Shannon Petersen, P.T., DScPT, OCS, FAAOMPT,COMT

Associate ProfessorDoctor of Physical Therapy Program
Clinic Appointment 515-271-1717
Fax 515-271-7082

Area of Expertise
  • Orthopaedic manual physical therapy; treatment of patients with spinal pain
  • Clinical Practice (practice setting, location) orthopedic outpatient – Des Moines University PT Clinic
Professional Organizations, Committees and Boards
  • American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)
    • APTA Education Section
    • APTA Orthopaedic Section
  • Iowa Physical Therapy Association
  • American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists
    • Member: AAOMPT Research Committee
  • Member: Specialization Academy of Content Experts. American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties. Orthopaedics Exam Item Writer
  • American Academy of Neurologists: Headache Measure Development Work Group. American Physical Therapy Association Representative.
  • Senior Deputy Editor: Journal of Manual and Manipulative Therapy
  • Second Look Day DMU Admissions Event: Manual Therapy Across Various Physical Therapy Settings
  • HealthPASS- Physical Therapy: Musculo-Skeletal Injury
  • DMU DPT Admissions Committee

Dr. Petersen’s primary research interest relates to musculoskeletal impairments of the spine.  Specifically, her work focuses on manual examination and interventions for patients with neck pain and headaches.  She is currently researching the relationship between muscle and joint impairments of the neck and shoulder as they relate to various types of headaches.


Petersen S, Domino N, Cook C.  Scapulothoracic Muscle Strength in Individuals with Neck Pain.  J Back Musculoskelet Rehabil.  DOI 10.3233/BMR150656.  2016.

Donaldson M, Petersen S, Cook C, Learman K.  A prescriptively selected nonthrust manipulation versus a therapist selected non-thrust treatment of individuals with low back pain:  A randomized clinical trial.  J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. Accepted 2015.

Petersen S, Domino N, Postma C, Wells C, Cook C.  Scapulothoracic muscle strength following a single session of manual therapy and an exercise program in subjects with neck pain.  Musculoskeletal Care.  E pub Jan 2016. 

Petersen S, Cook C, Donaldson M, Hassen A, Ellis A, Learman K. The effect of manual therapy with augmentative exercises for neck pain: a randomised clinical trial. J Man Manip Ther. 23(5). 2015. 

Petersen SM, Vardaxis VV. The flexion-rotation test performed actively and passively: a comparison of range of motion in patients with cervicogenic headache. J Man Manip Ther. 23(2), 61-67. 2015.

Ross S, Wall E, Schierman B, Bailey J, Cheng E, Flippen C, Petersen S, Sanders A, Seidenwurm D, Victorio C. Quality Improvement in Neurology: Primary headache quality measures. Neurology 84, 200-203. 2015. 

Headache Quality Measurement Set. American Academy of Neurology, American Medical Association. Written as part of a Multi-disciplinary Headache Work-Group. 2014.

Cook C, Lawrence J, Michalak K, Dhiraprasiddhi S, Donaldson M, Petersen S, Learman K. Is there preliminary value to a within-and/or between-session change for determining short-term outcomes of manual therapy on mechanical neck pain?. J Man Manip Ther. 22 (4), 173-180. 2014. 

Textbook Contributor. Contributed 7 Cases. Cook C, Learman K. One Hundred Orthopedic Cases. New Jersey. Pearson Education, 2014.

Covill LG and Petersen SM. Between limb differences in the upper extremity component of neurodynamic tests.  Physiother Theory Pract. Epub Dec 27, 2011.

Petersen SM and Wyatt SN. Lower Trapezius Muscle Strength in Individuals With Unilateral Neck Pain. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. Apr;41; (4):260-5. Epub Feb 2: 2011.

Petersen SM and Covill LC.  Reliability of the Radial and Ulnar Nerve Biased Neural Tissue Provocation Tests.  Physiother Theory Pract. Oct;26(7); 2010.

Petersen SM and Scott DR.  Application of a classification system and description of a combined manual therapy intervention: a case with low back related leg pain.  J Man Manip Ther. 18(2); 2010.