Pain Neuroscience Education: Teaching Patients About Pain and Perioperative Neuroscience Education

  • Saturday, September 8, 2018
  • Texas Woman’s University, 2nd floor Auditorium Rm 2120 6700 Fannin St., Houston, Texas 77030
  • Adriaan Louw PT, PhD, CSMT

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Event hosted by Memorial Hermann Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation

Introduction to Pain Science Education

ISPI’s Introduction to Pain Science Education course is designed to provide participants with a 3-hour introduction to latest evidence and clinical application of therapeutic neuroscience education for patients in pain. Current best evidence has shown that neuroscience educational strategies utilizing neurobiology and neurophysiology are able to reduce pain, increase function, reduce fear and catastrophization, improve movement, and change cognitions and brain activation during pain experiences. Therapeutic neuroscience education changes patient beliefs regarding their pain, thus reducing the threat of pain. This class will discuss the evolution of therapeutic neuroscience education and why neuroscience education is needed in patient care.

Perioperative Neuroscience Education

The perioperative period is filled with stress, anxiety and fear. All of these psychosocial factors have been associated with poor outcomes. From a neuroscience perspective, the perioperative period is associated with a hypervigilant nervous system. This heightened state of the nervous system and various psychosocial issues have been the target of various perioperative interventions for more than a quarter of a century, including preoperative education, pre-emptive analgesia, etc. The culmination of this work is the routine preoperative education classes given to patients prior to surgery. From an orthopedic perspective, preoperative education is most prevalent in total knee and total hip arthroplasties. To date, however, three systematic reviews have shown no postoperative benefit to these programs in regards to postoperative pain, range of motion, length of hospital stay and function. Emerging pain neuroscience research has shown that these educational models fail partly due to a heavy focus on procedural and anatomical education, with little to no attention being given to pain-specific education. A newly designed preoperative pain neuroscience education program has shown that teaching patients more about pain prior to surgery leads various positive outcomes including significant decrease is healthcare utilization after surgery, patient satisfaction and more. This class aims to introduce attendees to the development of the preoperative neuroscience education session, the content, delivery methods and clinical application of such a program for lumbar surgery and total knee arthroplasty.