Spine pain continues to be a leading cause of global disability. Approximately 71% of spine pain can be successfully managed by conservative care alone, including physical therapy. Spine physical therapy fellowship programs were created to provide advanced training in spine care and decrease unwarranted variation in clinical practice to improve patient outcomes. Due to the growing demand for well-trained physical therapists who specialize in spine care, NASS developed criteria to officially recognize advanced training programs in spine physical therapy that produce experts who express their education through excellence and leadership in clinical practice, teaching and research to make a lasting contribution to society through service to their community and profession. A core curriculum has been developed based on the American Board of Physical Therapy Residency and Fellowship Education (ABPTRFE) Description of Spine Fellowship Practice to provide high quality, consistent clinical and procedural education for all trainees.
Is There a Difference Between NASS Recognized and ABPTRFE Accredited Spine Physical Therapy Fellowship Programs?
In order to become a NASS recognized spine physical therapy fellowship program, the program must be accredited by ABPTRFE. As part of NASS recognition criteria, NASS recognizes ABPTRFE accredited spine physical therapy fellowship programs that meet or exceed consistent quality standards in education, training and clinical practice of spine physical therapy
Programs that do not yet meet the criteria to be a NASS-recognized fellowship may apply for Provisional status and work toward Recognized status within a 2-year cycle. All provisional programs will follow the rules of the NASS-recognized programs and the 2-year clock begins upon approval of provisional status. The following is the list and description of all fellowships, their location (alphabetical by state, city) and program directors. Interested applicants should contact the programs directly for further information/instruction. Detailed program information follows the list of programs.