Pain's Many Idiosyncrasies
Even as researchers make strides in understanding and treating pain, new discoveries raise many more questions. These recent findings reveal the deep connections between pain and many essential physical and mental processes.
- Patients with chronic back pain tend to be impaired at emotional learning but have increased sensitivity to taste.
- Chronic pain shrinks the brain, up to 11 percent in some cases.
- Those with chronic pain can learn to control their perception of pain by imagining pleasant scenarios or believing a particular stimulus to be harmless.
- Memory of a pain can cause that pain to persist for life, even after the initial injury has healed.
- Chronic pain sufferers can learn to associate a place with their pain. Returning to this space can reinforce the negative association.