Teen with Mysterious Severe Pain Returns
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Casey suffered from severe pain for years, while doctors were baffled. When his family visited The Doctors a few months ago, the true cause was uncovered – but has the teenager recovered?
“It kind of feels like being stabbed, and then a twisting pain,” Casey told The Doctors when he first appeared on the show. But extensive testing revealed no physical problems.
Therapist Alan Gordon, executive director of the Pain Psychology Center, discovered the answer -- Casey was suffering from “psychogenic pain.” Anxiety “flipped on” the pain signals in his brain. But Alan assured Casey that he could take back control. “My hopes are for Casey to be back in school and on the baseball team,” Alan told Casey and The Doctors. But has this happened?
Alan visits a batting cage with Casey – an activity that once caused him severe pain. Now he’s able to swing, jump, and run. “It honestly feels weird not having pain while I swing!” Casey says. “It’s a miracle.”
“I’m so happy for you,” ER Physician Dr. Travis Stork tells Casey. His mom, Dianna, says Casey is his old self again, happy and doing well in school. Alan explains that he worked with Casey to overcome his fear of the pain – once he knew there was no physical cause and fought his fear, the pain signals in Casey’s brain were shut down. And Alan says Casey is not alone -- “They’ve actually found that the majority of chronic pain is not due to structural problems in the body, but learned neural pathways in the brain.”