Differential Diagnosis and Musculoskeletal Management of the Thoracic Spine – Cherokee IA – Nov 2024

Musculoskeletal Courses

Course Description

22 Continuing Education Hours: 7 hours of online self-study + 15 hours of hands-on experience

Nearly every musculoskeletal disorder benefits from attention to the thoracic spine for two reasons: it is a part of upper quarter and lower quarter kinetic chains of movement and it houses the sympathetic nervous system, which is a significant contributor not only to sensitization but also to circulation and pain thresholds.  Have you considered that your patient’s thoracic spine myofascial and joint dysfunctions might be perpetuating their cervical and upper quarter or lumbar and lower quarter pathology?   Optimal function for head movements is dependent on movement in the thoracic spine to T4. Mobility of the spine and ribs to T6 is part of the shoulder elevation chain, and normal walking requires rotation of the thoracic spine to T7.  Each of these activities drive forces and loads through the thoracic spine, so when evaluating long-standing problems, identifying the causal and perpetuating factors are as important as identifying the pain generator. 

This course will teach you how to manage the complex thoracic movement system that is both vertically and horizontally aligned which requires the clinician to embrace an in-depth knowledge of anatomy and biomechanics to effectively treat most conditions.  Tuning up your clinical assessment and treatment skills on the thoracic spine and rib disorders will optimize your patients’ outcomes and elevate your confidence!  

Course content provides the learner with tools to identify precise surface anatomy, analyze the clinical assessment to formulate a clinical diagnosis, and subsequently create an effective plan of care that addresses all facets of healing. Equally important, the clinician will acquire techniques that will improve outcomes in the treatment of all adjacent joint complexes, from the cervical and lumbar spine to the shoulder and hip. 

Special topics include identification and treatment of: acute, recurrent and chronic disc lesions; costotransverse versus costovertebral versus costochondral disorders; slipped rib tip syndrome versus abdominal cutaneous nerve entrapment; facet joint arthropathies; subjective neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome; and T4 syndrome.

Method of Instruction

The online study is self-paced and available 24/7. It is segmented into lecture modules plus module assessments to gauge understanding (must meet a minimum score prior to moving to the next module). Viewing time can be started and stopped as desired. Course certificates can be printed upon completion of the course.

The LIVE portion of this course offers short lecture and extensive hands-on lab demonstrating and mentoring techniques. PowerPoint presentations are used, and participants receive a digital manual with all course materials. This experience focuses on techniques and problem-solving, as well as clinical analysis, synthesis, and application via case studies. Instructor-participant ratio is small to allow individualized mentorship.  Instructors ensure participant understanding via observation and skills self-assessments.

Target Audience: PT, PTA, OT, OTA, ATC, DC

Educational Level: Advanced

Prerequisites: Diagnosis and Management of the Thoracic Spine and Ribs, an 8-hour online lecture series – included with registration. 

Outline-Hybrid Thoracic

Objectives and Goals

  1. Become an expert in the evaluation of thoracic and rib conditions with confidence in differentiating various musculoskeletal pathologies.
  2. Effectively combine selective treatment methodologies to include manual therapy, movement strategies, and psychosocial considerations that lead to optimal and efficient patient outcomes.
Objectives By the end of the course, given the provided evidence-based information, the participant will be able to:
  1. Select appropriate evaluation and treatment techniques through knowledge of patho-anatomy, physiology, and biomechanics for the most efficacious and expedient patient care outcomes.
  2. Formulate a working clinical diagnosis based on the interpretation of the clinical examination.
  3. Create effective treatment plans that incorporate accurate surface anatomy and tissue physiology of the thoracic spine and ribs.
  4. Assess the kinetic chain to determine the causal or perpetuating factors contributing to the patients’ conditions.
  5. Propose clinical reasoning strategies to solve case studies with complex patients’ pathologies with dysfunctions and comorbidities
  6. Generate most effective techniques that combine soft tissue and specific articulation techniques to affect total treatment of the thoracic spine and ribs.
  7. Construct affliction-specific exercises for the thoracic spine and ribs, taking into consideration the psychosocial features of the patients, patients’ preferences, and the most current evidence.
  8. Select the most appropriate evaluation and treatment strategies based on the chronicity and level of sensitization of the patients’ condition.

Pre-approved in the following states

Contact info@iaom-us.com to verify approval in your state. Please contact us if you hold a Florida license.

For Pre-Approvals see the PDF - Continuing Education Accreditations & Approvals Requested and/or Received by Organization: PDF File

  • Financial: The instructor(s) receive an honorarium for presenting this course.
  • Non-financial: The instructor(s) have no relevant non-financial relationships to disclose.
  • Partial credit is not available. For online courses, passing module assessments and completing the course evaluation is required to earn continuing education credit. For live courses, attendance is confirmed by signing the attendance sheet at the course; ensure name and professional license number are accurate, and initial both morning and afternoon attendance.

Course Location

Cherokee Regional Therapy
300, Sioux Valley Drive, Cherokee, Iowa, 51012, United States


Jean-Michel Brismée

Full Profile




Check In

November 23, 2024 7:30 am

Instruction Hours

November 23, 2024
8:00 am – 6:30 pm

November 24, 2024
8:00 am – 3:15 pm

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I understand it is my responsibility to confirm the IAOM-US has CCUs approved for this course in my state and/or inform IAOM-US what is required to obtain CCU approval. Please review our policies for Refunds, Cancellations, EULA