• Education:Doctor of Physical Therapy, MGH Institute of Health Professions, Boston, MA, 2005- 2007
    Master of Science in Physical Therapy, Columbia University, New York, NY, 1986- 1988
    Bachelor of Arts in Biology, Assumption College, Worcester, MA, 1982- 1986
  • Website or Lab: Boston University Physical Therapy Center
  • Phone:617-353-7505

Scholarly, Research, and/or Practice Interests

  • Out-patient orthopaedic physical therapy, manual therapy, implementation of treatment based classification systems for spinal disorders, evidence based practice, bridging academic teaching and clinical practice.

Courses Taught

Fall, Year 3

  • PT794 Clinical Education Seminar III

This course is the final in a series of three seminars related to clinical education experiences. The content is rooted in professional behaviors, ethics, and the core values of accountability, altruism, compassion/caring, excellence, integrity, professional duty, and social responsibility in the practice of physical therapy. The seminars are designed to bridge clinical and classroom experiences in these areas through the use of discussion, reflective learning, real life examples from clinical experiences, case studies, and collaborative learning. This final course will also provide tools to assist the student with the transition to becoming a professional.

  • Facilitator, PT 773 Comprehensive Clinical Reasoning (list under Fall, Year 3)

Comprehensive Clinical Reasoning is a case based course taught in small tutorial groups using the problem based learning format. The course is intended to enhance integration of course content taught elsewhere in the curriculum within the context of a physical therapy case study. Students will be expected to use a variety of resources, ( i.e. current literature, text books) to solve complex patient cases. Issues to be discussed will include: streamlining the patient examination, clinical decision making, effective physical therapy intervention, likely prognosis, clinical teaching, the role of the PT in relation to other health care providers, and issues involved in the delivery of physical therapy including professionalism, interpersonal skills, communication, third party payers and ethics.

Spring, Year 2

  • SAR PT 623 – Musculoskeletal System III

This course is designed to provide the student with the necessary skills for prevention, examination, evaluation, and intervention of musculoskeletal disorders of the spine and TM joints. It is the third in a series of musculoskeletal based classes and will complete the required musculoskeletal content of the PT program. The student will learn an evidence-based and systems approach to patient care. Specifically, this course will work to teach the student how to determine which impairments are related to specific functional limitations and disabilities of the individual with spinal disorders. It will consider spinal impairments throughout the life span as well as throughout the natural history of the problem. An eclectic approach to interventions will be stressed along with current literature findings.

Selected Publications


  • Ellis T, Rork T, Dalton, D. Be Active: An Exercise Program for People with Parkinson’s disease. American Parkinson’s disease Association, March 2008.

Textbook Chapters

  • Dalton D. The Vertebral Column. In: Levangie PK and Norkin C. Joint Structure and Function; A Comprehensive Analysis, ed.5 139-191. FA Davis, Philadelphia. 2011.
  • Starr J, Dalton D. The Thorax and Chest Wall. In: Levangie PK and Norkin C. Joint Structure and Function; A Comprehensive Analysis, ed. 5, 192-211. FA Davis, Philadelphia. 2011.

Journal Article

  • Marinko L, Chacko J, Dalton D, Chacko C. The effectiveness of therapeutic exercise for painful shoulder conditions: a meta analysis. J Shoulder Elbow Surg: In press.

Selected Presentations

  • Marinko L, Dalton D. Regional Interdependence: Integrating the cervical and thoracic spine into management of shoulder disorders. APTA of Massachusetts Conference and Exposition, November 2010.
  • Dalton D, Marinko L, Maxwell J. Clinical Lumbar Instability: Understanding the pathology and implications for practice. APTA of Massachusetts Conference and Exposition, November 2009
  • Dalton D, Marinko L, Maxwell J. Implementing the Low Back Pain Treatment Based Classification System into the Clinic: A Hands-On Course. APTA of Massachusetts Conference and Exposition, November 2008
  • Dalton D, Low Back Pain: Evidence-Based Physical Therapy Management, Tufts University Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Residency Program, December 2007
  • Dalton D, Rehabilitation After Cervical Spine Injury, 2006 Sports Related Conference on Concussion and Spine Injury: Harvard Medical School and Brigham & Women’s Hospital Neurological Sports Injury Center, May 2006
  • Fetters L, Dalton D, Ellis T, Slavin M, Starr J, Wagenaar, R, Teaching Evidence-Based Practice in Physical Therapy Curricula, Physical Therapy 2003: Meeting & Exposition of the APTA, June 2003

Consulting and Professional Activities

  • Boston University Physical Therapy Center Physical Therapist


  • Bethal B, Sears T, Dalton D. Implementation of Three Outcome Measures For Patients With Low Back Pain to Improve Evidence-Based Practice at One Physical Therapy Clinic; Research Practicum, Fall 2007
  • Czulada D, Dalton D. Prevalence of Neck and LBP in College Students Enrolled in Allied Health Programs and Potential Risk Factors; Research Practicum, Fall 2005
  • Porterfield L, Dalton D. Examination of the Incidence of Low Back Injury in Female Collegiate Varsity Rowers and Its Relationship to Training Programs,¬†Research Practicum, Fall 2004
  • Martin S, Dalton D, Spak S, Fetters L. Examination of an Association Between Forefoot Varus and Non-contact Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries in Female Collegiate Athletes,¬†Research Practicum, Fall 2003

Awards and Honors

  • Whitney R. Powers Award for Teaching Excellence, Sargent College, 2009

Licensing and Certification

  • Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Division of Registration in Allied Health Professions¬†Physical Therapy License (August 1988 – present)
  • Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist 1997- present.
  • Certified Manual Therapist

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