Keynote Speaking Panel

  • Paul Hodges PT, PhD
  • Siobhan Schabrun PT, PhD
  • Nancy Byl PT, PhD
  • Hunter Hoffman PhD
  • Steven Schmidt PT, M.Phys, OCS, FAAOMPYT, TPS


Lab Sessions

Motor Control

Instructor: Paul Hodges

Lab Dates: Available Friday and Sunday

This 4h lab session will delve into the complexity of pain, movement, motor control and neuroplasticity. There have been huge advances in understanding motor control and pain. This session will dive into the understanding and application of where the research is leading us in regards to pain and motor control. The course will explore how each individual chooses different protective responses (motor control) in response to pain and understand more deeply that there are lots of different ways to achieve the same goal…

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Using Neuroplasticity to Guide the Treatment of Pain

Instructor: Siobhan Schabrun

Lab Dates: Available Friday and Sunday

Description: This workshop will use case studies to explore the role of plasticity at spinal and cortical levels in different pain presentations, including how this mechanism might contribute to the persistence and/or recurrence of pain. Participants will work through novel methods to assess and treat each case.

Graded Motor Imagery

Instructors: Steve Schmidt and Kory Zimney

Lab Dates: Available Friday and Sunday

Description: Due to its popularity at the 2016 conference we are repeating this course which will introduce attendees to the latest thoughts associated with neuroplasticity, immune responses and most importantly… clinical presentation. The brain (and nervous system) is plastic. Recent developments in the world of neuroscience have given hope to people suffering from persistent pain, including low back pain. It is now well established that a person’s body is represented in their brain and in persistent pain there are significant structural and functional changes in the brain.

These changes perpetuate pain considerably, including low back pain. Although most research has focused on conditions such as complex regional pain syndrome and phantom limb pain, emerging evidence supports the notion of altered brain maps in people with persistent pain. This lab-intensive class will systematically teach attendees various clinical tests used to determine if these cortical changes have occurred in a patient with low back pain, and to what extent. Treatment will cover the latest series of graded motor imagery techniques including laterality, sensory discrimination, motor imagery, graphesthesia, mirror therapy, etc. This session is a must for all healthcare providers who face a patient with such a sensitive lower back, he/she are not able to move much, be touched or even think about movement due to pain. Learn to desensitize low back pain.

Neuroplasticity:  The Missing Link in Chronic Shoulder Pain?

Instructor: Paul Mintken

Lab Dates: Available Friday and Sunday

Description: Management of chronic musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions has traditionally utilized a pathoanatomical paradigm with management focused on local structural and functional abnormalities. Unfortunately this paradigm does not adequately explain many of the clinical and experimental findings in subjects with chronic MSK pain, and this approach is frequently unsuccessful. These failures have led to an overreliance on opioid medications for these conditions, with disastrous results. Neuroplastic changes in the central nervous system (CNS) have been shown to occur rapidly in response to tissue injury causing adaptive changes that initially may be beneficial in the healing response. Unfortunately, these changes may persist beyond the acute phase, outliving their intended function, and leading to peripheral and central sensitization with associated chronic pain and disability. Recent findings suggest that a dramatic change in the current management paradigm may be needed that acknowledges underlying neuroplastic changes in the CNS and utilizes targeted interventions to address these changes that we know are present in chronic MSK conditions. Conservative approaches including motor imagery, laterality training, motor skill training, action observation, mirror therapy and peripheral sensory stimulation have been to shown to create beneficial neuroplastic changes in neurologic and chronic MSK conditions. This lab session will focus on the use of interventions to induce neuroplasticity in a chronic shoulder pain model.

Clinical Diagnosis of Focal Hand Dystonia and Effectiveness of Rehabilitation Based on Sensorimotor Retraining

Instructor: Nancy Byl

Lab Dates: Available Friday Only

It is well accepted that the central nervous system is incredibly plastic throughout the lifespan. It occurs during development and maturation but also in response to injury, disease and aging. Potential neural adaptation varies based on genetics, body structure and function, personality, commitment and motivation for change. In this course we will explore tenets of learning based sensorimotor training for dystonia and other sensory processing disorders. These principles can provide insight into potential solutions for movement dysfunction observed in patients which occurs as a consequence of repetitive, habitual or stereotypical movements.

Functional Dry Needling:  Neuroplastic Results?

Instructor: Edo Zylstra, PT, DPT, OCS

Lab Dates: Available Sunday Only

Dry needling has long been characterized by a treatment of myofascial pain and trigger points.  Many studies have been published indicating the uncertain positive effects of dry needling for management of myofascial pain and the presence of these trigger points, which has left us with a dilemma.  If the research doesn’t support the technique one way or the other, why are so many clinicians receiving training and practicing the technique while patients continue to request the intervention?   Could it be that we are actually impacting the nervous system rather than just the peripheral tissues targeted?

This session will discuss the likely impact that Functional Dry Needling® has on the nervous system and how our assessment must not be limited to symptomatic tissues, referral patterns and palpation.  Lab sessions will include key assessment for successful implementation of FDN, with demonstration, for greatest success in producing clinical change.