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  Training Summary
Clinical Orthopedic Massage 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, 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 and joint mobilization 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. Day two covers 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 joint mobilization (including traction) for the cervical spine. Joint mobilization 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 massage/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.
After attending this workshop, the participant were 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 (Grade IV) joint mobilization of the neck.
Dr Joseph E MusculinoAbout Dr Joseph E. Muscolino
Dr. Muscolino is a licensed chiropractic physician and teaches anatomy, physiology, and nutrition at Purchase College, State University of New York. Dr. Muscolino runs numerous advanced study workshops, including deep tissue, advanced stretching, joint mobilization, and palpation workshops, as well as cadaver labs. He also runs in-services for instructors of massage therapy, covering topics such as how to teach muscles, muscle palpation, kinesiology, and more. Dr. Muscolino is the author of eight major publications with Mosby of Elsevier Science, as well as contributing chapters, subject matter and forewards to other bodywork publications. Dr. Muscolino also writes a regular column article entitled Body Mechanics for the Massage Therapy Journal (mtj). Dr. Muscolino has a private Chiropractic practice in Stamford, CT.
Recommended Reading List
Most important:
Also of Value:
  1. Fundamentals of Clinical Orthopedic Massage (2011)
  2. Treatment Planning and Client Education (2010)
  3. Working From the Core (2010)
  4. Neural Plasticity (2011)


    1. Advanced Treatment Techniques for the Manual Therapist: Neck - Written by Joseph E. Muscolino and published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2012.
    2. DVD: Motion Palpation and Joint Mobilization Techniques for the Neck
    3. DVD: Stretching the Neck – Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced Techniques
    4. DVD: Body Mechanics for Manual Therapy…Neck and Back Treatment