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How Did I End Up Like This?


Photo courtesy of ~dgies


I’ve just started a new book that was suggested to me by a patient.  It’s called, “Back in Control, a spine surgeon’s roadmap out of chronic pain” by David Hanscom.  It looks to be an interesting read.  The premise is that a ramped up nervous system is the ultimate cause of chronic pain and unless all aspects of the problem are addressed, success won’t be realized.  So far, I agree.


He begins by outlining the process that leads to the development of chronic pain.  He names four steps.


  1.  A source of pain.  In other words, an injury occurs, which ironically enough, is often not identifiable with a test.
  2. Your brain becomes sensitized to the pain.
  3. Your nervous system memorizes the pain pathways.  This happens through something called neuroplasticity making it much easier to activate those pathways.
  4. Sleep, anxiety and anger affect your final perception of pain.  He calls these the ‘modifiers’.


This is a very practical way of looking at the problem because there are effective ways to address each of these components.  I’ll update you as I read further.


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