Clinical Practice (assessment, diagnosis, treatment, knowledge translation/EBP, implementation science, program development)
Neuroplasticity (includes neuroscience)
Farhad Haeri, PT, DPT
Assistant Professor, Physical Therapist
SUNY Downstate Medical Center,
Dix Hills, New York
Body of Abstract: Pain neuroscience education is steadily evolving, however it initially emerged from a need to better treat chronic pain, and traditionally has been incorporated in a one on one, outpatient clinic setting format, primarily by physical therapists, but also more recently occupational therapists and other health care disciplines. As our understanding of pain increases, it is becoming rapidly clear that an individual’s pain cognitions, heavily influenced by their own personalized experiences, directly correlates with the potential future onset of persistent pain; specifically, that the level of emotional distress an individual experiences will directly impact that onset, and our level of therapeutic alliance may mitigate that transition above all.
A greater body of research is now recognizing the need for pain education to move “upstream” to when an individual has an initial acute pain experience, surgical intervention, or other event that places them into a health system. Research also shows the effectiveness of non-pharmacological treatment interventions including exercise, manual therapy and modalities. Though, these “bottom up” approaches are made more effective when paired with “top down” approaches, including relaxation techniques and other mind-body and positive coping strategies. Involvement of the entire multi-disciplinary team can further amplify these effects.
This workshop will detail how health systems can take the leap forward to educate all staff members on how to speak to a patient in pain: namely, use of pain neuroscience education, “psychologically informed” practice, decrease of the “nocebo effect”, and promotion of non-pharmacological pain treatment interventions as the “first line defense” over opioids for patients via implementation of a “Pain Control & Comfort Menu.” Participants will also learn the utmost importance and value of partnering with our patients to decrease their fear, anxiety, potential for catastrophizing, and to ensure CONTROL, guiding our patients to discover self-management of pain and confidence in functional engagement.
Methods of incorporation of these non-pharmacological treatment strategies via the “Pain Menu”, including documentation and billing, will be addressed. Multiple case studies will be reviewed for workshop participants to role play how they would interact with a patient in pain. This workshop will also allow for participants to create their own “Pain Menu” that could be implemented in their own facility or modified for an outpatient clinic setting, with the end goal of the “Menu” serving as a “home exercise program” for that patient, with time to practice selected pain management techniques. This will be done in an interactive format with small groups in order to facilitate increased knowledge by participants and to share treatment interventions with each other for maximal learning. Step away from this workshop with a ready-made way to make a change in your own facility!
Abbreviated Description: Pain neuroscience education initially emerged from a need to better treat chronic pain, While traditionally performed in the outpatient clinic setting format, research is now recognizing the need for pain education to move “upstream” to when an individual has an initial acute pain experience that places them into a health system. This workshop will detail how health systems can educate all staff members on how to speak to a patient in pain: namely, use of pain neuroscience education, “psychologically informed” practice, and promotion of non-pharmacological pain treatment interventions as the “first line defense” over opioids for patients via implementation of a “Pain Control & Comfort Menu.” Participants will also learn a multitude of non-pharmacological interventions such as exercise, manual therapy, modalities, selected relaxation strategies and other mind-body techniques to foster self-management of pain, and to improve their ability to speak to patients in pain via a role play format.