Sue Falsone, PT, MS, SCS, ATC, CSCS, COMT, RYT
(this instructor reports no financial or non-financial disclosures)
Although most athletic trainers deal with patients who are in pain, very few clinicians understand the complexity of pain perception and the individuality by which it presents itself from patient to patient. Often, patients of the same gender, around the same age, with the same diagnosis, present very differently when it comes to the amount of pain they are experiencing. This presents a difficult scenario for the athletic trainer, who may be utilizing past clinical experience to manage a current patient. Truly understanding the biopsychosocial aspects of pain and understanding the most recent literature on pain sciences will be helpful to the clinical athletic trainer, who is often tasked with helping a patient simply “feel better”. Pain affects movement, so athletic trainers who are attempting to change an athletes’ movement patterns first must address the pain perception that can be altering the movement patterns. Proper modality selection and counseling is a must in order for the athletic trainer to be effective in the field of pain management.
Pain is a multifactorial experience and should be addressed via a comprehensive biopsychosocial intervention model. Pain and nociceptive stimulation do not go hand in hand, meaning pain can be present in the absence of nociceptive stimulation. Therefore, the clinician needs to understand not only the physical neurology of the sensation of pain, but the emotional, psychological, social, and personal experiences that factor into the creation of pain perception. With this comprehensive understanding, the clinician should be able to select an appropriate intervention to modulate pain based on the needs of the individual patient
The specific objectives for this course include the development of the participant’s ability to:
- Describe reasons why pain presents differently in each patient, even in patients who present with the same diagnosis.
- Discuss the biopsychosocial aspects of pain.
- Identify common modalities that are effective for pain modulation.
- Discuss the mechanisms by which these common modalities potentially work.
According to the education levels described by the PDC, this
continuing education course is considered to be Advanced Level, and is
appropriate for all athletic trainers.