Chronic pain harms the brain, but what about the spirit?

A new study published in the journal Neuroscience finds that “chronic pain can disrupt brain function and cause problems such as disturbed sleep, depression, anxiety and difficulty making simple decisions.”

HealthDay News reports:

“Researchers at Northwestern University‘s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago used functional MRI to scan brain activity in people with chronic low back pain while they tracked a moving bar on a computer screen. They did the same thing with a control group of people with no pain.

In those with no pain, the brain regions displayed a state of equilibrium. When one region was active, the other regions calmed down. But in people with chronic pain, the front region of the cortex mostly associated with emotion ‘never shuts up,’ study author Dante Chialvo, an associate research professor of physiology, said in a prepared statement.

This region remains highly active, which wears out neurons and alters their connections to each other. This constant firing of neurons could cause permanent damage.”

Here are some resources that suggest better days are possible:

American Chronic Pain Association

The National Foundation for the Treatment of Pain

The Mayday Pain Project

American Pain Foundation

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