Chronic pain: can we reprogram the brain?

Chronic pain: can we reprogram the brain?

Chronic pain is a real scourge for many people who struggle with these daily symptoms. What if we could reprogram the brain to get rid of chronic pain?

Chronic pain is complex when its causes are not identified. In some cases, it is a symptom of an existing disease and treatments can therefore relieve it effectively. In other cases, it remains unexplained. The source of these daily sufferings finds no tangible explanation. Patients are then forced to make appointments with numerous specialists in the hope of obtaining a diagnosis and finding an effective treatment. However, when the pain is not consecutive to an injury, it is sometimes complicated to find the cause. According to recent research, chronic pain could sometimes be explained by psychological mechanisms. In which case, new treatments could be democratized in the coming years.

Chronic pain and psychological mechanisms

The human brain is complex and full of surprises. Pain is primarily a nervous response of the latter. It can be experienced very differently from person to person. For the same problem, the intensity can vary greatly. Scientists are therefore interested in this aspect of pain management. They have also succeeded in proving that some people dread physical suffering more than others. The differences in perception would have an impact on the pain felt by the patient. An unconscious phenomenon called catastrophizing could explain these nuances. It can be summed up like this, the affected patient thinks the worst can always happen. This anxious attitude would have a direct action on the perception of pain and would increase it.

Chronic pain and brain reprogramming

Pain is a reaction of the brain, a response to a stimulus identified as a danger. It is therefore easy to understand that an emotion such as stress or anxiety can amplify or minimize this danger. Based on this observation, scientists believe that it is possible to consider treatments to induce the brain to modify its reaction. Several therapies may prove effective in managing chronic pain, including Pain Reprocessing Therapy (PRT). This reprogramming of the brain would effectively relieve chronic pain. Trials are underway comparing several innovative therapies. A real hope for patients with chronic pain.

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