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Schedule Of Events February 2022 

Scroll down this page to view detailed schedule of events for the Feb. 22-27, 2022 San Diego Pain Summit.

Please note: Registrations are not accepted at the door. All signups must be made in advance.


Pre-conference workshops, dinner party, and 2 day conference are sold separately.

Save $120 and get the Full Week pkg! Includes choice of 2 workshops, dinner party, and 2 day conference. 


Pre-Conference Workshops 

$500 (each) - Each workshop runs 2 full days. 

⭐ All workshops limited to 25 participants, registrations will close when filled.

Click on title to view class schedule, objectives, & instructor bio.

Feb. 22 & 23

Building Up Or Burning Out: Your Path Forward, instructors Dr. Sandy Hilton and Dr. Mark Milligan

  • 2 Day workshop to help clinicians recognize and recover from burnout.


Feb. 22 & 23

Treatment of Sleep and Sensory Processing Issues, instructor Natalie Rolle

  • 2 Day workshop covers foundational knowledge regarding sleep and insomnia, basics of CBTi delivery, and strategies to improve sleep


Feb. 24 & 25

Patients Have All the Answers: from a patient centered to a person centered approach, instructor David Poulter

  • 2 Day workshop introducing the concepts of mechanical thinking, testing and treatment, incorporating patient empowerment and shared decision-making strategies.


Feb. 24 & 25

Pelvic Health for Everyone, instructor Dr. Sarah Haag

  • 2 Day workshop to learn about common pelvic issues, and how to incorporate care within your scope of practice. This workshop is ideal for people who treat people with pelvises and who do not do (or do not want to do) internal exams.


Feb. 25, 7 pm - 10 pm PST

Dinner Party (casual)


7 pm: Buffet dinner: Flatbreads (mushroom/asparagus & caprese), taco stands (grilled wahoo & ancho chili lime chicken), carved spiced beef, two types of salad stations, & a churro bar!

No-host bar, game stations (giant jenga, cornhole, connect 4), photo booth, live music.

Held outdoors if CDC/WHO guidance recommends.

Go To Registration Page


Approved for 12 hr or 1.2 CEU from California Physical Therapy Association (CPTA)


All dates/times are Pacific Standard Time

Live streaming option available for $250

Conference consists of intermediate level instruction. Presentations consist of either lecture or breakout sessions into discussion groups.

Detailed speaker biographies

Feb. 26 & 27

In person conference participation limited to 160, registration will close when filled.

Saturday Feb. 26

7 amRegistration/Check in starts (note: Registrations must be made in advance, not accepted at door)

8 amFuel For Thought

8:45 am - Break

9 am - Keynote Uchenna OssaiPT, DPT, WCS, CLT: "The Chronic Pain of Racism in Leadership" (Group activity: Discussion)

  • Objective: Identify 3 strategies to create an inclusive and anti-racist work/clinical/educational environment.
  • Synopsis: The talk will discuss what effective inclusive leadership looks like in the healthcare space, the global cost of when inclusive leadership does not happen, and discuss specific ways to pivot and implement change in the educational, clinical, and professional environment.

10 am - Break

10:15 am - Joel Bialosky, PT, PhD, FAAOMPT, OCS: "It’s not you, it’s me….."

  • Objective: Identify how provider preferences and beliefs influence outcomes in patients presenting with musculoskeletal pain complaints.
  • Synopsis: Rehabilitation interventions are complex requiring an interaction between the patient and the provider.  Corresponding outcomes result from a combination of the non- context dependent ingredients of the specific intervention approach as well as ingredients related to the beliefs of the patient and the provider.  This presentation will focus on provider related contextual factors.  Specifically, how the preferences and beliefs of the provider influence outcomes in patients with musculoskeletal pain complaints seeking care. 

11 am - Q&A

11:15 am - Break

11: 30 am - Syreeta Nolan: "My Intersection of Chronic Pain, Medical Trauma, and Blackness" (Group activity: Discussion)

  • Objective: Identify intersectionality and medical trauma to empower each to create safer spaces for their patients.
  • Synopsis: To be Black and Disabled is a great risk in today’s society. When we speak about Fibromyalgia and trauma, the conversation is usually looking at the trauma that caused Fibromyalgia. My experiences go beyond the trauma that caused Fibromyalgia to the trauma that continues. 

12:30 pm - Lunch

1:20 pm - Prize Drawings (must be present to win)

1:30 pm - David Poulter, PT, B.Sc. Special Hon,  Dip MDT: "Patient Centered Care and Developing the Therapeutic Alliance. Have We Lost Focus?" (Group activity: Discussion) 

  • Objective: Identify, discuss, and evaluate the differences between a patient centered model of care and a person focused model and approach to care.
  • Synopsis: This talk will review the key components of the patient centered approach and developing of the therapeutic alliance based on 30+ years of clinical experience and the current evidence based literature. It will also ask the question, have we misunderstood the term “patient centered” and propose that we move from a patient centered to a person focus approach in our clinical interactions.

2:30 pm - Break

2:45 pm - Daria Oller, PT, DPT, ATC: "A Physical Therapist’s Lived Experience With Long Covid"

  • Objective: Identify and describe common Long COVID signs and  symptoms.
  • Synopsis: In March 2020, physical therapist and athletic trainer Daria Oller contracted COVID 19. Her symptoms persisted, becoming Long COVID. When traditional approaches to  rehabilitation proved problematic and even dangerous, she was forced to reconsider the  paradigm of exercise serving as medicine. She shares her unique perspectives as both a clinician and a patient living with an emerging  condition, as well as current evidence.

3:30 pm - Q&A

3:45 pm - Break

4 pm - Todd Davenport, PT, DPT, MPH, OCS: "What To Do When “Working Out” Isn’t Working Out: Insights from the Physiology of Post-Exertional Symptom Exacerbation"

  • Objectives: 
    • Differentiate between post-exertional symptom exacerbation (PESE) and expected responses to physical activity in deconditioned people
    • Compare and contrast metabolic, cardiac, and ventilatory responses to exercises in people with PESE and deconditioning, respectively
    • Discuss the harms of graded (quota-based) exercise in people with PESE
    • Describe the indications and basic principles for energy system first aid in people with  PESE 
  • Synopsis: Graded exercise is commonly prescribed after illness to improve symptoms and functional tolerance. Protracted and limited courses of recovery may be associated with post-exertional symptom exacerbation (PESE), which is common after many other forms of viral and bacterial infection including SARS-COV-2. PESE is a constellation of physical, cognitive, and constitutional symptoms that indicate a maladaptive recovery response from activity. Physiological characteristics of people with PESE differ from deconditioned people in clinically important ways, including differences in the volume of oxygen consumed, heart rate, and ventilation at peak exertion and ventilatory anaerobic threshold. These physiological differences make graded exercise harmful for people with PESE. This session will discuss the features of PESE compared to deconditioning, the physiology associated with PESE, and introduce the indications and basic principles of energy system first aid for people with PESE.

4:45 pm - Q&A

5 pm - Break

5:15 pm - Keynote Melanie Noel, PhD, RPsych: "Diagnostic Uncertainty In Chronic Pain" (Group activity: Discussion)

  • Objective: Identify the prevalent phenomenon of diagnostic uncertainty in the context of chronic pain as well as specific language and communicative behaviors that either fuel or reduce uncertainty.
  • Synopsis: Living with chronic pain is fraught with uncertainty. Diagnostic uncertainty (DU; i.e., the perception that the explanation or cause of a condition is inaccurate and/or the belief that something more serious is causing the condition that doctors have not yet found) is reported by up to 40% of adults and youth (and their parents) with chronic pain and it is a core source of emotional distress. Nevertheless, research on diagnostic uncertainty is limited. Dr. Noel will present new quantitative and qualitative longitudinal data on the sources and consequences of DU in individuals with chronic pain and their caregivers. The high prevalence of DU among parents, youth, and adults with chronic pain as well as influences of past medical experiences and clinician communication, and deleterious outcomes (worse mental health and pain) will be presented. Additionally, research findings on clinician’s experience of uncertainty in the context of treating children with chronic pain and their families will be presented. Finally, new observational research examining actual clinician-family interactions in initial clinical intake appointments within tertiary chronic pain programs will be presented.

    This will illustrate ways of communicating with patients who live with chronic pain and their families (reassurance, validation, explanations for pain) that are, and are not, beneficial in alleviating uncertainty and promoting behavior change. 

6 pm - Q&A

6:15 pm - END

Time TBA - PT After Dark


Sunday Feb. 27

9 am - Zentangle with Hima Lanka (drawing method that promotes concentration and creativity) Zentangle kit can be purchased on registration page.

10 am - Break

10:15 am - Matthew Low, PT, ACE, ESP: "Coming To Terms With Complexity: Navigating The Terrain Between Research And Practice" (Group activity: Discussion)

  • Objectives: 
    • Discuss and explore the concept of complexity and its relationship to Physical Therapy clinical practice.
    • Implement the intertwining nature and integration of philosophy, science and the humanities as relevant to Physical Therapy clinical practice. 
    • Critique the totality of evidence in clinical decision making in Physical Therapy clinical practice.
    • Recognize future perspectives in working with complexity with respect to Physical Therapy practice.
  • Synopsis: The practice of physiotherapy does not happen in a philosophical vacuum (Anjum and Mumford, 2018). While the idea of an ‘evidence-based’ healthcare might have immediate appeal, what this means in practice relies heavily on what we consider as causal evidence. From one particular view, ‘evidence’ largely refers to statistical evidence, preferably from randomized controlled trials, linking one type of intervention to a therapeutic effect (Djulbegovic and Guyatt, 2017).  Starting from exploring the inherent complexity of a person suffering in persistent pain, this presentation walks through the challenges that are met with regards to reaching the 'totality of evidence' and its application in a real world setting, particularly that which lies outside of the clinic door.

11:15 am - Break

11:30 am - Lisa VanHoose, PhD, MPH, PT: "Your Pain Evaluation Is Incomplete Without A Zipcode Assessment" (Group activity: Discussion)

  • Objectives:
    • Identify public datasets and search engines to locate zip code-related data related to pain prevalence and presentation. 
    • Recognize zip code data and its relevance to the physical therapy evaluation and plan of care in the management of pain. 
    • Assemble findings for the patient/client, the healthcare community, and other stakeholders 
  • Synopsis: The role of the physical therapist or physical therapist assistant in the assessment and management of pain has been proven in the literature. As providers, we must ensure that the pain evaluation is thorough to maximize health, wellness, and rehabilitation outcomes. One of the components commonly missing from the physical therapy evaluation is the analysis of the patient/client's zip code and its impact on current and future health status. This session will discuss the current literature regarding zip code or geographical location, pain presentation, and health outcomes. Participants will learn how to conduct secondary data analyses, integrate findings into the physical therapy evaluation and plan of care, and communicate clinical findings to local, state, and national stakeholders as a means of partnering with other entities to improve population health. 

12:30 pm - Lunch

1:20 pm - Prize Drawings (must be present to win)

1:30 pm - Jarod Hall, PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS & Mark Kargela, PT, DPT, OCS, cert-MDT, MTC, FAAOMPT: "Does Manual Therapy Suck?: A Debate For The Ages" (Moderated by Marcos Lopez, DPT)

  • Objectives:
    • Examine current evidence supporting and refuting the use of manual therapy in clinical practice.
    • Identify effective professional debate and critical evaluation of evidence. 
    • Execute and critique errors in clinical reasoning and critical thinking including, but not limited to post hoc reasoning, appeal to authority, argumentum ad populum, the genetic fallacy, ad hominem attacks, and the sunken cost fallacy. 
    • Recognize principles of narrative based medicine, learned helplessness, and effects of pain self-efficacy on patient outcomes. 
    • Examine a patient centered and evidence informed clinical reasoning framework to implement manual therapy in their patient care plan.
  • Synopsis: Manual therapy is always a really hot topic that has deep-rooted emotional involvement. It is rarely debated well and there has been a ton of aggressive interactions and extremists on social media (example being Adam Meakin’s “manual therapy sucks shirts“?) in the last year or two getting into it over the topic. We want to bring some comedy and perspective by debating back and forth from extreme and opposite positions. We want to use this both as a way to show how debate should and shouldn’t go and demonstrate what we often look like going after it with each other on these topics. In the second half of the session, we would then go into a short lecture over what the science of manual therapy actually says from the middle of the road, evidence based, and reasonable perspective.

2:15 pm - Q&A

2:30 pm - Break

2:45 pm - Jason Silvernail, DPT, DSc, FAAOMPT: "Conflict and Safety in Clinical Spaces"

  • Objectives: 
    • Identify the overall prevalence of workplace violence in healthcare
    • Define indicators of imminent conflict and violence
    • Demonstrate verbal de-escalation skills
    • Applying and enforcing interpersonal boundaries
  • Synopsis: This session will focus on workplace violence and interpersonal conflict. Dr Silvernail will set the stage with a review of how common workplace violence and conflict is in healthcare settings. He will review existing best practices and policies for safety by major organizations and touch on practical verbal and conceptual skills participants can apply the next day to recognize warning signs of imminent conflict and defuse conflict when it happens, and protect themselves from workplace violence. Workplace violence and conflict is common in medicine and reviews show health care workers from a variety of professional groups experience verbal and physical abuse and sexual harassment regularly. Few professional programs teach students and practitioners how to recognize and manage verbal and physical abuse in a workplace setting. This presentation will help you recognize, defuse and de-escalate conflict in clinical spaces and help you be more confident in dealing with these issues.

3:30 pm - Q&A

3:45 pm - Break

4 pm - Keynote Tasha Stanton, PhD: "Rethinking Osteoarthritis – Is It More Than Just The Joint?" (Group activity: Discussion)

  • Objectives:
    • Identify the neuroimmune changes that occur in painful osteoarthritis
    • Demonstrate the ability to challenge the traditional biomechanical explanation of osteoarthritis and osteoarthritic pain
    • Discuss the influence of language and words on the experience of osteoarthritic pain
    • Recognize the role of knowledge, activity, and inflammation decreasing strategies in recovery
  • Synopsis: Traditional medical and public views of osteoarthritis are that it is a degenerative disease of the joint that is progressive and ultimately requires surgical intervention. New evidence suggests that things are a bit more complex than we might think. This talk will explore the modern view of osteoarthritis by exploring the substantial changes that occur to the pain system and to the immune system, and to the gut, that are heightened by lifestyle and diet factors. It will also explore the key therapeutic targets for osteoarthritic pain recovery, including the role we play as clinicians via our words and language.

5 pm - END

Download shortened schedule for Feb. 26 & 27
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