Online Course
Understanding Pain
An online course for physical therapists / physiotherapists

15-16 hours





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Summarising the latest research & evidence
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Pain is a complex and extensive topic that applies to all physiotherapy and physical therapy practice.  As physiotherapists and physical therapists we meet people who are in pain everyday, helping these people is what we do! Pain is an enormous topic that we are unable to cover in one course but as a very important part of our knowledge base this learn topic will provide an overview of current understanding of pain mechanisms and practice based on the latest evidence available.  We'll be exploring what pain is, looking at chronic pain and the psychology of pain, investigating how we assess pain and also exploring current trends in pain management and rehabilitation.  It is by no means an exhaustive exploration of pain and we advise you to use it as a starting point for your understanding of pain.


  • Section one: Pain mechanisms
  • Section two: Chronic pain and psychology of pain.
  • Section three: Pain assessment and outcome measures.
  • Section four: Treatment approaches in pain rehabilitation.

Target audience

This course is aimed at Physiotherapy and Physical Therapy professionals, clinicians and students.


This course is divided into 4 sections/weeks and it is suggested (but not required) that each section be completed over the duration of approximately a week. Please note that no deadlines are applied and this course can be started and completed according to your own schedule. We expect the required elements of each section/week to take around 15-16 hours depending on your schedule and learning style. Additionally there are many optional resources provided and if you choose to review these the course could take longer to complete.
It’s not going to be easy, we’ll expect you to work hard for your completion certificate and Plus points! You won’t be sitting back and watching webinars, we’ll expect you to reading tasks, complete quizzes, perform literature searches and other learning activities. You’ll need to reflect on your own experiences and contribute them within the discussion forum, this is where we can learn from each other’s experiences and knowledge from all around the world! At the end of the course, when you have completed all of the required elements, you will be able to download a certificate of completion and 15.2 Plus points will be added to your personalised learning dashboard.

Requirements to complete this course

In order to complete this course and receive a course completion certificate you will need to:

  1. abide by the Plus Community Culture
  2. log as completed all the required reading and video viewing activities
  3. actively participate in the course forum discussions
  4. pass a final quiz with a score of 80% or more
  5. complete a course evaluation form
Featured reviews
It is a good course that helps you understand the pain and teaches you how to manage patients with chronic pain!
Leroy Ponstein
This course has not only widened my knowledge but enabled me understand better the need for whole person care (bio-psycho-social-spiritual) in the management of chronic pain
Anena Fiona Daphine
This course on pain has information every PT needs to know if they work with chronic pain patients. It is practical and something you can use right away. I have added some of what I have learned to my treatments and can tell it has helped my patients.
Beverly Helm
Physical Therapist
United States
An excellent introduction to pain science that can change your practice immediately. It contains lots of great references that you can keep going back to remind yourself of and interviews from the horse's mouth too. This course starts you on a journey for your whole physiotherapy career!
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I have been working in the field of chronic pain for a few years now and have made a lot of changes to how I practice and am seeing the effects of that. This course helped me to see a whole lot of other things I can work on improving and put in place which I am excited to work with over these next months. It was a very stimulating and inspiring course, with a nice multi-national exposure to it through various talks, articles and lectures. Definitely worth doing.
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