Pain Science in Practice (Part 6): <i>How Does Descending Modulation of Pain Work?</i>

Author: Morten Hoegh1, Kirsty Bannister2
Affiliation: <sup>1</sup> Department of Health Science and Technology, Faculty of Medicine, Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark. <sup>2</sup> Wolfson Centre for Age-Related Diseases, King&#x27;s College London, London, United Kingdom.
Conference/Journal: J Orthop Sports Phys Ther
Date published: 2024 Feb 1
Other: Volume ID: 54 , Issue ID: 2 , Pages: 1-4 , Special Notes: doi: 10.2519/jospt.2024.12112. , Word Count: 126

To understand the neuroscience of pain relief, one must know about the descending pain modulatory system. Neuronal pathways that originate in the brainstem and project to the spinal cord to modulate spinal neuronal activity provide a well-documented perspective on the mechanisms of analgesia that underpin pharmacological and nonpharmacological treatment options for people with musculoskeletal pain. Peripheral stimuli or signals from the cortex and subcortical regions of the brain can trigger the descending pain modulatory system (DPMS). The system helps explain how counter-stimulation techniques (eg, acupuncture and manual therapy), the patients' expectations and beliefs, and social or contextual factors could influence how people experience pain. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 2024;54(2):1-4. doi:10.2519/jospt.2024.12112.

Keywords: DNIC; DPMS; descending modulation of pain; exercise-induced hypoalgesia; pain science.

PMID: 38288567 DOI: 10.2519/jospt.2024.12112