Adriaan Louw, PT, PhD, CSMT


In this episode of The Functional Freedom Podcast, I’m really pleased to welcome Adriaan Louw, PT,PhD, CSMT  from the International Spine and Pain Institute (ISPI) to our show.  Adriaan is a good friend and we cover a variety of topics ranging from his South Africa beginnings, manual therapy, starting his own company, and his therapeutic neuroscience education research.
Adriaan, is co-founder and CEO of International Spine and Pain Institute.  He earned both his undergraduate and master’s degree in research and spinal surgery from the University of Stellenbosch in Cape Town,  South Africa.
He has been a guest lecturer/adjunct faculty member at Rockhurst University  for nearly 20 years and regularly teaches at St. Ambrose University and the University of Las Vegas Nevada.

 Here are a few of the main points that we cover:

  • Adriaan’s evolution from a Maitland trained manual therapist to a therapuetic neuroscience pain therapist
  • Practical suggestions on how to teach patients overcome their chronic pain
  • How a simple shift in the way you look at a patient’s pain can have a massive effect on your success
  • How to turn down your patient’s “awakened” nervous system 
  • The power of a metaphor in helping challenge your patient’s false beliefs about their pain
  • Adriaan expounds that pain is 100% produced by the brain
  • New reimbursement models make empowering patients to help themselves is a must
  • Adriaan’s tips on patient education while keeping a full patient load
  • How Adriaan uses written homework to engage patients into solving their pain problem
  • How to start a private practice therapy clinic without draining your bank account
  • Plus so much more…

Resources and Links Mentioned in this Episode

ISPI Image (3)

Dr. Louw continues an extensive teaching schedule throughout the US and internationally on spinal manual therapy and pain science .  Adriaan maintains a clinical practice in Story City, Iowa where  he and his wife Colleen moved to be closer to family.  Adriaan has presented at numerous national and international manual therapy and pain science and medical conferences.

Adriaan has authored several booklets that are based on the latest neuroscience research on explaining pain to patients.  I attended several courses taught by Adriaan during my ISPI manual therapist certification  and found him to be a world class speaker yet a humble expert manual therapist.

It will become obvious to you during the interview that Adriaan has a vision for the value  of physical therapists in today’s healthcare marketplace.  You will also get a sense of his passion for his message and his teaching skill to deliver it in a compelling way. I hope you enjoy our conversation.



Thanks Adriaan!  You were awesome!  If you want to thank Adriaan yourself, you can thank him at

Thank all of you for listening to the show and all your amazing support.  The podcast and blog is beginning to gain some traction and I have some amazing interviews set up for you in the future.

I have a question I’d like for you to consider and write your answer in the comment section below.

 “What techniques or metaphors  have you found effective in explaining pain to your patients?”