Words Matter- New ways of talking, thinking, touching and moving when applying the biopsychosocial model in the management of low back pain

Date: Friday 25th October 2019

This workshop provides an opportunity for practicing manual/musculoskeletal therapists (osteopaths, chiropractors and physiotherapists) to advance their understanding of pain, disability and the biopsychosocial model (BPS) as it applies to the clinical management, treatment and decision-making of individuals with low back pain.

Many of the theories utilized by manual/musculoskeletal therapists are underpinned by biomechanical and biomedical assumptions regarding pain and disability, and it can be challenging (and confusing!) for practitioners to integrate these models with a contemporary evidence-informed BPS approach. Drawing upon the latest research from the fields of psychology of back pain, communication and therapeutic movement, the course will provide an evidence-based framework for the application and integration of manual therapy skills, communication strategies, clinical reasoning and exercise-based rehabilitation techniques. This course integrates theory with practice and will enable participants to respond appropriately to the rapid changes and development within the field of back pain. Participants will confidently embrace the uncertainty associated with the evaluation and management of acute and chronic back pain sufferers in the context of a BPS approach.

This course provides therapists with a clinical reasoning framework to utilize contemporary therapeutic approaches to musculoskeletal pain, including pain education, cognitive reassurance and re-framing, motivational interviewing and development of a strong therapeutic alliance. Strategies for effective and therapeutic communication with patients experiencing back pain will presented, in conjunction with ways to positively re-frame and re-constrict patients’ understanding and perceptions of back pain.

 

Learning style

 

This course is a combination of a discussion-based lecture, case studies and practical components. The practical components are used with the case studies to link the theory to clinical action. The course will encourage participants to critically reflect, share and apply their own techniques in light of the research evidence and frameworks discussed, as well as offering alternative approaches. The course aims to introduce manual/musculoskeletal therapists to back pain psychology, education, motivational interviewing, communication techniques and manual therapy strategies which can be further developed in their own clinical practice and professional development.

This workshop will:

 

· Review the application of the BPS model to the management of low back pain.

· Review theoretical and research literature on psychological factors relevant to back pain (eg fear-avoidance, pain-related fear, catastrophising, self-efficacy, pain beliefs), and how language can influence these.

· Highlight the importance of language when interacting with patients and provide strategies to use purposeful language to frame manual/physical assessment and treatment.

· Critically evaluate how explanations can negatively or positively impact the multidimensional nature of back pain and recovery.

· Offer ways to apply manual therapy skills to re-frame patients’ experiences and beliefs of back pain.

· Introduce strategies to communicate helpful messages regarding low back pain which can contribute to enhanced patient engagement.

· Introduce motivational interviewing strategies in the context of manual/musculoskeletal practice.

· Strategies to communicate spinal imaging (MRI) findings in a de-threatening and reassuring way.

· Integrate manual therapy treatment and assessment skills within an evidence-based and biopsychosocial framework.

About the course leader

 

Dr Oliver Thomson PhD, MSc, BSc (Hons), DO

 

Oliver practices an osteopath in London, UK where he works in a multidisciplinary clinic, with a particular focus on the treatment and management of back pain and sciatica. He completed his PhD in osteopathy at the University of Brighton, where he explored osteopaths’ clinical reasoning, and he has published extensively in this area. In addition to his clinical role, Oliver also works as an Associate Professor at the University College of Osteopathy, where he leads the Doctoral Programme, and teaches qualitative research and evidence-based practice to undergraduate postgraduate students. He is considered one of the leading authorities on osteopathic practice and research, and he continues to disseminate worldwide on the subjects of back pain, clinical reasoning, evidence-based practice and qualitative research, and the importance in developing these areas to ensure safe and high quality osteopathic care for patients. He is involved in a several research studies investigating back pain, clinical reasoning and the practice of osteopathy, and he lectures in the UK and abroad on postgraduate courses and conferences.


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