OT:Retrain Brain & Chronic Pain


The treatment was called Pain Reprocessing Therapy (PRT).
PRT aims to rewire neural pathways in the brain to deactivate pain and train the brain to respond to signals from the body more appropriately, using what’s called pain education.
Ultimately, the goal is to reduce a patient’s fear of certain movements, so that when they do move in those ways, they are confident that it won’t cause them any pain.
Each participant in the trial got one telehealth session with a physician and eight psychological treatment sessions over four weeks.
That study in Boulder, Colorado, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in January 2022, involved 151 patients with chronic back pain.
It compared PRT to a placebo control group and a “usual care” group, where people continued what they normally did to manage their pain, such as physical therapy or medication.
“What was particularly striking about the outcomes was that two thirds of people in the PRT group were pain free or nearly pain free at the end of treatment as compared to 20% of controls,” said lead study author Yoni Ashar, a clinical psychologist and neuroscientist at the University of Colorado.