Massage Ramifications of the Anatomy and Physiology of the Spinal Cord

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$60 members / $100 non-members     4.0 CE credits

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Explore the nervous system,with an emphasis on the spine, how it relates to muscles and the practice of massage therapy. Review basic anatomy and physiology of the spinal cord and nerves. 

Note: Much of this article has been abstracted from portions of Kuntzman A. Tortora G. Anatomy and Physiology for the Manual Therapies. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.: New York, 2010.


Learn about aspects of the nervous system, particularly the spine, as they relate to muscles and the practice of massage therapy. When you finish this course you will be able to:

  • Understand, through knowledge of nerve physiology, how massage therapy affects the functioning of the nervous system and its control of muscles.
  • List six general effects of massage therapy on nervous tissue.
  • Describe the processes of communication and repair in the CNS and PNS.
  • List the areas in the body supported by plexuses and intercostals nerves.
  • Describe the results of injuries to the brachial plexus and four other types of injuries common to nerves.
  • Describe two ways the spinal cord promotes homeostasis.
  • Describe the roles of muscle spindles and tendon organs.
  • List three common sites of injury to the spinal cord and the effects of transections.

About the author(s)

Andrew J. Kuntzman, Ph.D., LMT, has taught collegiate-level anatomy and physiology courses for 49 years and earned his doctorate in human anatomy in 1970.

Course Expiration

Please note that you must complete each AMTA online learning course and pass the exam one year from the date of purchase. If you do not complete the course and pass the exam within one year, you will be required to re-purchase the course.

Online courses expire one year from the date of purchase. When a course expires, you will no longer have access to the course materials and will be required to re-purchase the course.

Course Approval Codes

MSP #171; LCEU0002738


This course contains information that is proprietary. None of the material contained within this course may be used without the express written permission of AMTA unless otherwise indicated in the course. As a reminder, before practicing any new modalities or techniques, check with your state’s massage therapy regulatory authority to ensure they are within the state’s defined scope of practice for massage therapy.


Online courses are non-refundable. AMTA will not cover fees incurred from duplicate payments, insufficient funds, stopped payments or credit/debit cards over credit limits.