Exam & Treatment of the Cervical, Thoracic Spine & Ribs-MENNELL/TRAVELL Approaches to Joint Dysfunction & Trigger Points

$495.00 $470.00



This HANDS-ON course is intended for Physical Therapists, Physical Therapy Assistants and Chiropractors only.  It is approved for 15 CEUs for NJ Physical Therapists and Physical Therapy Assistants by the NJ Board of Physical Therapy Examiners under CESI Continuing Education Seminars Inc., approval code #1804-47.  Chiropractors will receive 15 CEUs because The Institute for Continuing Education is recognized by the PACE Program  of the Federation of Chiropractic Licensing Boards.

Regular Tuition: $495. Early Bird Discount through December 31, 2018: $470.

Upon completion of this seminar, the participant should be able to:

Appreciate and accept the responsibility for making a structural diagnosis/assessment of the musculoskeletal system of the cervical, thoracic spine and ribs.
Differentiate which spinal joint complex is affected by joint dysfunction as per Dr. John Mennell’s model.
Differentiate which muscles are affected by myofascial trigger points as per Dr. Janet G. Travell’s Model for the cervical, thoracic spine and upper quarter.
Identify whether his/her choice of treatment promotes healing as opposed to the promotion of the restoration of function which can only be undertaken when healing has taken place.
Demonstrate and explain the useful properties of any technique they elect to use in their treatment program.
Identify the principles which guide him/her in the choice of said treatment, especially when treating the patient during the healing phase.
Design a treatment program based on realistic diagnosis.
Teach patients how to self manage the condition with an appropriate home program.
Identify the concepts of orthopedic medicine in soft tissue treatment and the diagnosis of referred pain from the joints as well as associated musculature.
Appreciate the integrated approach to evaluation and treatment and be able to utilize skills learned immediately in the clinical setting.
Identify the prognosis for the patient and give measurable time frames for their outcomes.
Understand the importance of evidence-based outcomes as they are both cost-effective and beneficial to the patient’s well-being.
Demonstrate all the techniques taught and pass a practical and written test given at the conclusion of the seminar.

Professional treatment requires that the practitioner knows what is being treated, and understands the predicted treatment outcome and time frame for that outcome based on evidence. Patients may seek help with symptoms arising from pathological changes in one or two states: the healing phase and the healed (or restoration) phase. The practitioner needs to assess in which phase the patient presents. This course draws attention to certain frequently overlooked diagnosable conditions related to the cervical, thoracic spine and ribs.

This course will provide an overview of the musculoskeletal system and review the concept of mechanical joint pain. It will also cover the difference between “healing” versus “healed”. The majority of the course will involve hands-on examination of mobilization techniques of the joints of the cervical spine, and of the thoracic spine and ribs. Students will learn to differentiate which spinal joint complex is affected by joint dysfunction using the Mennell model and which muscles are affected by myofascial trigger points using the Travell model for the cervical, thoracic spine and upper quarter. Hands-on work will also include rehabilitation exercises for strength, stability and mobility. Course includes a pre-test and post-test for assessment purposes.


7:30-8:00am Registration/Continental Breakfast and Pre-Test
8:00-10:00am Overview of the musculoskeletal system, structural examination of the system concept of mechanical pain from synovial joints.
Clinical importance of the case history
Joint play – joint dysfunction – joint manipulation
Demonstration: practice
Concepts of “acute” and “chronic” in patient analysis
Recognition of “healing” and “healed”
Three “Nevers”
10:00-10:15am Break
10:15-12:00pm Workshop: Examining mobilization techniques of the joints of the cervical spine
12:00-1:00pm Lunch
1:00-2:00pm Workshop: Examining mobilization techniques of the thoracic spine
2:00-2:15pm Break
2:15-3:30pm Workshop Continued: Thoracic spine and ribs
3:30-5:00pm Specific therapeutic manipulative techniques
7:30-8:00am Sign-in/Continental Breakfast
8:00-10:00am Workshop – Cervical thoracic exam procedures and case presentations. Applying the techniques, Random vs. Block training.
10:00-10:15am Break
10:15-12:00pm Clinical overview of myofascial trigger points Dr. Travell’s Model
12:00-1:00pm Lunch
1:00-2:00pm Alternate treatment techniques for treating myofascial trigger points
2:00-2:15pm Break
2:15-3:30pm Myofascial Trigger Point Workshop: Palpation assessment and practice utilizing the spray and stretch technique and other alternative techniques.
3:30-4:30pm Rehabilitation exercises for strength, stability and mobility
4:30-5:00pm Practical/written examination


Time: 7:30am to 5pm

About the Instructor: Dr. Robert Ruffalo, PT, DC, CCSP

Robert Ruffalo, PT, DC, CCSP, is Founder and President of CESI Continuing Education Seminars Incorporated, and Owner/ Director of A T.E.A.M. Approach Physical Therapy Center in Bloomfield, NJ, which he established in 1990.

Dr. Ruffalo is a physical therapist (PT), doctor of chiropractic (DC), certified chiropractic sports physician (CCSP), and is also a certified golf fitness instructor/medical professional, Level 3 by the Titleist Performance Institute (TPI CGFI-MP3), and a TPI Junior Level 2 Coach (JR2). At A T.E.A.M. Approach Physical Therapy Center, he brings together his diverse expertise, vast experience, and personal interests to deliver a unique multi-disciplinary health care practice. Dr. Ruffalo specializes in manual therapy of the cervical spine and extremities and is trained in a variety of treatment approaches and techniques.

In addition to his work as a physical therapist and chiropractor (one of only few dual licensed practitioners in NJ), Dr. Ruffalo has a passion for educating his peers by providing continuing education courses to physical therapists, chiropractors, physical therapy assistants, athletic trainers and insurance industry professionals.

Many of the seminars are based on the advanced work of two medical pioneers: the late Dr. John Mennell, an orthopedist and founder of the joint dysfunction model for diagnosis and treatment, and the late Dr. Janet Travell, who founded the trigger point (myofascial pain) model of diagnosis and treatment. Dr. Ruffalo was fortunate to have lectured and taught with these practitioners and researchers.

Additional information


Saturday, January 11 and Sunday, January 12, 2020 7:30am-5:00pm each day

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