Ep 174 Chaser – Valerie Bobb, Sarah Haag and Peter O’Sullivan on Pain: From Education to Practice


Episode 174 Chaser

In this episode Jimmy speaks with Valerie Bobb, Sarah Haag and Peter O’Sullivan live from the 40th birthday party for the Section on Women’s Health at CSM 2017.   We learn about cultural beliefs around pain, the importance of listening to the patient’s story and how to “clean the cupboard” of pain education in the physical therapy curriculum.

Bio: Valerie Bobb, Sarah Haag and Peter O’Sullivan

Valerie Bobb PT, MPT, WCS, ATC

Valerie Bobb earned her MSPT from Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI and her DPT from Texas Woman’s University in Dallas, TX. She is currently the clinical manager and physical therapist at the Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation (BIR) as well as the Women’s Health Residency Director at Texas Woman’s University.   She was appointed to the committee to re-validate the Description of Specialty Practice (DSP) for the Women’s Health Specialty, a division of the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialists.


Sarah Haag PT, DPT, MS, WCS Cert. MDT, RYT

Sarah earned her MSPT in 2002 from Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI. She went on to get her DPT and her MS in Women’s Health from Rosalind Franklin University in Chicago, IL. Sarah completed a Certification in Mechanical Diagnosis Therapy from the McKenzie Institute in 2010, and recently completed a 200 hour Yoga Instructor Training Program. She was awarded with the Certificate of Achievement in Pelvic Physical Therapy (CAPP) from the Section on Women’s Health. She is currently co-owner and practicing physical therapist at Entropy Physiotherapy & Wellness in Chicago, IL.


Peter O’Sullivan Dip Physio, Post Grad Dip Manip Ther, PhD, FACP, APAM

Peter earned his Diploma in Physiotherapy from Otago Physiotherapy School in Dunedin, New Zealand in 1986, his Post Grad Dip Manipulative Therapy in 2000 and his PhD in Physiotherapy in 2008 from Curtin University of Technology in Perth, Australia. For the past 18 years, Peter has been Professor of Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy at Curtin University where he also conducts clinical research focused on the development and management of musculoskeletal pain disorders. He is a Specialist Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist, awarded by the Australian College of Physiotherapists in 2005. Peter has over 190 research publications, has been the keynote speaker at 90 national and international conferences and has taught in 22 countries on the diagnosis and management of persistent pain disorders. Peter consults at a multi-disciplinary practice, Body Logic, where he reviews complex musculoskeletal pain disorders.


Episode 71 Shoutouts

David Butler

Lorimer Mosely

Tracy Sher: Episode 161

Episode 71 Highlights

(3:40) “What do we need in terms of pain education?”

(5:43) From an epidemiological perspective, pain looks like asthma.

(7:00) The psycho-social components that are involved with pain during pregnancy.

(7:50) The most important part is listening to the patient’s story.

(10:45) “There’s a difference between what you have to do for your system and what you have to do for your patient.”

(14:30) How do we get the new science around pain into academia?

(16:42) “We’ve got a cultural problem around understanding pain and we have to challenge that”

(17:27) “Pain is no different than the common cold, with headaches you’re not worrying about your head being damaged; back pain is no different.”

(17:30) What are you driving now that “The Rustang” is decommissioned?

(17:55) How should the PT world seek out more pain education?

(20:17) “Pain is a peripheral system, it is a central system, it is cardiovascular, it is everything together. You’ve got to be able to pull that together and we don’t teach it that way.”



“The most important skill you can develop is your listening skill”


“Most of the time doing less is exactly what you need to get the job done”


“Examine your own beliefs around your health, pain, what you value in life. Be respectful and listen to your patients and take them back to a place that has value. #DitchTheRubbish and move on.”

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