The last 15-20 years have seen an explosion in our understanding of pain. Practical Pain Science for the Physical Therapist is a course focused on educating therapists on modern understandings of pain and how to apply it to clinical practice on Monday. An understanding of persistent pain states will be developed so the participant can better be able to educate, assess, and treat the patient suffering from persistent pain.


Audience: PTs, PTAs, PT Students, OTs, COTAs, MDs, DOs, PAs, NPs, RNs, Chiropractors, Psychologists

Prerequisities: none

CEU/CCUs : 14.25 contact hours / ProCert Certification Pending

Disclosures/Conflicts of Interest: none

Cancellation Policy


  1. At the conclusion of the course the participant will be able to explain three reasons that pain neuroscience education is important in clinical practice when dealing with the patient in pain
  2. At the conclusion of the course the participant will, given a patient case presentation, be able to deduce the dominant pain mechanisms present in the patient presentation
  3. At the conclusion of the course the participant will, given a patient case scenario, be able to execute all four principles of a graded exposure treatment
  4. At the conclusion of the course the participant will be able to articulate articulate three reasons that neurodynamic tests should be utilized for evaluative and treatment purposes when interacting with the patient with neuropathic pain
  5. At the conclusion of the course the participant, given a patient case scenario, will be able to design a graded activity quota-based program using operant conditioning methods

TWO DAY – All One Day Objectives Plus:

  1. At the conclusion of the course the participant will, given a case presentation of a hypersensitive patient, be able to design an examination strategy using three sensory-motor tests to gain objective data of cortical organization
  2. At the conclusion of the course the participant, given a case scenario, will be able to design a cardiovascular exercise program with appropriate parameters for the centrally sensitive patient
  3. At the conclusion of the course the participant will be able to accurately define graded motor imagery and each of its three components

Day One
8:00  Introductions/Objectives
8:30  Pain History and Theory
9:00  Pain Physiology
10:30 Break
10:45 Pain Classification
11:00  Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in Pain Care
12:00 LUNCH
1:00 Pain Neuroscience Education (PNE)  Introduction and Application
2:00 PNE Content Overview
3:00 Break
3:15  PNE Content and Case Examples
4:00 Live Skype with Chronic Pain Patient (technology permitting) – Case Study

Day Two
8:00  Examining a Sensitive Nervous System
8:30  Sensitive Nervous System Examination Lab
9:00 Neurodynamics
9:45 Break
10:00 Neurodynamics Lab
12:00 LUNCH
1:00 Contextual Effects In Patient Interaction
1:30 Modern Clinical Reasoning
2:00 Modern Manual Therapy with Lab
3:00 Modern Therapeutic Exercise with Lab
4:00 Introduction to Graded Motor Imagery
4:30 Graded Motor Imagery Lab

Online Modules

  • Pain Theory Past and Present
  • Pain Physiology
  • Pain Classification

Live Class Schedule

8:00  Introductions/Objectives
8:15  Recap of Theory, Physiology, and Classification
8:30  Neurodynamics
9:00  Neurodynamics Lab –  Expanding the SLR and ULNT
10:30 Break
10:45 Psychosocial constructs
11:15 Systemic responses and common conditions
12:00 LUNCH
1:00 Pain Neuroscience Education (PNE)
2:00 PNE practice – case scenarios
2:30 Therapeutic exercise in persistent pain
3;00 Exposure-based treatments
3:30 Exposure practice
4:00 Graded activity training – operant conditioning programs


Mark Kargela is a graduate of Grand Valley State University in 2003 where he received his masters degree. He later received his transitional DPT along with a manual therapy certification (MTC) from the University of St. Augustine. Dr. Kargela is credentialed in Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (cert-MDT) and is board certified in orthopedic physical therapy.  Dr. Kargela has also been involved in the Michigan Physical Therapy Association in delegate and district treasurer roles along with serving as adjunct faculty at Grand Valley State University. He is a graduate of the Evidence in Motion’s (EIM) Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapy fellowship program in 2012. He became a therapeutic pain specialist in 2016 through the International Spine and Pain Institute.  In teaching roles Dr. Kargela has served as faculty in Evidence In Motion’s Fellowship teaching pain science and clinical reasoning curriculum.  Currently, Dr. Kargela serves as a manuscript reviewer for the Journal of Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy and the Journal of Manual and Manipulative Therapy.    Dr. Kargela also is adjunct faculty at Franklin Pierce University and regularly lectures to Phoenix area physical therapy programs.

Dr. Kargela practices in Phoenix, Arizona in an outpatient orthopedic setting where he specializes in spinal and persistent pain conditions.

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April 2018

Practical Pain Science Two Day – Grand Rapids, Michigan

April 13, 2018 - April 14, 2018
Grand Valley State University – Cook Devos Center for Health Sciences, 301 Michigan Ave
Grand Rapids, MI 49503 United States
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Dr. Mark Kargela will present his two-day Practical Pain Science course at Grand Valley State University.  Join us in Beer City USA for an amazing course!

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