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Examination and Treatment of the Thoracic Spine: Evidence-Based Manual Physical Therapy Approach

Course description:

This course will include description of the kinematics and functional anatomy of the thoracic spine and rib cage and the physical therapy examination, classification, and treatment of thoracic spine and rib disorders with integration of an evidence-based manual physical therapy approach.

Limited to Physical Therapists. Licensure verification required.

Textbook Requirement
The lab manual for this course isManual Physical Therapy of the Spine (K. Olson, 2009). If participants choose not to purchase the book, they will receive an outline of lab material. All participants will receive copies of the presentation slides. The textbook is highly recommended. See registration form for more information.


Instructor: Kenneth A. Olson PT, DHSc, OCS, FAAOMPT
Textbook: Olson KA. Manual Physical Therapy of the Spine. St. Louis, Saunders, Elsevier; 2009.

Course Schedule




Welcome/ Introduction


Thoracic spine functional anatomy and kinematics 


Examination and Classification of Thoracic spine disorders





 Examination of the thoracic spine and related structures (lab)




 Classification of thoracic spine disorders and

Evidence to support a manual physical therapy approach for thoracic spine disorders

2:00 – 2:15



Manual Physical Therapy Treatment of the thoracic spine and related structures including mobilization/manipulation and therapeutic exercise (lab)

4:00 – 4:45

Case reports and problem solving

4:45 – 5:00



Continuing Education Credit

Course is pending approval for 8.25 CE hours by the Wisconsin Physical Therapy Association. A certificate of attendance will be provided to each participant.

Kenneth A. Olson PT, DHSc, OCS, FAAOMPT is the president and managing partner of the physical therapy private practice Northern Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine Associates in DeKalb, Illinois. Ken completed the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences’ Master of Science and Doctor of Health Science degrees in orthopaedic manual physical therapy. In addition to being a board certified clinical specialist in orthopaedic physical therapy, he is fellowship trained in manual physical therapy from the University of St. Augustine. Additionally, he is an adjunct assistant professor for Marquette University, part-time faculty at Northern Illinois University, and is the author of the textbook titled:Manual Physical Therapy of the Spinepublished by Saunders, Elsevier.

Dr. Olson currently serves as a member of the executive committee of the International Federation of Orthopaedic Manipulative Physical Therapists, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists practice affairs committee (current chair), the Illinois Physical Therapy Association legislative committee, and the APTA Manipulation Workgroup (current chair). Additionally, Ken is a past president of the AAOMPT.

Dr. Olson has lectured nationally and internationally on topics related to the manual physical therapy examination and management of spine and TMJ conditions with published abstracts and research articles published in peer-reviewed journals includingJOSPT,JMMT, andCranio. Dr. Olson is also a co-author of theAPTA Manipulation Education Manualand theAPTA Position on Thrust Joint Manipulation

References References

Click Here for Registration Form

APTA / Clinical Instructor - $175
Non-APTA Members -$200

Registration Deadline
Registration is limited to 36 participants but a minimum # of registrants is required to hold course. Marquette University reserves the right to cancel this seminar up to three weeks in advance and will refund fee in full in such an event.

Cancellation of registration must be submitted in writing, 7 days in advance of the seminar date for refund minus $25 administration fee.

Miami-Marquette Challenge
All proceeds from this course will be donated to the Miami-Marquette Challenge. The Challenge is a student run fundraising effort that supports physical therapy research through the Foundation for Physical Therapy. The Challenge envisions further advancement of our profession through research and evidence based clinical practice.

Contribution tax deductible as allowed by law.

Course logistics or general information, contact: Jenna Wolf.

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