Brain Changes in Chronic Pain Patients _ NCCIH (VIDEO)

Brain Changes in Chronic Pain Patients _ NCCIH

Video Topic : In this clip (6 of 10): Imaging studies have shown changes in brain anatomy in people who are longtime chronic pain patients, such as accelerated loss of gray matter. "Psychologically based" approaches such as meditation and yoga may be protective, although more study is needed. This clip is part of the lecture "The Neural Basis of Mind-Body Pain Therapies" by M. Catherine Bushnell, Ph.D., scientific director of the Division of Intramural Research, NCCAM, NIH.

Chronic Pain

Pain is a feeling set off in the nervous system. Acute pain lets you know that you may be injured or have a problem you need to take care of. Chronic pain is different. The pain signals go on for weeks, months, or even years. The original cause may have been an injury or infection. There may be an ongoing cause of pain, such as arthritis or cancer. But in some cases there is no clear cause.

Problems that cause chronic pain include

  • Headache
  • Low back strain
  • Cancer
  • Arthritis
  • Pain from nerve damage

Chronic pain usually cannot be cured. But treatments can help. They include medicines, acupuncture, electrical stimulation and surgery. Other treatments include psychotherapy, relaxation and meditation therapy, biofeedback, and behavior modification.

NIH: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

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