The 5 Rules

The 5 Rules

In this inaugural episode, Dr. Hansen references the five rules that he follows in his daily practice managing pain and treating addictive disorders. 

1.  Pain is a description, it's not an entity. Pain is a subjective complaint, and is an important part of life. Pain alerts to danger, and allows us to protect ourselves. Pain can also be a burden. When pain exceeds the normal course of healing, whatever normal is, it is then called chronic pain. This podcast will emphasize that chronic pain occurs acutely and acute pain occurs chronically. We will in future episodes discuss the complexity of calling a painful state chronic, and emphasize wellness and treatment strategies to improve function and quality of life. 

2.  You must have a diagnosis.

Often somebody will report low back pain, and declare that they have diseases such as lumbago, and muscle spasm. In fact, these aren't diagnoses, they are symptoms. We will help the listener understand what a diagnosis is and how to better communicate with your physician. 

3.  If you don't believe in the diagnosis or you think it entirely psychosomatic, or not real, you can't effectively treat the disease. This is particularly true in people that have either fibromyalgia or headaches. These two examples revealed pain states that can't be seen, felt or measured, and the most accurate description we have is the patient's own words. Sometimes those words are difficult to express, and the website and the podcast should help us to educate communication strategy that can be taken to the physician's office for better communication. Communication is often an overlooked key to healing. 

4.  You must know thy drugs.

We will discuss different categories, five common classes used to treat pain, and five drugs in those classes. These will be discussed in the upcoming podcasts. Often physicians and treatment partners fall into a rut where they write common medications, for common problems, where pain is anything but a common problem. Strategies in breakthrough thoughts on  medication will be a part of the podcast and the web page. 

5.  Finally, the fifth rule is from a compassionate standpoint I want to relieve your pain, but from a realistic standpoint I want to improve your function. 

Chasing pain is ineffective, and we will be talking about treating pain from inside out as opposed from outside in. We will look to improve function and quality of life indices, and avoid saying that we are just going to "cure pain." We will manage pain. This will be explored in detail over time, as these five concepts are a foundation to obtain the best positive outcome. 


Dr. Hansen is a Board Certified anesthesiologist and pain management physician, as well as a Board Certified addictionologist. Undergrad degree obtained from the University of Denver where he matriculated to the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and then to Yale University School of Medicine for residency and a specialized year in chronic pain management. He is an active member in the American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians (ASIPP), which he sits as board emeritus, and was previous president of that organization. He has enjoyed many publications including journal articles and book chapters, and sits on the editorial board of Pain Physician, the most circulated and respected pain journal in the world. He has served with the Medicaid Physician Advisory Board, and is a current active member of the Medicare Advisory Committee for the Palmetto region. He is currently the Executive Director of the North Carolina Society of Interventional Pain Physicians. Dr. Hansen's interests include integrating the commonality of pain addiction and depression into contemporary wisdom of therapeutic interventions, and offering patients unique options to care. He is an interventional pain physician, with years of experience treating spine, and soft tissue. A believer in pain states that are often dismissed such as fibromyalgia and headache, the blog and podcast will explore these in detail. As part of the pain information network, fibromyalgia, and WATME, The World According to Me, will be a reference for those that have questions about their pain, and loss of function and quality of life. 

Dr. Hansen operates four offices, a surgery center, and is in 2015-16 opening two offices dedicated to pain addiction and depression. He currently treats those suffering from addiction, and will be sharing his thoughts regularly. 

Dr. Hansen and the members of the pain information network encourage feedback, and read each of your responses. This is an information network, in which we do not suggest medical treatments, and no patient-physician relationship is established. We encourage anybody that has a question, or problem that needs further discussion, to seek a qualified professional.