Nobody likes to hurt. Unfortunately, 1 in 4 people in rural America suffer from chronic pain. If you are dealing with complex and chronic pain, you may benefit from the expertise of a therapeutic pain specialist (TPS). Cory Nielson, DPT, TPS has advanced training in pain neuroscience and the evaluation and treatment of complex and chronic pain. He and the whole therapy team at KCHC are here to help!

About Complex and Chronic Pain

When we have an injury, we also experience pain to protect us from further injury. Once the injury heals, pain usually goes away. Sometimes, however, pain does not go away even after the body heals. This is a different type of pain called central sensitization and is caused by adaptations in the nerves, spinal cord and brain. Central sensitization can also coexist with common conditions like arthritis, making the pain significantly worse than it would be otherwise. To be successful, treatments must target not only the muscles and joints, but also the nerves, spinal cord and brain.

Common Conditions

Chronic low back pain
Chronic whiplash associated disorders
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
Peripheral neuropathy pain
Phantom-limb pain
Trigeminal neuralgia
Other chronic or complex pains

What will treatments be like?

After a thorough evaluation, therapist will create a unique treatment plan tailored to meet your specific needs. We will do all we can to get you feeling and moving better! The following evidence-based treatments may be included in your treatment plan:

  • Pain Neuroscience Education: a growing body of research shows that learning about pain improves the pain experience. The complexities of pain are explained using easy to understand metaphors.
  • Movement: a strong body of research shows the importance of movement (including stretching, strengthening, and aerobic exercise) in improving pain and restoring function.
  • Graded Motor Imagery: in extreme cases, movement is so painful that traditional movement-based therapy is not immediately possible. In these cases, a series of treatments (including laterality training, motor imagery, sensory discrimination, and mirror therapy) are used to decrease pain and allow for eventual success with movement-based therapy.
  • Relaxation and breathing strategies
  • Dry needling (see our dry needling page for more details)
  • Soft tissue mobilization/massage
  • Modalities (such as ultrasound and electrical stimulation)

To learn more, call (641) 622-1180 and ask to speak with Cory Nielson, DPT, TPS.

Cory Nielson, DPT, TPS, joined the KCHC therapy team in 2021. He obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science from Brigham Young University. He then graduated from the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at Des Moines University with academic honors. Cory enjoys helping people with a wide variety of physical challenges but has a particular passion for helping individuals with complex and chronic pain conditions. He received advanced training in pain neuroscience from Purdue University, Evidence in Motion, and the International Spine & Pain Institute and is a certified therapeutic pain specialist. Other professional interests include pediatrics, geriatrics, and headaches. He is proficient in Spanish and Portuguese and enjoys providing treatment in these languages.

Cory and his wife, Rachel, live in Washington with their two daughters. Together, they enjoy sports, biking, fishing, gardening and volunteering in their church.