About this course
Increasing evidence supports a cardinal role for physiotherapists in the treatment of chronic pain. Physiotherapists combine the unique skills for targeting the chronic pain patient’s mind, body and brain concomitantly. Yet physiotherapists often feel overwhelmed in the complexity and are often unaware of their ability to treat patients with chronic pain. Therefore, this course aims at learning physiotherapists to apply evidence-based guidelines for chronic pain management.
Besides maladaptive changes at the level of the mind and the brain, many patients with chronic pain show bodily dysfunctions like impaired neuromuscular control or articular damage. Course participants will learn how to address such dysfunctions within a broader biopsychosocial approach for the management of chronic pain. Physiotherapists combine the unique skills for targeting the chronic pain patient’s mind, body and brain concomitantly. A prerequisite for providing appropriate treatment is classifying pain patients as having either nociceptive, neuropathic or central sensitization pain.
Once the chronic pain patients are correctly classified and the biopsychosocial aspects involved in the contribution of the problem are known, physiotherapy can start with pain neuroscience education and further include interventions like counselling, activity self-management, graded exercise therapy, graded exposure therapy, stress management, and interventions targeting sleep tailored to the patient’s preferences, needs, pain cognitions, musculoskeletal and central nervous system dysfunctions. A broad biopsychosocial view is required for applying effective physiotherapy for patients with chronic pain, and can be provided in primary, secondary or tertiary care. This accounts for physiotherapists working in the field of musculoskeletal pain, neurology, pediatrics, internal medicine and geriatrics.