Manual Therapy and Pain Science Education

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Manual Therapy and Pain Science Education

Instructor: Pieter de Smidt, PT, DPT, Cert MDT, MTC, FMS-C

Course Length: 2 hour | Tuition: $79.99 or FREE for Elite Passport Members (learn more)

This is a livestream, interactive course.  The instructor will teach in real time and you will have the opportunity to ask and answer questions.


Should pain science education be a hands-off approach? When it comes to pain some believe because there is limited research supporting the use of manual therapy, there is no need for hands-on treatment and that we should focus on education and exercise. Others support the use of manual therapy for treatment of people with chronic pain and recognize the efficacy of a combined approach in treating the whole person.

As a rehab professional, understanding what type of pain is most dominant for your patient should direct your plan of care. Emerging research shows that manual therapy is a great complement to Pain Science Education, especially when applied with a bio-psycho-social approach. This webinar will discuss how manual therapy and pain science education are not mutually exclusive, but rather complementary approaches that when combined lead to successful outcomes. Guided by the most common symptomatic patient presentations, we will discuss 3 different classifications of pain and how manual therapy might be used in a comprehensive treatment plan.


  • Explain the Evidence-Informed Treatment of Musculoskeletal Conditions using a combination of Manual Therapy and Pain Science Education
  • Outline the history and importance of pain science education in physical therapy
  • Identify three main pain mechanisms
  • Explain the BPS model and how it impacts the treatment of Musculoskeletal conditions
  • Describe how manual therapy can be coupled with pain science education and why pain science education should not be a “hands-off”- approach


Introduction: What do we know about pain?

  • Pain is complex
  • Chronic pain has doubled in last 15 years
  • Pathology and Symptoms do not correlate
  • Pain Science Education
    • What is it?
    • BPS Model
    • When and how do you educate your patient?
  • How does pain affect movement and performance?
    • Pain Neurotag
    • The brain is the X-factor for (sports) performance
  • Manual Therapy
    • Different types of MT
    • History of MT
    • Effects of Manual Therapy
    • Why does MT needs to be part of your plan of care for a patient in pain
    • Clinical Decision Making: Right Treatment, Right Time and Right Patient”
    • Building Trust. No pun intended.
  • Educating Patients About Pain
    • Pain Models most of us were taught need to be updated:
    • Pain beliefs play a huge role
    • Current understanding: Three Main Pain Mechanisms with clusters of clinical prediction:
    • 4 R’s
    • Relationship between Pain and Sleep
    • Injury: 2 choices, driven by knowledge
      Fear-avoidance and its consequences in chronic musculoskeletal pain
      Vlaeyen et al (2000)
  • No fear
  • Pain catastrophizing