Scott Burns

Professor of Instruction
Vice Chair
Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
1700 N Broad St


Scott Burns, PT, DPT, PhD is a professor of instruction in the Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences and is currently the vice chair for the department. Dr. Burns received his physical therapy education from the University of Colorado and completed his PhD from the University of Newcastle (Australia). He also has obtained clinical board specialization in orthopaedic physical therapy though the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and completed his fellowship training in orthopaedic manual physical therapy at Regis University (Denver, CO). He is a licensed physical therapist in Pennsylvania and maintains an active clinical practice treating individuals with musculoskeletal and pain disorders.

Dr. Burns teaches primarily in the musculoskeletal content within the DPT program. He is responsible for the administrative leadership within the department that includes many programs including the BS in health professions, BS in recreational therapy, MS in neuromotor science, PhD in neuromotor science and clinical professional programs including the DPT program, master of occupational therapy, MS in athletic training, MS in recreational therapy and doctor of athletic training.

Dr. Burns has been selected as a representative to serve on the American Council of Academic Physical Therapy (ACAPT) Criteria for Excellence meeting in 2019 and subsequently been invited to join the taskforce to create a Blueprint for Excellence in Physical Therapist Education. He has been recognized as the recipient of the Rising Star Award by the University of Colorado Physical Therapy Alumni Association (2020). He was also awarded the Excellence in Teaching Award (2014) by the College of Public Health at Temple University.

Dr. Burns also maintains an active research agenda in the area of musculoskeletal rehabilitation, manual therapy and optimal delivery of physical therapist education. He has authored 13 peer-reviewed publications (nine as primary author), six book chapters and over 25 peer-reviewed presentations. He was awarded the Dick Erhard Award for Best Platform Presentation at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy (AAOMPT) conference in 2010.


  • PhD, Physiotherapy, University of Newcastle, Australia
  • DPT, Physical Therapy, University of Colorado
  • MSPT, Physical Therapy, University of Colorado
  • BS, Kinesiology, University of Colorado

Specializations and fellowships

  • Orthopaedic Clinical Specialist (OCS)
  • Fellow, American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists (FAAOMPT)
  • Fellow, American Physical Therapy Association Educational Leadership

Curriculum Vitae 

Courses Taught




PHTH 8101

Introduction to Physical Therapy


PHTH 8123

Development Across the Lifespan


PHTH 8125

Clinical Management of Musculoskeletal Conditions I


PHTH 8161

Integrated Clinical Experience 1


PHTH 8162

Integrated Clinical Experience 2


PHTH 8163

Integrated Clinical Experience 3


PHTH 8164

Integrated Clinical Experience 4


PHTH 8165

Integrated Clinical Experience 5


Selected Publications

  • Burns, S.A., Cleland, J.A., Rivett, D.A., O'Hara, M.C., Egan, W., Pandya, J., & Snodgrass, S.J. (2021). When Treating Coexisting Low Back Pain and Hip Impairments, Focus on the Back: Adding Specific Hip Treatment Does Not Yield Additional Benefits-A Randomized Controlled Trial. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther, 51(12), pp. 581-601. United States. doi: 10.2519/jospt.2021.10593

  • Burns, S.A., Cleland, J.A., Rivett, D.A., & Snodgrass, S.J. (2019). Examination procedures and interventions for the hip in the management of low back pain: a survey of physical therapists. Braz J Phys Ther, 23(5), pp. 419-427. Brazil. doi: 10.1016/j.bjpt.2018.09.007

  • Burns, S.A., Cleland, J.A., Cook, C.E., Bade, M., Rivett, D.A., & Snodgrass, S. (2018). Variables Describing Individuals With Improved Pain and Function With a Primary Complaint of Low Back Pain: A Secondary Analysis. J Manipulative Physiol Ther, 41(6), pp. 467-474. United States. doi: 10.1016/j.jmpt.2017.11.006

  • Burns, S.A., Cleland, J.A., Rivett, D.A., & Snodgrass, S.J. (2018). Effectiveness of physical therapy interventions for low back pain targeting the low back only or low back plus hips: a randomized controlled trial protocol. Braz J Phys Ther, 22(5), pp. 424-430. Brazil. doi: 10.1016/j.bjpt.2018.08.014

  • Mintken, P.E., McDevitt, A.W., Michener, L.A., Boyles, R.E., Beardslee, A.R., Burns, S.A., Haberl, M.D., Hinrichs, L.A., & Cleland, J.A. (2017). Examination of the Validity of a Clinical Prediction Rule to Identify Patients With Shoulder Pain Likely to Benefit From Cervicothoracic Manipulation. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther, 47(4), pp. 252-260. United States. doi: 10.2519/jospt.2017.7100

  • Tikhilov, R., Shubnyakov, I., Burns, S., Shabrov, N., Kuzin, A., Mazurenko, A., & Denisov, A. (2016). Experimental study of the installation acetabular component with uncoverage in arthroplasty patients with severe developmental hip dysplasia. Int Orthop, 40(8), pp. 1595-1599. Germany. doi: 10.1007/s00264-015-2951-z

  • Mintken, P.E., McDevitt, A.W., Cleland, J.A., Boyles, R.E., Beardslee, A.R., Burns, S.A., Haberl, M.D., Hinrichs, L.A., & Michener, L.A. (2016). Cervicothoracic Manual Therapy Plus Exercise Therapy Versus Exercise Therapy Alone in the Management of Individuals With Shoulder Pain: A Multicenter Randomized Controlled Trial. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther, 46(8), pp. 617-628. United States. doi: 10.2519/jospt.2016.6319

  • Burns, S.A., Cleland, J.A., Carpenter, K., & Mintken, P.E. (2016). Interrater reliability of the cervicothoracic and shoulder physical examination in patients with a primary complaint of shoulder pain. Phys Ther Sport, 18, pp. 46-55. England. doi: 10.1016/j.ptsp.2015.07.001

  • Denisov, A.O., Shilnikov, V.A., & Barns, S.A. (2012). COXA-VERTEBRAL SYNDROME AND ITS SIGNIFICANCE IN HIP ARTHROPLASTY (REVIEW). Traumatology and Orthopedics of Russia(1), pp. 121-127. doi: 10.21823/2311-2905-2012-0-1-144-149

  • Burns, S.A., Egan, W., Glynn, P., & Cleland, J. (2012). Letter to the editor: response. Sports Health, 4(1), p. 16. United States. doi: 10.1177/1941738111431063

  • Burns, S.A., Foresman, E., Kraycsir, S.J., Egan, W., Glynn, P., Mintken, P.E., & Cleland, J.A. (2011). A treatment-based classification approach to examination and intervention of lumbar disorders. Sports Health, 3(4), pp. 362-372. United States. doi: 10.1177/1941738111410378

  • Burns, S.A., Mintken, P.E., & Austin, G.P. (2011). Clinical decision making in a patient with secondary hip-spine syndrome. Physiother Theory Pract, 27(5), pp. 384-397. England. doi: 10.3109/09593985.2010.509382

  • Burns, S.A., Mintken, P.E., Austin, G.P., & Cleland, J. (2011). Short-term response of hip mobilizations and exercise in individuals with chronic low back pain: a case series. J Man Manip Ther, 19(2), pp. 100-107. England. doi: 10.1179/2042618610Y.0000000007

  • Burns, S.A., Burshteyn, M., & Mintken, P.E. (2010). Sign of the buttock following total hip arthroplasty. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther, 40(6), p. 377. United States. doi: 10.2519/jospt.2010.0410

  • Brown, G.T. & Burns, S.A. (2001). The efficacy of neurodevelopmental treatment in paediatrics: A systematic review. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 64(5), pp. 235-244. doi: 10.1177/030802260106400505