Pain Neuroscience Education for Medical Providers


This is a closed course, and registrations are not being accepted.

Educational Need

With high rates of chronic pain and the opioid epidemic, various strategies are being explored to help patients with chronic pain. In the last 20 years, pain neuroscience education (PNE) emerged in rehabilitation as an evidence-based, clinically applicable approach to helping people with chronic pain. PNE aims to teach patients more about the underlying biology and physiology of their pain experience, using metaphors, examples, and images. A dozen meta-analyses and systematic reviews have shown strong evidence that PNE positively influences pain ratings, disability scores, limited movement, fear avoidance, pain catastrophization, and healthcare utilization. 

Additionally, combining PNE with behavioral and movement-based treatments (PNE+) yields even superior results. PNE literature is now becoming commonplace in medical journals, and it is proposed that, ideally, all healthcare providers would collectively use PNE to provide evidence-based, multidisciplinary care for people with chronic pain. First, this lecture aims to update medical providers on the evolution and evidence of PNE to allow for a working knowledge of this emerging treatment. Second, attendees will be taught ways to use and immediately implement PNE strategies in clinical care and build a more comprehensive relationship with rehabilitation providers using PNE and PNE+ with patients experiencing pain, especially chronic pain. 

Target Audience

Healthcare providers.


  1. Recognize how pain neuroscience education emerged as a biopsychosocial approach in contrast to prevailing biomedical models.
  2. Develop an understanding of the current evidence for pain neuroscience education for various clinical conditions.
  3. Develop a working knowledge of using pain neuroscience education in daily clinical practice as a medical provider.
  4. Enhance interdisciplinary approaches to pain management with rehabilitation professionals.
  5. Apply the presentation's information, content, and strategies to clinical practice.

Course Outline

  • The Pain and opioid epidemic fueled by the biomedical model
  • The evolution and evidence of pain neuroscience education
  • Update on the neuroscience of pain
  • Teaching patients about pain
  • Pain neuroscience education for medical providers

Course Author

Adriaan Louw, PT, PhD

Dr. Louw earned his undergraduate, master’s, and PhD in physiotherapy from the University of Stellenbosch in Cape Town, South Africa. He is an adjunct faculty member at St. Ambrose University and the University of Nevada Las Vegas, teaching pain science. Dr. Louw has taught throughout the US and internationally for 25 years at numerous national and international manual therapy, pain science, and medical conferences. He has authored and co-authored over 100 peer-reviewed articles related to spinal disorders and pain science. Adriaan completed his PhD in pain neuroscience education and is the Director of the Therapeutic Neuroscience Research Group – an independent collaborative initiative studying pain neuroscience. Dr. Louw is a senior faculty, pain science director, and vice president of faculty experience for Evidence in Motion.

Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 3.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits
  • 3.00 AOA Category 2­B
  • 3.00 CE Contact Hour(s)
  • 3.00 IBON
Course opens: 
Course expires: 

Accreditation Statements

  • MD: This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Iowa Medical Society (IMS) through the joint providership of Des Moines University (DMU) and Evidence in Motion. DMU is accredited by IMS to provide continuing medical education for physicians. DMU designates this enduring materials activity for a maximum of 3.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™.  Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
  • DO: Des Moines University (DMU) is accredited by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) to provide osteopathic continuing medical education for physicians. DMU designates this activity for a maximum of 3.0 AOA Category 2-B credits and will report CME and specialty credits commensurate with the extent of the physician’s participation in this activity.
  • Nurse: Des Moines University is Iowa Board of Nursing approved provider #112. This activity has been reviewed and approved for 3.0 continuing education contact hour(s). No partial credit awarded.​
  • Other Healthcare Professionals: This enduring materials activity is designated for a maximum of 3.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™.

Educational Grants

No ineligible company provided financial support for this continuing education activity. 


The planning committee member(s) and speaker(s) will disclose if any pharmaceuticals or medical procedures and devices discussed are investigational or unapproved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The determination of educational content and the selection of speakers is the responsibility of the activity director. 

Relevant to the content of this educational activity, the following individual(s) have no conflict(s) with ineligible companies to disclose.

  • Kyle Butcher - Activity Director and Planning Committee Member

Relevant to the content of this educational activity, the following individual(s) have conflict(s) with ineligible companies to disclose. The accredited provider has mitigated all relationships.

  • Adriaan Louw, PT, PhD - Course Author
    • OPTP: Book royalties
    • Medbridge: Honorarium
      • The financial relationship(s) above are not relevant to the content of the educational activity.


The information provided in this activity is for continuing education purposes only. It is not meant to substitute for the independent medical judgment of a healthcare provider relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient’s medical condition. The content of each presentation does not necessarily reflect the views of Des Moines University.

Available Credit

  • 3.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits
  • 3.00 AOA Category 2­B
  • 3.00 CE Contact Hour(s)
  • 3.00 IBON


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