Whether we’re talking about acute or chronic pain, peripheral or central pain, nociceptive or neuropathic pain… whether the pain is sharp, dull, aching, burning, stabbing, numbing or tingling, there’s a theory proposed by the researchers below that all pain arises from inflammation and the inflammatory response within the body. Could this mean that a consistent effort to help our patients reduce inflammation could also lead to reduced levels of pain?
Med Hypotheses. 2007;69(6):1169-78. Epub 2007 Aug 28
Omoigui, S. – Author
Abstract Part 1
We are proposing a unifying theory or law of pain, which states: The origin of all pain is inflammation and the inflammatory response. The biochemical mediators of inflammation include cytokines, neuropeptides, growth factors and neurotransmitters. Irrespective of the type of pain – whether it is acute or chronic pain, peripheral or central pain, nociceptive or neuropathic pain – the underlying origin is inflammation and the inflammatory response. Activation of pain receptors, transmission and modulation of pain signals, neuro plasticity and central sensitization are all one continuum of inflammation and the inflammatory response. Irrespective of the characteristic of the pain – whether it is sharp, dull, aching, burning, stabbing, numbing or tingling – all pain arises from inflammation and the inflammatory response.
Abstract Part 2
Every pain syndrome has an inflammatory profile consisting of the inflammatory mediators that are present in the pain syndrome. The inflammatory profile may have variations from one person to another and may have variations in the same person at different times. The key to treatment of Pain Syndromes is an understanding of their inflammatory profile. Pain syndromes may be treated medically or surgically. The goal should be inhibition or suppression of production of the inflammatory mediators and inhibition, suppression or modulation of neuronal afferent and efferent (motor) transmission. A successful outcome is one that results in less inflammation and thus less pain. We hereby briefly describe the inflammatory profile for several pain syndromes including arthritis, back pain, neck pain, fibromyalgia, interstitial cystitis, migraine, neuropathic pain, complex regional pain syndrome/reflex sympathetic dystrophy (CRPS/RSD), bursitis, shoulder pain and vulvodynia. These profiles are derived from basic science and clinical research performed in the past, by numerous investigators and serve as a foundation to be built upon by other researchers and will be updated in the future by new technologies such as magnetic resonance spectroscopy.
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