About the Course


Cervical degenerative disc disease is surprisingly common with up to 60% of individuals over the age of 40 exhibiting some signs of wear and tear on their spine! Although SLPs are not responsible for diagnosing spinal pathology, the cervical spine can impact laryngeal and swallowing function due to its proximity to the upper aerodigestive tract, so we need to be aware of changes in this vital structure. In this two hour seminar, participants will learn about normal cervical spinal anatomy and the causes of spine degeneration. We will review the relevant literature and view laryngoscopic and videofluorscopic swallow studies to examine how cervical spine disease may impact laryngeal and swallowing function.

Learning Objectives

  • Correctly identify the common features of normal cervical spinal anatomy. 
  • Accurately identify at least two radiographic findings of cervical spine degeneration.
  • Name at least three symptoms or consequences of cervical spinal degeneration.

Agenda: (Eastern Time)

  • 00:00:  The Normal Anatomy of the Cervical Spine
  • 00:15:  The Degenerating Cervical Spine
  • 00:30:  Laryngoscopy: the effect of spine disease on laryngopharyngeal function
  • 01:00:  Videofluoroscopy: the effect of spine disease on swallowing
  • 01:30:  Questions/Summar02:00:   Adjourn/Post-Test


You will have access to this course for 365 days after purchase.


  • Ashli O’Rourke

    Ashli O’Rourke, M.D., MS

    Ashli O’Rourke

    Ashli O’Rourke, M.D., MS, joined the MUSC Evelyn Trammell Institute for Voice & Swallowing in September 2012. Dr. O’Rourke began her professional career as a SLP, earning her Master's degree in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology from Florida State University. After more than seven years of clinical speech therapy practice at Emory University Hospital, she attended medical school at the Medical College of Georgia. She completed her residency in Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville and her fellowship in Laryngology – Voice and Swallowing disorders at the Medical College of Georgia. Dr. O’Rourke treats adult patients with problems located in the larynx, airway and/or the esophagus. This includes hoarseness or voice disturbances, dysphagia, or breathing difficulties due to airway narrowing or scar. She is particularly interested in the diagnosis and treatment of swallowing disorders as well as laryngopharyngeal reflux disease. Her research interests include innovative technologies for the diagnosis and rehabilitation of swallowing disorders. Dr. O'Rourke is board certified through the American Board of Otolaryngology and serves as a Senior Examiner for the Board.  She is a Councilor on the Board of Directors for the Dysphagia Research Society and holds the Mark & Evelyn Trammell Endowed Chair in Otolaryngology Instructor Disclosure: Dr. O’Rourke has the following financial relationship: she is a paid employee of the Medical University of South Carolina. She receives payment for this webinar from CSP. Dr. O’Rourke has the following non-financial relationship: she serves on Carolina Speech Pathology’s Advisory Board.

Refund Policy: No refunds for self-study courses.

Webinar Notice: Successful participation in this course includes completion of the post-test with a score of 80% or higher, then participants will automatically receive a course completion certificate. If you would like to have your participation reported to ASHA, it must be indicated on the registration form. 

If you have any questions, please email education@carolinafees.com or call 877-390-1887.