Karin Silbernagel, PT, PhD, ATC: The “Achilles Heel” of Physical Therapy and Athletic Training

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Karin Silbernagel, PT, PhD, ATC

The “Achilles Heel” of Physical Therapy and Athletic Training

Date: November 30 & December 1, 2018

Location: University of Pittsburgh, Department of Physical Therapy

Bridgeside Point 1

100 Technology Drive

Pittsburgh, PA 15219

PT Price: $300.00

AT & Resident Price: $100

Student Price: $50

All proceeds from this course will be donated to the Foundation for Physical Therapy as part of the Mercer-Marquette Challenge


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Athletic Trainer/Resident:  register-button-png-8

Student: register-button-png-8

 Sorry, but we are unable to issue refunds

Course Description

This 1 ½ day workshop will focus on how to manage Achilles tendinopathy and rupture based on latest updated research and clinical experience: In the workshop, you will learn how to differentiate and treat various types of tendon injuries. Specifically, you will learn and practice how to best diagnose, evaluate, treat and prevent Achilles tendinopathy and rupture (Tests and exercises will be demonstrated and practiced). You will also get insight into the most important differential diagnoses and risk factors for developing Achilles tendon injury. In addition, barriers to successful outcome, such as fear of movement and pain, will be discussed including recommendations for how to address these during the rehabilitation.

Return to sport criteria and how to prevent setbacks in order to bring the athlete efficiently back to sports will also be reviewed and discussed.


Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the participants will be able to:

1. Understand and explain the difference between various tendon injuries such as tendinitis, tendinopathy and rupture.

2. Understand and explain the effects of mechanical loading and exercise on tendon healing.

3. Select and perform appropriate diagnostic tests, clinical tests and outcome measures for patients with Achilles tendon injury.

4. Identify differential diagnoses of Achilles tendon injury.

5. Demonstrate an understanding of the evidence for various types of treatments for patients with Achilles tendon injury.

6. Identify rehabilitative concerns and prognosis specific to patients with Achilles tendon injury.

7. Devise and implement evidence-based exercise progressions based on objective findings and scientific evidence for patients with Achilles tendon injury.

8. Demonstrate an understanding on how to individualize the rehabilitative plan of care for return to sport in patients with Achilles tendon injury.

9. Develop an understanding on how to prevent Achilles tendon injury.


Continuing Education Units

CEU’s: 11.5 of which 1.0 is Direct access and 10.5 is general hours

This course is approved in: PA & NY

Course Schedule


4:00-4:30 Registration
4:30-4:45 Introduction and Overview
4:45-5:15 Tendon structure and function
5:15-5:45 Tendon injury and effect of exercise (Mechanotherapy)
5:45-6:00 Break
6:00-7:00 Achilles tendon injury – overview
7:00-7:30 Diagnosis and differential diagnosis
7:30-8:15 Lab: Physical exam, diagnosis and ultrasound imaging
8:15-8:30 Q & A



8:30-10:15 Achilles tendinopathy

  • Overview
  • Diagnosis
  • Treatment options
  • Outcome
  • Performance measures
10:15-10:30 Break
10:30-11:30 Lab: Tests, measures and treatment
11:15-12:00 Return to sports – Achilles tendinopathy
12:00-1:00 Lunch
1:00-2:30 Achilles tendon rupture

  • Overview
  • Diagnosis
  • Treatment options
  • Outcome and Performance measures
  • Return to sports
2:30-3:00 Lab: Evaluation and treatment
3:00-3:15 Break
3:15-3:45 Use of ultrasound imaging in diagnosis and treatment
3:45-4:15 Barriers to successful outcome
4:15-5:15 Injury prevention, screening tools and risk factors
5:15-5:30 Wrap up and Q & A


About the Speaker

Karin Grävare Silbernagel PT, ATC, PhD

Associate Professor

Department of Physical Therapy

University of Delaware

Karin is an associate professor at the Department of Physical Therapy, University of Delaware, Newark, DE USA. At University of Delaware she runs the Tendon research lab together with colleagues from mechanical and biomedical engineering. The Tendon Research Group at University of Delaware is an interdisciplinary group working to advance understanding of tendon injuries and repair so that tailored treatments can be developed. She received her bachelor’s degree in physical therapy from Boston University, Boston, USA and her PhD in Orthopaedics from University of Gothenburg. Karin has been a clinician, researcher, and educator in the U.S. and Sweden. She has been a practicing physical therapist for over 25 years, mainly in orthopaedics and sports medicine. Her research focuses on tendon injuries, especially the clinical aspects of treatment, and evaluation. Her research approach is to evaluate tendon health and recovery by quantifying tendon composition, structure, and mechanical properties, as well as patients’ impairments and symptoms. The focus is on how to prescribe exercise and physical activity as treatment in patients with painful Achilles tendinopathy and complete Achilles tendon ruptures. Her research is funded by the NIH, Foundation for Physical Therapy, Swedish Research Council for Sport Science, and Swedish Research Council. She has published 60+ articles in peer-reviewed journals, has written several book chapters and has presented nationally and internationally. She is also an Editor for Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy.

June 6, 2018 |