Ohio State University research indicates that spinal cord stimulation reduces the affective component of pain, resulting in optimal pain relief.
The initial study provides insights into the role of the brain's emotional networks in relieving chronic pain. This study shows that spinal cord stimulation can reduce the emotional connectivity and processing in the brain in those with chronic pain. Being able to modulate the connections between the brain areas involved in emotions and those linked to sensations may be an important mechanism involved in pain relief linked to spinal cord stimulation.
The study builds off prior study findings proposing the neuromatrix theory of pain, the idea that pain perception varies according to cognitive, emotional, and sensory influences.
The study was also conducted with the understanding that the network of the brain that is instrumental in the cognitive and emotional aspects of pain perception is associated with functional connectivity hubs and brain networks, as well as an understanding that this network is abnormal in chronic pain sufferers.
The investigators write that significant differences in resting state connectivity between spinal cord stimulation and optimal state were seen between several regions related to pain perception. It was also found that optimal spinal cord stimulation resulted in pain relief. By using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), the areas of the brain involved in pain perception and modulation were mapped.
“If we can understand neural networks implicated in the pathophysiology of pain, then we can develop new therapies to manage chronic persistent pain.”
For more information on spinal cord stimulation for chronic pain relief, contact Franklin Pain and Wellness Center.