How do you approach chronic pain?

As I’ve written about here, managing chronic pain -and treating patients experiencing chronic pain- poses challenges for patients and clinicians alike. I know in my own practice, working with US military veterans experiencing chronic pain, that it impacts virtually every area of a patient’s life. It affects not only their physical function, but also their emotional, psychological and even social aspects of their being. It can be intimidating as a clinician to work with these patients, because more often then not, they’ve tried several courses of treatment already and they’re apprehensive or skeptical about coming to see you this time.

My guest this week, Bronnie Lennox Thompson, PhD, is just the person to talk to about this topic. She leads the postgraduate programs in pain & pain management at the University of Otago in New Zealand. She’s done research on the biopsychosocial model and it’s application to clinical practice, and she’s still involved in hands-on clinical practice. 

What we cover in this Episode:

  • What is the Biopsychosocial Model?
  • Difference between acute vs chronic pain
  • Pain as a diagnosis rather than a symptom
  • How pain is a unique lived experience, rather than an indication of tissue damage
  • How the words we choose impacts our patient’s beliefs & attitudes about recovery and pain
  • Interdisciplinary care
  • Disability identity
  • The role and impact of diagnostic imaging
  • Self-management & Active Treatments


Connect with Bronnie:


For More:

If you enjoyed this episode: Join Rafael E. Salazar II, MHS, OTR/L (Rafi), principal of Rehab U Practice Solutions and host of The Better Outcomes Show as he explores the possibilities of a new healthcare. Guests range from clinicians trying new techniques and treatments to executives and entrepreneurs exploring new service delivery methods, business models, and organizational structures. You can sign-up to receive new episodes delivered directly to your inbox by filling out the form at the top of this page.  Learn more about Rehab U Practice Solutions by reading The Manifesto for a New Healthcare, or listen to Episode 000.

Rafael E. Salazar II, MHS, OTR/L is the president and CEO of Rehab U Practice Solutions. He has experience in a variety of rehab settings, working with patients recovering from a variety of injuries and surgeries. He worked as the lead clinician in an outpatient specialty clinic at his local VA Medical center. He also has experience as an adjunct faculty instructor at Augusta University’s Occupational Therapy Program, as a Licensed Board Member on the GA State OT Board, has served on several committees for the national OT Board (NBCOT), and as a consultant working for the State of Georgia’s DBHDD. He is also on the Board of Directors for NBCOT. He works to help healthcare clinics and organizations deliver uniquely impactful patient experiences by improving service delivery through training & advisement and through courses & training programs.

Read his full bio Here. Read about Rehab U Here.

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