Localised chronic pain to widespread chronic pain- why and how does this happen?
Date: 18th July 2021 | By: Dr Lourdes Gaspar
Many patient with chronic pain start off with a pain localised in one area which starts off from an injury or trauma and over time report that their pain has become more widespread.
We often explain this in terms of the pain pathway behaving abnormally. This especially involves the processing centres in the spinal cord and brain behaving in a dysfunctional way. This means that sensory information from other areas (not initially painful) passing this through these centres start to become similarly or even differently painful.
In our www.ACTforPAIN.com programme we have animations which explain how the pain pathway becomes affected in chronic pain.
This article puts forward the idea that chronic pain in one area may lead to the production of antibodies which attack other tissues within the body leading to a myriad of painful symptoms in other areas. These are called auto-antibodies- as they attack the body’s own tissues.
So, this article suggests pain starting in one area may stem from auto-antibodies produced as a response to an initial injury or trauma in one area which then goes onto attack other tissues in the body.
It may also of course be that it is a combination of both auto-antibody production and the development of abnormalities in the pain pathway processing centres which lead to the reports of widespread. The two processes may be working together.