A bit about your friendly neighbourhood moose.
My approach is to review and study the latest research on manual therapy, physiotherapy, pain science and rehabilitation and strive to implement evidence-based practices.
I hold a level 5 qualification in Clinical Sports & Remedial Massage (mostly BS). This is the second highest qualification currently in the UK and also the minimum requirement for working with elite athletes. I have a BSc(HONS) in Psychology and previously worked as a PhD researcher and lecturer at University of Northampton. I also have a counselling skills certificate awarded by the University of Leicester.
I am currently undertaking an MSc in Pain Management via Cardiff University.
I am also a moderator for the Facebook group ‘Exploring Pain Researching & Meaning’. A group of over 22,000 members both professionals and sufferers of chronic pain.
I have full professional membership of the The association for Soft Tissue Therapists (SMA).
Finding the best evidence-based clinicians has been crucial to developing my approach to helping people in pain. No fad techniques, no magic-fascia stuff, no revolutionary or groundbreaking techniques, just solid academic courses from highly respected people who are progressing the industry.
Pain Neurobiology - Lorimer Moseley
One of the most well-known names in pain neurobiology is Prof. Lorimer Moseley. A great speaker with a gift for explaining complex concepts. Moseley speaks not only form a highly informed position, but with enthusiasm and great compassion.
Pain is weird. Really, really weird. The way your brain conspires to create it by linking together all sorts of things going on. It works nothing like you would think it does.
‘A cognitive functional therapy approach to back pain’ - Peter O’Sullivan (2 years on…)
Since seeing Peter O’Sullivan 2 years earlier, this was a great opportunity to catch up on the latest research in this progressive approach. Peter speaks on behalf of the PAIN-ED group, an international group of physios and researchers.
People living with pain usually have a story to tell - we must listen carefully to explore their understanding of it, and the meaning it has.
It was clear that much of the chronic pain being experienced by the guest patients had been perpetuated by outdated, non-evidence-based information from a multitude of professional, over years.
'Predictive Processing - A New Model For Pain ?' - Mick Thacker
A rare opportunity and the most challenging 2 days of lectures I've ever experienced. Dr Mick Thacker is one of the world's leading authorities in pain research. A truly brilliant and humble academic and practicing clinician.
- The current models of pain are lacking detailed explanation of the top-down vs. bottom-up processing.
- Our 'priors', or ideas our brains possess about the world will predict pain experience.
- I am not clever enough to understand Friston's free energy theory. And probably never will be.
'Know Pain' - Mike Stewart
'A Practical guide to persistent pain therapy'. Mike Stewart's worldwide course had a date in London, I had to attend! Mike's approach engages with the challenge we all face: explaining difficult concepts to patients is really a form of teaching, yet we are not informed by education research - we're not trained as teachers.
- The use of appropriate metaphors can hugely improve a patient's understanding of pain and sensitivity.
- The way we listen, sit, reiterate impacts on a patient's trust in us.
- Our words matter!!
'Understanding back pain: A cognitive functional therapy approach' - Peter O'Sullivan
The most career-defining course I've attended to date. Professor Peter O'Sullivan, a world authority on back pain with over 200 academic publications - my kind of bloke. All the biomechanical approaches to back pain are limited because they ignore the dominant causes. Life events, emotional distress, fear and anxiety are better predictors of pain than posture or structural issues.
- Pain is often an over-sensitised nervous system, not tissue damage
- It's ok to slouch
- Abnormalities in your spine, are normal
- Core strength for back pain makes no sense
- Work with patients to overcome fear of movement
'Reconciling biomechanics with pain science' - Greg Lehman
This course by Dr. Greg Lehman addressed the biggest conflict in all of manual therapy. Modern pain science research call into question a host of biomechanical assumptions that beset physical therapy.
- Posture doesn't matter
- Calm shit down, build shit back up again
- Advanced techniques don't matter, be a better clinician
'The Shoulder complex: Complex doesn't have to mean complicated' - Adam Meakins
This high-quality course by Adam Meakins (aka The sports physio) scrutinised in detail much of the current wisdom and dogma in current physiotherapy when treating shoulders. A thoroughly evidence-based approach that simplified treatment protocols. It transformed the way I treat people with shoulder pain.
- Can't go wrong getting strong
- Motion is lotion
- Educate the patient, move it, load it
Running Repairs: Getting runners back on track - Tom Goom
Tom Goom's (a.k.a. the Running Physio) superb course explored the current evidence-based approaches to assessing and rehabilitating injured runners. A multimodal approach seems currently the best supported. Gait analysis can provide useful insight into a runners pain, but not all the answers.
- Strength and conditioning is likely to reduce pain for runners.
- Returning to running can be quite slow, but in most cases running can continue during the refabilitation phase.
- There are on 'one size fits all' solutions to running-related pain, careful clinical reasoning is essential.