A fresh, biopsychosocial approach for low back pain

Is core training still needed?




A Case Study Based Course on the Application of a Biopsychosocial Framework for LBP

Low Back Pain (LBP) is a challenging international problem that is responsible for the highest level of disability compared to any other health condition. Briggs et al (2018) also demonstrated in their meta-analysis that MSK disability has worsened by 62.6% in the first 15 years of the 21 st century. LBP and MSK conditions are the purvey of physiotherapists and other rehabilitation specialists. Globally, we are failing miserably!

What has gone wrong?

Our frameworks are too limited. We have not systematically embraced a whole-person, biopsychosocial framework, which makes room for the tissue components, when relevant. More importantly, as published in The Lancet in 2017, physiotherapists are called upon to embrace a biopsychosocial framework for LBP but have not been adequately trained.

This course will present a framework that will build on mechanical pain to incorporate two key psychosocial factors that must be addressed with everyone with LBP- self-efficacy and catastrophization. Physiotherapists are often worried about staying in their scope of practice in the psychosocial realm. Self-efficacy and catastrophization are two areas of practice that call upon the skills of a physiotherapist, namely, active treatment strategies and pain neurophysiology education.

Pelvic Health considerations in LBP will also be discussed to widen our current tissue-based considerations for LBP. Participants will leave this course with a toolbox of skills that will broaden their approach for every patient that they see with LBP. It will also leave them curious to explore further knowledge and skills in applying a biopsychosocial framework to MSK pain.

Course outline: 5 sections

  1. Why do we have to change our paradigm about core strengthening?
  2. The what, how and why of central pain mechanisms
  3. Phenotyping central pain mechanisms
  4. Treating central pain mechanisms
  5. Restoring Movement and Function beyond core strengthening

* Within 24 business hours of your purchase (8:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday to Friday), you will receive all the necessary information by email to view the course.

Interested in this online course? Click here to view extracts from the online course.

Interested in Pain science? Click here to discover our online courses on the subject.


  1. To move beyond “talking” about a biopsychosocial model of care to truly incorporating this model into your practice for LBP and MSK conditions
  2. To define central sensitization and how to measure the characteristics of central pain mechanisms in your clinical practice.
  3. To understand clinical frameworks for treating persistent pain that expand on your current biomechanical skills for treating low back pain
  4. To assess two key drivers of a sensitized nervous system and to “match” evidence-informed psychosocial skills to these drivers including pain catastrophizing and low self-efficacy
  5. To incorporate more than just breathing exercises and meditation into your clinical toolbox for persistent pain; new techniques will include positive affirmations, fear ladders, qi gong exercises and sensory-motor retraining exercises

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