Clinical Orthopedic Manual Therapy (COMT): Low Back / Pelvis

Date: Apr 23, 2016 - Apr 24, 2016
Time: 9:00 am - 6:00 pm

Online bookings are not available for this class, please see registration info below.

CLASS FULL. Please contact to be placed on the waiting list.
Joseph Muscolino

Early Bird: Register by 3/23/16: $350
Full Price: $395
Full Series: $300 each. Contact to register for all 6 COMT workshops.
16 CE hour NCBTMB / NYS-certified

Clinical Orthopedic Manual Therapy (COMT) for the Low Back and Pelvis covers the major clinical orthopedic assessment and treatment techniques for the lumbosacral region. This course is a 2-day hands-on workshop.

Day one begins with orthopedic assessment for the common neuromusculoskeletal conditions of the sacroiliac joint and lumbar spine. We then cover body mechanics for deep pressure for working the lower back in prone and side-lying positions. With proper body mechanics, you will learn how the low back can be worked deeply with little effort. We also learn how to palpate and safely and effectively work the psoas major, both abdominal and femoral bellies, in multiple positions. We then discuss fundamental concepts of stretching, beginning with basic stretching for the functional muscle groups of the lower back and then learning how to target each specific muscle with multiplane stretching.

Day two covers more advanced stretching. We begin with advanced neural inhibition stretching techniques, including Contract Relax (PNF/PIR), Agonist Contract (the basis for AIS), and Contract Relax Agonist Contract stretching techniques. We also cover pin and stretch technique. Day two concludes with Arthrofascial Stretching (AFS): Soft Tissue Joint Mobilization for Manual Therapists (including traction) for the lumbosacral spine. AFS is the only effective means of stretching the intrinsic fascia of specific hypomobilities of the lumbosacral spine.

Clinical treatment strategy as well as precautions and contraindications are also covered. These 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.

Clinical Orthopedic Manual Therapy for the Low Back / Pelvis part of larger Clinical Orthopedic Manual Therapy (COMT) Certification. The other hands-on workshops in this series cover the neck, thoracic spine / ribcage, upper extremity, lower extremity, and AFS.

After attending this workshop, the participant will be able to:

Explain and demonstrate the principles of using core body weight and larger muscle groups for efficient body mechanics when performing soft tissue manipulation, stretching, and Arthrofascial Stretching (AFS) – Soft Tissue Joint Mobilization.

Perform orthopedic assessment tests for the low back and pelvis to determine the ability to safely perform deep pressure massage, stretching, and joint mobilization.

Describe and be able to access and work the muscles of the low back and pelvis, including the psoas major muscle.

Explain the fundamental concepts of stretching and apply these concepts to the musculature of the low back, pelvis, and hip joint.

Demonstrate how to stretch each of the functional muscle groups of the low back and hip joint.

Explain and demonstrate how to stretch each of the muscles of the low back and pelvis in all three cardinal planes.

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.

Explain the physiologic basis for and demonstrate how to perform Arthrofascial Stretching (AFS, Grade IV joint mobilization) of the sacroiliac joint and lumbar spine.


1. pillow
2. Sheets and face cradle cover
3. King-sized pillow case, preferably flannel (or thin/threadbare bath-sized towel)
4. Water-based lotion
5. Soft foam cushion (approx. 6×10 inches) or bath towel
6. Gym shorts

Workshop limited to 16 attendees for maximal personal attention. Please note that there are NO REFUNDS for cancellation. If you must cancel, you may find another student to take your place, or take part in a future COMT class, space permitting.

casual1Dr. Joe Muscolino is a licensed chiropractic physician and teaches anatomy, physiology, and nutrition at Purchase College, State University of New York (SUNY). Dr. Joe Muscolino also taught kinesiology and musculoskeletal and visceral anatomy, physiology, and pathology courses at the Connecticut Center for Massage Therapy (CCMT) from 1986 – 2010. Dr. Muscolino is also an approved provider by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) for continuing education (CE) credit for massage therapists and bodyworkers and runs numerous advanced study workshops, including deep tissue, advanced stretching, Arthrofascial Stretching (AFS) – Soft Tissue 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; as well as in-services for Pilates and yoga instructors and fitness trainers on all subjects of musculoskeletal anatomy and physiology, and kinesiology. Dr. Muscolino has a private Chiropractic practice in Stamford, CT.

Dr. Muscolino also served as a subject matter expert on the Exam and Continuing Education committees of the NCBTMB.He is a member of the Editorial Review Operational Committee (EROC) for the Massage Therapy Journal.

Dr. Muscolino is the author of eight major publications with Mosby of Elsevier Science.
The Muscle and Bone Palpation Manual with Trigger Points, Referral Patterns, and Stretching
Mosby’s Trigger Point Flip Chart with Referral Patterns and Stretching
The Muscular System Manual, The Skeletal Muscles of the Human Body, 3rd edition
Musculoskeletal Anatomy Coloring Book, 2nd Edition
Flashcards for Palpation, Trigger Points, and Referral Patterns
Musculoskeletal Anatomy Flashcards, 2nd Edition
Kinesiology, The Skeletal System and Muscle Function, 2nd Edition
Flashcards For Bones, Joints, and Actions of the Human Body, 2nd Edition

He is also the author of the chapter on Active Isolated Stretching (AIS) in Modalities for Massage and Bodywork by Elaine Stillerman, published by Mosby of Elsevier, 2009. He also served as a subject matter expert on trigger point therapy for A Massage Therapist’s Guide to Pathology, 4ed, by Ruth Werner, published by Lippincott Williams and Wilkins of Wolters Kluwer, 2008.

Dr. Muscolino also writes a regular column article entitled Body Mechanics for the Massage Therapy Journal (mtj). He has also written articles for the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies (jbmt), Massage Magazine, Massage Today, The Journal of the Australian Association of Massage Therapists, the Australian Journal of the Association of Massage Therapists, Massage Australia Magazine, Terra Rosa e-magazine, and the e-newsletter Deep.

He has written the foreword to three books:

Body Mechanics for Manual Therapists, A Functional Approach to Self-Care, 2nd Edition, by Barbara Frye, published by Fryetag Publishing, Stanwood, WA., 2004
Deep Tissue Massage Treatment, A Handbook of Neuromuscular Therapy, by Fabian Fernandez, published by Mosby of Elsevier, 2006
Joint Play the Right Way: Axial Skeleton, by Mike Dixon, RMT, published by Arthrokinetic Publishing, 2006

Registration / Cancellation Policies