Chronic pain emerges not only because of the injury of peripheral organs or a plastic change in spinal nerves, but also because of plasticity in the brain. Therefore, the development of interventions dedicated to the rehabilitation of pain must occur via approaches that cause changes in the brain, instead of approaches that treat only peripheral organs. In particular, pain is composed of three facets, including a sensory aspect, a cognitive aspect, and an emotional aspect. Thus, the rehabilitation of the brain represents an approach to that will address the cognitive and emotional aspects in particular. A plasticity is observed in the brain when chronic pain persists for a certain period; this is true not only for pain caused by brain damage and for neuropathic pain, but also for pain caused by motor system diseases. Somatosensory areas are the main centers involved in the sensory aspect of pain and are considered to be responsible for acute pain. Therefore, direct intervention in these areas via neurorehabilitation is not likely. However, the application of neurorehabilitation to elicit effective changes in other areas responsible for pain, including the parietal lobe, insular cortex, anterior cingulate gyrus, amygdala, and prefrontal cortex, has gained attention recently.
Neurorehabilitation of Chronic Pain: Relationships among Pain, Motion, and Perception: Shu Morioka*, Satoshi Nobusako, Yoshiyuki Hirakawa, Michihiro Osumi, Ryota Imai, Hiroshi Maeoka and Atsushi Matsuo
Last date updated on June, 2014