For Health Professionals

Pain science through a lived experience lens

Chronic pain is complex and can be difficult to treat, leaving both patients and clinicians frustrated. To further complicate matters, clinicians who work with people living with pain have limited non-pharmacological options at their disposal.

That’s why we started the Endless Possibilities Initiative. As two women who have lived with pain ourselves, and have studied pain science, we recognized the need for a new path forward. A path that empowers people living with pain knowledge, skills and support that help them make sense of their pain and change their experience and empowers clinicians to deliver the best care possible.

Evidence-based, non-pharmacological strategies

We deliver customized experiential learning workshops for health professionals that have been developed to present and discuss pain science and evidence-based pain treatment through a lived experience lens in order to foster better outcomes for patients and health professionals alike.

Our curricula are developed using the framework of Professor and neuroscientist Lorimer Moseley and physical therapist and educationalist David Butler presented in Explain Pain Supercharged.

Research, and our own lived experiences, has shown that pain science education and empowering patients with self-management strategies is effective at reducing pain, increasing function, and improving outcomes.

These evidence-based strategies can be used alongside or within any treatment paradigm and help get people back to meaningful, purposeful, productive living.

Empowering patients with knowledge, skills and support

Pain science can be especially effective when paired with evidence-based living well strategies that empower patients to have some control over their experience and can lower healthcare utilization and reliance on prescription medications and opioids.

Our facilitators have both lived with pain and experienced treatment from the other side of the table AND have strong pain science literacy.

We are able to bridge the gap between the science and the experience of pain, offering valuable and unique insights to health professionals and resources they can utilize to maximize these strategies in their practice.

Contextual and Communication strategies

During the workshop we discuss language and communication within the patient-practitioner relationship, including the use of story and metaphor. We touch upon common misunderstandings, misperceptions, and gaps between patient and practitioner and discuss the evidence for words that harm and words that heal.

These workshops are also a unique opportunity to hear the patient voice. This is an opportunity to learn more about what it is like to live with pain, and seek treatment for it, from those who’ve been there. This understanding can help clinicians to set more realistic expectations and foster more effective communication with their patients.

In addition to language, we also discuss other relevant contextual factors that influence pain, education, and treatment and how the clinical environment and context can be optimized for successful outcomes.

Self-care – health professionals are people, too

During these sessions we also validate the health professional experience. As people who’ve lived with pain ourselves and sought care from many clinicians, we recognize how difficult the job is.

Pain is not easy for anyone. It’s not easy for the people living with pain. It’s not easy for those who love someone living with pain. And it’s not easy for those of you who treat those of us who live with pain.

Pain treatment is hard and admirable work. So it is important that you health professionals out there care for yourselves, too, so you can continue to care for others.

Who is this for?

These workshops are for any health professional who works with people living with pain. This can include primary care physicians, surgeons, MDs, DOs, physician assistants, nurses, mental health professionals, physical therapists, manual therapists, coaches, trainers, integrative health professionals, and holistic medicine practitioners.

A sampling of 2018 workshops and presentations for health professionals:

February 2018 San Diego Pain SummitLiving with Pain panel

April 2018 Montana Pain Conference – Co-presentation with Dr. Chris Caldwell, pain physician, on Teaching Pain Science into the Patient Narrative; breakout sessions on the patient perspective

April 2018 Paincloud Convention in Oslo Norway – The Patient Perspective presentation

July 2018 2 CME lecture for clinicians (and open to the public) through UC Health/YVMC in Steamboat Springs, in collaboration with the Rx Task ForceWhy Do I Hurt

September 2018 IASP World Congress on Pain – stay tuned!

October 2018 Reforming MSK Practice in Manchester, UK – Patient Engagement keynote speaker and panelist

Let’s explore what we can do together

Our evidence-based curricula are customizable to the group and to your time constraints. Please don’t hesitate to message us, give us a call at 970.235.0607, or email us at to discuss further.

Might you be interested in a retreat for health professionals? Let us know, we may have one in the works!

For Health Professionals was last modified: July 29th, 2018 by Joletta Belton