Spine Stabilization Progressions & Considerations for the Aging Adult


The number of adults over the age of sixty-five is steadily growing. Studies indicate there is a high prevalence of low back pain and dysfunction within this population. Normal age-related changes, combined with a myriad of co-morbidities, complicate the care and exercise progression for these individuals.

This interactive course was designed for the beginner to intermediate therapist working with an older adult population to gain knowledge regarding the basic theory in lumbar stabilization. Discussion, photos and videos are presented to show how to a patient is progressed through the phases of lumbar stabilization. The course also includes current research in conjunction with clinical pearls, and adaptations for the older client, including functional progressions, addressing ADL modifications and training.

Teaching Methods for this course include: instructor lecture via web-based text, pictures, graphics, self check activities, video clips, live web links, class discussion board and email to instructor and fellow students. There is one final exam, with the expectation of an 80% score to receive credit for the course.

Course Goal: To convey how a therapist can modify and progress an aging adult through a lumbar stabilization exercise program, promoting highest level of function possible.

Upon completion of this course, the learner will be able to:

  • Describe 3 ways in which low back pain impacts function in the elderly population.
  • Identify the 4 goals of a spinal stabilization program.
  • Discuss current research related to spine impairments and stabilization exercise, especially as it relates to the aging population.
  • Identify the 3 phases of lumbar stabilization.
  • Define 2 modifications of exercises needed to accommodate for challenges presented by an aging population.
  • Describe 3 necessary ways to prepare activities to improve ADLs and function in the aging adult.
  • Describe how to screen for depression and other serous pathology requiring referral.

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