PT Elevated - Align 2022 - Upper Extremity Functional Testing | Rob Manske • Posts by EIM | Evidence In Motion Skip To Content

PT Elevated – Align 2022 – Upper Extremity Functional Testing | Rob Manske

June 30, 2022 • Manual Therapy • Kory Zimney, Paul Mintken

Welcome back to a NEW season of PT Elevated where we are broadening our topics to include more researchers but still focusing on topics that you can use in your clinic every day. This season we will have some of our speakers as guests who will be live in person at the EIM Align Conference this August 26-28 in Dallas, Texas.

On our fourth episode of season 3, guest Rob Manske, PT, DPT, MPT, Med, SCS, ATC, CSCS, who is a Professor and former Chair in the Doctoral Physical Therapy Program at Wichita State University in Wichita, Kansas joins us. In addition to his full-time faculty appointment, Rob is a physical therapist and athletic trainer for Ascension Via Christi Health and serves as a Teaching Associate at the University of Kansas Medical Center Department of Rehabilitation Sciences in Kansas City, and the Department of Community Medicine for the Via Christi Family Practice Sports Medicine Residency Program. Most importantly Rob continues to practice weekly – spending approximately 10 hours per week treating a variety of knee and shoulder conditions!

Rob graduated from WSU in 1991 with a Bachelor of Arts in Physical Education, a Master of Physical Therapy degree in 1994, and further earned a Master of Education degree in Physical Education in 2000. He received his DPT from the Massachusetts General Institute of Health Professions in 2006. Rob has been an APTA Board Certified Sports Physical Therapist since 2002. Rob is also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) through the National Strength and Conditioning Association, and a Certified  Athletic Trainer (ATC) through the National Athletic Trainers Association. Rob has been nominated and received numerous awards for excellence in teaching at the local, state, and national levels – receiving the APTA sports award in 2018. To date, Rob has edited/published 12 books, multiple chapters, articles, and home study courses related to orthopedic and sports rehabilitation

They focus their discussion on shoulder disorders, lab techniques, special and functional tests, Rob’s Align Conference topics & more!

Here are some of the highlights:
Rob shares how he felt right when he got out of physical therapy school for the first time in three years, he was really struggling to feel like he was helping people to feel better. He thinks the beauty of the PT profession is if you keep trying and learning, as you get older you become better and more skilled and not so frustrated as you were early on in your career. Mark also says doing fellowship helped him tremendously.

Rob says today physical therapy students have more information to learn than when he was in physical therapy school and that students are overloaded and when they graduate it takes them a couple of years to figure out what they are doing. He says as a student you must be intentional and learn the order of things and suggests that you need to do that work best for you as a clinician, like how to problem solve and learn what questions to ask your patients. You must learn how to listen. The biggest mistake that clinicians make is not listening to their patients Rob stresses.

Rob says he learned the ability to have a sound clinical examination process and all the things he didn’t learn in school that they are teaching now by continuing to practice, reading about clinical reasoning, and continuing working.

Rob thinks the return to sport testing is not done as often as it should be for upper extremity patients and there are a lot of them offered that could be done.

Rob’s Align Session Preview:

  • Rob will be talking about special testing, and how it gets a lot of criticism specifically shoulder special testing. He helped Dave Magee on the latest edition of the Orthopedic Physical Assessment, 7th Edition, Rob admits he may be a little biased toward special testing. He says if you look at a lot of different special tests that are done throughout the body, they really are not that great at speciosity. They are better at detecting sensitivity and ruling out the bad things.
  • According to Rob shoulder issues probably are not going to kill you so shoulder special tests are there to help aid him to the conclusion of the root cause of the patients.  issue is. He will expand upon those test types at the Align Conference.

Rob’s Clinical Pearl

  • Everybody has a certain way that they treat things, my way of treating is not the only way of treating to get somebody better, it works for me, and your way works for you and if your patient is getting better, I think that is great. I’ve learned you must listen to the patient; you must determine what is not working, and you have to be able to self-reflect on what you are doing with the patient and what they are doing and if it is working or not.
  • The older I get the way more conservative I am. I am very systemic and start off very simple and work to a more complex approach with my patients. I would rather not set my patients back weeks to try to gain a week.
  • Listen to your patient. Be nice, and be kind to your patients. You should see it as an honor that patients come see you. People that are hurt and in pain are coming
    to you to try to help them. Even if you do not agree with the patient, you can still be nice. Truly want to help the patient. Patients know if you are there just to get a paycheck and you are going through the motions or if you really care about them and want them to get better. If you really care about people, you want your patients to get better, that means you like your patients and I think then you are going to be a way better clinician and more likely a way happier satisfied one!

Helpful research and training:


Ad Info: We are excited to be back in person and back to hands-on learning for the 2022 Align Conference. This year you can join an all-star lineup of speakers in Dallas, Texas, August 26 through the 28. The labs and lectures focus on sharpening the physical, hands-on treatments essential to patient care. Save 5% on registration as a PT Elevated Podcast listener. Visit and use the promo code PTELEVATED at checkout.  You can find the promo code and a link to the website in the show notes. We can’t wait to see you!

Connect with us on socials:
@Robptatcscs, on Twitter
@robert_manske on Instagram
@ZimneyKJ on Twitter
@PMintkenDPT on Twitter
Rob Manske, Align Conference Website
Align Conference 2022, Website
Evidence In Motion, Website

Kory Zimney

Kory received a Masters in Physical Therapy from the University of North Dakota in 1994. He completed his transitional DPT from Des Moines University in 2010 and a Ph.D. in Physical Therapy from Nova Southeastern University in 2020. His dissertation focused on the construct of trust as part of the therapeutic alliance and its relation...

Paul Mintken

Paul has taught musculoskeletal content for the past 15 years. His active research agenda focuses on conservative care for musculoskeletal disorders as well as spinal and extremity manipulation and dry needling. Current Roles: Evidence In Motion, Faculty Wardenburg Health Center at the University of Colorado Boulder, Lead Clinician Regis University Fellowship in Orthopaedic Manual Therapy,...

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