Course Summary

External-Focus Exercise + Pain Science

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Course Summary

External-Focus Exercise + Pain Science

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Full Course Description

Empower Movement: External-Focus Exercise + Pain Science

Compliance with therapeutic exercise programs is generally poor, with over 70% of low back patients failing to perform their prescribed exercises. One of the many reasons for this poor compliance may be the frequent use of an internal focus exercise approach, which is often experienced as boring, repetitive, pointless, and non-productive.

This course will challenge current belief systems about exercise and change the way you practice and prescribe therapeutic exercise. This course integrates contemporary research, including the OPTIMAL Theory of Motor Learning, exergaming technology, and pain science into a new therapeutic conditioning and exercise method using primarily an external-focus approach.

Compared to internal focus exercise programs, directed at the performer’s own body movements, external focus programs, directed at the effects of movement on the environment, have immediate beneficial effects on performance, retention, and transfer. Improvements are observed in movement effectiveness and efficiency, self-efficacy, confidence, automaticity of control, and overall cognitive function.

Apply high-level sports training principles in your clinical practice. Just like athletes, who commonly use external focus training methods, immediately following this course, you can apply the same principles to all your patients! An external-focus exergaming approach will bring your clinic to a much higher level and assist your patients in overcoming kinesiophobia, reaching higher levels of athletic and overall performance, and achieving their individual goals faster through exergaming. Exercising has never before been this much fun. This course will teach you how to put fun back into functional training in working with patients in any age group.

This course will present an evidence-based alternative integrating an external focus approach, fostering autonomy, positive expectations, and goal-action coupling.


There are no prerequisites for this course.

Who Should Attend

Physical Therapists
Occupational Therapists
Athletic Trainers
Physical Therapy Assistants
Occupational Therapy Assistants

Course CEUs

Exergaming - An Innovative Pain Management Approach

CEUs - pending

NOTE: Many states, such as Connecticut, Georgia, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Kansas, Kentucky, South Carolina, Virginia, and Wisconsin, among many others, accept the CEUs approved by the Maryland Board of Physical Therapy Examiners.

If you are not sure about another state, check out your state board's website and look for language like (from South Carolina - 

At least fifteen (15) of the required thirty (30) contact hours shall be from Certified Activities. Certified Activities include [...]  attendance at conferences and completion of continuing competency activities provided by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), South Carolina Chapter of the American Physical Therapy Association (SCAPTA), other chapters and sections of the APTA, as well as other state boards of physical therapy

Course Discounts

The External-Focus Exercise + Pain Science possible discounts (may only use one)

A 10% discount will be applied automatically when 3+ individuals are registered for one course on the same ticket.

New graduates, Active Military/Veterans, Residents, Full-Time University Faculty are eligible  for a 10% discount.

You may retake this course for a 50% discount.

Only one discount may be applied to any course.

Course Objectives

- Discuss three main aspects of the OPTIMAL Theory of Motor Learning

- Describe four advantages of an external-focus exergaming approach

- Design individualized external-focus exercise programs for patients of all ages

- Contrast four essential differences between internal and external - focus exercise programs

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