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Clinical Orthopedic Manual Therapy (COMT) – Neck

Clinical Orthopedic Manual Therapy (COMT) – Neck

NCBTMB Approved Provider
Presenter: Joe Muscolino
Hours: 16 Approved for PA License Renewal & NCBTMB Approved
Early Registration Fee: $375   (if paid 14 days in advance of workshop)
Registration Fee: $395
$100 deposit required to register.
Times: Sat. & Sun 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Dates: 9/8-9/2018

Clinical Orthopedic Manual Therapy (COMT) for the Neck covers the major clinical orthopedic assessment and treatment techniques for the neck. This course is a 2-day hands-on workshop.

Day one begins with orthopedic assessment for the common neuromusculoskeletal conditions of the neck. We then cover body mechanics for deep pressure for working the neck in supine, prone, side-lying, ¾ side-lying, and seated positions. With proper body mechanics, you will learn how the neck can be worked deeply with little effort. We also learn how to palpate and safely and effectively work the scalenes and longus musculature of the anterior neck.

Day two covers stretching, including arthrofascial stretching (AFS) techniques. We begin with basic stretching for the functional muscle groups of the neck and then learn how to target each specific neck muscle with multiplane stretching. We then cover advanced neural inhibition stretching techniques, including Contract Relax (PNF/PIR), Agonist Contract (the basis for AIS), and Contract Relax Agonist Contract stretching techniques. Day two concludes with AFS (soft tissue Grade IV joint mobilization for manual therapists), including traction, for the cervical spine. AFS is the only effective means of stretching specific hypomobilities of the neck.

Clinical treatment strategy as well as precautions and contraindications are also covered. These manual therapy skills will empower you to do effective clinical orthopedic work. Throughout this hands-on workshop, Dr. Joe Muscolino reinforces the underlying mechanisms for each of the assessment and treatment techniques, encouraging critical reasoning skills.

Clinical Orthopedic Manual Therapy for the Neck is part of the COMT Regional Approach Certification. The other hands-on workshops in this series cover the thoracic spine / ribcage, low back / pelvis, upper extremity, and lower extremity.

After attending this Clinical Orthopedic Manual Therapy workshop, the participant will be able to:

  1. Explain and demonstrate the principles of using core body weight and larger muscle groups for efficient body mechanics.
  2. Perform orthopedic assessment tests for the neck to determine the ability to safely perform deep pressure massage, stretching, and joint mobilization.
  3. Describe and be able to work the entirely of the scalene group and also access and work the longus colli muscle.
  4. Explain the fundamental concepts of stretching and apply these concepts to the musculature of the neck.
  5. Demonstrate how to stretch each of the functional muscle groups of the neck.
  6. Explain and demonstrate how to stretch each of the muscles of the neck in all three cardinal planes.
  7. Explain the physiologic basis for and demonstrate how to perform contract relax (CR; also known as PIR/PNF) stretching, agonist contract (AC) stretching, and contract relax agonist contract (CRAC) stretching techniques.
  8. Explain the physiologic basis for and demonstrate how to perform AFS of the neck.
    All photo figures reproduced with permission from Joseph E. Muscolino from Advanced Treatment Techniques for the Manual Therapist: Neck. LWW. (2013)


  1. Pillow
  2. Sheets and face cradle cover
  3. King-sized pillow case, preferably flannel (or thin/threadbare bath-sized towel)
  4. Lotion/Balm
  5. Soft foam cushion (approx. 6×10 inches) or bath towel
  6. Participants should wear an open-neck shirt that allows access to the neck

Presenter: Dr. Joe Muscolino is a licensed soft-tissue oriented chiropractic physician with a private practice in Stamford, CT. He has been in practice since 1985. Dr. Joe taught at The Connecticut Center for Massage Therapy for 24 years and at Purchase College, State University of New York (SUNY) for 5 years. He offers multiple levels of Certification in Clinical Orthopedic Manual Therapy (COMT) around the US and the world.
He also has a video streaming subscription service for manual and movement therapists called Digital COMT, which contains the content of all of Dr. Joe’s DVDs, as well as full lectures and workshops, pdfs of two of his books, all his published articles, and MOST importantly, over 400 shorter video lessons, with seven (7) new video lessons added each and every week! Digital COMT also contains over 160 hours of free CE credit through the NCBTMB.

Dr. Muscolino is the author of a number of major publications with Elsevier Science and Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins, including:

  • The Muscle and Bone Palpation Manual with Trigger Points, Referral Patterns, and Stretching, 2nd Edition
  • Kinesiology, The Skeletal System and Muscle Function, 3rd Edition
  • The Muscular System Manual, The Skeletal Muscles of the Human Body, 4th Edition
  • Manual Therapy for the Low Back and Pelvis: A Clinical Orthopedic Approach
  • Advanced Treatment Techniques for the Manual Therapist: Neck

Dr. Muscolino writes a regular feature article for Massage & Bodywork Magazine. He has also written articles for the Massage Therapy Journal (mtj), the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies (jbmt), and many other journals around the world.

Return to our Continuing Education for Massage Therapy schedule.

To register for this workshop call 800-860-1114 and place your deposit on a charge card or mail a check for the required deposit to:
Pittsburgh School of Massage Therapy
3600 Laketon Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15235

Include check made payable to “Pittsburgh School of Massage Therapy”, your name, address, email address, phone, name of the workshop and workshop dates. We will send you a confirmation in the mail. If you are traveling by plane, please confirm the workshop with the school before buying your ticket. Occasionally we do have to cancel workshops due to low enrollment. If a workshop is cancelled for any reason our liability is limited to a return of the deposit paid. If you cancel your participation in a workshop within 21 days of the workshop, there will be no refund of the deposit paid. Cancellation earlier than 21 days before the workshop will incur a $25 processing fee. The balance of your deposit will be refunded.