15. Working with People in Pain & Pain Science 2.0

WHY: Pain might be one of the most misunderstood topic in the fitness industry. The old mentality of “if pain presents, a referral is warranted” falls short when applied in the real world. The reality is, a lot of people are dealing with persistent pain. Most of these people will present with pain during a movement screen, but they are already cleared to exercise, the bad things have been ruled out, and they don’t warrant a referral. Understanding how pain works and how to successfully work with these people could help an entire population who are in a desperate need for increase fitness and wellbeing.

When you start to dig deeper on this topic, you start to see how these people need the same thing as your fat loss client. – Lucy Hendricks


WHY: Nicole Piemonte explores how changes to the medical education system to include empathy, compassion, and vulnerability will help both doctors and patients with existential suffering, mortality, and illness. This was a fantastic read with great insight into the biomedical model.   The book also help you reflect on your interactions with clients and athletes to engage with them as people first.


WHY: This is a two hour presentation there Zac takes you through the basics of pain science. The biggest takeaway a coach should have after this presentation is the power of their words and how that can change someone’s perspective about themselves.

WHY: Maybe your client can’t seem to find anything that doesn’t hurt, and they keep having flare ups. A referral might be warranted but do you know the difference between clinician who is a fixer vs a facilitator? Not all clinicians are equal. When a client needs a referral, make sure you know who you’re sending people to.

Websites & Social Media Resources/Mentors (recommended by Michelle Boland)

WHY: Seth is a brilliant individual who shares his thoughts often on the brain, autonomics, stress, trauma, and movement.

  • Perry Nickelston, DC @stopchasingpain

WHY: Stop Chasing Pain is one of my favorite accounts to follow. He posts consistent content about health, movement, and unorthodox perspectives.

  • Zac Cupples @zaccupples

WHY: Dr. Zac Cupples is a brilliant Physical Therapist who provides an unbelievable amount of free content relating to both rehab and performance. Check out his site: Zac Cupples

  • Lucy Hendricks @lucy_hendricks

WHY: Lucy is establishing herself as someone who is creating a paradigm shift in the fitness industry. She recently created a website to share information between practitioners and fields. She provides an enormous amount of free, high quality content. Check out her site: Holistic Fitness Connector

  • Bill Hartman/IFAST @billhartman_net

WHY: You need to follow him, go to seminars with him, subscribe to his email list, everything. Check out his site: Bill Hartman