Pain-Free Movement Specialist Program Designed to Help Millions of People With Chronic Pain Get Back to Living an Active Lifestyle

Posted: Jan 16, 2018 in ACE Press Releases

American Council on Exercise and Function First offer education that utilizes a biopsychosocial approach to exercise programming

San Diego, January 16, 2018— According to data from the American Academy of Pain Medicine, more than 1.5 billion people worldwide suffer from chronic pain. Chronic pain can be physically, mentally and emotionally crippling—and it’s not easy to remedy. People living with chronic pain suffer every day. Many turn to painkilling medications for short-term relief, but the pain never fully goes away—and the side effects are rarely worth it. Movement, when executed with the help of a trained exercise professional, can be an effective way to relieve pain and improve quality of life.

As part of its promise to help everyone live an active, healthy lifestyle, American Council on Exercise (ACE), the leading certifier of health coaches and fitness professionals, launched the Pain-Free Movement Specialist program from Function First. As the only exercise-based program designed specifically using a biopyschosocial approach, personal trainers will learn how pain effects the balance of physical biology, social interaction, and psychological state, and then how to coach exercise sequencing in a given session based on their clients’ readiness both from a physical and emotional level. Over the course of weeks and months, exercise programming will progress clients through changing movement patterns and build on their success.

The Pain-Free Movement Specialist program comes from Anthony Carey, M.A., and Kevin Murray, M.A., leading experts in biomechanics, corrective exercise and musculoskeletal pain and function. Carey and Murray built the program on the premise that pain-free living lies in addressing the body as a whole and that every pain experience is unique to the individual.

"Pain is a complex experience influenced by each individual’s body and life," says Carey. "The ability to design exercise programs that address all of the interdependent systems that cause pain –from the relationship of mobility and stability in the nervous system to a person’s beliefs about their pain–elevates Pain-Free Movement Specialists into an elite category of expertise."

The program offers a comprehensive understanding of both corrective exercise and the rapport-building skills needed to work with clients in pain. These skills give exercise professionals the opportunity to better serve growing groups including baby boomers, post-rehab clients and other special populations with musculoskeletal issues.

ACE-Certified Health Coach and Personal Trainer Cynthia Vowell found success helping her clients end acute aches but struggled with helping clients with chronic pain. According to Vowell, after becoming a Pain-Free Movement Specialist, she gained the deep understanding of science needed to bring her clients a holistic understanding of their own pain.

"Often, clients come to me after working with a variety of specialists, each of whom will give them a different tool that addresses a small slice of what's causing their chronic pain. Many are skeptical and have given up hope," says Vowell. "When I'm able to show them the full picture and the interconnected systems that influence their pain, I see a lightbulb go on. For the first time, they can envision a path to a pain-free life."

Vowell says the skills have built a new, successful niche for her business.

"When clients reach a milestone in their journey, like finally playing soccer with their kids, the referrals start to flood in. To my surprise, they come from my clients' physicians, too. When doctors learn that this approach worked where theirs didn't, they send many of their patients with chronic pain my way."

Learn more about the program and become a Pain-Free Movement Specialist. 

About ACE

With a mission to get people moving, the nonprofit organization American Council on Exercise (ACE) educates, certifies and represents more than 70,000 currently certified fitness professionals, health coaches and other allied health professionals. ACE advocates for a new intersection of fitness and healthcare, bringing the highly qualified professionals ACE represents into the healthcare continuum so they can contribute to the national solution to physical inactivity and obesity. ACE is the leading certifier in its space and all four of its primary certification programs are accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), the gold standard in the United States for accreditation of certifications that assess professional competence. ACE also plays an important public-service role, conducting and providing science-based research and resources on safe and effective physical activity and sustainable behavior change. For more information, call 800-825-3636 or visit AMERICAN COUNCIL ON EXERCISE, ACE and ACE logos are Registered Trademarks of the American Council on Exercise.

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