Is it all in their minds?

28 million people in Britain suffer from persistent chronic pain for longer than 12 weeks despite medication or treatment.

A recent study by the American psychotherapist, Alan Gordon, on 50 chronic back pain suffers, claims to have lastingly cured 61% of them after one month of treatment with his pain reprocessing therapy (PRT).

As a young athlete, Gordon became racked with pain and could neither stand nor sit without agonising pain. By changing his mindset, he became 100% pain-free. He promises that these techniques can cure others too.

The four-week course of psychological therapy teaches patients to focus on the chronic pain they suffer and familiarise themselves with it, not try to change it. Gordon explains how their persistent pains are harmless sensations that the brain misinterprets as threats and fires off as pain signals.

He has produced MRI brain scans of his patients as they progress, showing he says, that their brains have changed by rewiring themselves to stop sending constant alarm signals of pain.

Dr Deepak Ravindran, the clinical lead for pain medicine at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading, says total cures are rare and most sufferers can only reduce their symptoms at best. He does acknowledge, however, that these results are startlingly good but also points out that the trial was conducted on patients who had no original physical cause, such as an injury, for their pain. The challenge for this therapy will be to treat patients whose pain has very physical origins and convince them that their pain is psychologically rooted.

Gordon has brought new and persuasive elements to this field and his therapy could prove a saviour for many sufferers. However, it remains to be seen whether his amazing results can be repeated in controlled trials by independent researchers.

As personal injury lawyers, we see clients every day who are suffering from incapacitating, chronic pain due to injuries caused by accidents. Not only do we work hard to make sure they receive the monetary compensation they deserve, we also arrange for them to access appropriate treatments and therapies. It’s always exciting to read about these new trials and we look forward to hearing about the further independent trials.

If you’ve been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault, contact us in confidence on 01425 275555 or at for your free initial consultation to discuss whether you can bring a compensation claim. We are experts in personal injury law and we can do ‘no win, no fee’.


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