In all of life we face functional challenges on varying levels, regardless of our performance goals. From active retiree to competitive athlete, the lumbar spine acts as a crossroads for force attenuation and force transmission. When problems arise with the mechanisms of this force negotiation, degenerative, and/or acute, tissue changes frequently occur. Many local tissue pathologies can be identified, often with referral and radicular comorbidities. These pathologies, however, may not constitute faulty mechanics of force attenuation or transmission. The real question is what causes problems in those shock absorbing mechanics. A deeper look at the client’s global ability to manage physical forces may reveal more pertinent treatment directions to facilitate better lumbar function and healing. This course will take a deeper, global look at the functional performance body areas that are proximal and distal to the lumbar spine, the dysfunctional performance of these areas, and a treatment approach that manages these dysfunctions as a primary strategy for creating functional lumbar stability. Through a close look at biomechanics relative to gravity, and the reactive properties of the surrounding soft tissues, the learner will gain a greater working knowledge of regional relationships throughout the body that pose threats to the function of the lumbar spine. Examples of global functional evaluation, treatment and training for improved force attenuation of the lumbar spine, as well as reduced probability of degeneration will be given.

Level of Instruction:  Intermediate

Course Objectives

  • Identify tri-plane mobility restrictions of the lower extremities and spine.
  • Identify the direct and indirect relationships between regional movement dysfunction and lumbar spine dysfunction.
  • Increase your understanding of lumbar spine biomechanics during gait, running, lunging, squatting, and other primary physical skills related to athletic participation and competition.
  • Identify functional mobility exercise that is at the same time isolated from and integrated with the low back.
  • Identify proper application of resistance to support functional improvement without isolation to the lumbar spine.

Course Agenda

  • Principles of human movement applied to the lumbar spine.
  • Traditional versus functional applications of treatment techniques - Functional Spectrum.
  • Assessment strategies - global versus local.
  • Integration of neuromusculoskeletal structures.
  • Treatment application (strategies) - load management.


  • Craig Faeth, PT, ATC, CSCS, FAFS(FMR)

Mr. Faeth has been involved with the rehabilitation and management of patients from the youth to the collegiate and professional athlete, the injured worker and the general population across the lifespan. He focuses on assisting patients not only in their physical recovery and development, but also in their understanding of their bodies, injuries, and functional well being.

Craig attended Westmont College in Santa Barbara where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology in 1990 and his certification as an Athletic Trainer in 1991. He commenced his career in the world of professional figure skating, working closely with Brian Boitano and Katarina Witt. The experience proved invaluable in the sense that he learned the art of collaboration with clients to help them achieve their highest levels of success. Thereafter, Craig turned to Division I college athletics and attended The Ohio State University where he earned his Master’s degree in Exercise Physiology in 1993. As at Westmont, Craig’s experiential focus as a graduate assistant was in sports medicine. Working with a wide range of sports from synchronized swimming to football, the experience allowed him to develop his creative skills, focusing on unique and successful outcomes to facilitate participation and competition at the highest level – and his love of “function” began in earnest.

After serving as head athletic trainer and curriculum director in Athletic Training for small universities, Craig returned to college in search of greater skills as a rehabilitative specialist and earned his Master’s degree in Physical Therapy from the University of South Dakota in 2003, and has been working in private physical therapy practice since. Most significant in Mr. Faeth’s professional progression has been achieving fellowship status in Applied Functional Science (AFS), through the Gray Institute for Functional Transformation (GIFT). The principles of AFS foster treatment strategies that are authentically consistent with human function, and are the unique culmination of Craig’s previous experiences and education. Developed and instructed by Gary Gray, PT, FAFS, and David Tiberio, PT, PhD, FAFS, Applied Functional Science is the convergence of the Physical, Behavioral, and Biological sciences into a framework for assessment, treatment and training that serves clients from all backgrounds and abilities. After finishing the fellowship, he was asked to return as a Facilitator/instructor in GIFT, and he has since become involved with the education and enrichment of movement professionals from all over.


Contact Hours: 1.5

Price: $49


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