Title: Cervical spine risk assessment and consent for manual therapists

Date: 30 January 2021

Cost: £116 - £145

Speakers: Steven Vogel and Roger Kerry


Special Offer: When you book this course you can also book onto the Headaches Management CPD course on 31st January 2021 for a discounted rate:

£270 for both courses for a full delegate
£243 for both courses for an alumni and non UCO student
£218 for both courses for a 500 club member, UCO student and UCO staff

Please select the relevant weekend ticket from the ticket menu.


About the course

This course will address practitioners’ concerns about treating the neck in the context of evaluating risk and receiving consent with a focus on vascular pathologies.  

There has been much recent debate about the association between manual therapy and adverse events relating to stroke and cervical artery dysfunction. This one-day masterclass draws content from recent evidence and provides tools to practitioners to enhance clinical reasoning in triaging their patients and making informed decisions with their patients about whether manual treatment is appropriate. Presentations and case-based practical work will enable participants to evaluate their current knowledge, identify their learning needs and provide current knowledge and skills-based training to enhance practice. Relevant theory, epidemiology, pathophysiology and clinical research will be used to give participants up to date knowledge and will be applied in the context of clinical reasoning. Appropriate choice of manual therapy interventions will be discussed. The course is relevant to both those who use manipulation and those who do not.

Consent related matters in this area will be reviewed theoretically and practically as well as delegates having the opportunity to practise relevant clinical methods.

The course will focus on giving delegates practical experience and skills that they can apply in their clinical work. It is relevant for all practitioners who see people with neck and head pain.


Summary of Osteopathic Practice Standards (Updated) and other CPD elements covered

A) Communication and patient partnership - A1, A2, A3, A4, A7

B) Knowledge, skills and performance - B1, B2, B3, B4

C) Safety and quality in practice - C1, C2, C3, C4, C6

D) Professionalism - D5, D10


Communication and consent

This course reviews theory and practice of receiving consent from a person-centred perspective. Underpinning ethical principles are discussed and practical examples used to share practice. Benefits, risk alternatives and the “no treatment” are explored using communication skills to anchor good practice. Consent person centred care and related ideas are threaded throughout the course. Focussed work in this area equates to approximately two hours over the day.


Objective activity

Detailed cases will be discussed in small groups with a focus on clinical reasoning. Participants will have an opportunity to evaluate their current knowledge, identify their learning needs and consider how the information taught in the course may influence their practice. The course opens with case-based discussions which are revisited at the end of the day. Case related discussion is also woven throughout the day with “real life” examples from practice. Small group work equates to approximately one and a half hours depending on the needs of the delegates and could be written up as an objective activity as per the GOsC CPD expectations.


Learning outcomes

  • Understand the pathophysiology and epidemiology of cervical artery dysfunction
  • Clarify the relationship between manual therapy technique and risk when evaluating and treating the neck
  • Identify risk factors for cervical artery dysfunction
  • Gain experience of clinical reasoning and shared clinical decision making with patients
  • Enhance and apply clinical methods in the examination of neck and head pain presentations


09:00 - 09:30 Registration

09:30 - 10:30 Case based practical

10:30 - 11:00 Cervical artery dysfunction pathophysiology and epidemiology

11:00 - 11:20 Coffee break

11:20 - 12:40 Consent expectations and sharing information with patients review and practical

12:40 - 13:25 Lunch

13:25 - 14:05 Cervical artery dysfunction risk factors and case history taking

14:05 - 15:05 Clinical examination and clinical methods related to cervical artery dysfunction

15:05 - 15:15 Clinical reasoning for neck and head pain

15:15 - 15:30 Coffee break

15:30 - 17:00 Case based practical

17:00 - 17:30 Summary and feedback


Please bring clinical methods equipment for testing cranial nerves and taking blood pressure.


Course suitability

The course is suitable for qualified osteopaths, physiotherapist and chiropractors. 


About the course leaders

Roger Kerry

Associate Professor/Director of Postgraduate Education, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences, University of Nottingham

Roger is an experienced physiotherapist and academic with longstanding research and education interests in haemodynamics and manual therapy. He has published widely on clinical reasoning and risk related to cervical artery dysfunction. Roger is a member of the International Federation of Orthopaedic Manipulative Physical Therapist working group for the International Framework for Examination of the Cervical Region for potential of Cervical Arterial Dysfunction prior to Orthopaedic Manual Therapy Intervention 2007-2017.  

Selected publications

Kerry R, Anjum RL and Mumford SD, 2013. Causation as way forward in person centred medicine. International Journal of Person Centred Medicine. 2(1), 79-80
Taylor AJ and Kerry R, 2013. Vascular profiling: Should manual therapists take blood pressure? Manual therapy. 18(4), 351-3
Kerry R, 2011. Examination of the upper cervical spine. In: PETTY NJ, ed., Neuromusculoskeletal Examination and Assessment 4. Elsevier.
Taylor, A.J. and Kerry, R., 2010. A 'system based' approach to risk assessment of the cervical spine prior to manual therapy. International Journal of Osteopathic Medicine. 13(3), 85-93
Kerry, R., Taylor, A.J., Mitchell, J. and McCarthy, C., 2008. Cervical arterial dysfunction and manual therapy: a critical literature review to inform professional practice. Manual Therapy. 13(4), 278-288


Steven Vogel

Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research), The University College of Osteopathy. Editor-in-Chief, The International Journal of Osteopathic Medicine

Most of Steven’s working time is spent on research and education at the University College of Osteopathy. He held a clinical post as an osteopath in an NHS primary care setting for many years. His recent research has focused on reassurance, communication and consent, and safety in manual therapy. He was the lead researcher in the largest UK study investigating patient and osteopath’s experience of risk management and adverse events and consent. Steven has published widely and been involved in the development of NICE’s clinical guidelines for low back pain and sciatica.

Selected publications 

Vaughan B, Moran R, Tehan P, Fryer G, Holmes M, Vogel S, et al. (2016) Manual therapy and cervical artery dysfunction: Identification of potential risk factors in clinical encounters. Int J Osteopath Med . Doi: 10.1016/j.ijosm.2016.01.007.
Holt N, Pincus T, Vogel S. (2015) Reassurance during low back pain consultations with GPs: a qualitative study. Br J Gen Pract ;65(639):e692–701. Doi: 10.3399/bjgp15X686953.
Pincus, T. Holt, N. Vogel, S. Underwood, M. Savage, R. Walsh, D. A. & Taylor, S. J. C. (2013) Cognitive and affective reassurance and patient outcomes in primary care: A systematic review ',  Pain.154; 2407-2416.
Vogel, S. (2012) Consent and information exchange – A burden or opportunity? International Journal of Osteopathic Medicine 15; 3: 83-85.
Daniels, G. and Vogel, S. (2012) Consent in osteopathy: A cross sectional survey of patients' information and process preferences. International Journal of Osteopathic Medicine 15; 3: 92-102.
Vogel, S. (2010) Adverse events and treatment reactions in osteopathy. International Journal of Osteopathic Medicine 13; 3: 83-84.


Cancellation policy

The UCO regrets that no refunds can be made for cancelled places unless a substitute participant can be found.  The UCO cannot guarantee that any course will run.  In the event of your course being cancelled, all paid fees and deposits will be refunded in full.