Chronic Pain — 27 September 2013

By Richard Lenti

People suffering from chronic pain hate to hear it, but the pain may really be “all in your head” according to a new study funded by the National Institutes of Health.

The research, published in the journal Pain, found that irregularities in the brain may predict whether a person will suffer chronic lower back pain. Scientists say it’s a discovery that may ultimately lead to changes in the way patients are diagnosed and treated.

“We’ve found the pain is triggered by these irregularities in the brain,” said A. Vania Apkarian, a senior author of the study and a professor of physiology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine.  ”We’ve shown abnormalities in brain structure connections may be enough to push someone to develop chronic pain once they have an injury.”

Using MRI brain scans of people who had a lower back injury, scientists found they could predict with about 85% accuracy which patients’ pain would persist.

Read more at National Pain Report.

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About Author

Richard Lenti

Richard Lenti has worked as a news writer for the last 20 years at various television stations in Los Angeles. He is a Golden Mike winner and a graduate of California State University, Fresno. With roots in print journalism, Richard is excited to be “published” once again; having people read his work as opposed to having it read to them. As a freelance writer his work has appeared in the Easy Reader, L.A. Jazz Scene, Irrigation and Green Industry, and the KCAL 9 Online website.

(1) Reader Comment

  1. Oh boy…Your right we hate to hear this. You know why people in pain hate to hear this? It’s because most of us whom suffer pain from a subsequent accident do not care why we feel the pain.. We know its there. We know its real. Saying “its all in your head” alludes to this is something we can control with brain power or with will power. Those of us who suffer continually for many yrs know this is not true. It is fodder for insurance companies to take away legitimacy to an injury or accident and subsequent suffering after the fact. There is an event to trigger chronic pain. Chronic pain should be viewed more as a disease and using words or phrases to undermine legitimate condition makes no sense. Lets spend more time why the condition continues and how we can stop the cycle. SO far there is way to many factors that contribute to whether or not a person experiences chronic pain or not. Surgical procedures, Therapies, support from people around you. Physical therapy. Etc etc. So using a phrase to explain why a person experiences chronic pain is not acceptable and just doesn’t fit the big picture.