Cognitive and emotional control of pain and its disruption in chronic pain.

Author: Bushnell MC, Ceko M, Low LA.
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, National Institutes of Health, 35 Convent Drive, Room 1C917, MSC 3711, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-3711, USA.
Conference/Journal: Nat Rev Neurosci.
Date published: 2013 May 30
Other: Special Notes: doi: 10.1038/nrn3516 , Word Count: 103

Chronic pain is one of the most prevalent health problems in our modern world, with millions of people debilitated by conditions such as back pain, headache and arthritis. To address this growing problem, many people are turning to mind-body therapies, including meditation, yoga and cognitive behavioural therapy. This article will review the neural mechanisms underlying the modulation of pain by cognitive and emotional states - important components of mind-body therapies. It will also examine the accumulating evidence that chronic pain itself alters brain circuitry, including that involved in endogenous pain control, suggesting that controlling pain becomes increasingly difficult as pain becomes chronic.
PMID: 23719569