Teaching People About Pain

presented by Adriaan Louw

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Pain is complex and new paradigms of pain, i.e., neuromatrix, nerve sensitivity, endocrine and immune responses to pain and neuroplasticity has pushed physical therapy to the foreground in the treatment of pain. Physical therapy is uniquely positioned to treat pain, exhibiting various important skillsets such as knowledge of movement, biology, exercise and psychology, let alone the important clinical aspects of time with patients, hands-on treatment, cost-effectiveness and a large workforce. This course aims to show physical therapists, via a modern understanding of pain, how physical therapy can help patients afflicted with various seemingly disabling pain states. Various common pathologies such as low back pain, whiplash associated disorders, carpal tunnel syndrome, complex regional pain, knee arthroscopy and more will be discussed from a pain perspective to illustrate the vast number of strategies physical therapists have to treat patients affected by pain.

Meet Your Instructor

  • Adriaan Louw, PT, PhD, CSMT

    Adriaan Louw, PT, PhD, CSMT

    Adriaan, co-founder and CEO of ISPI, earned both an undergraduate as well as a master’s degree in research and spinal surgery rehabilitation from the University of Stellenbosch in Cape Town, South Africa. He is a guest lecturer/adjunct faculty at Rockhurst University, St. Ambrose University and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. In addition, he maintains a clinical practice and is co-owner of The Ortho Spine and Pain Clinic in Story City, Iowa. Adriaan has been teaching postgraduate, spinal manual therapy and pain science classes throughout the US and internationally for 15 years. He is a Certified Spinal Manual Therapist through ISPI. In addition, Adriaan has presented at numerous national and international manual therapy, pain science and medical conferences and has authored and co-authored articles, books and book chapters related to spinal disorders and pain science. Recently, Adriaan completed his Ph.D., which centers on therapeutic neuroscience education and spinal disorders.

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

Download Learning Objectives
  1. Chronic Pain, Cognitions, and Education

    1. Chronic Pain, Cognitions, and Education

    Analyze how common faulty cognitions impact pain and disability in people with pain. Recognize how ignoring faulty cognitions may be a large contributor to the current pain epidemic.

  2. The Evolution of Therapeutic Neuroscience Education

    2. The Evolution of Therapeutic Neuroscience Education

    Justify the need to carefully reanalyze the use of biomedical information to educate patients about pain. Recognize the evidence supporting neuroscience education for people in pain.

  3. Pain Neuroscience Update: Input Mechanism

    3. Pain Neuroscience Update: Input Mechanism

    Explain that tissues heal and various abnormalities may not be correlated to pain. Integrate the latest neuroscience of peripheral neuropathic pain into clinical reasoning in people with persistent pain.

  4. Pain Neuroscience Update: Processing and Output

    4. Pain Neuroscience Update: Processing and Output

    Explain how various areas of the brain in the pain neuromatrix process nociception. Describe the various biological processes involved in protecting pain patients.

  5. Educating the Patient: The Body's Extra Sensitive Alarm System

    5. Educating the Patient: The Body's Extra Sensitive Alarm System

    Verify how neuroscience education uses metaphors, examples and pictures in an easy-to-understand format for people in pain. Explain to a patient how the body’s alarm system, the nervous system, becomes increasingly sensitive; how it impacts function and how therapy can help.

  6. Educating the Patient: Body Inc., Board Meetings and When Lions Attack

    6. Educating the Patient: Body Inc., Board Meetings and When Lions Attack

    Explain to a patient how the brain produces pain to protect. Describe how a lion metaphor can be used to explain common signs and symptoms seen in people suffering in pain.

  7. Q&A

    7. Q&A

    Adriaan Louw sits down with Seattle-based Physical Therapist, Chris Johnson, to discuss emerging pain research and what this means for the role of the therapist.