An online course available through Aquatic Therapy & Rehab Institute (ATRI) Inc is designed for therapists, assistants, and trainers seeking to learn more about the central processing of pain in the brain. The ATRI website notes that a variety of factors influence the perception of pain, including the neuromatrix theory. This theory proposes that pain is interpreted in the brain by several areas that work in synergy with one another.

The “Improving Outcomes for Pain Patients” course will provide participants an overview of those areas known as the neuromatrix. Attendees will learn the function of these areas and the synergistic relationships of the matrix, the site says.

According to the site, aquatic therapy is uniquely positioned to significantly alter the activity in the matrix, while positively influencing pain reduction. By knowing how the matrix works, attendees are provided support for aquatic treatment interventions. The course is intended to offer rationale to support these strategies used in the treatment of chronic pain conditions.

Additionally, course participants will learn how and which aquatic therapy interventions can modify the input into the brain to change the signals in the pain matrix and facilitate pain reduction. Participants will review case descriptions in small groups and develop a treatment plan with rationale for selected implementation. Attendees will also share their results with verbal, and when possible, actual demonstration, the site notes. Specific interventions discussed will include BackHab, Bad Ragaz, Ai Chi, and Unpredictable Command Technique.

Objectives set for the course include identifying centers of the brain that are active with the noxious stimuli (neuromatrix); exploring the synergistic relationships in the brain matrix with chronic pain; establishing a treatment environment to promote pain reduction; and modifying the aquatic environment for maximal impact on pain reduction. An additional course objective centers on selecting effective aquatic treatment interventions to decrease activity in the pain matrix and subsequent pain.

Course faculty Anita Davis, PT, DPT, MSM, D-AAPM, has more than 27 years of experience in physical therapy. The site notes that she has specialized in chronic pain, treating conditions such as fibromyalgia, failed back syndrome, complex regional pain syndrome, neuropathy, and more. Davis has expertise in orthopedic management of spine and extremity conditions using land and aquatic interventions. She works in an interdisciplinary comprehensive pain rehabilitation program in Jacksonville, Fla.

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Source: Aquatic Therapy & Rehab Institute Inc