Chronic Pain and its link with the brain and body

Advancement in pain research is yielding new insights into queries like the mechanisms of brain and body and their impacts on the chronic brain. However, a senior officer highlights the importance of muscles and some other tissues in the successful treatment of conditions of chronic pain.

Helene Langevin has dedicated her career for the studying of benefits of many different physical therapies, like yoga, massage, and stretching, for the promotion of overall fitness and improvement for patients suffering from chronic pain, in the quality of life help.

“Pain research in the past few decades has strengthened our view of chronic pain as a disease of the brain,” says Langevin. “As a result, some of the newer treatment approaches focus on ways to target neural pain pathways to help achieve relief. While this is important research, the brain isn’t the whole story in pain management.”

“When pain after an injury lasts more than three months, patients are often told the tissues have healed and the brain is responsible for the ongoing pain,” clarified Langevin. “But have the tissues really healed, and what tissues are we talking about?”

“Studies of mind and body therapies can give valuable insights into chronic musculoskeletal and low-back pain, for example, as a dynamic interplay between the nervous system and musculoskeletal tissues,” Langevin mentioned.

“Connective tissues surrounding muscles in the back normally have alternating layers of fibers that handle substantial loads and glide easily. People with longstanding low-back pain have decreased gliding motion between connective tissue layers, which could contribute to functional impairment,” Langevin elaborated.  “Interventions that restore connective tissue mobility and muscle function may be important to prevent long-term damage to vulnerable structures such as joints and intervertebral discs.”

Langevin said, “Connective tissue is the scaffold that holds our body together,” she added.  “Stretching and other manual-and movement-based therapies are grounded on the assumption that connective-tissue pathology contributes to musculoskeletal pain, and that mind and body approaches can help both reduce pain and improve function. We need to understand better how muscles, connective tissue, and the nervous system all contribute to musculoskeletal pain and how to address this in an integrative way”.

Langevin believes, “Integrative health care combines complementary and conventional approaches, and future musculoskeletal research will benefit from this integration. It’s time to put the brain and body back together in pain research.”