Dr. Joe Tatta

Joe Tatta, PT, DPT, CNS is a leader in integrative pain care, championing the cause for safe and effective chronic pain treatment. He serves as the CEO of the Integrative Pain Science Institute, a groundbreaking health organization dedicated to transforming pain care through evidence-based treatment, pioneering research, professional development, and free consumer education.

With a career spanning over 25 years, Dr. Tatta has been unwavering in his support for individuals suffering from pain, while also equipping healthcare professionals and stakeholders to enhance their pain management capabilities. His body of pain science research and professional accomplishments extends to the creation of scalable practice models grounded in health behavior change, integrative and lifestyle medicine, and innovative approaches empowering physical therapists to assume the role of primary healthcare providers. He is passionate about implementation science and strategies that facilitate the uptake of evidence-based practice into regular use by practitioners and stakeholders. The culmination of his work is PRISM: Pain Recovery and Integrative Systems Model – a cognitive behavioral approach for pain management physical therapy.

Beyond his role as a speaker and trainer, Dr. Tatta is the best-selling author of three books, the host of the insightful Healing Pain Podcast, and an adjunct professor in the field of physical therapy. His dedication continues to shape the landscape of pain care, inspiring hope and transformation for countless individuals worldwide.

"I believe pain care is about much more than treating a medical condition."

I believe pain management is a fundamental human right. The knowledge to alleviate pain should be accessible to all regardless of race, sex, nationality, ethnicity, language, religion, sexual orientation, or other status.

The availability of this knowledge extends to practitioners so they can effectively deliver care. Nothing short of a liberation movement improved pain care calls for health equity, disability justice, and social justice. Pain is a top reason people seek care, the #1 cause of disability and opioid misuse, and the primary driver of healthcare utilization, costing $ 1 trillion more than cancer, heart disease, and diabetes combined.

Pain management should be a front-and-center priority in our healthcare system.

About the Pain Liberation Movement

The pain liberation movement is a cultural change that challenges the traditional medical model. This change is contingent upon a more humanistic approach to care that emphasizes the individual’s personal worth, the centrality of human values, and the creative, active nature of human beings. A set of principles guides the movement. These principles apply to practitioners and people with pain. Considering these principles leads to more equitable, effective, and value-based care. It improves the lived experience of individuals and communities. Pain liberation happens when people understand pain and are empowered to take action.

Principles of Pain Liberation


Pain care is a fundamental human right inherent to all human beings, regardless of race, sex, nationality, ethnicity, language, religion, or any other status.


Through their life experiences, people learn the concept of pain. A person’s report of an experience as pain should be believed and respected.


Pain is the #1 cause of disability. All people should have access to the
knowledge and skills necessary for pain self-management. Access includes the availability of a skilled practitioner.


People with pain are active partners rather than passive recipients in their care. As the primary agents of change, a practitioner’s job is to provide support and strategies to facilitate pain recovery. No intervention that disempowers can lead to sustained relief and improved quality of life.


All health professionals understand pain as a multidimensional human experience unique to the individual.


Effective pain care considers risk factors and pathology but ultimately focuses on promoting health and wellbeing, builds resilience, and nurtures human growth. This is a mindset shift from pathogenesis (disease) to salutogenesis (health creation).

Collective Knowledge

All health professionals possess the knowledge and skills to facilitate pain recovery. This includes understanding how biopsychosocial factors intersect with physical health, mental health, and substance use.

Whole Person Care

The evaluation and treatment of pain considers the whole person. It goes  beyond organs and body systems to look at ways to improve pain through interconnected biological, behavioral, social, and environmental areas. It recognizes and addresses the impact of lifestyle, culture, trauma, stress, emotions, social roles, and other factors. Conventional, integrative, and complementary methods should be combined to facilitate pain recovery.

Disability Justice

The pain liberation movement is part of the disability justice movement. It may include resolving impairments and symptom reduction; however, the ultimate goal is to engage people in a process that empowers them to achieve wellness and community participation within and beyond the limits of disability. Disability justice resists ableism. Ableism is the discrimination of and social prejudice against people with disabilities based on the belief that typical abilities are superior. Ableism is rooted in the assumption that disabled people require ‘fixing’ and defines people by their disability. Ableism classifies entire groups of people as ‘less than’ and includes harmful stereotypes, misconceptions, and generalizations of people with disabilities.

Social Justice

The pain liberation movement challenges the stigmatization and marginalization of people living with pain. Barriers towards assessment, recognition, and successful pain management exist among historically marginalized groups, including women, elderly, people of color, indigenous groups, recent immigrants, refugees, and members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, queer, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA+) communities. Bias towards historically marginalized groups influences outcome expectations in people with pain.

It also considers the impact of sociopolitical determinants such as poverty, discrimination, lack of healthcare access, education, social support services, and other social inequities. These factors affect people’s vulnerability to and capacity for pain recovery. The pain liberation movement maintains an ongoing awareness of sociopolitical movements for human rights that sustain our ability to safeguard those most vulnerable.

Adopt these principles into your practice or organization. Share them with your friends and colleagues. People want change.
They are ready to be liberated from pain.

Join the Pain Liberation Movement

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What clients Are Saying

"In a time of significant burnout throughout the healthcare community, among students, clinical instructors, and faculty members, this educational session provided great content with tools and strategies that all of us can start using tomorrow!"

Erica Sherman


"This was a perfect course for enhancing our clinical education partnerships. The recommendations were easily applicable and founded by the recent evidence. This course helped with improving the mentoring abilities of everyone and is very applicable during these uncertain times."

Chris Wilson


"This evidence-based nutrition course completes your skills as a physical therapist. The information you obtain from this course prepares you to address any persistent pain syndrome encountered in a physical therapy practice with nutrition.

Kerstin Palombaro


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