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Pain changes the brain.

barbc56

Senior Member
Messages
3,657
I don't know if this is the right forum for this but here goes. There have been several threads about pain that have been posted lately and I found this related study which I had fortunately bookmarked.

I think I might have mentioned this topic and cited an article several years ago about the hypothesis that pain changes the brain. This is further research, from 2014 that shows how this mechanism may work with motivation. At this point it's only been shown in rats.

People who are in chronic pain often lose motivation to do things. This is only logical and people assume that once the pain is gone, motivation will return.

The hypothesis which this study addresses, is that this is smplistic and come up with a hypothesis that goes beyond this. The authors note that pain becomes it's own disease and directly affects the part of the brain that has to do with motivation. Unfortunately, once the pain stops, at least in this mouse study, the brain continues this process and the lack of motivation continues. The pain takes on a life of it's own.

They hypothesize, actually it might be another article, that this may also happen with other behaviors/reactions when a patient experiences pain. It becomes self feeding.

I didn't know this process, until I noticed that besides Fibromyalgia, I eventually ended up with the additional diagnosis of "Chronic Pain Syndrome". My neurologist explained why this was added. I would be interested seeing if there have been other studies since then and will look.

This also shows that while behavior/thoughts may have an impact on how you experience pain the opposite is a stronger factor.

Someone made a visual for this process but I'm not sure how to replicate it here. I can't remember who but it was quite helpful.

So the cbt advocates can just flush their theory down the toilet! We need a emoticon for this.

https://med.stanford.edu/news/all-n...anism-behind-chronic-pains-sapping-of-mo.html

Barb
 

roller

wiggle jiggle
Messages
775
it may be that the brain afflicting processes initiated by pain just need longer to adjust back to normal...
the article didnt say anything about this?

they also relieved the pain by analgesics.
however, the initial chronic-pain triggering disease was still there, i understand... could that matter?

...its presence in the brain has been known for a good 60 years or so, galanin’s role is not well-defined and probably differs widely in different brain structures.

just so sad, that these ppl still havent figured how the human body works...
 

hellytheelephant

Senior Member
Messages
1,137
Location
S W England
I was told that in situations where the patient has chronic pain, the nerves at the area the pain is felt become better at sending the pain message and the part of the brain where the pain is felt become better at receiving the message. Over time the nerves grow more nerve endings...in other words the brain and nervous system are permanently changed.

...Anyhew, I'm sick of being in pain all the time !
 

Skippa

Anti-BS
Messages
841

hellytheelephant

Senior Member
Messages
1,137
Location
S W England
Thanks @Skippa for that thought.I had not thought of that but maybe that is what the person who said it to me was implying. It was a senior psysiotherapist at the pain clinic, who was definately a CBT advocate....
 

Skippa

Anti-BS
Messages
841
Thanks @Skippa for that thought.I had not thought of that but maybe that is what the person who said it to me was implying. It was a senior psysiotherapist at the pain clinic, who was definately a CBT advocate....

I think they were referring to neuroplasticity, which means the brain is constantly adapting to its environment, it's inescapable, and it's inevitable.

But it's also supposed to be reversible.

I think chronic patients (fatigue, pain, whatever) get stuck with neuroplastic changes, possibly due to impaired apoptosis involving microglial cells or something like that. (Thanks @Indigophoton )

I think there's a big clue with "phantom limb syndrome" (Oliver Sacks RIP), or phantom limb pain in amputees, who still experience pain in limbs that have long since been removed. Once again here we can see human intervention confusing the body.
 

barbc56

Senior Member
Messages
3,657
Another problem I can see, is that "changes in the brain" that you mention hands the ball firmly back to the psychiatrists to continue their quackery, I guess.

Actually I see it as the opposite. If this theory is correct, pain is causing, for example in this study lack of motivation, as a direct result of the pain. It changes that part of the brain, possibly other parts as well and becomes it's own entity. This does not mean there are things you can do for motivation but it only goes so far. The stronger factor is the physical changes that occur in the brain and these can keep the process going.

Not sure if that makes sense. Maybe someone can explain it better. I can't sleep coincidentally because of pain, so am even more foggy.

Phantom Limb Pain may be the same or possibly a similar process in Fibromyalgia. Your body is in pain but there's no physical damage to cause it.. For whatever reason your brain is telling you that you're in pain. FM usually but not always, starts with an injury. For me it was a broken arm. The bone healed but the pain remained.

The big question is that not everyone who breaks their arms gets FM so why does this happen to some. Just like me/cfs.
 

Skippa

Anti-BS
Messages
841
@barbc56 I see your point :)

I was thinking in terms of something like schizophrenia, whereby real brain changes have been noted, but it still falls under psychiatry in practise.
 
Messages
15,786
Phantom Limb Pain may be the same or possibly a similar process in Fibromyalgia.
I'm not sure phantom limb pain is all that phantom. Even with the limb gone, nerves remain which would have gone to that limb. Some of them are almost certainly sitting at the end of the stump, where they might still get activated from physical stimuli.

At any rate, it's not a chronic/constant condition like FM or ME/CFS, so it's quite a stretch to extrapolate from one to the other.

I'm also cautious of any theory which relies on "lack of real damage" and the problem being very vaguely in the brain. These theories tend to overlap quite a bit with psychosomatic theories and corresponding treatments.
 

barbc56

Senior Member
Messages
3,657
@Valentijn

That's interesting about the nerves remaining. I didn't realize that. So that is different than FM.

I now get your and @Skippa point how something can be considered psychosomatic if there is no damage.

Hopefully the medical community will catch on. FM is now recognized by the college of Rheumatology in the states. Many now see neurologists instead of rheumatologist. But it's a slow process.

Like other invisible illnesses, a psychosomatic diagnosis comes up way too much. Very frustrating.
 

roller

wiggle jiggle
Messages
775
im wondering also about phantom pain... a couple of years i had broken bones on the RIGHT side (foot and shoulder), which were not treated.

right shoulder took very long and had recurrent strong pain, but after more than 1 year or 2 it was gone.

some morning i woke up with the exact same pain in the LEFT shoulder, as it had been in the right.
this is persisting now for months.

any one any idea about this?

(...floxacines help very well with it)

while it was on the right side, there was a sharp pain increase after b-complex.
google said, some b-vitamins may increase pain.
 
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jimells

Senior Member
Messages
2,009
Location
northern Maine
I didn't know this process, until I noticed that besides Fibromyalgia, I eventually ended up with the additional diagnosis of "Chronic Pain Syndrome". My neurologist explained why this was added.

Did he mention that "Chronic Pain Syndrome" = "Drug Seeker, the lowest form of life"?