The Lumbar Spine: A Manual Therapy and Pain Science Approach

Des Moines, IA US
July 15, 2018



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Course Description

Physical therapist and patient

This blended online, on-site course offers a comprehensive investigation into the physical dysfunction of the lumbar spine and its physical evaluation and treatment. The course is designed to provide the clinician with the skills to diagnose common lumbar spine pathologies, recognize subjective and objective signs and symptoms of common lumbar spine pathologies, determine the necessary precautions and contraindications and design comprehensive treatment protocols, including manual therapy, exercise, pain science, neurodynamics, motor control and more.

Additionally, this course will blend pain neuroscience with manual therapy, providing a unique pain science view of lumbar spine disorders. New and updated clinical pathology of the lumbar spine, along with pain science and clinical reasoning form the framework from which lumbar spine pathologies and pain patterns are discussed. Physical Therapy treatment, as well as medical interventions and diagnosis will be discussed in relation to the new and updated research information.

The material covered in this course is immediately applicable in the clinic. Topics include common conditions such as disc lesions, nerve root pain, facet joint injuries, aging, spinal stenosis, radiculopathy, sacroiliac joint dysfunction and more. Clinicians will be instructed in safe and effective handling skills during the evaluation and treatment of the lumbar spine. Treatments covered include pain neuroscience education, joint mobilization, traction, neural tissue mobilization, soft tissue treatment, spinal stabilization, sensorimotor retraining and more. This course is only open to Physical Therapists.


This course is delivered in a blended learning fashion, combining online and on-site learning experiences to facilitate participant learning. An interactive and media-rich online pre-course is provided to participants 30 days in advance of an intensive one-day on-site laboratory weekend.  The online pre-course provides an evidence-based overview of the management of lumbar spine disorders using a series of web-based video presentations, key evidence summaries and primary research articles. The on-site one-day lab intensive provides participants with hands-on demonstration and practice of selected examination and manual techniques for the lumbar spine region. A heavy focus is placed on the skill development and proficient use of mobilization interventions for this region.  An online post-test as well as instructor feedback are used to reinforce course objectives and assess learning. Successful completion of this course requires 80% or higher on post-test and attendance at each onsite day.

Target Audience

Intermediate level course open to licensed physical therapists.


  1. Identify and perform key elements of the lumbar spine subjective and objective clinical examination, with particular emphasis on active and passive motion testing with overpressure, pain science recognition, differential testing, and special tests.
  2. Synthesize and analyze data from the lumbar spine clinical examination based on signs and symptoms within a pain science paradigm.
  3. Determine a diagnosis and/or impairments and use sound clinical reasoning and treatment-based classifications to guide patient/client management.
  4. Engage in the diagnostic process to establish differential diagnoses across systems & across the life span.
  5. Utilize a consistent clinical process to effectively screen for systemic disease and non-musculoskeletal pathology in patients with lumbar spine pain.
  6. Justify the selection of manual therapy techniques or integrated exercise using clinical reasoning, pain science, and application of current best evidence.
  7. Perform selected lumbar spine mobilization techniques in patients with low back pain or dysfunction.

Course Format

Blended model of online coursework and 1 onsite weekend intensive (1 day)


20 contact hours (12 online and 8 on-site) from EIM Institute of Health Professions



Appropriate Dress

Participants are asked to bring appropriate attire for lab sessions (i.e. shorts and t-shirts and sports bras for women) and air-conditioned environments throughout the day (i.e. warm-up or work-out clothes).


International Spine and Pain Institute

Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 20.00 CE Contact Hour(s)
Course opens: 
Course expires: 
Event starts: 
07/15/2018 - 8:00am CDT
Event ends: 
07/15/2018 - 5:00pm CDT
Des Moines University
3200 Grand Avenue
Student Education Center OMM Lab
Des Moines, IA 50312
United States
+1 (515) 271-1596

Des Moines University is located on a 22-acre campus in the heart of Des Moines, Iowa. Just west of downtown on Grand Avenue, the University is located in one of Des Moines' most prestigious neighborhoods. The campus is in a historic neighborhood filled with tree-lined streets and gracious older homes and businesses. Its central location makes it easy to access the rest of the city and outlying communities. The campus is close to the Des Moines International Airport, located on the bus line and just blocks from local shopping and downtown Des Moines.


Hotel Accommodations

There are numerous hotels available in the Des Moines area. Below are a few options located downtown (close to campus), near the airport and west of Des Moines. Some hotels offer shuttle service to DMU, but you must inquire with the hotel directly. Some hotels may offer a discount (based on availability). Mention DMU to your hotel to see if a discount may be available.

Des Moines Marriott – Downtown
700 Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50309

  • May offer discounted rates
  • Airport shuttle service
  • Restaurant and lounge
  • Health club and indoor pool

Hyatt Place Des Moines
418 6th Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50309
515-282-5555 or 888-591-1234

  • Airport shuttle service
  • Complimentary shuttle service to Des Moines University
  • Complimentary Hot American & Continental Breakfast
  • Fitness Center & Indoor Pool
  • DMU Discounted Rate (mention Des Moines University Corporate Rate)

Renaissance Savery Hotel – Downtown
401 Locust Street
Des Moines, IA 50309

  • Airport shuttle service
  • Restaurant and lounge
  • DMU discount on standard rooms (based on availability)

Available Credit

  • 20.00 CE Contact Hour(s)


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