Reconciling Biomechanics with Pain Science


This 2-day course is geared toward the health care provider and fitness professional.  With emerging research there is often the feeling that a traditional approach needs to be wholly discarded.  Instead, this course helps the therapist to integrate thepain science and biopsychosocial model of pain with traditional biomechanical techniques.  The course simplifies many of those techniques and distills the most relevant and important aspects of those techniques for pain resolution and injury management. An emphasis is placed on exercise prescription, symptom modification and graded exposure for injury management and simple techniques to start addressing the psychosocial aspects that influence both pain and performance.

You will learn how “pain science” can be taught to patients in a way that builds resilience, optimism and promotes healthy and independent behaviours.

Product Description

October 19th-20th, 2019

Vancouver College of Massage Therapy (VCMT)

300-1050 West Pender St.

Vancouver, BC

Full refunds available 4 weeks before course.  50% refund given at 2 weeks, no refunds issued less than 2 weeks

Approval for 14 PE credits by the CMTBC pending


This course has been taught more than 80 times on 5 continents.  It is constantly being updated and we consider it a great course for new grads and seasoned veterans.  New grads report that it helps give some direction to their new learning and old pros often find it reinforces much of what they know but gives some additional practical insights into improving what they do.  We recognize that some of the material is contestable but many of those who have taken the course with different biases still find there are practical and useful parts.  We are allowed to disagree and when we do it often makes everyone in the course that much smarter.

Brief Overview

Please find the course outline here.

This is practical course designed to help therapists simplify the mechanical aspects of their treatment and build new communication and clinical reasoning skills.  It teaches an alternative to the kinesiopathological model of pain and injury but still tries to answer when biomechanics matters.  Therapeutic neuroscience is taught but not with a heavy neuroscience slant.  Rather, practical approaches to teaching patients about pain that builds resiliency, optimism and encourages self-control of symptoms are the focus.  We focus on cognitive restructuring to address many of the common unhelpful beliefs regarding pain and injury and use our Pain Key Messages to change behaviour.  Much of the information is based on the Recovery Strategies Pain Workbook.  Exercise prescription and symptom modification is taught with an emphasis on clinical reasoning and less about specific exercise (as those aren’t always necessary).

Course Background

The biopsychosocial model of pain and injury has been argued as superior to the traditional biomedical approach for more than two decades. However, traditional therapy typically relies on explanations and a clinical reasoning model that is predominantly biomechanics based.  Significant research in the pain neurosciences and biomechanics field often appears to undermine the reasoning and justifications for many of the therapeutic approaches and techniques of the physical therapy profession.  By addressing the both the weaknesses and strengths of the biomechanical approach we can see that treatment can be much simpler, congruent with the cognitive, neuroscience approach and best evidenced based practice.

Special topics include therapeutic neuroscience education, assessment and exercise prescription, symptom modification techniques, tendinopathy as a model for persistent pain research and a reconceptualization of manual and exercise therapy that is symptom modification based rather than biomechanically driven.