • Correctly and confidently identify 3 key components necessary to administer proper MET
  • Correctly and confidently administer 5 cervical spine METs, 5 thoracic spine METs, 4 thoracic spine mobilizations (Grade II-IV), 3 thoracic spine manipulations (Grade V), 1 Cervical Thoracic distraction mobilization/manipulation, 3 Rib METs, and 2 Rib mobilization/manipulations
  • Through the discussion of relevant evidence based research, support the use of METs/Mobilization/Manipulations to the Cervical and Thoracic spine and Ribs for specific diagnoses
  • Through the use of 3 varying case studies, correctly demonstrate a systematic approach for the treatment progression through the cervical and thoracic spine and rib complex
  • Properly locate the correct bony landmarks (I.e. Thoracic and Cervical Transverse Process, Rib angle)
  • Demonstrate the appropriate force direction for 5 specific MET/Mobilization/Manipulations

Course Instructors

John Duncombe

PT, DPT, OCS, MSPT, CIMT, CSCS, GCS


John received his Master’s of Physical Therapy degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison in 2001. He obtained his Doctorate in Physical Therapy through the Evidence in Motion Institute of Health Professions (EIM) while simultaneously finishing a 2 year Orthopedic Residency program with EIM. He is board certified as an Orthopedic Clinical Specialist from the American Physical Therapy Association. While at the University of Wisconsin he became a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist with the National Strength and Conditioning Association as well as a Golf Conditioning Specialist. John treats a vast array of outpatient orthopedic dysfunctions, looking at a wide variety of structures, tissues, and systems that may be contributing to the source of symptoms. His special interests are in post-surgical shoulder and knee patients, cervical-thoracic injuries, and runners with varying types of lower extremity dysfunctions. John currently works for Team Rehabilitation Physical Therapy and is the clinic director and owner of an outpatient orthopedic clinic in the northern suburbs of Chicago. When any free time presents itself, you can find him running the trails training for his next Ultra Marathon or spending time with his wife and 2 children.

John Duncombe
Steven Sanders

Steven Sanders

PT, MSPT, DPT, CIMT


Steven graduated with a B.S. in Health Science, Minor in Sports Medicine/Athletic Training at Northern Illinois University in 1992. While representing his school on a swimming scholarship he gained experience working with high school, college and professional athletes. Upon graduation he transferred into and completed his M.S. in Physical Therapy from D’Youville College in Buffalo, NY. Graduating in 1996, he then worked as a travel therapist while attending higher education with emphasis on becoming a foot and ankle clinical specialist. He eventually settled into Tucson AZ. where he continued his pursuit for higher education; ultimately graduating from the University of St. Augustine with a D.P.T. (manual therapy tract) degree in 2006. He then began the certification process through GLS, completed Synthesis, and became a Certified Integrative Manual Therapist in 2009. During this process, Steve developed an appreciation and passion for treating cervical-thoracic dysfunctions. Steve has had a range of field and clinical experience specializing in orthopedic injuries and post surgical conditions. Steve treats all regions of the body in his practice and emphasizes the principles of restoring and re-educating normal myofascial and musculoskeletal balance. He currently works at the Progressive Physical Therapy and Wellness Center Green Valley, Arizona; of which he is part owner.

Course Outline

Saturday


7:30am

Continental Breakfast

8:00am
Lecture: Introduction, Overview of MET and Joint Articulations, Anatomy, Biomechanics, Spinal Kinematics, Types of Dysfunctions, Treatment Principles
10:15am
Break
10:30am
Lecture: Rib Dysfunctions
11:00am
Lab: Cervical-Thoracic Screening Tests
12:00pm
Lunch (on your own)
1:00pm
Lab: Thoracic Spine: Type II Flexion and Extension Lesions
3:00pm
Break
3:15pm
Lab: Thoracic Spine: : Type I Neutral Spine Lesions
4:15pm
Lab: Cervical Spine: Type II Lesions
5:00pm
Review of Evidence-Based Literature for today's topics
5:30pm
Adjourn

Sunday


7:30am
Continental Breakfast
8:00am
Lab: Review of Type II Dysfunctions in Cervical and Thoracic Spine
8:45am
Lab: Upper Cervical Screening Tests, AA Jt Dysfunctions
10:00am
Break
10:15am
Lab: OA Jt Dysfunctions
11:15am
Structural Rib Dysfunctions
12:00pm

Lunch (on your own)

1:00pm

Lab: Continued: Structural Rib Dysfunctions

3:45pm

Case Studies/ Speed Mobilizations

4:30pm

Review of Evidence Based Literature for today's topics

5:00pm

Adjourn

Course PDF

Course Brochure PDF