Chronic pain research moves on at pace!
Date: 18th November 2021 | By: Dr Lourdes Gaspar
Understanding how and why chronic pain conditions arise sometimes from the most trivial and innocuous of injuries remains a mystery. However, we are making progress. We understand the anatomy and physiology of nerve pain transmission. We further understand how this links to the emotional and psychological state of the individual.
Central to all of this is that we now recognise that chronic pain is just “normal pain” which goes on longer but a completely different entity or disease.
At www.ACTforPAIN.com we have animations to help chronic pain patient understand what is happening to them. We explain what is “normal pain” and how it changes with “chronic pain”.
This article is helpful in that it adds to the detail of our understanding of chronic pain. It explores how a group of cells, called glial cells (or glia) are an intricately linked to the pain nerves.
The articles states, “Research over the past 20 years, however, has shown that glia don’t just support and respond to neuronal activity like pain signals — they often direct it, with enormous consequences for chronic pain.”
It further states, “in chronic pain, researchers now believe, glia drive a healthy pain network into a dysregulated (abnormal) state, sending false and destructive pain signals that never end. Pain then becomes not a warning of harm, but a source of it; not a symptom, its own disease.”
For people living with chronic pain, the article acknowledges the importance of this type of research saying, “people find it a huge affirmation to learn there’s a distinct biology underlying their pain. It confirms what they’ve long known but often see doubted by doctors and friends: That their pain is as real as any other.”