Debra Dent is a Physical Therapist with over 40 years of experience specializing in manual therapy of the spine. She is a graduate of the University of Manitoba, Canada where she received her Diploma of Physiotherapy in 1977 and her Bachelors of Physical Therapy in 1979. She was certified as a Part A Manual Physical Therapist from the Canadian Physiotherapy Association in 1989 and received her Advanced Diploma of Manual and Manipulative Physiotherapy in 1994 (FCAMPT). Orthopedic Certified Specialist (OCS) designation was completed in 1996 and recertified in 2006 and 2016 as Emeritus. Debra is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Manual Therapists (FCAMPT) since 1994 (now retired- 2019) and was an instructor for the Canadian Physiotherapy Association prior to moving to the USA. She was a guest clinical instructor at the University of South Florida from 2003-05, teaching the Spinal Manual Therapy Program for the MscPT undergraduate program. She has taught a large number of manual therapy courses in the US and Canada.
She wrote the Segmental Stabilization of the Lumbar Spine for Northeast Seminars Online programs. She has also written online seminars for HomeCEUConnection.com, OnlineCEU.com, and Handtheraapy.com. She published Differential Diagnosis of the Spine in July 2016 and it is available on Amazon.com.
She owns Cross Border Seminars and presently works as a consultant and contract PT in Clearwater Florida. Her primary caseload is spinal issues but she also deals with issues related to aging and osteoporosis.
Differential Diagnosis is the ability to discern or distinguish diseases or conditions that have similar symptoms. The goal of this book is to assist the Physical Therapist in protecting the patient from being misdiagnosed and having their condition or disease progress without undergoing treatment in a vital time frame. A systematic approach that is used in the evaluation of the patient will assist the Therapist in not forgetting to evaluate the symptoms appropriately. Symptoms that warrant a referral for further testing will hopefully be flagged by the Therapist. Certain symptoms will often highlight non-mechanical conditions or pathologies of visceral or pathological origin and can be contraindications to many Therapy treatments. Evidence in the research is now assisting Therapist to understand which tests can provide more statistically relevant information. Following a systematic approach where the symptoms are reviewed with possible hypothetical diagnosis, the Therapist can start with the simplest explanation. If unable to rule out the simplest explanation, the Therapist must proceed and consider more complex issues. Therapists are now on the frontline of medicine. Using deductive and clinical reasoning in a systematic approach will empower the Therapist to Think the Worst First.