Clinical Edge - Comprehensive practical member training Module 2 - Making sense of pain Clinical Edge - Comprehensive practical member training Module 2 - Making sense of pain

Module 2 - Making sense of pain

Our patients want treatment for their pain, and as clinicians, we want to help improve their pain. Patients with acute, mechanical pain following an injury, like a hamstring muscle tear or lateral ankle ligament injury often respond quickly to treatment, but a number of these go on to have ongoing pain and issues, and other patients without any clear injury have high levels of persistent pain.

Understanding pain, pain science and how to tailor your treatment to different pain presentations seems to be really important.

The trouble is, pain science can be painful. Neurotransmitters and pictures of guys putting their hand in a fire seem to crop up as soon as pain is mentioned, but you can walk away from a pain lecture or course wondering what the practical implications are, and how any of this helps you get better results with your patients. Where are the practical elements you can use with your patients?

How can you explain acute or persistent pain to your patients, without giving them the message “It’s all in your head”?

It’s time for a new, practical approach to pain and pain science - focused on giving you tools, techniques and strategies you can use immediately with your patients to treat pain.

Dry, boring and irrelevant parts are cut away, instead you have case studies and the practical information you need to get great results with your patients.

“Making sense of pain” is module 2 in our comprehensive, practical member training, and gives you exactly what you need to treat acute and persistent pain successfully and confidently. You’ll finally master pain & pain science, exploring:

  • Why does it hurt? Pain science for clinical practice.
  • Painful patterns - How to identify, differentiate and treat common pain presentations, including somatic referred pain, neuropathic pain, facet joint, discogenic, SIJ and lumbar spine pain, tendon and bone pain.
  • Musculoskeletal masqueraders - identifying pain from non-musculoskeletal sources.
  • Tailored treatment - How to tailor your treatment to your patients pain presentation
  • Pain - is it a sensitive conversation? Build your pain communication skills to positively and effectively influence your patients pain, and build trust.
  • “So you’re saying it’s all in my head?” Practical strategies to effectively educate your patients on pain, without them falling asleep or thinking it’s all in their head.
  • Fearful of flareups? How to avoid and manage flareups in your patients.
  • Less stress, more success with the biopsychosocial model. How to recognise and gently challenge patient beliefs.
  • Exercise & effective treatment, bullshit and quackery - understanding how treatments work to get better results.
  • Painful or painless? How to ditch cookie-cutter exercises and programs, and choose the most effective exercises for your patients in pain.
  • Are athletes superhuman? Understanding & treating common pain presentations in athletes.
  • To cut or not to cut, that is the question. When to use and avoid medical treatments for pain, including pharmacology, injection and surgery.
  • Painful conditions and how to manage them. Case studies to improve your confidence, and make working with persistent pain patients rewarding and fun again.

Dive into Module 2 - Making sense of pain to explore practical strategies that'll improve your assessment, diagnosis and treatment results.


1. Why does it hurt? Applying pain science in clinical practice with Simon Olivotto

Develop a strong understanding of the different pain mechanisms your patients are experiencing, sharpen your diagnostic accuracy, and deliver more effective, targeted treatments. ...

1 Hr 25 Min 4 Videos

2. Pain patterns 1 - How to differentiate causes of pain & tailor treatment with Nick Kendrick

Discover common pain patterns for low back pain, bone and tendon pain, to quickly and accurately assess & diagnose your patients pain, and tailor your treatment....

1 Hr 20 Min 1 Videos

3. Pain patterns 2 - How to differentiate headaches, visceral, inflammatory, vascular & cancerous sources of pain

Identify pain from viscera, inflammatory conditions, vascular causes & cancer. Differentiate musculoskeletal pain from conditions you need to refer for urgent medical review. ...

1 Hr 15 Min 1 Videos

4. Pain patterns 3 - Tailoring treatment to your patient’s pain presentation with Nick Kendrick

Discover how to tailor your treatment to different pain presentations....

35 Min 1 Videos

5. Pain - is it a sensitive conversation? with Paula Peralta

Discover effective strategies & case studies to immediately transform your patient conversations about pain from sensitive to sensational. ...

1 Hr 20 Min 1 Videos

6. Opening up the hurt locker part 1 - Pain type, neurological & neuromechanosensitivity assessment with Nick Kendrick

Confidently assess and diagnose common and complex pain presentations with this 2 part video series with Nick Kendrick....

2 Hr 5 Min 1 Videos

7. Opening up the hurt locker part 2 - How to assess & measure pain with Nick Kendrick

Discover what most therapists miss in their neurological assessment, and how to successfully manage patients with pain & neuro symptoms with Nick Kendrick. ...

1 Hr 40 Min 1 Videos

8. You’re saying it’s all in my head? Explaining pain part 1 with David Toomey

Help patients make sense of their persistent or complex pain, without it sounding like “It’s all in your head”. Turn complex pain science into simple, meaningful explanations your patients easily understand. ...

55 Min 1 Videos

9. Marvelous metaphors & awesome analogies. Explaining pain 2 with David Toomey

Use metaphors to help your patients understand when it’s safe to exercise despite pain or discomfort, successfully complete their rehab program and overcome their pain....

30 Min 1 Videos

10. Fearful of flare-ups? Graded activity, pacing and beyond to self-efficacy with Paula Peralta

Are your patients fearful of a flareup? Successfully use graded exposure, graded exercise & pacing with your patients to help prepare for & overcome pain flareups....

60 Min 1 Videos

11. Less stress more success with the BPS - Understanding pain through the biopsychosocial model part 1 with David Toomey

Have less stress and more success with the biopsychosocial model, as you find simple solutions to complex pain with this presentation....

1 Hr 20 Min 1 Videos

12. Less stress more success with the BPS- Understanding pain through the biopsychosocial model part 2 with David Toomey

Improve your results with persistent low back pain using a BPS approach incorporating exercise, education and manual therapy. ...

45 Min 1 Videos

13. Effective treatments or bulls#!t & quackery with Simon Olivotto

How to use effective, evidence-based treatment for musculoskeletal pain, while avoiding bulls#!t & quackery....

1 Hr 20 Min 1 Videos

14. Train for pain or remain the same - Exercise guidance for your painful patients with David Toomey

How do you choose exercises to improve your patients' pain? Take the guesswork out of your exercise prescription with this presentation from David Toomey....

1 Hr 45 Min 1 Videos

15. Are athletes superhuman? Part 1 with Paula Peralta

Improve your treatment of sporting injuries and pain in athletes with this presentation from Paula Peralta...

1 Hr 25 Min 1 Videos

16. Are athletes superhuman? Part 2 with Paula Peralta

Effectively treat athletes with tendon pain or symptomatic join or chondral pathology now....

45 Min 1 Videos

17. “The drugs don’t work. Or do they?” part 1 with Nick Kendrick

Help patients understand their medical treatment options, and know when to refer patients for medications or injections to help patients fully recover from pain. ...

1 Hr 30 Min 2 Videos

18. Medical management of pain part 2 - Simple analgesics & anti-inflammatories with Nick Kendrick

Easily explain simple analgesics to your patients, including NSAID’s, steroidal anti-inflammatories, opioids, and muscle relaxants. ...

1 Hr 10 Min 5 Videos

19. Medical management of pain 3 - Anti-depressants, local anaesthetics, psychedelics & special meds with Nick Kendrick

Know when patients will benefit from pain medications, identify side effects, and discover the latest & emerging pain medications and injections. ...

1 Hr 15 Min 4 Videos

20. Medical management of pain part 4 - Spinal cord stimulators, communication & conclusions with Nick Kendrick

Spinal cord stimulator are implanted after failed lumbar surgery. Explore the evidence on who should have & avoid these....

30 Min 2 Videos

21. Painful conditions and what to do about them part 1 - Complex foot & ankle pain with Simon Olivotto

Put your detective hat on to solve this case of persistent ankle pain as you improve your treatment of complex & persistent pain. ...

45 Min 1 Videos

22. Painful conditions and what to do about them part 2 - Complex neck & widespread pain with Simon Olivotto

Improve your assessment and treatment of severe, persistent neck & widespread pain now...

45 Min 1 Videos

23. Painful conditions and what to do about them part 3 - Headaches & neck pain - chicken or egg? with Simon Olivotto

Headache causing your patients’ neck pain? Or is neck pain causing their headache? Accurately identify the cause of your patients’ headache and neck pain, and know how to treat it with this case study presentation. ...

60 Min 1 Videos

24. Upper limb neurological assessment. Practical demonstrations with Nick Kendrick

Practical demonstration of how to perform a comprehensive upper limb neurological assessment with Nick Kendrick....

10 Min 4 Videos

25. Lower limb neurological assessment. Practical demonstrations with Nick Kendrick

Master lower limb neurological assessment now with these practical demonstrations with Nick Kendrick....

15 Min

26. Upper motor neurone reflexes & clinical sensory testing. Practical demonstrations with Nick Kendrick

When your patient has bilateral symptoms or altered sensation, know how to perform upper motor neurone & clinical sensory testing....

15 Min


Simon Olivotto

Simon Olivotto is a Specialist Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist with over 19 years clinical experience. Based in Sydney Australia, Simon specialises in managing difficult and complex cases of persistent musculoskeletal pain.

Paula Peralta

Paula Peralta is a Specialist Sports & Exercise Physiotherapist (FACP), with more than 15 years experience in private practice and working with elite sport.

Paula has worked with multiple Australian netball, basketball, Commonwealth Games, Olympic & Paralympic teams including Tokyo 2020. Paula currently works between NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS), Sydney West Physio and as a Senior Physio educator & presenter with the Clinical Edge team.

Nick Kendrick

Nick is an APA Titled Sports and Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist based in Brisbane, Australia. Nick works with a diverse caseload of patients, provides treatment on 3 current clinical trials, and has a passion for innovative, evidence-based and clinically-reasoned assessment and treatment.

David Toomey

David Toomey is an experienced and passionate New Zealand based Senior Physiotherapist with a demonstrated history of working with clients from acute injury management to chronic pain conditions and from weekend warriors to elite performers. Motivated and inquisitive, he aims to marry the art and the science of the profession, for better client and professional outcomes.

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