Press Release

Can a Health Coach Help With Chronic Pain?

August 24, 2022

The job of a health coach is to help identify ways that the people they work with can make changes that will help the person reach their goals. They also play an important role in keeping the person motivated and listening to and addressing their perceived fears regarding their barriers. While many people have heard of health coaches for losing weight, how many have considered teaming up with one to manage chronic pain?

Researchers set out to determine if working with a health coach could help people who suffer from chronic pain. They searched the databases for trials that fit the criteria they were looking for, which included health coaching programs or motivational programs that were used to help adults with chronic hip, knee, and low back pain. The results of their study are published in the July 2022 issue of the journal Pain Medicine [1].

Like what you’re learning?  Download a brochure for our online, postgraduate pain medicine certificate or master’s degree program in partnership with the Keck School of Medicine of USC.

The research included 17 published studies that met the criteria to be included. They found a significant decrease in mid-term pain, short-term disability, mid-term disability, and low back pain. They also found a substantial improvement in chronic pain due to knee osteoarthritis and long-term functional disability.

The studies that were reviewed showed by working with a health coach, people were able to reduce disability and pain from chronic low back pain, as well as reduce disability in knee osteoarthritis. This is good news for those who suffer from such conditions because they may be able to reduce pain and disability by working with a health coach.

Those who would like to try working with a health coach should begin the search for one by asking around for recommendations. Determine if others have had success with a particular health coach. Try to get recommendations from friends, family, and health care professionals. Once there are some names of health coaches, determine what type of experience and qualifications they have.

Finally, meeting with the person being considered for the health coaching position is essential. An effective health coach will be able to help with making behavior changes, introducing techniques and ideas that can help, taking a personalized approach, and being able to provide some psychological help with the issue. One of the most important factors is being able to talk to and get along with the person easily, so there’s a degree of comfort and trust, and being able to be motivated by the person. Choose someone who has a personality that will be a good fit for being able to inspire and be understanding at the same time.

Earn an Online Postgraduate Degree in Pain Medicine

Like what you’re learning? Consider enrolling in the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC’s online, competency-based certificate or master’s program in Pain Medicine in partnership with the Keck School of Medicine of USC.


  1. Pain Medicine. Health coaching for low back pain, hip and knee osteoarthritis. July 2022.

This article was originally published on Confronting Chronic Pain by Dr. Steven Richeimer, Director Pain Medicine Master and Certificate.

Posted: August 22, 2022
<a href="" target="_self">Dr. Steven H. Richeimer</a>

Dr. Steven H. Richeimer

Steven Richeimer, M.D. is a renowned specialist on issues related to chronic pain. He is the chief of the Division of Pain Medicine at the University of Southern California. He has written or co-written a large number of scientific articles about pain medicine. He recently published an instructive book and guide for pain patients. Dr. Richeimer has given numerous lectures to medical and lay audiences throughout the U.S.