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Pain Education Theory & Practice for Physiotherapists

Registered physiotherapists Debbie Patterson and Geoff Bostick lead a course addressing the important gaps in knowledge surrounding the process of pain education.

Maladaptive beliefs and thoughts about pain are substantial barriers to recovery. Pain education addresses these thought by providing current and relevant science specifically targeted to the individual patients needs and level of understanding. Appropriate education is a core intervention for changing pain and quality of life.

Here's What You Will Learn:

  • The current evidence for pain education
  • Key principles in pain education in their clinical practice
  • The basic concepts of adult education related to philosophy and theory and their relevance to pain education
  • The barriers and facilitators for effective pain education
  • Increase your skills in providing pain education by hearing both relevant clinical experiences and a patient's perspective

Click Here for the full Course

Here's a short video from the course. 




About the Instructors: 

Debbie Patterson, Registered Physiotherapist

Debbie Patterson is an orthopaedic physiotherapist with a special interest in the treatment of persistent pain. Early in her career she recognized that the medical model of physiotherapy treatment often failed people with persistent pain. This led her on a career path of learning about the current science of pain, and searching for clinical relevance in the treatment of pain.

For over 25 years her clinical practice has focused on providing evidence based treatment for persistent pain conditions, including chronic low back and neck pain, complex regional pain syndrome, phantom limb pain and fibromyalgia. She has treated pre teenage children with chronic pain conditions, teenagers, and adults.

She was a founding member of the Canadian Physiotherapy Pain Science Group and later was a founding member of the Pain Science Division of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association, serving on the executive as Secretary for two years. Debbie is committed to postgraduate education of health care providers.

She provides courses on “Pain in Women”, “Fibromyalgia”, and "Understand the Brain to Treat Pain". She also mentors physiotherapists who are interested in developing their passion and skill in the treatment of persistent pain conditions.




Geoff Bostick, PT, PhD, Division Chair, Division Research Representative Committee (DRRC) Representative

Geoff obtained his BScPT from the University of Saskatchewan in 2001. He then worked in private practice in Saskatoon, Edmonton and Victoria. In 2005, he completed the Diploma of Advanced Manual and Manipulative Physiotherapy. By 2006, Geoff had developed a fervent interest for pain sciences; particularly the cognitive and social aspects of pain. He then began his PhD in Rehabilitation Science at the University of Alberta, completing the program in 2011. Currently, Geoff works as an Assistant Professor at the University of Alberta (U of A) in the Department of Physical Therapy (PT). He teaches primarily in the orthopaedic portion of the program, but incorporates as much pain education as possible into other courses in the MScPT program. His research interests include neuropathic pain in OA, cognitive factors in chronic pain and various teaching-related initiatives. He also runs a student-led physiotherapy clinic within the Department of Physiotherapy at the U of A, and a modest not-for-profit PT pain program in conjunction with the U of A Multidisciplinary Pain Centre.

Geoff’s current role with the Pain Science Division is the Division Research Representative Committee (DRRC) representative, promoting pain-related research to its members. He is also co-chair of DRRC. The DRRC rep is broadly charged with promoting pain-related research to its members. Geoff is particularly excited about a new initiative called Paincasts – short podcasts discussing pain with some bright people

Click Here for the full Course

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