Pain is the primary reason why our patients seek physical therapy services. It is imperative that today’s evidenced‐based physical therapist maintains a basic, accurate knowledge of the pain sciences. Nowhere is the nature of pain and suffering more misunderstood than in the arena of spinal pain. The data is overwhelming that we are not only harming a large number of people with invasive medical procedures that are targeted at the wrong area, we are also failing to implement current evidence in the pain sciences into the management of patients with spinal pain. This course will focus the student on actionable ways to successfully manage difficult spinal pain conditions.


This course is presented in a modular, web-based, self-paced format using the Moodle Learning Management System and employs a variety of teaching strategies suitable to distance learning. Learning activities will focus on a series of online presentations, key evidence summaries and primary research articles. This course, by design, is tutorial in nature with independent access to the medical literature, critical review of the literature, and self-oriented critical analysis of performance. Weekly online quizzes are used to reinforce course objectives and assess learning.  Successful completion of this course requires a final passing grade of 80% on all learning activities. The course is designed to be completed in a 4-week time period; however, you will have a maximum of 8 weeks to complete the course if needed. Upon registration of this course you will receive your link and login to the EIM Moodle learning platform via separate email within 2 business days of purchase.

Target Audience: Intermediate level course open to licensed physical therapists.

Credits: 15 contact hours from EIM Institute of Health Professions

EIM Program Applicability:  Manual Therapy Certificate program (EIM C01; 1 credit)

Prerequisites: None

Appropriate dress: This is an online course.


Upon completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of the current understanding of nociception, the experience of pain, and the nature of suffering.
  2. Describe modulators of pain that increase or decrease the pain experience.
  3. Choose the correct definition of terms used in the pain sciences.
  4. Identify factors that influence the course of a patient/client prognosis.
  5. Discuss current best evidence for various cognitive behavioral and education interventions in pain management.
  6. Determine relevant factors and considerations that guide patient/client management for a given case with chronic spinal pain.
  7. Use knowledge in the pain sciences related to structure, movement dysfunction, response to injury and disease and promotion of health and wellness to enhance outcomes for patients with chronic spinal pain.

And most importantly, you will be able to apply what you have learned to your clinical practice!


Required and supplementary articles are listed in each weekly module and can be downloaded from the Moodle Learning Management System.