During our recent session – A Segmental Review of the Spine – Part 1 (Cranial Base to T4), the first part of a 3-part series, we discussed the part each segment of the spine from levels C1 through T4 plays in movement and daily activities; autonomic nervous system imbalance; circulation; and gastrointestinal, respiratory, and cardiac function.

This class, held at The Exchange Office Building in Towson, on January 28-29, 2023 reviewed the anatomy, biomechanics, embryology and neurology of the region.  Particular attention was given to how the spinal segments in the cervical spine form complex, multi-segmental neurological mechanisms that help control head, neck, and upper extremity function while the spinal segments in the upper thorax utilize more simple neurological control.

Various methods of evaluation of the cervical spine and upper thoracic spine were presented to help more precisely identify the areas of concern. Multiple treatment options were demonstrated and practiced that emphasized how the anterior and posterior neck need to be treated differently and how the presence of ribs and the cardiorespiratory and upper GI systems can affect upper thoracic treatment choices.

We look forward to continuing this conversation with our class, A Segmental Review of the Spine – Part 2 (T5-L2) that will be held on December 2-3, 2023. Our next class, Manual Therapy Approach to Evaluation and Treatment of Common Lower Extremity Injuries will be held April 29-30, 2023.