"All pain is real, and it turns out new science shows all pain is created in the brain," Dr. Schubiner says, noting injuries will lead to pain, but he also contends most chronic pain sufferers do not have a "structural injury" at the time they are experiencing pain. He tells The Doctors for many patients the brain can "turn on" pain that is unrelated to an injury.
Dr. Schubiner believes the treatment of emotional awareness expressive therapy can treat people's pain, and it includes 5 steps:
- Rule out a structural disorder, rule in a neural circuit disorder
- Education about the role of the brain in pain
- Pain reprocessing therapy to reduce fear and alter the neural circuits
- Emotional processing for hurtful present and past situations
- Changes in life, if needed
Clinical psychologist Dr. Judy Ho shares with The Doctors she likes how this approach may help some patients figure out if something physical or something in their brain is causing their chronic pain, but warns this approach may not work for everyone. If you have a physical injury, please seek medical care to treat your pain.
Learn more about emotional awareness expressive therapy in Dr. Schubiner’s documentary “This Might Hurt.”