Brain changes related to chronic pain: Implications for stimulation treatment (pp. 223-230)
Authors: (Herta Flor)
Abstract: In this paper the evidence supporting plastic functional and
structural changes in the primary sensory and motor areas
as well as areas involved in affective and cognitive
processing in states of chronic pain, specifically
neuropathic pain and musculoskeletal pain is reviewed.
These plastic changes are viewed as implicit memory traces
that may – over time – become associated with a large
number of antecedents and consequences of pain that now
add to a chronic pain network in the brain and are
instrumental in the maintenance of chronic pain. The reason
why stimulation treatments might be effective in
extinguishing these memory traces related to pain is
discussed and suggestions made on how stimulation
treatments should be applied.