Top Five Fridays!
1) Institute of Physical Art - The FOI, FOII, BET, and PNF courses are all highly recommended! I am 100% positive the UQ and LQ FO courses are as well, but I never got around to taking them. These courses brought soft tissue work and functional movement based releases into my toolbag and my patient outcomes improved significantly. Many clinicians also do not learn how to integrate PNF into any population as it seems to erroneously be taught in schools as for "rehab" or neuro patients only. It is for anyone with muscles that need to be faciliated. Manual techniques are not only for stretching, but also assisting quality of motion and facilitating muscle recruitment.
2) NOI Group - I have taken variations of the Neurodynamics, Explain Pain, and Mobilization of the Nervous System. I have the Graded Motor Imagery Text, but have not taken the course. Hands down, these courses will not only make you think differently about individuals in chronic pain, but also give you a set of tools including explanation, education, and manual techniques that are appropriate in any population. Also, David Butler is not only an amazing speaker, he is hilarious and a real inspiration for out of the box thinkers.
3) The McKenzie Method - You all knew this was coming! Yes, of course I recommend this, and the entire system for a full understanding. Many clinicians make the mistake of not being assertive enough, not pushing the HEP, or being educational enough. THAT IS the SYSTEM. Without the constant reinforcement of self mobilization, postural correction, and self treatment, it doesn't work. The education, cause and effect and repeated motions are so simple and powerful that I feel sorry for clinicians who say "Posture isn't proven... to blah blah blah" Give me a break, it's so simple, why wouldn't you try it?
4) The SFMA - Here is another system, that streamlines your assessment. Do I use the entire SFMA on every patient? Not always in the first visit, but you better believe I use most of it on even my average TMD patient office worker, or my sedentary lower back patients. It's a fast way to see dysfunction and regional interdependence. Do the better clinicians already do something like this? Most likely, it's just a reliable, simple way to grade and document dysfunction across most of the body very quickly and efficiently. It gives you things to treat. What treatments you choose are up to you.
5) Rocabado's Craniofacial courses - Not to be confused with craniosacral! Taking these courses gave me a much better understanding of not only the craniomandibular system, but also the cervicocranial and cervical spines. Dr. Rocabado is also an amazing speaker, who can easily make 1 slide last two hours, and you will still be interested (this happened during our certification review). He even has radiological proof that certain manual therapy techniques plus postural correction increases joint space, because he takes scans pre and post treatments! Plus, since most PTs do not want to stick their hands in someone else's mouth, it is an easy niche to fill, and these patients are often more grateful than most because not being able to eat, speak, or even smile is socially and functionally debilitating.
These courses may change each year, but for now, they're my top 5! This does not include fellowship, but that's another top 5 in itself! What are your top 5 courses you would recommend?