Online Course
Neck Pain
A comprehensive overview of pain of the cervical spine

42-44 hours





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UPDATE: This course has been retired. For a list of our other neck courses, please click here.


Neck pain is a common condition that causes substantial disability and it is increasing worldwide. Out of all 291 conditions studied in the Global Burden of Disease 2010 Study, neck pain ranked 4th highest in terms of disability as measured by YLDs (Years Lived with Disability), and 21st in terms of overall burden.   In addition, the study reported the incidence of neck pain is increasing with a 21% rise between 2005 and 2015.  The high prevalence of neck pain and related costs in terms of health care expenditures and lost productivity is causing a rising economic burden in modern societies.

Physiotherapy can have a massive impact on the global burden of neck pain.  Through the application of good examination skills, effective clinical reasoning and appropriate selection of interventions the impact of neck pain for any individual can be significantly reduced.  In addition the high tendency for chronicity in neck pain can be lowered with effective management.


This course aims to provide a good foundation of theoretical knowledge related to the cervical spine that will enable you to effectively assess and treat individuals with neck pain.


  • Section 1: Neck Structure and Function, Epidemiology of Neck Pain
  • Section 2: Clinical Presentations of Neck Pain
  • Section 3: Assessment of the Individual with Neck Pain
  • Section 4: Therapeutic Interventions for Neck Pain

Target audience

This course is aimed at Physiotherapy and Physical Therapy professionals, clinicians and students.


Availability - this course is online and can be completed on your own schedule.

This course is divided into 4 sections and it is suggested (but not required) that each section be completed over the duration of approximately a week. Please note that no deadlines are applied and this course can be started and completed according to your own schedule. We expect the required elements of each section/week to take around 42-44 hours depending on your schedule and learning style. Additionally there are many optional resources provided and if you choose to review these the course could take longer to complete.

It’s not going to be easy, we’ll expect you to work hard for your completion certificate and Plus points! You won’t be sitting back and watching webinars, we’ll expect you to reading tasks, complete quizzes, perform literature searches and other learning activities. You’ll need to reflect on your own experiences and contribute them within the discussion forum, this is where we can learn from each other’s experiences and knowledge from all around the world! At the end of the course, when you have completed all of the required elements, you will be able to download a certificate of completion and 42 Plus points will be added to your personalised learning dashboard.

Requirements to complete this course

In order to complete this course and receive a course completion certificate you will need to:

  1. abide by the Plus Community Culture
  2. log as completed all the required learning activities
  3. actively participate in the course forum discussions
  4. pass a final quiz with a score of 80% or more
  5. complete a course evaluation form

Learning outcomes

At the end of this course you will be able to:

  • describe prevalence of neck pain in relation to two different demographics.
  • describe three ways that anatomical configuration of the cervical region contributes to function
  • describe two age related differences in the cervical spine
  • differentiate between 5 common conditions of the cervical spine
  • identify 3 presentations that require medical referral
  • evaluate a case presentation and determine when referral for medical investigation is indicated
  • select appropriate evidence based examination tests to differentiate between different conditions of the cervical spine
  • list 4 outcome measure that can appropriately identify factors that may lead to deviation from the normal clinical course for neck pain
  • evaluate a case presentation to differentiate between 2 different possible causes of neck pain
  • choose the correct classification treatment approach for the individual with neck pain for a given case presentation
  • design an appropriate evidence based management strategy for an individual with neck pain based on a case scenario
  • identify 3 signs that indicate a potential for an individual with neck pain to progress to chronicity


For special needs or accommodations please contact us with details of how we can meet your needs.

Featured reviews
This course gave me a broader understanding of the anatomy and biomechanics of the cervical spine, which a professional clinician can keep in mind when assessing his patients. The best thing about this course is the amount of information in readings mixed with highly qualified professionals' expertise on the topics that cover assessment, conditions, treatment and what to check as red flags or differential diagnosis.
Mahmoud Kotob
This course was beneficial in deepening my knowledge about neck pain. I see quite a few challenging cases at my clinic, and I look forward to implementing my newfound knowledge at work!
Sejal Desai
South Africa
A really comprehensive course with a variety of information and different perspectives in rehabilitation!Hard to find any other course so much physio-focused
Skouras Apostolos-Zacharias
This is a great course for any Physio. Whether you are a student/ new graduate or an experienced Physio looking to brush up on their knowledge and earn CPD points.
Kieran Sasiadek
This was a very thorough and well presented course. The interviews of current practising physios who engage in research stood out for me and has helped me to reflect on my current clinical skills and practice and to continue learning. Thank you!
Jane Golden
Useful course to go in depth into all the elements related to the neck and to help diminish the fear factor that patients and practitioners have over treating neck pain.
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The neck pain course is a comprehensive course which I found challenging. It is well structured and full of evidence-based information of sources from all over the world. What you did not know about the cervical spine before, you definitely will know it after completing the course! And if you think you know everything about it, there is surely something that will be new for you. I liked the forum discussions, interviews and quizzes between the sections. It makes the course varied!
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