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An Introduction to the Biopsychosocial Model in Physiotherapy Practice

An Introduction to the Biopsychosocial Model in Physiotherapy Practice

An Introduction to the Biopsychosocial Model in Physiotherapy Practice


This is a three-part online course track for rehabilitation professionals who wish to expand their knowledge of central sensitization, pain science, and the biopsychosocial model. The three 30 minute courses will integrate these concepts into the assessment and treatment of low back pain, pelvic floor dysfunction, bladder pain syndrome, and overactive bladder. This track hopes to bridge the gap between orthopedic and pelvic health physiotherapy while providing a more holistic and encompassing approach to patient care. 

This online course track was presented by Carolyn Vandyken as the keynote speaker for the  National Conference on Incontinence in Australia in October 2020.  These lectures were delivered in pre-recorded fashion because of the COVID-19 pandemic; the Continence Foundation of Australia has graciously given us permission to re-air these lectures on Embodia Academy.




Central Sensitization N=1

In 2021, we know that persistent pain is a complex problem but it doesn't have to be complicated.  We need a systematic way to identify and address sensitization so that the profile of each patient can be individually managed effectively. Carolyn reviews the key parameters of assessing and treating persistent musculoskeletal pain, while incorporating the biopsychosocial model.


Sibling Rivalry: Low Back Pain and Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

Musculoskeletal therapists need to consider the pelvic floor's role in lumbopelvic pain and pelvic health therapists need to consider the lumbar spine. As LBP disability continues to top the charts internationally as the number one cause of disability, this duality can no longer be ignored.  To complicate things further, central sensitization also needs to be considered in lumbopelvic pain since central pain mechanisms are highly comorbid with tenderness on palpation of the pelvic floor and persistent low back pain.


Consideration of a Biopsychosocial Framework for Overactive Bladder Syndrome and Bladder Pain Syndrome

We explore the evidence to support that Overactive Bladder Syndrome and Bladder Pain Syndrome need to be considered from the perspective of central pain mechanisms. There are unique and powerful opportunities to treat these problems from a whole-person perspective which are presented in this talk.

What You’ll Learn:

Join the renowned Carolyn Vandyken, who has 33 years of pelvic health and orthopedic experience, as she teaches you:

  • How to profile a sensitized nervous system
  • The RELIEF model for treating persistent pain
  • How to move beyond pain education for persistent pain
  • Which outcome measures and questionnaires may yield the most value
  • A routine screen for low back pain and pelvic floor dysfunction
  • Literature regarding the link between  low back pain and pelvic floor dysfunction
  • How to personalize treatments for overactive bladder 
  • How central sensitization helps explain idiopathic overactive bladder
  • Practical tips to incorporate the biopsychosocial model in your practice


Who is this course track for?

This course track was designed for both orthopedic and pelvic health physiotherapists or rehabilitation professionals. The courses within this track are all self-paced and can be completed in under 90 minutes. You will receive certificates of completion for each of the three individual courses. 

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