Chronic Orofacial Pain represents a complex pain condition with an etiology comprised of many factors including those falling within biological, psychological, and social domains. The complexity of this condition underscores the urgency to evaluate these domains from an integrative perspective rather than one that simply addresses the potential etiological mechanisms in a singular fashion. Indeed, a review of the trajectory of this pain condition reveals a dynamic pathway in which numerous factors seemingly play a role in its manifestation, as well as its chronicity.
By definition, âchronicâ orofacial pain represents a pain that has persisted for a period of time that is longer than the believed recovery time for that body site to heal. Approximately 40-70% of the US reportedly demonstrate a symptom of orofacial pain, and 10% meet the criteria for having COP to the point that it is considered disabling and is significantly compromising activities of daily living. The intention of this paper will not center on providing an exhaustive review, but instead, to highlight key features of COP from a biopsychosocial perspective. Specifically, the transition that lead sorofacial pain from the acute to the chronic stage will be reviewed by underscoring well established mechanisms believed to facilitate this transition. Embedded in this discussion, the psychophysiological mechanisms that are less established in the manifestation of COP will also be reviewed. These mechanisms may distinguish COP from other types of pain. Much of the data presented stem from studies that have included a wide range of orofacial pain conditions including, but not limited to, temporomandibular disorders, trigeminal pain, and headaches. Assessment of the Psychological Comorbidity, Pathophysiological Mechanisms, and Treatment Implications in Patients with Chronic Orofacial Pain: Melissa L Mehalick, John P Garofalo, Celeste N and Robert J Gatchel
Last date updated on June, 2014