In the study above, researchers found that these individuals experience & process pain in a specific part of the brain.
The study, published in the European Journal of Neuroscience recently , measured brain waves in response to short painful laser pulses to the skin in patients with osteoarthritic or fibromyalgic pain and those with no pain. They found that while anticipating the painful pulse a brain area called the insula cortex increased its activity and this predicted the extent and intensity of the patients’ own chronic pain.
Dr Christopher Brown, Honorary Research Associate, Human Pain Research Group, The University of Manchester, said: “Increased activity in this brain area has been linked to a number of phenomena, including body perception and emotional processing, which might explain the greater pain perception in some patients.
They concluded that even though work still needs to be done to identify the source of the pain, using talk therapy was effective in reducing emotional distress and therefore pain experienced by these individuals.
This is confirmation of other research that shows that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and therapies using relaxation training are effective in mitigating emotional distress and reducing the level of pain intensity experienced. In addition, individuals who are experiencing significant depression and anxiety are much more likely to report higher levels of pain intensity. When the depression and anxiety are appropriately managed in therapy, the pain experience is better controlled and the level of intensity decreases.
In summary, management of chronic severe pain, including that suffered by individuals with osteoporosis and fibromyalgia, should include psychotherapy as well as pain medication and allied/alternative medicine treatments.