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  • Dr. Richard McIlmoyle BSc, DC, PgCPain

Be the change we need!!

Change is hard!

Changing what we think...

What we have invested time and money into...

Perhaps even something that has become part of our identity...

is HARD!!!


We need to change though.

Because gaining a better understanding of pain is crucial to what we do, as practitioners who treat people experiencing pain.




LBP and neck pain are getting worse globally, not better. (1)


Incidence and severity of disability has been increasing for years, even with better access to treatment, more sophisticated diagnostics and more treatment options. I believe that we, as practitioners, are partially to blame even though there are a multitude of other factors contributing to the problem. To name a few examples:


  • A desire for a simple explanation (you have muscle weakness) of a complex problem (pain) occurring in a complex system (a human being)


  • A desire for a quick fix that is prevalent throughout our world. (take this pill)


  • Medicalization of experiences that are common and a normal part of life. (I worked in the garden after not being physical all winter and "injured my back")


We can't change everything so let's focus on what we can change... ourselves. I feel like we have a duty and obligation to those people who trust us to provide them guidance and care. For those of us who have the right to use the title doctor, be respectful of the title (it means teacher) and make sure you actually understand current theory and where the boundary of science is, so that you can be the best teacher you can be, and not relay outdated information to your patients.


It doesn't matter who you are.. if you have jumped through all of the hoops to become a regulated health professional, you need to make sure that you understand pain and why people in pain seek care!


It is the most likely reason for patients to visit our offices.(2)


I include all the professions from Chiropractors to MDs, PTs, RMTs, NDs, and OTs. I also feel that the entire spectrum of chiropractors from those who believe in the "power of the adjustment" to those who believe finding the "biomechanics fault or trigger" is the key to "fix a patient" need to invest in learning why their treatments work, or don't.



Spending time gaining a better appreciation of the complexities of pain is the single most important thing we can do, as practitioners, to reduce human suffering, and then it behooves us to act on that new understanding for the betterment of the community we serve.




We MUST change how we do things!!


We MUST give patients and better explanation!!


We need to stop bing a part of the problem, we need to start being a part of the solution.


Take a course, do some reading, listen to a podcast...I don't care what , but GET BETTER INFORMED about the pain experience.

RANT OVER!!!



COURSES/WORKSHOPS "Reconciling Biomechanics with Pain Science" Greg Lehman

"Explain Pain" Lorimer Moseley and David Butler

"Translating evidence into practice" "LePub Scientifique" PODCASTS

The ARME

Pain Science and Sensibility NAF phsysio podcast (Greg Lehman and Adam Meakins)

PEOPLE TO LOOK OUT FOR (LISTEN TO WHENEVER YOU GET A CHANCE)

Bronnie Lennox-Thompson

Melissa Farmer

Peter Stilwell

Keith Meldrum

Peter O'Sullivan

Joletta Belton

Amy Busch-Eichler

Sarah Haag

Mick Thaker

Mark Bishop

Melanie Noel

Beth Darnall


I'm sure I could list many many more...



1.Hurwitz EL, Randhawa K, Yu H, Côté P, Haldeman S. The Global Spine Care Initiative: a summary of the global burden of low back and neck pain studies. Eur Spine J. 2018 Sep;27(Suppl 6):796-801. doi: 10.1007/s00586-017-5432-9. Epub 2018 Feb 26. PMID: 29480409.


2. St Sauver JL, Warner DO, Yawn BP, et al. Why patients visit their doctors: assessing the most prevalent conditions in a defined American population.Mayo Clin Proc. 2013;88(1):56-67. doi:10.1016/j.mayocp.2012.08.020

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