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A reflection on EP3 at the ‘G

By Noigroup HQ Uncategorized 21 Nov 2018

I attended the Melbourne NOIEP3 course in 2018 with tremendous interest, anticipation and excitement. My PhD is in lower back pain related to lifting. An area where unfortunately, the best efforts of Physiotherapists, manual handling advisors, workplace ergonomists and health and safety advisors despite their efforts, have not been able to lower the burden of back pain related disability. An area where maybe a reconceptualisation of this pain problem is necessary, given the lack of the current endeavours to make a positive impact on lower back pain in the workplace.

Peter is one of my PhD supervisors and I also know David and Lorimer’s work well. What motivated me to attend was my interest to see if these three world leaders in their field, were in agreement on how best to tackle the massive burden of chronic pain that currently faces us.

Clearly on show at this course were three men who were brilliant presenters. Lorimer’s knowledge and delivery skills, Dave’s humour and flare and Pete’s passion were centre stage for all to see. The skill of these three presenters in portraying a message in this forum is unparalleled in this profession. It was engaging and fascinating to see how Lorimer simplified the complexity that is pain neuroscience. The way he is able to demonstrate mind boggling concepts and package them into simple audience driven demonstrations is wonderful. His knowledge in his field and delivery of his message is embedded in a (big, efficient, precise) neurotag somewhere in the pre frontal cortex.

Dave Butler is a hilarious human. Hilarious!! But what resonated from him during this course was his drive and passion in educating people in pain and also society at large. In his own very unique way, he delivered a communication masterclass on reconceptualising pain that took me down the drastic reconceptualisation super highway. His sessions were full of useful tools, nuggets and novellas that could instantly be useful for a clinician dealing with people in pain.

Peter’s concepts on helping people with persistent disabling low back pain is something that I know well. Even so, his demonstration with a real life patient on stage, a man he had never met, is something that was extremely motivational. Watching Pete do his work is something that anyone working in this industry should see. He is comfortable with difficult concepts and distressed emotional patients. His ability to reconceptualise a patient’s pain with behavioural learning is nothing short of magnificent and a real credit to his work.

These three men have dedicated their lives to their chosen areas and are clearly world leading in their field. I would highly recommend, listening to each one of them discuss their knowledge on how best to assist people with pain. I think what was most compelling about EP3 though were when all three of them discussed ideas together. There was a clear alignment of ideas, passion to drive improvement in current practice but also great hope for a tipping point in this undeniable #painrevolution.

-Nic Saraceni


Nic is a PhD Candidate at Curtin University. He is working full time on this and also works part time at Midland Physiotherapy a large practice 20 mins from Perth. His main passion is helping people who have been mismanaged and misinformed get back on track. His key interest is disabling pain problems such as whiplash and lower back pain.


  1. davidbutler0noi

    Gosh Nic!

    Thanks for the nice review. I have done many conferences, meetings and seminars, maybe too many! but I enjoyed this one as much as any other. The mood of the group really helped but to be able to blend material and feed off Lorimer and Pete was really special.


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