Pain, Plasticity and Physical Therapy: Applications of Graded Motor Imagery
Physical therapy, neuroscience and brain imaging advances have shown that decreased movement of body parts lead to functional and structural changes in the brain. These neuronal representations of body parts are dynamically maintained and changes in shape and size of body maps correlate to increased pain and disability. The dark side of neuroplasticity shows that neglect, increased fear-avoidance and decreased use of body parts increases pain and disability, along with sensitization of the nervous system, resulting in some patients becoming “too hot to handle.” Neuroplasticity also provides hope. Body maps can be retrained within minutes. One strategy used in normalizing cortical maps is graded motor imagery (GMI), a collective term describing various “brain exercises” and include normalizing laterality, motor imagery, mirror therapy, sensory discrimination, sensory integration and more. The growing evidence shows the GMI program as a whole or parts of it can be used clinically to help desensitize a hypersensitive nervous system. This webinar will showcase how brief GMI interventions can be readily applied in real-life clinics and results in immediate shifts in pain, thus accelerating recovery in people struggling with pain.
Meet our speaker
Adriaan Louw, PT, PhD Adriaan, co-founder and CEO of ISPI, earned both an undergraduate as well as a master’s degree in research and spinal surgery rehabilitation from the University of Stellenbosch in Cape Town, South Africa. He is a guest lecturer/adjunct faculty at Rockhurst University, St. Ambrose University and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. In addition, he maintains a clinical practice and is co-owner of The Ortho Spine and Pain Clinic in Story City, Iowa.
Adriaan has been teaching postgraduate, spinal manual therapy and pain science classes throughout the US and internationally for 15 years. He is a Certified Spinal Manual Therapist through ISPI. In addition, Adriaan has presented at numerous national and international manual therapy, pain science and medical conferences and has authored and co-authored articles, books and book chapters related to spinal disorders and pain science. Recently, Adriaan completed his Ph.D., which centers on therapeutic neuroscience education and spinal disorders.
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- Develop a greater understanding of the structural and functional changes in the brain as it pertains to pain
- Recognize various clinical tests that can be used to screen for altered neuroplasticity
- Experience the immediate application of brief remapping techniques in a variety of patient cases
- Recognize how brief remapping techniques can alter patient sensitivity and positively influence pain in real-life clinical practice
- Immediately apply the information from the webinar into clinical practice
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