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Factors Which Influence Our Experience Of Pain, with Brendan Mouatt

Episode 56:

Factors Which Influence Our Experience Of Pain

Exercise physiologist and researcher Brendan Mouatt joins us on the show today to talk about the notion of antifragility and how we can apply that to improve our client outcomes. It turns out there are many factors which influence our experience of pain. We discuss how language influences our clients’ wellbeing, and Brendan gives his practical tips on facilitating fearless movement. Brendan also shares more about his work at Pain Revolution, the community outreach movement focused on changing how people understand pain in rural and regional communities in Australia.

What You Will Learn:

  • Some of the lesser known factors which influence our experience of pain
  • His work with Pain Revolution
  • Why pain is not merely a biomechanical phenomenon
  • Why social factors and environment have an impact on a person’s experience of pain
  • Current research that reflects the importance of understanding the biopsychosocial model when interacting with clients
  • Brendan’s insights on the multifactorial nature of pain
  • Why context is critical when you’re trying to understand pain and injury

Biopsychosocial Factors of Pain

There is plenty of credible data to suggest that social factors and the general environment can absolutely have a very meaningful impact on someone’s ability to exercise or move with confidence. The way people think, what they’re told, and what they’re exposed to, along with their biology, significantly affects their pain. As Brendan notes, you can’t separate the biological from the psychological or social; or you cease to exist as a human being.

Biology and Environmental Links

When you’re in a positive environment, your biology is affected by that positivity, but if you’re in a negative environment, your pain is adversely affected by that situation. Current data and research reflect just how important understanding the biopsychosocial model is when treating human beings, and we discuss some recent studies that emphasize this.

Multifactorial Nature of Pain

Brendan gives us his insights on the contemporary understanding of the multifactorial nature of pain. He discusses why context is critical when explaining pain and injury and explains why the human experience of pain always has biopsychosocial roots. While biomechanics can play a role in pain, it’s also vital to consider someone’s experience of their pain within their broader environment in order to achieve the best outcome.

Factors which influence our experience of pain

Research and Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

  • Pain Revolution here
  • IASP definition of pain here
  • Thinking about movement hurts and makes your arm swell here
  • Case report of a man in a RCT who took all his placebo pills then collapsed in the emergency dept: here
  • 10% of people on the placebo treatment of clinical trials drop out of the trial because of side effects from the placebo here
  • Nassim Taleb Antifragile book here
  • SC Body Mechanics in Instagram here
  • I Am Adaptive’s Instagram here
  • The entire thoracic spine has 20 degrees of movement here
  • Why you don’t need to worry about knees going inwards here
  • Spinal flexion is not associated with low back pain here
  • And flexing your spine to lift is more efficient here
  • You Are Not So Smart podcast – social identity is a powerful predictor of beliefs here
  • Photo of Raph playing bass at the Byron Bay Festival in 1996 here
  • Less experienced doctors are more guideline-compliant, and their patients are less likely to die here
  • You don’t need to administer a placebo to elicit a placebo effect; social context is enough here
  • Whether your knees go in during a squat or lunge doesn’t predict future knee injury risk here

About Brendan Mouatt:

Brendan is an accredited exercise physiologist and director of The Biomechanics—A multidisciplinary health practice in Footscray and Port Melbourne, Australia.

Brendan is also the founding director of The Knowledge Exchange, a continuing education business that delivers contemporary science-based education courses to healthcare professionals worldwide. The Knowledge Exchange courses provide updates in treatment approaches for low back pain, upper body and neck pain, widespread musculoskeletal pain, and lower limb rehabilitation. Brendan is currently based in Adelaide, where he also lectures at the University of South Australia (UniSA) on exercise, pain mechanisms, and treatment. He is also completing his Ph.D. at UniSA, investigating how perceptions, beliefs, and behaviours influence the recovery of those suffering from pain. Brendan has multiple peer-reviewed papers with others currently under review.

Brendan is motivated by the clear need for better healthcare for people living with pain and providing insight into the gaps in existing knowledge. When not working, Brendan can be found exploring the hills of Adelaide, cycling the wine regions, strength training, or reading a good book.

How to Connect with Brendan Mouatt:

About Raphael and Cloe:

Raphael Bender, CEO, Breathe Education

Raph believes everyone deserves the opportunity to transform into a better version of themselves. His main strength as a teacher and movement professional is the ability to distill complex research findings into a simple, science-based approach to help people move fearlessly, thoughtlessly, and painlessly. He LOVES running, weights, cycling, and Contrology.

Raph holds a Master’s degree in Clinical Exercise Physiology (Rehabilitation), a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise and Sports Science, Diploma of Pilates Movement Therapy, and STOTT PILATES full certification.

Cloe Bunter, Trainer, Breathe Education

With 8+ years in the industry, both teaching Pilates and nurturing new instructors, Cloe is passionate about empowering new and seasoned instructors to think critically and move fearlessly. Empowered instructors empower their clients, and in turn, change lives.

She finds great joy in building connections with clients, students, colleagues, and the broader movement and rehab community. Co-hosting the Pilates Elephants Podcast, with Raphael Bender, has provided an incredible platform to bust common Pilates, movement, and rehab myths whilst creating a worldwide community of critical thinkers who are elevating health literacy.

Cloe is fascinated by movement in general, and its ability to enhance our lives, at any age. Her own movement practice includes Contrology/Pilates, running, weights, and kettlebells. She has a Diploma of Clinical Pilates, Cert IV in Pilates, and Cert IV in Training and Assessing.

How to Connect with Raphael and Cloe:

3 Myths About Posture in Pilates eBook:

  • You can find the eBook here

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