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2017 National Myotherapy Conference, Sunday 19 March
Current Issues in Musculoskeletal pain: Building success in patient centred practice

2017 NATIONAL MYOTHERAPY CONFERENCE REVIEW:

According to reports received on the day and after from delegates, presenters and sponsors alike, MA's recent National Conference "Current Issues in Musculoskeletal Pain: Building success in patient-centred practice" was one of the best our profession has ever seen, with over 250 practitioners in attendance.  The conference program comprised two broad streams, 'clinical approaches to musculoskeletal pain' and 'business challenges', which in combination were curated by MA's conference committee to inspire myotherapists and related allied health practitioners to work towards excellence in patient-centred care.  The day featured a very full program with eleven hours of high quality presentations, delivered by eight invited presenters.  The day included two plenary sessions and a panel discussion chaired by former Victorian Health Services Commissioner Beth Wilson AM, plus four separate concurrent sessions, each with two different options to  choose from, one focusing on clinical practice and the other on the more business-oriented aspects of running a successful practice.  Presenters included local, interstate and international leaders in their fields, some of whom joined us from as far afield as Christchurch, New Zealand and Portland, Oregon (US).  Presenters weren't the only ones who arrived  by air, some of our delegates also travelled a considerable distance to attend, including contingents from NSW, Queensland and the Northern Territory.

The program commenced with an opening plenary featuring our international keynote speaker Dr Bronnie Lennox Thompson from Christchurch's University who highlighted the importance of addressing psychosocial factors in the management of musculoskeletal pain.  In the morning sessions which followed, Alison Sim and Dr Karen Lucas provided insights into use of 'flags' to identify risk factors for pain chronicity and current research into clinical options for managing whiplash presentations.   In the main auditorium, Beth Wilson AM provided valuable insights into dealing with patient complaints successfully, preceded by Dr Mark Merolli who highlighted the importance of social media as a key tool for allied health practitioners to use and embrace.

The afternoon's sessions commenced with the second plenary of the day, given by keynote presenter Tony Hardy who spoke about the importance of branding for myotherapists and related allied health professionals.  The afternoon's concurrent sessions included a workshop/problem-solving session on branding for clinics with Tony Hardy, a dynamic session on exercise prescription lead by Queensland-based physiotherapist Wayne Rodgers, an inspiring talk on leadership and the importance of developing good management habits from Grant Sexton, and an invited presentation by Bronnie, this time on fear-avoidance in musculoskeletal pain presentations and new research about how to address it successfully.  

The final session of the conference, and one of the many highlights of the day, was a 'hypothetical' style panel discussion brilliantly chaired by lawyer Beth Wilson AM, featuring Bronnie, Alison, Grant and Karen together with Tim Trevail from Southern School of Natural Therapies.  Beth's razor sharp comic timing simultaneously had conference delegates in stitches and the panel on their toes, as she picked the eyes out of the key themes of the day, presenting them to the panelists in turn to emphasise the symbiotic relationship between sound ethical practice management and evidence-based decision-making as key determinants of personal and professional success for myotherapists to uphold in their approach to musculoskeletal pain.


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