Manual Physical Therapy of the Spine: 2nd Edition

The new edition Manual Physical Therapy of the Spine by Kenneth A. Olson has been released with new features added. Although format and organization remains intact from first Edition there was created a comprehensive link between Low Back Pain and Neck Pain Clinical Practice Guidelines to the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF); furthermore instead of the traditional DVD now there are about 200 videos available of the techniques illustrated and discussed in this book (a significant addition of 120 videos of examination and manual therapy treatment of the spine). There is also a new section of myofascial pain and trigger points, among other surprises.

This is an ideal book for both students and practitioners, and includes the following contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. Spinal Examination and Diagnosis in Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy
  3. Manipulation: Theory, Practice, and Education
  4. Examination and Treatment of Lumbopelvic Spine Disorders
  5. Examination and Treatment of Thoracic Spine Disorders
  6. Examination and Treatment of Cervical Spine Disorders
  7. Examination and Treatment of Temporomandibular Disorders

Every chapter provides a review of evidence to support both examination and treatment techniques, as well as the common exercises used in that condition; during Chapter 2 the author highlights the importance of reg flags during spine examination and provides specific flags for each condition or finding as well as guidance during measurement and testing with very relevant features in each test (for instance its specificity and reliability, supported by studies). Another particular part of this book that I really liked was in Chapter 3 the physiology and studies behind the audible joint “pop” during manipulation, and it’s decision making framework (exploring the risk vs benefit of manipulation, and the importance of knowing when to manipulate and when not to manipulate).

Regarding Treatment Chapters, in every technique,  the purpose of the technique is discussed, what is the ideal patient and therapist position, hand placement, procedure, notes and alternative techniques and modifications. Furthermore in the end of each these chapters there are some case studies and problem solving discussion pages, very useful to test and explore the knowledge acquired by the reader through that chapter.


  • Examination and treatment techniques easy to understand and learn
  • Assess videos online on your computer or mobile device
  • Up to date evidence that supports examination and treatment techniques described
  • Full of important features and details to clinical practice


  • There are some pre-requisites to this book, like musculoskeletal clinical tests and measurement as well as anatomy, physiology and biomechanics knowledge in order to fully understand this book.

In summary

This Edition is a great update from edition one. With huge clinical expertise and updated evidence behind every test and technique, practical and useful to both students and practitioners. In my honest opinion an excelent educational tool

Screen Shot 2016-01-20 at 8.30.29 PMManual Physical Therapy of the Spine, 2nd Edition

Master the techniques and problem-solving skills needed to manage spinal and TMJ disorders! Manual Physical Therapy of the Spine, 2nd Editionprovides guidelines to manipulation, manual physical therapy examination, and treatment procedures of the spine and temporomandibular joint. Informed by evidence-based research, this text offers detailed instructions for reaching an accurate diagnosis and developing a plan of care. And to support the descriptions and photos in the book, over 200 videos on a companion website demonstrate spinal examination and manipulation procedures. Written by well-known spinal manipulation expert Kenneth Olson, this resource provides the complete information you need to make sound decisions during clinical interventions.

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