How to Treat and Resolve Pain

Meet Derek Byrne, Neuromuscular and Anatomy in Motion Therapist. Derek has an unique way of looking at pain and how to resolve it through a holistic assessment of how the body moves. We talk with Derek to learn more about what he does, how he does it, and what you can expect from one of his sessions.

Derek Byrne

healthpro: Derek, introduce yourself to our readers please? 

Derek: As a healthpro Specialist I am here to educate my clients, to build a plan with them, to help them move forward in life with less pain and improved mobility. I use a combination of Neuromuscular Therapy (NMT) and Anatomy in Motion (AiM) for assessment and treatment.

h: What is pain? 

D: Pain is complex. We can have tissue damage and pain and no tissue damage and pain. Our brains construct what we experience as pain and it has the capacity to change that interpretation with the appropriate therapeutic intervention and movement.

h: What happens when we get an injury?

D: When we are injured, we adapt, we find a way to compensate for the injury and sometimes we maintain this compensation pattern long after the initial injury has healed. This compensation pattern will feel very normal to you. If this compensation pattern is the cause of the problem, it can show up in the way you move. 

h: What does a session with you involve? 

D: All sessions are similar on one level but very different on others, as no two people have the same life experiences. The session is one of information gathering, assessment and appropriate guidance on reintroducing lost movement. How you got to where you are is very important in finding a solution. The symptoms you are experiencing may only be one small piece of a much larger picture that needs to be considered. Old injuries that you may consider trivial and unconnected, such as an ankle sprain, broken finger or whip lash from a car accident, can provide valuable information. Information which can be overlooked when there is a narrow focus on targeting the symptoms. This is why we spend a considerable amount of time on your medical and injury history to see if we can get to the root cause of the problem and develop a strategy to resolve it.


h: So how does this work, how can you resolve a person's pain? 

D: Using AiM we can find a route to analyse and reverse this compensation with movement.

As part of the initial session, I will look at how you maintain an upright posture in three dimensions. I can use this information to find out if any of it makes sense to your current predicament or if it ties in with any of your medical or injury history. I will ask more questions about how you manage the weight of your body with your feet. I will ask lots of questions of your body, especially your feet. For example;

- Is there one side that takes more of your weight?

- Is your weight in your heels or in your toes?

- Do you have equal weight in both feet?

I will go through a comprenshive movement and gait assessment to get a detailed understanding of how you move;

- Does movement in one direction improve the situation?

- What about the opposite movement?

- Which parts of your body move well?

- Which parts don't?

- Is there a reason why?

When I examine your walking pattern, I will be looking to see how it compares to the AiM model. It takes between 0.6 and 0.85 seconds to take a step. In this timeframe every joint in your body has an opportunity to move. If some joints aren’t moving, this can have a knock on effect on the rest of the body as something else has to take up the role. If we can identify and reverse the pattern, we can make improvements to your movement experience and potentially resolve your pain.

h: This is really fascinating Derek, can you tell us more? 

D: Your feet hold a wealth of information about how you move. They are probably the most overlooked parts of our body and the 33 joints in each of your feet need to be able to move well in order to support optimal movement of the rest of your body.

Guided by the assessments, I will test some movements with the AiM wedges, looking to see if we can get improvements with different body and foot positions. Once we have identified what parts of your body need to move better to support moving out of pain, we will work on them with further movements during the session.

Where appropriate, we will assist movement using Neuromuscular Techniques with passive and active joint mobilisation.

h: As a client, what can I expect by the end of my appointment? 

D: At the end of the session we will have a better understanding of which movements will support your transition out of pain. From here the process becomes yours, using the wedges and movement exploration as you continue the process at home with what we like to consider homeplay.

h: What feedback have you received from current or past clients? 

D: My clients have been very willing to share their opinion and thoughts on the work we've done together - below are some I would like to share. For more information on the work I do, please also visit my facebook business page, Body Central Therapy. 



“I can’t recommend Derek Byrne enough for helping me back to myself after a car accident… I was in terrible pain for months, movements were limited to the point where I was physically, mentally and emotionally drained… was not an easy fix, but we got through it….now pain free!” – Dulce


“When I visited Derek I wore insoles in my shoes every day. If I didn’t wear them, I would have pains in my knees that would continue to my back. After a session with Derek, I stopped wearing them. I’m back in the gym doing exercises I wouldn’t have been able to do even with my insoles” – Samantha


“After years of lower backache, a couple of sessions with Derek helped me discover the root of the problem was not the pain point that I had treated for years” – Jennifer


Created: October 2019 

To be reviewed: October 2021

Published on 28 October 2019 | Back to October Articles