Course Description & Objectives Overview

Course Description

Substance abuse may yield a greater impact in rehabilitation as the single biggest preventable risk factor for disease, beyond that even of diet and physical activity. Of our patients who smoke, the World Health Organization reports that half of them will die. Smokers also impact those around them, with 1.2 million deaths attributed to second-hand smoke.

According to research, smoking leads to suboptimal physical therapy treatment outcomes in all four physical therapy and rehabilitation practice areas: musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, cardiovascular/pulmonary, and integumentary health. This reinforces the need for the implementation and effective application of evidence-based smoking interventions within physical therapy and rehabilitation practice and education.

And yet, research also reveals that only a small minority of physical therapists employ, and physical therapy schools include, tobacco cessation counseling (TCC) education. The literature posits that TCC education is consistent with professional values espoused by physical therapists, which can be useful for occupational therapy as well, and this course will cover the public health guidelines for TCC, and also tackle other common substance abuse issues, including discussion of the risks and benefits of steroid injection practices in orthopaedic practice and a review of environmental toxins and how they impact our practice, outcomes, and health and functioning.

Clinical Objectives Overview

  1. Describe the adverse impact of tobacco use and other substance abuse (including steroid injections). 
  2. Describe the adverse impact of environmental pollutant exposure. 
  3. List the major endocrine disruptors supported in the evidence base to cause adverse health effects. 
  4. Summarize the EB approach for tobacco and other substance abuse cessation. 
  5. Describe basic approaches to behavioral and pharmacological therapies in tobacco and substance abuse cessation. 
  6. Review the major diagnostic criteria for differential diagnosis of substance abuse disorders. 
  7. List the parameters for when to refer to specialists.

Course curriculum

This course is a part of the Integrative Lifestyle Medicine Certificate, but it can also be taken as a stand alone course.

  • 1

    Environmental Influences on Rehabilitation Outcomes - Chapter 1

    • Course Description & Clinical Objectives Overview

    • Handout - Elective Enviro 1

    • Smoking & Vaping

    • Corticosteroid Injections

    • Other Common Substance Abuses

    • Environmental Health and You

    • Toxins

      FREE PREVIEW
    • Guidelines and Interventions

  • 2

    Environmental Influences on Rehabilitation Outcomes - Chapter 2

    • Handout - Elective Enviro 2

    • Team Approach

    • Behavioral & Pharmacology Therapies

    • Resources & Diagnostic Criterea

    • Screening

    • Intervention and Referral

    • Program Review

  • 3

    Environmental Case Study

    • Handout - Environmental Case Study

    • Smoking Cessation Case Study

    • Environmental Post-Test

  • 4

    Course Evaluation

    • Course Evaluation

Meet Your Instructor

Executive Director, Living Well Institute

Dr. Ginger Garner

Hi! I'm Ginger, a doctor of physical therapy (PT, DPT), licensed athletic trainer (ATC, LAT), professional yoga therapist (PYT) & also Pilates trained. I am also board certified (DipACLM) in Lifestyle Medicine. I've spent 25 years creating best evidence coursework and providing integrative, holistic, person-centered patient and wellness care. I am a mother of three with a huge passion for improving women's health care and access to PT for everyone.

What People Are Saying

Life changing course

Dr. Kassandra Schuhmann, PT, DPT

The impact Ginger's program has made on my life is staggering. It has changed my perspective as a clinician completely and has allowed me to look forward to treating even the most complex patients.

Empowering for me and my patients

Dr. Sarah Talley, PT, DPT, WCS

Medical Therapeutic Yoga (MTY) has transformed my clinical practice and my own self care. MTY provides a framework for treating patients holistically while empowering them to care for themselves.

Feel better than I've felt in years, AND that's during the pandemic!

Dr. Michelle Walendowski PT, DPT

I’ve been practicing everything from your weekend Level I Certification on a (mostly) daily basis, and I have to say I feel healthier and just generally better than I have in years. And that’s during a worldwide pandemic!

I'm a better therapist AND mom thanks to Ginger.

Dr. Becca Ellis PT, DPT

Ginger's knowledge and experience have completely shaped my professional career, and her guidance has truly helped me be a better mom to my sweet boys.

Everyone should work with Ginger as a professional and as a patient

Katie Estridge, PT, MPT

I would recommend that everyone work with Ginger Garner. She is without a doubt the best physical therapist I have ever worked with. She understands the human body like no one I have ever met.

A sustainable model for healthcare delivery

Kanchan Thakar, PT

Honestly speaking, words cannot do justice to the experience of learning from Ginger. My hope is that all DPT students will avail of her teachings sooner than later and begin to practice PT with enthusiasm and compassion. Thanks to Ginger for creating a sustainable model of healthcare delivery.

Grounded, hopeful, pain free, rested, & resilient after Dr. Garner's classes

Dr. Dina Macs, PT, DPT

You are a trusted gem in a sea of on-line unknowns, Dr. Garner, and a gift to us all. Thank you for keeping us safe, evidence-grounded, & soulfully uplifted. I have not personally experienced a more nimble biopsychosocial rehabilitation guide.

Ginger's program has restored my love of being a PT

Dr. Katie Goroncy, PT, DPT

Ginger's program has restored my love and perspective that physical therapy is a healing ART. I had been feeling uninspired, deflated by the obstacles in the healthcare/insurance system, and was losing sight of what drew me to the healthcare field in the first place. Her program gave me a solid evidence based framework from which to integrate "whole person", yogic, lifestyle medicine into my physical therapy foundation. It has since sparked joy, creativity, and a broader perspective into my clinical practice.

I highly recommend Ginger

Dr. Maureen Mason-Cover, PT, DPT

Ginger is a wise and compassionate health care provider who blends medical yoga with rehabilitation programming, and she has an extensive background of patient care service. Her style is forward thinking towards patient education, empowerment, and optimization of function, and she works with other health care team members to provide a healing community of care. I highly recommend her.

Patients who struggle with finding relief from traditional PT will find a solution in Ginger's method

Dr. Sylvie Le, PT, DPT

The benefits of Medical Therapeutic Yoga have stretched beyond both the clinical setting and mat for my patients. Patients who may have struggled finding relief with traditional PT, battle the psychological and emotional stress of anxiety, depression, and impatience in dealing with injury and functional limitations, or find it challenging to remain motivated to move and take care of their bodies, have found a safe and healthy avenue through Ginger's method.

More Information

  • Special Note

    This course is 1 of 2 electives offered as a part of the Integrative Lifestyle Medicine Certificate. If you want to learn more, please take our FREE Introduction to Integrative Lifestyle Medicine Webinar, found on the main course page.

  • CE Credit

    This course is approved for PT in California, Texas, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. We are an AOTA-approved provider for OT's.