The ability to understand and explain the science of PAIN can be a critical component in the rehab experience of many individuals. It takes time to understand these concepts and time to learn how to teach them. Here are my favorite resources for anyone wanting to LEARN or TEACH about PAIN.
Disclaimer: I don't benefit in any way from these recommendations but one of these days I'll probably sign up to be an Amazon affiliate ;)
Therapeutic Neuroscience Education – Adriaan Louw and Louie Puendetura
If you want to learn how to teach people about pain, and only want to buy one book, then this is the book to buy. The newer edition is called Pain Neuroscience Education: Teaching People About Pain
Explain Pain – David Butler and Lorimer Moseley
A classic. I purchased this book when it first came out in 2003 when I took the course Mobilization of the Nervous System (then taught by David Butler and Adriaan Louw together! ) I also have the audio CD which is a great listen.
The Sensitive Nervous System – David Butler
If you find yourself wanting to dive deeper into understanding the nervous system check this book out. In my book this is a must for clinicians.
Why Do I Hurt? - Adriaan Louw
Adriaan and his collaborators have put out a whole series of short and informative booklets that are awesome for patient education.
Lorimer Moseley demonstrates the power of being a captivating storyteller in this book. Metaphors and stories are an effective and less threatening mode of educating someone on pain neuroscience. If you don't have your own stories I'm sure Lorimer won't mind if you use his (Aussie accent optional but recommended).
Topical Issues in Pain (the series 1-5) Edited by Louis Gifford
Reading these books will help you understand the complexity of pain, covering many issues not readily addressed elsewhere. Topics include placebo/nocebo, communication with family members, return to work issues and prevention of disability.
These are FREE downloads that you do NOT want to miss!
Greg Lehman has several incredible resources on his website. Check out his Pain Education, Pain Fundamentals and Recovery Strategies workbooks.
Another free booklet titled: Understanding Persistent Pain: How to Turn Down the Volume On Persistent Pain is available here from Mike Stewart
There are many websites and blogs out there that are great resources for learning about pain. Here are some of my go-to's:
A Real Life Perspective: Visit http://www.mycuppajo.com
Joletta Belton is a gifted writer who shares inspiring and real stories about what it is like to live with persistent pain. I question the value of knowing the science if you don't seek to understand the patient experience which you can read about about on her blog. One of my favorite posts is this one: Pain education – educating patients or making sense of pain together
Pain science nuggets: Visit the noigroup's noi notes and sign up for their emails
Sometimes philosophical, often entertaining, always worthy of the time it takes to check them out from years past. Go on now, get a nugget or 2.
Stay up to date: by visiting https://bodyinmind.org
From the folks at University of South Australia you will get access to current information, videos and resources on past and emerging research
Practical Pain Education:
Zac Cupples has an excellent and free talk on his website that is succinct and full of great information. In addition to this talk, Zac has several course and book reviews related to pain education that you'll want to check out.
Peter O’Sullivan’s website: http://www.pain-ed.com
I'd really like to see Pete O'Sullivan speak some day. Check out his blog, especially this one which gives you a Pain Explanation and Treatment Diagram, a tool to help facilitate patient-practitioner discussions.
Some folks don't like to, or are unable to read. I still want them (and you) to learn so videos are a great option. Here are my favorite videos to direct patients to on YouTube, as well as an informative DVD you can purchase to learn more.
Lorimer Moseley”s Why Things Hurt TEDx talk
David Butler’s The Drug Cabinet in the Brain
Noigroup’s Thought Viruses
PAIN by Lorimer Moseley (a DVD or digital download)
For a preview check it out here:
Last but certainly not least, a live continuing education course should be at the top of your list if you really want to Level Up your pain science game.
Explain Pain from the Noigroup : I took this course from the one and only David Butler. Try to make learning from David Butler or Lorimer Moseley live a priority. You won't be disappointed.
I haven't had the chance to attend the following two but I know from many people that I respect that they are great learning opportunities. These both are on my wishlist.
Therapeutic Neuroscience Education: Teaching People About Pain
From Adriaan Louw’s group (ISPI). I've heard this is an excellent course. Pick this one or Explain Pain...or BOTH!
Each year this summit attracts an impressive list of heavy hitters in the pain science-rehab world. And it can never hurt to pay San Diego a visit in February ;)
These resources are just the tip of the iceberg in the relatively new but rapidly growing field of pain science. If you feel these resources are helpful please share them with friends, family, clients and patients.