Does Barbell Psychology really work?
There is a large body of high-quality scientific evidence demonstrating the numerous benefits of strength training and cognitive behavioural therapies for individuals with chronic pain.
Because chronic pain is complex and affects a person as a whole (not just their body), current best-practice guidelines recommend treatments combining physical and psychological therapy.
While it wouldn’t be ethical to promise specific results, you can absolutely expect to get stronger, be less affected by pain, and have a better quality of life after completing the 8-week ReTrain program.
Is Barbell Psychology suitable for me?
Lifting weights is hard work; and taking responsibility for your recovery takes courage. But the rewards of both these tasks are great.
Understandably, most people with chronic pain start by seeking a biological solution to their pain – which is why medication and surgery remain popular treatment options, despite a lack of evidence supporting their effectiveness for chronic pain.
However, if you’re looking for something different – an evidence-based treatment approach that puts you in the driver’s seat and empowers you to take charge of your own recovery – then Barbell Psychology might just be what you’ve been looking for.
As long as you have medical clearance to begin muscle-strengthening exercises, these are some of the common chronic pain conditions that the Barbell Psychology approach can help with:
- Musculoskeletal pain
- Low back pain
- Neck and shoulder pain
- Hip and knee pain
- Migraine and headache
- Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)
- Multiple sclerosis
- Neuropathic pain
- Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis
- Visceral pain
Do I need a referral?
No, you don’t need a referral to receive treatment. However, if you are referred for psychological therapy by your GP, you can claim a Medicare rebate.
How much does it cost?
Full fees are listed below. You may be entitled to a Medicare rebate with a referral from your GP, or be partially covered by your private health insurance.
- ReFrame clinic: $790 ($174.90 Medicare rebate)
- ReTrain program: $3160 as four payments of $790 ($699.60 Medicare rebate)
Is barbell training safe with chronic pain?
Yes, strength training with barbells is extremely safe.
Movements like barbell lifts, that can be performed slowly and carefully, and loaded incrementally, are very unlikely to cause injury or sudden increases in pain.
Studies have found that the injury rate for competitive barbell sports is only a small fraction of what it is for sports like soccer or cricket, with most injuries being minor (Keogh & Winwood, 2016).
Bear in mind also, that competitive barbell lifters are continually pushing their bodies to the limit, so for most non-competing barbell trainees, the injury rate is likely to be lower still.
Indeed, for chronic pain patients, muscle strengthening is highly beneficial, whereas inactivity is associated with a worsening condition and poorer pain outcomes.
While there is no activity that is completely risk-free, barbell training under the supervision of a qualified coach is one of the safest and most effective ways for someone with chronic pain to get stronger and retrain their pain system.
What if I’ve never trained before or have a disability?
Barbell Psychology is designed for virtually all ability and strength levels.
All barbell lifts can be modified to meet your individual needs, whether you can squat 200kg or need assistance to stand up from a chair.