Therapeutic Exercise I

I.     Course Prefix/Number: PTA 110

       Course Name: Therapeutic Exercise I

       Credits: 4 (3 lecture; 3 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

Completion of PTA 100, PTA 103, PTA 105, BIO 231, HIT 104 with minimum grade of C in each course; BIO 232 or concurrent enrollment; concurrent enrollment in PTA 107, PTA 161.

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course introduces therapeutic exercise as applied to physical therapy. Content includes principles of exercise activities, posture, kinesiology, basic assessment skills; focus is on application of exercise programs.

IV.   Learning Objectives

Upon a completion of this course the student will be able to:

  1. Synthesize evidence-based knowledge previously learned in science, general education and PTA courses to the content studied in this course.
  2. Synthesize principles of anatomy, physiology and biomechanics to normal human motion to recognize both normal and abnormal.
  3. Compare types of exercise including those designed for ROM, strengthening, stretching and aerobic endurance. Determine which are appropriate for application to specific patient care goals.
  4. Safely apply exercise techniques to specific patient problems and recognize indications, contraindications and precautions for exercise applications and when exercise should not be applied.
  5. Define concepts and benefits of fitness and compare basic conditioning programs.
  6. Recognize elements of normal posture and discriminate between normal and abnormal body alignment. Develop and implement appropriate postural training interventions.
  7. Describe components of normal gait and the gait cycle.
  8. Identify and relate the basic components of osteokinematics and arthrokinematics of the extremities, trunk and temporomandibular joint (TMJ).
  9. Identify prime movers of the extremities, trunk and TMJ and relate specific muscles to the implementation of appropriate therapeutic exercises.
  10. Correctly perform goniometry to measure joint range of motion.
  11. Correctly assess flexibility and muscle length and apply safe methods of stretching.
  12. Assess the physiological effects of exercise and changes in muscle tissue and apply to specific patient populations.
  13. Demonstrate safe and effective application of equipment, weights and positioning devices for resistive exercises.
  14. Analyze basic exercise programs in terms of safety, effectiveness and functional purpose and expected outcomes and modify programs for optimal safety and effectiveness and recognize when exercise interventions should not be applied.
  15. Effectively teach basic exercise programs to appropriate patient populations.
  16. Practice cooperation in group activities, demonstrating sensitivity to cultural differences.
  17. Display professional behaviors as mandated by the APTA/IPTA.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

A detailed course outline will be provided on the first of class.

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Primarily lecture/discussion with audio visual supplements.  Laboratory experience will include active participation in practicing skills learned in lectures.

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

Attendance at all scheduled lecture and laboratory classes, completion of all assigned reading and homework. Course is taught as face-to-face.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

  1. Required Texts
    Kisner, C. and Colby, L., Therapeutic Exercise Foundations and Techniques, 6th Ed., Philadelphia; F. A. Davis Co., 2012.
    Lippert, Lynn.  Clinical Kinesiology for Physical Therapist Assistants, 5th Ed., F.A. Davis, 2011.
    Norkin, C. and White, Joyce. Measurement of Joint Motion:  A Guide to Goniometry, 4th Ed., Philadelphia:  F. A. Davis, Co., 2009.
    or texts of comparable content
  2. Selected articles and handouts provided by instructor
  3. Audio-visual materials

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

  1. Written exams will be announced. Cumulative final exam.
  2. Announced and unannounced quizzes.
  3. Laboratory practical exams will be announced.
    All students must successfully pass each practical exam with a minimum score of 70% in order to continue in the physical therapist assistant program. Each lab practical exam delineates critical safety elements for the skill being tested. Failure to meet any of these critical safety elements will cause the student to fail the practical exam. Each student will be afforded the opportunity to take a make-up practical exam in the event of a failing score on a first attempt. However, the original score will not be changed.
  4. Homework assignments must be neat and on time.
  5. Attendance and participation in class and lab activities is required.
  6. Grades are determined by percentage of total points as follows:
    90-100%    - A
    80-89.99% - B
    70-79.99% - C
    Scores below 70% are considered failing.  Course grades will not be “rounded up.”
    Students must pass both lecture and lab portions of the course with at least a 70% in each.
    Final course grade is composite of 60% lecture, 40% lab.

XI.   Other Course Information

  1. Attendance is mandatory at all scheduled lecture and laboratory times.  All absences must be excused absences.  Unexcused absences may result in a lowering of the final grade. Instructors are not responsible for teaching material again and missed work, exams, and quizzes must be made up either in advance or immediately following any absence for any reason. Students who inform the instructor in advance (at the beginning of the semester) of an intended absence for a MAJOR religious observance will not be penalized. However, instructors are not responsible for teaching material again and missed work, exams, or quizzes must be made up either in advance or immediately following the intended absence.
  2. Lab Policy –
    1. Lab clothes are required for all lab sessions unless otherwise instructed. Points will be deducted if not properly dressed.
      Uniform consists of shorts, blouse or shirt, halter or bathing suit top, shoes or slippers.
    2. Students will rotate lab partners.
    3. Students are expected to administer and receive all modalities and treatments prescribed.
    4. Students should be prepared to take notes during lab sessions as some lecturing will be done.
    5. Students must clean up the lab after each session.
    6. No visitors are allowed in lab unless approved by instructor.
    7. Correct spelling is required on all written assignments.
      Incorrect spelling and grammar will be penalized.
    8. Students may not use cellular phones or audible paging devices during class or lab time.

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.