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Navigating the Waters of Patients in Pain: A Pain Neuroscience Approach to Aquatic Therapy

Our world is immersed in a pain crisis, and many patients are referred for aquatic physical therapy to address issues related to acute and chronic pain. Leading research pioneers in pain science stress the need to assess and change our patients’ cognitions, beliefs and fears BEFORE launching into a movement-based approach to rehabilitation. This webinar will provide an introduction to Pain Neuroscience Education (PNE) and demonstrate how to incorporate PNE concepts into aquatic therapy sessions; differentiate “tissue issues” from “pain issues”; and how to invite patients to begin the conversation to share their pain experience. Participants will be introduced to current research as well as discover opportunities for more in-depth PNE education and training.

Upon completion of the course, participants will be able to:

Describe key questions every patient in pain wants to know.
Identify “red flags” and “yellow flags” seen in patients with back pain.
Discuss areas of the brain involved in the pain neurosignature and their role in a person’s pain response.
Differentiate “tissue issue” from “pain issue”.
Discuss phrases that invite patients to share their pain experience.
Identify primary treatment strategies (“pillars”) providers can use to calm a patient’s nervous system.
Describe strategies that promote patients’ understanding of the biological nature of their problem.
Discuss the unique advantages of the thermodynamic properties of water and physiological effects of immersion on treatment effectiveness for patients in pain.
Demonstrate how to incorporate PNE strategies into aquatic physical therapy sessions.

Note: CEU not applicable in AK, AR, CA, LA, MD, NJ, NM, NV, OH, TX