IMPORTANT: This course is retiring and will NOT be available after 12/31/2022. Please complete this course before that date to earn CEU(s).

Pain is a common complaint and one of the most frequent reasons people seek healthcare. The person training to be a clinician or the practicing clinician can grow frustrated with management of pain because traditional instruction falls short on providing an adequate understanding of pain. The overall goal of this primer is to supplement traditional instruction by providing content that allows the individual that completes this primer to gain a “transformed understanding” of pain consistent with Institute of Medicine guidelines. Primer content will emphasize examples in musculoskeletal pain from selected studies reported in the peer-review literature. Musculoskeletal pain was selected as the core of this primer because of its overall prevalence and high societal impact.

Meet your Instructor

Steven Z. George, PT, PhD, is director of musculoskeletal research (Duke Clinical Research Institute) and vice chair of clinical research (Orthopaedic Surgery) at Duke University. He is an active member of the American Physical Therapy Association, American Pain Society, and International Association for the Study of Pain. He is past program director at the University of Florida, having taught the evidence-based practice sequence for 10 years. His speaking experiences include symposia, educational, and keynote presentations at national and international conferences. In 2016 he was the 21st John H.P. Maley Lecturer, and the title of his lecture was “Pain Management: Road Map to Revolution.”

Course Code:


Completion Instructions

Review all content, complete the assessment with at least a 70% score, print certificate.

Course level


Delivery method



Steven Z. George, PT, PhD

Learning objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will:

  1. Identify the frequency and impact of musculoskeletal pain complaints.
  2. Discuss pathways of pain transmission from the periphery to the central nervous system.
  3. Define the term “central sensitization” and differentiate it from “peripheral sensitization”.
  4. Discuss potential sources of variability for pain perception.
  5. Identify recommended methods to assess pain in clinical settings.
  6. Describe factors that are predictive of poor outcomes for musculoskeletal pain conditions.
  7. Discuss models for the development of chronic pain conditions that have been highlighted in the literature.
  8. Describe different conceptual management options for the practicing clinician.


Rehab Essentials

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1A Primer on Pain for the Practicing Physical Therapist
2Assessment_Primer on Pain
Type:E-Learning Course
Credit Categories
Domains:Pain Management, Steven Z George, pain, Rehab Essentials, Chronic Pain

The following credits are available upon completion of these activities.

Total credits:  0.7
Key Dates
Enrollment:Prior to  12/30/2021
Available discounts:
  • Non Member
    (until 12/31/2030)
  • Member
    (until 12/31/2030)
* Prices in US Dollars