As the United States population ages, and physical therapy take its rightful place in the assessment and treatment of older adults, we must reevaluate our pain paradigms in the elderly. It is overwhelmingly shown that older patients do hurt, but not because they are old, but because they stop moving. Fear-avoidance and pain catastrophizing, powerfully driven by these misbeliefs regarding aging powerfully limits movement. Recent pain neuroscience education (PNE) research has shown that normalizing pain beliefs, including the role of aging and pain, powerfully influences movement, pain and disability – even in older adults.
In this lecture we will explore the myth of aging and pain, evolution and evidence for PNE and showcase how various ready-to-use metaphors can help older adults understand pain better and facilitate much-needed movement and improved quality of life.
Upon completion of this educational session the participants will be able to:
Recognize the current aging of the US population, it’s impact on rehabilitation and future needs, especially in regards to pain
Update their knowledge of pain science and how it pertains to pain experiences in older adults
Develop a working knowledge of pain neuroscience education for older adults to facilitate healthier beliefs about pain and facilitate movement
Build a pain-science-based pacing and graded exposure for older adults to encourage and facilitate movement
Immediately apply the information from the educational session into clinical practice
Adriaan Louw, PT, PhD earned his undergraduate, master’s degree and PhD in physiotherapy from the University of Stellenbosch in Cape Town, South Africa. He is an adjunct faculty member at St. Ambrose University and the University of Nevada Las Vegas, teaching pain science. Adriaan has taught throughout the US and internationally for 25 years at numerous national and international manual therapy, pain science and medical conferences. He has authored and co-authored over 75 peer-reviewed articles related to spinal disorders and pain science. Adriaan completed his Ph.D. on pain neuroscience education and is the Director of the Therapeutic Neuroscience Research Group – an independent collaborative initiative studying pain neuroscience. Adriaan is a senior faculty and vice-president of faculty experience for Evidence in Motion.