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The Cervical-Thoracic Spine and Ribs
Evidence-Based Assessment and Manual Therapy Treatment
with a New Zealand Approach

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.


• 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
• Assess and treat rib dysfunctions
• Assess 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

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