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Dr. Joe Tatta | The Healing Pain Podcast

Chronic pain is a debilitating condition that affects one’s ability to live a full and active life and impacts both physical and emotional health. Whether you are living with chronic pain or a physical therapist or other health professional such as an occupational therapist, psychologist, social worker, nurse, or physician seeking information for treating pain, we invite you to join our global community. Welcome to The Healing Pain Podcast with Dr. Joe Tatta, a podcast that promotes the latest evidence and methods for the safe and effective treatment of chronic pain. Featuring top experts, we bring you the latest research from the fields of pain science, physical therapy, physiotherapy, pain psychology, functional nutrition, integrative and functional medicine, as well as discuss innovation and provide expert opinion every week. More and more patients are seeking integrative and comprehensive pain therapies that care for both their body as well as their mind. A biopsychosocial approach to the care of pain has arrived. Many realize that pain medications and surgery alone are not enough to address the root cause of their problems - such as fibromyalgia, chronic low back pain, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, autoimmune disease, CRPS, neuropathy, anxiety, depression, and PTSD. Dr. Joe Tatta is a global leader in integrative pain care and an advocate for the safe and effective treatment of chronic pain. He is the Founder of the Integrative Pain Science Institute, a cutting-edge health company reinventing pain care through evidence-based treatment, research, and professional development. For 25 years he has supported people living with pain and helped practitioners deliver more effective pain management. His research and career achievements include scalable practice models centered on lifestyle medicine, health behavior change, and digital therapeutics. He is a Doctor of Physical Therapy, a Board-Certified Nutrition Specialist, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy trainer. Dr. Tatta is the author of two bestselling books Radical Relief and Heal Your Pain Now and host of The Healing Pain Podcast. Learn more by visiting www.integrativepainscienceinstitute.com. The Healing Pain Podcast is a great resource for patients suffering from chronic pain as well as for professionals seeking additional professional CEU credits and free continuing education on the most up-to-date information for treating pain based on a biopsychosocial model of pain care. The show covers a wide range of topics that will help you learn all about chronic pain management such us how clinicians can treat pain more effectively, learn how exercise and physical activity alleviates pain, the role nutrition plays in reversing and treating chronic pain, how to use mindfulness, cognitive behavioral therapy, and acceptance and commitment therapy to treat many chronic conditions, and so much more! Chronic pain doesn’t have to be an obstacle in the highway of your life that makes you step on the brakes. Arm yourself with the knowledge on how you can better manage or even eliminate it so you can start living your best – and pain-free – life! Join The Healing Pain Podcast community today.
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Dr. Joe Tatta | The Healing Pain Podcast
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Now displaying: May, 2022
May 25, 2022

It is great to be here with you again. In each episode, we generally discuss the impact of physical therapy treatments on the management of chronic pain and other chronic diseases. From there, we have explored other overlapping problems and conditions, such as things like opioids, the over-prescribing of opioids or addiction, and the movement to choose physical therapy as an alternative to opioid medication.

A clear movement also exists for a physical therapist to play a more pivotal role in treating and managing non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, metabolic syndrome, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease. This should not be too much of a leap because, as physical therapists, we have had a specialty in cardiopulmonary physical therapy for many decades. Something happened during the COVID-19 pandemic which changed our profession as well as changed our personal lives.

America’s mental health declined, with anywhere between 28% to 40% of adults struggling with depression during the height of the pandemic. Many of those numbers have stayed consistent. More people have been prescribed antidepressant medications and the mental health care shortage intensified with many providers in clinics having waitlists of 4 months to 1 year, which left many people without essential healthcare or mental health care services. As licensed doctoral trained healthcare professionals, we, physical therapists, whether realize it or not, see people with mental health concerns daily in almost every practice setting.

Our profession, like many others, has begun to advocate for ways to improve mental health and mental well-being. We now know that the epidemic of depression requires a supporting role by physical therapists. The reason is that the influence of physical therapy extends way beyond the physical benefit. It improves mental health and promotes mental well-being. Screening and addressing behavioral and mental health concerns are within the scope of physical therapy practice guidelines.

The American Physical Therapy Association published these guidelines in 2020 in the House of Delegates’ position statement. This position is generally in line with the best evidence and the growing trend in psychological uniform physical therapy, which incorporates bio-psycho-social treatments for chronic pain and other health conditions.

A few decades before the American Physical Therapy Association published these guidelines, there was the International Association for Physical Therapy and Mental Health, which is a sub-chapter of the World Confederation of Physical Therapy, which described the need and scope of physical therapy and mental health, behavioral health, and psychiatry.

What we are seeing is the construct of psychologically informed physical therapy is the same, similar to, or compliments mental health physical therapy, which is used to facilitate body awareness, problem-solving skills, cognitive restructuring, and ways to cope, which reinforce self-efficacy and improve quality of life in the face of poor mental health.

It would then appear inherent that a physical therapist can use biomedical treatments as well as psychosocial treatments based on their key role in reducing disability and fostering positive human growth. Occasionally, as physical therapists, we sell ourselves short and fail to understand the depth and the breadth of the impact we can have on someone’s quality of life. What I am referring to is the emotional and psychological benefits that can increase the value of care that we provide as individuals and as a profession.

Now more than ever, it is important that we understand and explain the breadth of the therapeutic benefits that we provide because studies demonstrate that approximately a quarter of all Americans may have a mental health condition. 25% to 50% of patients in a general outpatient physical therapy clinic have a mental health condition and upwards of 70% of patients with low back pain that report to physical therapy have some level of depression. We are already seeing this in practice.

There is a place for us to be primary care and entry point providers into the mental health care system. However, that does not mean that we simply “refer out.” It means that. As professionals, we stay engaged in patient care, and we continue to play a role independently or in the code management of the mild, moderate, and severe depression or other mental health conditions that exist in the populations of patients that we treat.

In fact, there is some literature that mild to moderate depression improves over the course of physical therapy, regardless of whether or not a mental health provider is engaged in the plan of care. How can that be or why is that? It is because movement, body awareness, physical activity, exercise, and many other interventions that we use as professionals are a catalyst for positive mental health and improved psychological well-being. When you combine physical activity with cognitive reappraisal, there is generally a greater impact on outcomes and the quality of life of the patients that you care for.

Joining us to discuss the role of the physical therapist in treating depression is Dr. Tony Varela. He is a physical therapist who brings many years of experience in musculoskeletal health, including pain management. His professional principles were paved through residency and fellowship, grounded and rich patient experiences, and reinforced by serving those surviving chronic pain, cancer, as well as trauma, and PTSD from war.

He believes there is a better version of ourselves ready to push through and he is an Assistant Professor at Arkansas College of Health Education. Tony authored a paper in the February 2022 edition of Physiotherapy Theory and Practice called The Theatre of Depression: A Role for Physical Therapy, which we will discuss in this episode. Without further ado, let’s begin. Let’s meet Tony and discuss the role of physical therapy in the treatment of depression.

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May 11, 2022

It's great to be here with you. Thanks for joining. In this episode, we are discussing a new assessment tool to guide behavior change, which is called The Physical Therapy Healthy Lifestyle Appraisal. It was developed by Dr. MarySue Ingman, who you will meet in a couple of moments. This is the first validated assessment tool for a physical therapy practice, where we can look at nutrition, physical activity, stress, sleep, and tobacco use. What I like and appreciate about this tool is that it's quick, easy, fits well into physical therapist practice, and especially if you are using integrative or lifestyle medicine approaches to treat chronic pain or chronic disease management.

 

Let me share a little bit about our guest. Dr. MarySue Ingman is an Associate Professor in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota. Her research interests include the role of a physical therapist, health promotion, and clinical practice. She's published studies on motivational interviewing and the role of physical therapists in health promotion and wellness.

In this episode, you will learn a lot about counseling, assessment, and the science of behavior change. In fact, this episode is a sneak peek into some work that all of us have been working on for years. Some of you may know that I co-edited a textbook. That textbook is called Integrative and Lifestyle Medicine in Physical Therapy. My co-editor was another physical therapist, who you might know, whose name is Dr. Ginger Garner.

In that textbook, we invited about 40 physical therapy professionals, researchers, and educators, to contribute to this book on Integrative and Lifestyle Medicine in Physical Therapy. Chapter 3 in this textbook, which is called Coaching, Counseling, and the Science of Behavior Change, was written by MarySue and her colleague, Dr. Janet Bezner, a Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at Texas State University.

That textbook is on track to come out soon. We are excited because we think that this will be useful for physical therapy educators, as well as clinicians who are using integrative and lifestyle medicine in physical therapy. As I mentioned, Chapter 3 is written by MarySue, where we go into Coaching, Counseling, and the Science of Behavior Change, which we will discuss in this episode. Without further ado, let's begin and learn about the Physical Therapy Healthy Lifestyle Appraisal and meet Dr. MarySue Ingman.

 

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