Pain and the Brain

1-day Online Seminar (7.5 hours of CPD)

We have all come across the patients who wake up in pain and claim they must have ‘slept funny’ (despite sleeping in the same position that they always do). Maybe we sometimes assume that patients just have a bad memory when they genuinely have no explanation for why their pain started. And then there are the patients who complain of severe stiffness, but have full range of movement in the affected body part and all orthopaedic tests are negative. Pain often has a considerable brain-based component and in the absence of injury or other inflammatory process can even be entirely brain-based; this is especially true for both acute and chronic spinal pain, as well as headaches.

Understanding how pain is perceived, processed, modulated and sometimes amplified by different regions of the brain and spinal cord is therefore extremely important for clinicians dealing with pain patients. Being able to determine which areas of the nervous system to either stimulate or calm down can help you be more specific in your treatment and rehabilitation interventions. This seminar will also help you to understand how different therapies are likely to influence pain in the brain, not just manual treatment interventions, but also neuro-rehabilitative exercises, and therapies commonly used in the multidisciplinary management of chronic pain.

The seminar will be interactive, and participants will be able to and encouraged to ask questions throughout.

A comprehensive set of course notes will be emailed to you in advance of the seminar.

Video demonstrations of examination techniques and rehabilitation exercises will help you to learn the practical skills.

These videos will demonstrate normal and abnormal findings, and will be made available to you after the seminar.

Course Content: 

All of the following topics will be taught in clinical context. In other words, we will not just discuss theoretical concepts, but instead focus on what you can do in clinical practice to improve function in the neurological systems involved in pain processing and pain modulation.

  • The concept of brain-based pain

  • Nociceptive pathways from the periphery to the cerebral cortex

  • Pain gating and descending modulation of nociceptive afferent input

  • Wind-up, (mechanical) allodynia and central sensitisation

  • Cognitive and emotional aspects of chronic pain

  • Cerebellar and vestibular contributions to central pain modulation

  • Influence of pain on proprioceptive function and motor control

Date: Sunday, 3rd December 2023
Time: 9:00am – 5.30pm (GMT) / 10:00am – 6.30pm (CET)
Online platform: Zoom
Registration fee: £155 (GBP) / €180 (EUR)

Please contact if you require any further information.

Seminar Instructor:
Nicole Oliver, DC, MChiro, BSc(Hons), PgDip(MSK Neuroscience)
Nicole graduated from the Anglo-European College of Chiropractic (AECC) in 2005 and began studying functional neurology in 2006. She gained the Diplomate of the American Chiropractic Neurology Board (DACNB) qualification four years later. Alongside clinical practice she lectures for Neuroseminars, teaching functional neurology to chiropractors, osteopaths, physiotherapists and other health care professionals in the UK and Europe. Nicole has presented at several conferences and conventions, including the 2014 & 2016 European Chiropractors Union (ECU) Conventions, the 2019 World Federation of Chiropractic (WFC) Congress, and at the annual or biannual conferences/ meetings of the Swiss, German, Norwegian, Belgian, Finnish, Swedish, Irish and Scottish national associations.