Myofascial Release and Other Manual Techniques in Dysphagia Management
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Course Calendar
Course Brochure
Appropriate Disciplines:
• Physical Therapist
• Occupational Therapist
• Speech Language Pathologist
• Speech Language Pathology Asst
• Physical Therapy Asst
• Certified Occupational Therapy Asst
Course Level:
• Intermediate
  • Course Description
  • Objectives
  • Instructors
  • Agenda
  • CEU's
  • Reviews

This interactive two-day workshop for rehabilitation teams will address evaluation and current treatment techniques appropriate for soft tissue and joint limitations that contribute to an abnormal swallow. The lecture reviews muscular and fascial anatomy tying kinesiology into a discussion that relates specific soft tissue mobilization techniques appropriate to improving all stages of the swallow; oropharyngeal, hypopharyngeal and pharyngesophageal. A thorough discussion will relate the impact of scar tissue formation and immobility on mechanical and neurological aspects of the functional swallow. Interpretation of common pathology and symptomatology on both bedside exam and MBS review are introduced. Additional course objectives include postural impairment, functional anatomy and biomechanics of the temporomandibular joint with an informative and focused laboratory component providing OTs, PTs and SLPs with basic practical skills in palpation, seating and positioning and soft tissue assessment and mobilization as it pertains to dysphagia in clinical practice. The majority of this course will be in functional, hands-on application with frequent case study discussion to identify impairments and exemplify the use of manual therapy through myofascial release techniques. The emphasis of this practical seminar is placed on the relationship of soft tissue and joint articulations whereby applying theory to practical intervention with manual therapy adds a whole new dimension to patient care.

Note: Registration for this course includes the pre-requisite online course "Anatomy of Swallowing" (you will receive an additional 4 hours for completion of this online course)
All course registrants must successfully complete the online Anatomy of Swallowing course prior to attending the live Myofascial Release course so it is fresh in your mind.

AOTA Classification Codes
Domain of OT: Context and Environment
OT Process: Intervention
Professional Issues: Legal, Legislative, & Regulatory Issues
Course Objectives
At the completion of this course participants will be able to::
  • Review the anatomy and physiology pertaining to myofascia specific to deglutition and discuss the kinesiology of a successful swallow
  • Explain abnormal pathophysiology and myofascial restrictions as they relate to dysphagia; radiation fibrosis, surgical scarring, tracheostomy, etc.
  • Describe consequences of muscular and soft tissue dysfunction and their effects on swallowing; spasticity, imbalance, etc.
  • Discuss the indications, precautions and contraindications for myofascial mobilization in the context of dysphagia
  • Identify postural dysfunction and complications as they relate to dysphagia
  • Demonstrate evaluation and basic mobilization skills and modifications for intra- and extra-oral soft tissue, hyolaryngeal motion and postural dysfunction
  • Identify and relate the significance of myofascial pain in trigger points to deglutition and apply specific manual techniques in approach to treatment
  • Describe basic structure and dysfunction in the temporomandibular joint with specific application to trismus and mastication
  • Identify a proper treatment approach utilizing manual techniques through multiple case study based on the significant findings in evaluation
  • Discuss appropriate documentation and reimbursement issues
John Kelly
A graduate of the University of St. Augustineā€™s graduate Physical Therapy Program. John has over 17 years experience with acute inpatient and hospital-based outpatient rehabilitation and currently an outpatient clinical director for Siskin Rehabilitation Hospital in Chattanooga, Tennessee. John continues to balance full time patient care with administrative responsibilities. John is NDT certified and an experienced manual orthopedic therapist working toward his clinical doctorate and manual therapy certification. John is a certified VitalStimĀ® Instructor and has taught orthopaedic and electrotherapy courses across the country. John is an accomplished clinical instructor and consistently is recognized for his exceptional patient rapport and strong evaluations from course participants.

Financial Disclosure: John is a salaried employee for his position at Siskin Rehabilitation Hospital. John Kelly receives honoraria from CIAO Seminars for the presentation of this course.
Non-financial Disclosure: No relevant non-financial relationship exists.

  Day 1
  07:30 - 08:00   Registration (snack/refreshments provided)
  08:00 - 08:15   Introductions and program overview
  08:15 - 10:00   Anatomy refresher and kinesiology of deglutition
  10:00 - 10:30   Review normal and abnormal swallow, dysphagia problem set
  10:30 - 10:45   Morning Break
  10:45 - 11:00   Laboratory: palpation and myofascial assessment
  11:00 - 12:00   Normal and abnormal physiology of the myofascial system, dysphagia focus
  12:00 - 01:00   LUNCH (on your own)
  01:00 - 03:00   Laboratory: myofascial assessment and techniques of the anterior neck and oral cavity
  03:00 - 03:15   Afternoon Break
  03:15 - 03:30   Special topics: Salivation and lymphatics
  03:30 - 04:00   Laboratory: enhancing salivation
  04:00 - 04:30   Case study; incorporating manual therapy into dysphagia treatment; Questions and closing comments

  Day 2
  07:30 - 08:00   Registration (snack/refreshments provided)
  08:00 - 09:00   Postural dysfunction and its influence on swallowing with MBS review
  09:00 - 09:15   Laboratory: palpation posterior cervical, thoracic and shoulder girdle
  09:15 - 09:30   Anatomy and biomechanics of the TMJ and cervical spine
  09:30 - 10:00   Laboratory: gentle mobilization of the TMJ, dysphagia focus
  10:00 - 10:15   Morning Break
  10:15 - 12:00   Laboratory: myofascial assessment and techniques for seated positioning
  12:00 - 01:00   Lunch (on your own)
  01:00 - 01:30   Muscular trigger points and myofascial pain syndrome, dysphagia focus
  01:30 - 02:00   Laboratory: myofascial assessment and trigger point release
  02:00 - 02:15   Case study; incorporating manual therapy into dysphagia treatment
  02:15 - 02:30   Topics in documentation, successful goal setting and reimbursement: Questions and closing comments

Contact hours pre-approved for:
  • 12.0 hours (1.2 CEUs) PT/PTAs; OT/COTAs; SLP/SLPAs (unless otherwise noted)
  • CIAO is an ASHA Approved Provider #AAWA (SLP/SLPAs) Bubblesheet required
  • This course is offered for 1.2 ASHA CEUs (Intermediate level, Professional area)
  • CIAO is an AOTA Approved Provider #4119 (OT/COTAs)
  • This course meets PDU requirements for NBCOT (15 PDUs Clinical Lab Assessment)
  • CIAO is an Illinois Approved Provider for PT/PTA Continuing Education
  • CIAO is recognized as an Approved Provider for PT/PTAs by the NYSE Dept State Board for PT
  • This activity is provided by the TBPTE Accredited Prov. #1902009TX
  • This activity meets the continuing competence requirements for PT/PTA license renewal in TX
  • 12.0 Hrs PT/PTAs in IL, KY (CS104-2017-KPTA), MD, NY, TX (12CCUs)
  • 12.0 Hrs OT/OTAs in FL (CE Broker #20-475620)
Contact hours applied for:
  • PT/PTAs in FL, MN, OH, TN
Course meets requirements for:
  • SLP/SLPAs (covered through ASHA)
  • PT/PTAs in AK, AL, AZ, AR, CO, CT, DC, DE, GA, HI, ID, IL, IA, KS, ME, MO, MA, MI, MO, MT, NE, NY, NC,NH, ND, OR, RI, SC, SD, UT, VT, VA, WA, WI, WY
  • Call CIAO 888-909-CIAO(2426) if you have questions about CE Approval
  • Participants who successfully complete this course will receive CEU Certificate at the end of the course.
  • OT/COTAs (covered through AOTA and/or NBCOT)
The assignment of AOTA CEUs does not imply endorsement of specific course content, products, or clinical procedures by AOTA.
CIAO is regognized on the NBCOT Provider Registry (meets PDU requirements for NBCOT)
CIAO Automatically reports to CE Broker for Florida Occupational and Physical Therapists and Assistants. Florida SLPs can either use the ASHA CE Participant Form (Bubble Sheet) or self-submit through CE Broker.