Gross Anatomy of the Axial Skeleton

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Explore the musculoskeletal structures that stabilize and move the axial skeleton. Rediscover the articulations, supporting structures and biomechanics of the temporomandibular joint, the joints of the vertebral column and thoracic cage. Refresh your knowledge on the origins, insertions, and actions of the muscles within the axial skeleton.

In this course, you will learn:

  • The importance of the temporomandibular joint, including all muscles, ligaments, biomechanics and dysfunction.
  • The joints within the different sections of the vertebral column including the articulations with the thoracic cage.
  • How the musculoskeletal structures work to stabilize and move the axial skeleton including the neck, thoracic cage, vertebral column, and abdomen.
  • The functions and clinical significance of the muscles of the back, and understand the anatomy and functions of each layer.
  • The superficial and deep abdominal muscles, joints, ligaments, important structures, and muscles including arteries.
  • The anatomical areas and important structures of the neck and abdomen including the muscles involved and the function of these structures.

Dexterity Professional Development submits courses for approval to regulatory colleges and associations across Canada. Timelines vary and courses are submitted on a rolling basis. As approvals are granted, this section is updated. Remember to check back often!

Certified Registered Massage Therapist Association (CRMTA) 3 Primary Credits
Canadian Massage & Manual Osteopathic Therapists Association (CMMOTA) 3 CECs
Massage Therapist Association of Alberta (MTAA) 3 Primary Credits
Massage Therapy Association of Manitoba (MTAM) 3 Core Competency/Primary Credits
Massage Therapist & Wholistic Practitioners of the Maritimes (MTWPAM) 3 credit hours Primary / Category A
College of Massage Therapists of New Brunswick (CMTNB) 1.5 Category A Credits
College of Massage Therapists of Newfoundland & Labrador (CMTNL) 1.5 Category A
Massage Therapists Association of Nova Scotia (MTANS) 1.5 Primary CEU
PEI Massage Therapy Association (PEIMTA) 3 Category A Credits
L'Association des Naturopathes Professionnels du Québec (ANPQ) / L’Association des Naturothérapeutes du Québec (ANQ) / Regroupement des Massothérapeutes du Québec (RMQ) 3 Credits
Massage Therapist Association of Saskatchewan (MTAS) 3 Primary Credits
Natural Health Practitioners of Canada (NHPC) 5 CCP Credits
National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) 3 CE
New York Sponsored (NCBTMB) 2 CE

Under the CMTO’s new Quality Assurance Program (STRiVE), courses are no longer granted approval by the CMTO. It is up to the learner to demonstrate that a course is relevant to their learning goals and the STRiVE competencies. We have provided the description below to help the learner link the course to the STRiVE competencies. A course is often related to more STRiVE competencies than those listed.

The competencies below are established in the CMTO continuing education guidelines. This course addresses the competencies in many ways, including those described below.

Function in a client-centred manner. This course provides an in-depth review of the upper limb to enable the RMT to palpate various structures effectively.

Work within areas of personal knowledge and skills.This course provides an in-depth review of the axial skeleton to enable the RMT to palpate various structures effectively.

Use an evidence-informed approach in your work. This course provides the RMT with up-to-date information and knowledge regarding the gross anatomy of the axial skeleton. The Dexterity PD promise is to evaluate every course on a biannual basis to ensure any developments or changes in the profession are reflected in course content. Thus, RMTs who take this course and adopt its recommendations can be assured that they are practicing in a manner consistent with current developments. A resource list is included in the downloadable guide to every course so that RMTs can conduct further research and/or confirm course findings. All course content and recommendations have been evaluated by two additional RMTs to affirm the accuracy of the content. For more details, please see Our Quality Control Process.

Practice in a self-reflective manner.

This course enables the RMT to review and refresh important anatomical information pertaining to the structures of the axial skeleton. The RMT that takes this course has reflected upon their practice and their decisions, and recognizes where knowledge should be enhanced. Through taking this course, the RMT draws on external information to achieve continuous learning and quality improvement.






Kimberly Kent

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