Introducing a unique approach to pain management.
Why This Website
A Demonstration
Pain Provides Information
Why This Website
Why This Website
A Demonstration
A Demonstration
Pain Provides Information
Pain Provides Information
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Cathy has developed a tool set to help others learn the System Limitations Approach to Pain (S.L.A.P.), which identifies the missing factors of chronic pain and creates the road map to recovery.


Cathy is a Physical Therapist and Consultant of 30+ years, specializing in chronic pain management and cost reduction.


She helps people learn how through a physical therapist’s active listening and deep understanding of the body’s mechanics it is possible to identify what’s been missing.”

Cathy’s Focus


1. Note positions that increase pain

The patients track each pain and symptom they have and bring that information to the evaluation with Cathy. From that information, Cathy notes the positions/activities that they are in when each pain increases. Her initial focus is on whether they are bent (sitting, reaching down etc) or straight (standing, walking etc) when the pain increases. (See Pain Tracking Form)

2. Take measurements

Take measurements to find out if there are limitations in the range of motion needed to do the
activities/positions that increase the pain. (Measurements are demonstrated in the PT Measurements Video)

3. Compare steps 1 & 2

Compare steps 1 and 2 to determine if the back pain could be the result of force placed on the back
because of a lack of range of motion that is needed to do the activities/positions that increase the pain.


1. Patient Education

Educate the patient about the findings in the evaluation, particularly how the loss of range of motion specifically places force on the back during the activities/positions that increase the pain..

2. Develop monitors - What they are

A monitor is a measurable description of the pain, related to positions or activities. Monitors provide a measurable baseline upon which most program decisions are made (page 82 in the book Rescue Your Back).

3. Develop Monitors - Why

Monitors help the patient and PT gain control, first, by realizing the positions/activities that elicit each pain. Then by tracking how they can change the intensity of pain with  (1) positioning and (2) exercises aimed at improving the range of motion needed for those painful positions/activities. Monitors help in many ways to improve the patient’s control over the pain and to guide program development.

“When I realized the significance of the information that pain provides and the relationship to specific loss of mechanics and specific position/activity that is painful, I felt compelled to get this information out in a manner that is helpful. This can help.”

– Cathy Mahon, PT, MS

Introduction to S.L.A.P.

These 6 video’s familiarize you with SLAP through brief demonstrations of key parts.

1. History: Identifying the positions that increase pain
2. Measurements Chart Video
3. Specific Measurements Intro
4. Specific Measurements Demo
5. Protective Program
6. Exercise Program
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Get The Help & Resources You Need

Impact your knowledge of chronic pain in order to help improve pain management and lower the collective costs of chronic pain for your group, your patients, yourself.

“I want to help the millions of people behind the alarming chronic pain statistics. I’ve witnessed the horrible effects of chronic pain on a daily basis with my patients.”

– Cathy Mahon, PT, MS


of people worldwide

are estimated to be affected by low back pain each year.

2014 NIH Task Force

3rd most burdensome condition:

Low back pain

in the US, in 2010, in terms of mortality or poor health. Third only to ischemic heart disease and COPD.

NIH National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Low Back Pain Fact Sheet

$635 billion

100 million adults in the US

are the estimated numbers for cost and people affected by chronic pain annually.

2014 NIH Task Force