Clinical Pain Science for the Low Back, Pelvis and Hips

This 2-day course will focus on how to use an evidence-based framework to achieve better outcomes in the treatment of the low back, pelvis and hips for manual therapists. An understanding of current pain science and biopsychosocial principles will be learned and applied to help participants reconceptualize pain and inform their clinical decision making. Participants will learn how to adapt their current practice and be more comfortable in their communication and application of manual therapy techniques, movement and therapeutic exercises.

This course provides the opportunity to learn how manual therapy, movement modification and therapeutic exercises can be implemented within RMT practice to improve patient outcomes. General and specific movement and exercise interventions will be learned and practiced.

This course will also be addressing abdominal and pelvic floor pain and will provide RMTs with introductory guidelines to navigate not only the manual component of massage therapy, but also the interview process, modified movements, and how to implement trauma informed care in practice. The intent of this section of the course is to get the RMT profession comfortable with managing pain with this patient population using a biopsychosocial framework within scope of practice for RMTs in BC.

About the instructors

Jamie Johnston RMT is the founder of www.themtdc.com. He is passionate about furthering the professionalism and education of RMT’s. He is also a firefighter, first aid, Sport First Responder, and EMR instructor, and former clinical supervisor at WCCMT – Victoria. He has spent years working in sport, initially working with our local Junior A hockey team, the Victoria Grizzlies for seven years, one of which spent as head trainer and medical director. He also spent a year working with our national Men’s 7’s Rugby team, has worked with UBC swim team, along with other sports like rowing and Ironman. For the past four years has also been working with (and continues to) Hockey Canada in the women’s development program. His teaching style, sense of humour and humility has consistently received fantastic reviews from those who have attended his courses.

Eric Purves MRSc, RMT has been an RMT since 2006. He has a full-time practice and co-owns Achieve Health, a multidisciplinary clinic in Victoria, BC. He was a co-chair for the Registered Massage Therapists Association of BC (RMTBC) advanced practice group in pain management. The groups objective is to provide education and resources for evidence-based treatments and effective pain management strategies for manual and movement therapists. In 2016, Eric joined the education faculty at PainBC where he teaches a course on persistent pain management. He also has his own education company where he regularly teaches across North America workshops on pain, manual therapy, movement/exercise therapies and rehabilitation principles for health care providers. His graduate studies at the University of British Columbia focused on the application of research evidence in healthcare practice. Eric’s presented his research at conferences and has had articles published throughout the world in various massage therapy journals.

Jocelyn Kirton, RMT has been an RMT since 2013. She has taken a special interest in treating patients with persistent pain, specifically in the abdominal and pelvic regions. Her treatment foundations are built around a neurocentric patient centred clinical reasoning framework. Her educational and practical experiences have given her the unique opportunity to incorporate her knowledge base allowing for a modern and evidence-based approach to persistent abdominal and pelvic pain. In addition to her abdominal and pelvic focus, Jocelyn revolves her practice around guided recovery to encourage and empower her patients to take control of their health by giving them at home strategies to help manage their pain.

As an instructor of Massage Therapy at CDI college, Jocelyn worked with the women’s health in-reach. Her educational abilities instilled confidence and skill in her students when treating patients with pelvic pain.
Jocelyn also taught the introduction to sports treatment course and oversaw the sports outreach, bridging classroom comprehension and treating athletic patient populations together.

Outside of her practice, Jocelyn wants to impact the Massage Therapy profession by educating RMTs on the positive impact the profession can have for people dealing with abdominal and pelvic pain. Jocelyn is motivated for other health care professionals to recognize the benefit patients with pelvic pain would receive from seeing an RMT. In her opinion, it’s time we get comfortable as a profession in managing patients with abdominal and pelvic pain that is evidence informed and safe.

Emily York, RMT graduated from the West Coast College of Massage Therapy in 2014 and has been working as a Registered Massage Therapist since May 2015. Over the years and with the influence of new evidence and continuing education Emily’s practice has grown and morphed to where it is now. She has always operated under the idea that “you treat the patient, not the condition” and in the early years of her practice this placed a heavy emphasis on learning different massage techniques. This included numerous assessment courses, an introduction to visceral manipulation, and instrument assisted soft tissue manipulation.

It was attending a low back and pelvic assessment course, in addition to the RMTBC’s “Mental Health and Massage Therapy” conference that introduced Emily to the Biopsychosocial model of treating patients. Furthermore, Emily completed her 200 hour Registered Yoga Teacher Training in 2018 and in 2019 started her Bachelor of Arts in Leadership at Trinity Western University.

In her personal life Emily spent several years volunteering in an addiction rehabilitation facility and has spent the last several years on a journey of self discovery which has resulted in uncovering her passion for food, art, weightlifting, running, hiking, boxing, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Emily’s vision in life is to support and empower the people around her to be the best versions of themselves and in her practice, this is evident through her commitment to an evidence-based practice and patient centered care. Emily is passionate about education, supporting people with persistent pain, and helping them understand when you are seen, heard, and validated we can create a treatment plan specific to you.

Emily works with patients experiencing prenatal and post-partum concerns, overuse injuries, persistent pelvic and low back pain, fatigue, PTSD, anxiety, and depression.

Learning Objectives

  • Understanding of current evidence-based frameworks on persistent pain to enhance practice, improve outcomes, and decrease practitioner stress
  • Distinguishing between tissue health, biomechanics and psychosocial factors and their role in pain, exercise and rehabilitation.
  • Applications of existing manual therapy and movement skills can be effectively modified to improve patient outcomes
  • Increase utilization of exercise prescription for self-management and to improve participants abilities to teach self-management/exercise to their clients.
  • Practicing key principles in forming a therapeutic relationship through client interaction and contextual effects 
  • Improve understanding of various presentations for pain and dysfunction in the low back, pelvis and hips
  • Improve and refine assessment and treatment strategies for low back, pelvis and hips
  • Understand differences when treating mechanical sensitivity, central processes and recognizing when to refer to other healthcare providers.
  • Learn how current evidence can be applied to improve treatment outcomes
  • Improve abilities to apply a combination of manual therapies, movement, and exercises for a variety of patient presentations


Since using these principals and educating my patients on them, the reactions I have been getting are significant. Mostly, I am seeing a look of amazement from them, followed up by them telling me, “That’s what my neurologist told me last week!” That’s exactly what we talked about at the pain clinic, or at the MD, physio, etc.

It has been so long since I have taken a course or been taught something that is evidence based and it is SO refreshing. I think every health care professional should take this course… You guys are doing a great job at taking the best scientific approach to a world filled with murky pseudoscience. You guys have taken all the tricky science stuff and made it digestible and have given me the tools to talk about this in a fun and excited way. Your enthusiasm and excitement for this content is contagious!

Thanks!! In 15 years of continuing ed, I have never taken a course that was so easy to integrate into practice immediately. I have been doing this with at least half of my patients since starting Monday!

This is the first time in 15 years of practice that I have felt so aligned with other health practitioners, in the best way possible. Kudos!

Dates and Venues 2020


May 14-15, 2021
Victoria, BC, Canada

May 14-15, 2021
Remote, Anywhere

Remote Courses are offered over zoom.  Details on how to view will be sent after registration.

Refund policy: Cancellations within 30 days of course will not be eligible for a full refund, but the credit may be applied to another course date and location. All refunds will be subject to a $75 admin fee.