The Power of Love – Anthony


Anthony was a patient who I saw just a couple of times in his early 20’s. He was experiencing low back pain that was significantly impacting his quality of life. His MRI scan showed some mild degeneration at L4-5 and was not a problem that would respond to surgery. Here is his story:

Anthony’s story

I saw Dr. Hanscom after dealing with 3 years of chronic back pain and exhausting what I thought were all my non-surgical options. I had a bulging disc that was pinching a nerve and causing the left side of my body to tighten up. As a pianist and teacher this affected me quite a bit and at this point I was starting to feel quite depressed. I figured if the lesion was removed than the pain would go with it. I was somewhat surprised when he advised against surgery. I was even more surprised when he basically told me the pain was a neurophysiological problem. Coming from someone who made his living doing surgeries, I appreciated his honesty and knew he was coming from a sincere place. I didn’t really want to hear that my pain was in my nervous system; but I took what he said to heart. He also gave me a copy of his unfinished book and other reading material.

Four Years Later

Hello Dr. Hanscom,

I recently saw an article on about your work and felt compelled to write you.

I saw you a few years ago a couple of times. I was a young man with chronic low back pain and a somewhat hopeless attitude. You gave me a copy of your book and I read it. It made a lot of sense to me, but required a lot of reflection of my life, which was difficult. I wanted to let you know that something dramatic happened to me a few months after seeing you that changed my outlook on pain. I was given an opportunity to care for a newborn little girl with my girlfriend (now wife). The love that I had/have for this little girl completely changed how I view the world and my place in it. It also forced me to reflect on my childhood and deal with some things that needed to be dealt with. A few months after caring for this child my back pain started to decrease; a few months later the chronic pain was gone.

I really believe you are on to something and hope you continue your work. I also want to thank you as the timing of seeing you and the events in my life were almost serendipitous.

What changed? It wasn’t the lesion; it was simply my attitude. In particular, much more love. I am glad I had the opportunity to see a doctor that gave me some clinical affirmation to what I experienced first hand. I believe the subject should be explored more, and wish Dr. Hanscom all the best. Thanks again, Anthony

It is about connection

It is not possible to solve chronic pain until you can let go of anger. The neurological pathways of pain and anger are intertwined. It is only by truly letting go of the past through forgiveness, and connecting with the best part of who you are (love), will you be able to heal and move on.

I really appreciated his letter, and it was inspiring for me to hear his story.