2018 San Diego Pain Summit presentations

All videos are in the order presented during the 2 day conference on Feb. 10 & 11

Feel free to pass over any beginning sections where there were contest drawings by clicking ahead on the play bar.


 Neil O'Connell

Keynote Neil O'Connell, PhD, MSc

Title: Negotiating The Evidence Maze In Persistent Pain


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Paper mentioned in presentation: Key Concepts For Informed Health Choices

BIO: Dr. Neil O'Connell is a Senior Lecturer in Physiotherapy in Brunel University, London, UK. He divides his time between research and teaching and previously worked extensively as a muscoloskeletal physiotherapist. He leads a module in the principles and practice of evidence based healthcare for post-graduate physiotherapists and occupational therapists.

Neil's main research interests are chronic low back pain with a focus of evidence based practice and he has published extensively in this area. He has authored and co-authored a number of published systematic reviews.

Neil is a member of the editorial board of the Cochrane Collaboration's Pain, Palliative, and Supportive Care (PaPaS) group, is the section editor for clinical trials and systematic reviews for the pain science blog Body in Mind (www.bodyinmind.org) and was a member of the Guideline Development Group for the UK's National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recent guideline for the management of low back pain and sciatica.

Twitter: @NeilOConnell

 Mark Milligan

Mark Milligan, PT, DPT, Cert TPS, OCS, FAAOMPT

Title: Implementing Pain Science Education into Clinical Practice


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BIO: Dr. Mark Milligan, PT, DPT, is an orthopedic manual therapist that specializes in the evaluation and treatment of musculoskeletal spinal conditions and is Board Certified in Orthopedics and a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Therapy.

He earned his Doctorate of Physical Therapy at the University of the Colorado, School of Medicine in Denver, Colorado. He went on to complete an Orthopedic Physical Therapy Residency and Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapy Fellowship with Evidence in Motion (EIM).

He is a full-time clinician. Dr. Milligan serves as adjunct faculty for the Doctor of Physical Therapy Programs at South College and The University of St. Augustine. Dr. Milligan is also primary faculty for Trigger Pint Dry Needling Courses and Musculoskeletal Courses for EIM.

Mark has presented at numerous state and national conferences and has been published in peer reviewed journals. He is an active member of the TPTA, APTA, and AAOMPT and is current the Capital Area District Chair for the Texas Physical Therapy Association and has great interest in governmental affairs.

Twitter: @MarkMilliganDPT

 Greg Lehman

Greg Lehman, DC, MScPT

Title: When Biomechanics DOESN'T Matter: A Choose Your Own Adventure Lecture

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BIO: I have an interesting educational combination of physiotherapy, chiropractic and strength and conditioning training.   I have spent 2 1/2 years completing a MSc in spine biomechanics, 4 full time years in chiropractic college (spending more than 15 hours per week for four years practicing manual therapy) and seven years working as a researcher in exercise and clinical biomechanics.  After working for several years I spent an additional 2 years obtaining a MSc in Physiotherapy (Queen's)

Awards and Academic Pursuits

I have been in the rehabilitation field for more than 20 years. Following my undergraduate degree in Kinesiology (4 full time University years)  I was awarded the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology Gold Medal for highest academic performance in Kinesiology.  This degree allowed me to obtain certification as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist and Certified Fitness Appraiser and I have worked as a Strength and Conditioning coach for Sir Wilfrid University's Men's Basketball team and for Queen's University Women's Varsity Hockey Team.

My success in university resulted in being awarded a graduate scholarship (NSERC) to Waterloo University to be 1 of only 2 Masters students studying with Dr Stu McGill, a world leader in Spine Biomechanics, exercise prescription and athletic performance.

As a faculty member at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College I developed a research program that produced more than 20 publications on exercise biomechanics, golf fitness andthe science of manual therapy. I taught more than 25 graduate students in Spine Biomechanics and Research Instrumentation and supervised more than 50 students and 20 undegraduate research theses.

I was subsequently awarded a  Researcher of the Year award by the Ontario Chiropractic Association.

Twitter: @GregLehman

Website: Reconciling Biomechanics

 Sarah Haag

Sarah Haag, PT, DPT, MS, WCS Cert. MDT, RYT

Title: Pregnancy≠ Pain

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BIO: Sarah graduated from Marquette University in 2002 with a Master’s of Physical Therapy. Sarah has pursued an interest in treating the spine, pelvis with a specialization in women’s and men’s health. Over the past 8 years, Sarah has seized every opportunity available to her in order to further her understanding of the human body, and the various ways it can seem to fall apart in order to sympathetically and efficiently facilitate a return to optimal function.

Sarah was awarded the Certificate of Achievement in Pelvic Physical Therapy (CAPP) from the Section on Women’s Health. She went on to get her Doctorate of Physical Therapy and Masters of Science in Women’s Health from Rosalind Franklin University in 2008. In 2009 she was awarded a Board Certification as a specialist in women’s health (WCS).

Sarah also completed a Certification in Mechanical Diagnosis Therapy from the Mckenzie Institute in 2010.  Most recently, Sarah completed a 200 hour Yoga Instructor Training Program, and is now a  Registered Yoga Instructor. Sarah plans to integrate yoga into her rehabilitation programs, as well as teach small, personalized classes.

Sarah looks at education, and a better understanding of the latest evidence in the field of physical therapy, as the best way to help people learn about their conditions, and to help people learn to take care of themselves throughout the life span.

Twitter: @SarahHaagPT

Website: Entropy Physiotherapy & Wellness

 Laura Simons
 Rikard Wicksell

Laura Simons, Ph.D. & Rickard Wicksell, Ph.D.

Title:  Fear In Chronic Pain: Mechanisms & Effective Treatment


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BIO for Dr. Simons: Laura Simons, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative, and Pain Medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine in Palo Alto, California, USA. Dr. Simons is a clinical psychologist whose program of research focuses on pain-related fear.

She demonstrated that heightened and generalized avoidance of harm in youth with pain is associated with maladaptive functional outcomes and altered affective and reward related brain circuit connectivity.

Dr. Simons' work embodies the biopsychosocial model spanning neural underpinnings of emotion and behavior, assessment scale development to guide treatment targets, and innovative treatment using graded exposure for youth with chronic pain. 

BIO for Dr. Wicksell: I am the director of Functional Area Medical Psychology at Karolinska University Hospital, and a clinical researcher. I am also associate professor in Psychology at the Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet as well as research group leader.

At the Behavior Medicine Pain Treatment Service (BMPTS), Karolinska Pain Center, we have since 2001, developed a treatment model and a clinical research program for adult and pediatric chronic pain patients based on Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT). Our translational research program includes studies related to treatment evaluation (outcome and change processes), predictors and moderators of change, the role and function of biological processes in pain and behavioral treatment, measurement development, parental and family factors in pediatric chronic pain, e-health (computer and smartphone based assessment and treatment).

In collaboration with Stanford University, associate professor Laura Simons, we are conducting research on pediatric chronic pain and parental distress including the development of a parental support program, e-health interventions and neuroimaging studies.

 Mike Stewart

Mike Stewart MCSP SRP MSc PG Cert

Title: More Than Words: How Can We Help People Express Their Experience Of Pain?


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BIO: Mike Stewart is a physiotherapist and visiting university lecturer with twenty years of experience managing complex, persistent pain conditions. In addition, he is a dedicated practice-based educator committed to providing evidence-based education to a wide variety of health professionals. His Know Pain workshops have provided clinicians around the world with practical pain education skills.

He has an MSc in Physiotherapy and Practice-based Education from the University of Brighton, and is planning a PhD focusing on pain and communication. His published work has received international praise from the leading names in neuroscience.

Twitter: @knowpainmike

Website: Know Pain

 A. Vania Apkarian

A. Vania Apkarian, BSc, MSc, Ph.D.

Title: The Brain in Chronic Pain

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BIO: Dr. A. Vania Apkarian has been a professor in the Department of Physiology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, since 2002. Dr. Apkarian's educational background combines neuroscience, electrical engineering, and biomedical engineering, and his work focuses on pain perception in health and disease as a means of studying consciousness.

He has pioneered the use of brain imaging technology to peer into the brains of individuals who suffer from chronic pain conditions, such as low back pain and osteoarthritis. His scientific contributions have included:

  • Extensive electrophysiological characterizations of the role of the thalamus in pain processing
  • The first reports of altered brain grey matter, white matter, and resting state network connectivity in chronic pain populations
  • The first characterization of brain activity related to spontaneous fluctuations of chronic pain
  • The first prospective prediction of pain chronicity using brain properties
  • The first description of brain activity that predicts the future propensity for a pain patient to be a placebo responder.

Dr. Apkarian's current focus is the use of brain imaging in animals and humans to determine critical mechanisms that drive the propensity for developing chronic pain, its long-term maintenance, and therapeutic interventions aimed at treating and ultimately preventing development of chronic pain.

Pain: The Patient's Perspective

Moderator: Alison Sim | Panelists: Mark Renard, Joletta Belton, & Erin Jackson

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Alison Sim's website: Beyond Mechanical Pain

Joletta Belton's website: My Cuppa Jo

Erin Jackson's website: Jackson Legal

 Mark Kargela

Mark Kargela, PT, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT

Title: The Patient's Story - The Science Behind the Story

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BIO: Mark Kargela is a graduate of Grand Valley State University in 2003 where he received his Master's degree. He later received his transitional DPT along with a manual therapy certification (MTC) from the University of St. Augustine. Dr. Kargela is credentialed in Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (cert-MDT) and is board certified in orthopedic physical therapy.

Dr. Kargela has also been involved in the Michigan Physical Therapy Association in delegate and district treasurer roles along with serving as adjunct faculty at Grand Valley State University. He is a graduate of the Evidence in Motion's (EIM) Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapy fellowship program in 2012. He has served as faculty in Evidence in Motion's Fellowship teaching pain science and clinical reasoning curriculum.

Currently, Dr. Kargela serves as a manuscript reviewer for the Journal of Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy and the Journal of Manual and Manipulative Therapy. Dr. Kargela also is adjunct faculty at Franklin Pierce University and regularly lectures to Phoenix area physical therapy programs.

Dr. Kargela practices in Phoenix, Arizona in an outpatient orthopedic setting where he specializes in spinal and persistent pain conditions.

Twitter: @MKargelaDPT

Website: Modern Pain Care

 Nicholas Karayannis

Nicholas V. Karayannis, MPT, PhD

Title: Cultivating Mindfulness and Compassion In Our Lives


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BIO: My research aims to improve the health status, beliefs and behaviors of people suffering from persistent spinal pain through innovative refinement of clinical decision-making, and participatory rehabilitation. My work is clinically motivated and focuses on developing a better understanding of which person will respond to one type of mind-heart-body therapy over another—in addition to understanding and refining the content and delivery of these meditative and movement-based forms of care.

Dr. Nicholas Karayannis (Pronounced KA-ruh-YAH-nees) is a lead Physical Therapist within the Division of Pain Medicine and a Researcher within the Systems Neuroscience and Pain Laboratory at Stanford. Before receiving his Ph.D. in Physiotherapy from the University of Queensland, Australia, in 2013, he trained as a fellow in orthopedic manual therapy in the USA and Canada (North American Institute of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapy).

He graduated with a Master's in Physical Therapy degree in 2000 from Ohio University, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Sciences from the same institution. Nicholas is a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists, board certified as an Orthopedic Clinical Specialist, a Certified Yoga and Tai Chi Teacher, A Center for Mindfulness Qualified Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Teacher, and a Stanford Chronic Pain Self-Management Program (CPSMP) Leader.

 Bahram Jam

Bahram Jam, D.Sc.PT, M.PHty, B.Sc.PT, FCAMT

Title: The Pain Truth & Nothing But: Simplifying Pain Education


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Presenter slides & booklet uploaded within a few weeks, check back at a later date.







BIO: Bahram Jam graduated from the University of Toronto, Canada in 1992 with a Bachelors of Science in Physical Therapy. In 1999 he completed a Clinical Masters in Manipulative Physiotherapy at the University of Queensland, Australia and in 2009 he completed his Doctorate in Science in Physical Therapy at Andrews University, USA. He has the Canadian Diploma of Advanced Manual and Manipulative Physiotherapy and is also credentialed with the McKenzie Institute International.

He is the founder and director of Advanced Physical Therapy Education Institute (APTEI) and has been a chief instructor for over one thousand post-graduate Orthopaedic clinical courses across Canada and internationally. He continues to practice and has had extensive clinical experience with direct patient care.

He is presently practicing at Athlete’s Care Clinic Located at York University Campus, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

 Chris Caldwell

Christopher T. Caldwell, D.O.

Title: "That's all very interesting, but my pain is real"   - Serenity Amidst Pushback


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BIO: Christopher T Caldwell, D.O. currently serves as the Medical Director of the Montana Spine and Pain Center in Missoula.  He has long been an advocate for the biopsychosocial model, having studied psychology and pre-med at Wheaton College, a faith-based liberal arts school that prides itself on the integration of faith and reason. 

This early exposure to the role of the mind, body and spirit in health informed his medical studies at the founding school of Osteopathic Medicine in Kirksville, MO where he also served as teaching fellow in clinical anatomy.  He completed a surgical internship prior to his residency training and board certification in Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine & Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine, and was awarded Outstanding Resident by the American Osteopathic Association.

After teaching in the manual medicine department at his alma mater, he completed his Anesthesia Pain Medicine fellowship at the University of Iowa under Rick Rosenquist, MD who is now Chair of Pain Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic. 

He served as President of the Utah Academy of Pain Medicine during his tenure practicing in Park City, and was selected for the Montana Medical Association's Physician Leadership Program.  He currently serves as the Pain representative to the Neuroscience Leadership Council for Providence St Joseph Health.  He is active as a continuing education lecturer to his peers and serves regularly as preceptor to health professions students (medical, PA, pharmacy and PT) and family medicine resident physicians.

As a physician who has treated persistent pain for 15 year, Dr. Caldwell has a passion for the patient narrative (and named a daughter Storey because "Nothing changes people like the power of narrative"). He is both thrilled to have good news in pain treatment (describes himself as "captivated by neuroscience optimism"), and knows from the trenches how difficult it can be to reach those you are trying to help. He struggles daily with how to best teach into each patient's story.

Dr Caldwell also has a lifetime goal of one country per birthday, born from his exchange student experience in Belgium.  These last two traits are what compelled him to join Lorimer Moseley and David Butler on the inaugural Pain Revolution ride from Melbourne to Adelaide in April 2017.