Chronic pain therapy, by pain scientists & patients

A scientifically proven approach to pain relief

Who Is Pathways For?

For when the pain just doesn’t go away
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3 Months +

Pain that lasts more than 3 months – and often many years – is known as chronic pain. Persistent pain is very different to ‘normal’ acute pain and that needs to be reflected in how we treat it

No Obvious Treatment

Perhaps treatment provides little little or temporary relief. Or maybe you’ve received contradictory diagnosis. This all points to an over-sensitized pain system
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Strange Pain

Does pain change with your mood or environment? Does the pain migrate from place to place? This is another key sign that your pain system is being overprotective

How It Works

Download the Pathways app for free on the AppStore or Google Play. In your own time, listen to our personalized pain therapy sessions and implement the takeaways in your day-to-day life. That should lead to at least a reduction, or in many cases, the elimination of chronic pain.

FAQs

What conditions can Pathways help with?
The strategies and techniques we use have helped patients overcome years or even decades of debilitating pain from various conditions including:

 

 

  • Back pain
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Neck Pain
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)
  • Shoulder Pain
  • Joint Pains
  • Sciatica
  • Tinnitus
  • Digestive Issues

This is by no means an exhaustive list. Essentially, the Pathways program is useful to anyone with pain that lasts more than three months.

Will this work for me?

If you can answer yes to at least 5 of the 7 questions below, we’re very confident that putting in the time and effort on our program can reduce or even eliminate your pain.

Questions…

Has your pain lasted longer than 3 months? (The longer you’ve had pain, the more likely it is that your pain system is being oversensitive and creating pain on auto-pilot)

If an injury started the pain, has the normal healing period for that injury now passed? (If there was no original injury – as is often the case for those with migraines, fibromyalgia – your response should be a yes to this)

Do traditional treatments (pills/surgery) offer little relief?

Does your pain change with your mood or environment?

Does your pain migrate to surrounding areas?

Have you developed an array of coping strategies for the pain?

Do you often worry about the impact continued pain could have on your life?

What can I expect in the app?
Pain relief and an overall improvement in your well-being!

As for the actual content of the Pathways program, our therapy sessions are audio based and between 2 and 20 minutes long. We also include quizzes throughout our program to ensure you’re keeping up-to-speed with pain science knowledge and correct pain relief practices.

We serve over 60 sessions that range from pain science education, to practical exercises that help you break pain reinforcing behaviors, visualization practices, meditation & mindfulness, and more.

What results can I expect?
Some user’s find pain relief within just a few weeks! For user’s that have had pain for many years or decades, they will usually start seeing noticeable reductions in pain within the first few months.

However, to become completely pain free it can take some patients around a year of continued effort.

Does Pathways advise on medications?
No. The Pathways program does not involve recommending medication. At Pathways we can’t tell you to stop or change your medication regimen – that is the responsibility of your doctor and you should consult with them before making any changes.

Sometimes, medication can be useful in addition to the techniques we teach. Think of it as extra tools in your pain-relief toolbox.

Are you saying the pain is just in my head?
No – we’re not trying to say that the pain is made up or “all just in your head”. In fact, because there is no test to objectively assess how much pain someone is really feeling, chronic pain patients often struggle to convince people of the pain. This will often leave the patient feeling frustrated and isolated and can even make the pain worse.

All pain is 100% real. But it’s important to remember that all pain is created by the brain – both acute and chronic pain.

Sometimes, our brain can start creating pain when it’s not needed or justified. Our pain system can become overactive and oversensitive and we can start feeling pain even when there’s little or no physical stimuli.

Our program is designed to retrain the brain to some unnecessary chronic pain.

What is the science behind this?
The techniques and practices in the Pathways program are scientifically grounded and fall under a few different titles including the biopsychosocial model, cognitive behavioral therapy & mind body treatments.

Multiple studies support each of these practices and we combine what we believe are the most effective techniques based on research and how helpful the exercises have been for real patients.

We reference key studies that have influenced the Pathways program in the next section on this page.

Will my doctor know about this approach?
It’s most likely that they will – most doctors understand how powerful the mind can be in alleviating pain. However, with appointments typically lasting 15 minutes it’s almost impossible for doctors to go over the biopsychosocial approach without it being misinterpreted as “the pain is all in your head’.

In addition, doctors can sometimes be under pressure to go down the traditional medicating route. We suggesting showing Pathways to your doctor and seeing what they think. We’re confident that they’ll approve 🙂

Science Behind Pathways

A few of the scientific studies that support our techniques:

2017 Research by the University of Utah published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine concluded: “After participating in a single, 15-minute session of certain mind-body therapies, patients reported an immediate decrease in pain levels similar to what one might expect from an opioid painkiller.”

A 2015 study from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine resulted in this conclusion: “A mind-body program for chronic LBP [lower back pain] improved short­ term function and long­-term current and most severe pain…”

2011 research titled “Pain and Emotion: A Biopsychosocial Review of Recent Research” concluded that “Emotions are integral to the conceptualization, assessment, and treatment of persistent pain…”

The 2010 study by Howard Schubiner, MD at the Department of Internal Medicine found that: “The affective self-awareness intervention improved pain, tenderness, and self-reported physical function for at least 6 months in women with fibromyalgia compared to wait-list control.

The Department of Neurology in the Oregon Health & Science University published a study in 2010 stating “The desire of patients to engage in mind–body techniques as an additional therapy to more conventional treatments needs to be recognized”

The Department of Psychology at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte conducted a study in 2009 on the effect of brief mindfulness meditation on pain and concluded with: “Our findings indicate that a brief 3-day mindfulness meditation intervention was effective at reducing pain ratings and anxiety scores when compared with baseline testing and other cognitive manipulations”

A study led by David Schechter, MD, in 2007 concluded with this: “We believe that a mind­body approach is more effective and involves much less risk and expense than conventional approaches in appropriately diagnosed cases.”

A 2004 study by John A Astin, PhD recommended that: “Based on the evidence reviewed here, the adjunctive use of MBTs [Mind-Body Therapies] should be considered in the treatment of health-related problems that include pain as a major component.”

A clinical review in 2003 titled ‘Mind-Body Medicine: State of the Science, Implications for Practice’ concluded with: “There is now considerable evidence that an array of mind-body therapies can be used as effective adjuncts to conventional medical treatment for a number of common clinical conditions.”

A 2002 study from the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases and University of Bath concluded: “Current BT-CBT helps many patients with chronic pain…”

Chronic Pain Around The World

Our view on why chronic pain still affects billions

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The latest news on chronic pain, and how we’re using technology to treat it.

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