Rewiring Our Brain’s Pain Pathways with David Hanscom, M.D.

David Hanscom, M.D.Hanscom describes two sources of pain: “The source of pain can be non-structural, which is inflammation of tendons and ligaments. Probably 90% of pain in the body has to do with the size of the blood vessels, inflammation, etcetera, but you can’t see it on a test. So we call that non-structural. The second source I call structural. In other words you have a bone spur with matching symptoms. That’s a structural problem. The only time that surgery is effective is if you have a structural problem that you can correct. You can’t surgically correct pain unless you can see the source.” He goes on to talk about how we create “pain circuits” and how they are permanent and can’t be unlearned although you can create new pathways around the old pain pathways. He says, “If you are “managing” your pain you are concentrating on the pain . . Chronic pain is unresolvable by trying to resolve it.” He also talks about anger and anxiety and giving up the habit of being in pain. And he suggests a process of expressive writing in order to circumvent our “pain circuits”. Writing down your thoughts is the first step in physically separating from these thoughts. He has further suggestions as to how to release them.

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