Chronic pain rewires your brain and spinal cord
"We're beginning to appreciate that chronic pain is a disease in its own right and a disease that can be very sneaky and very difficult to manage," says Sean Mackey, MD, chief of the Division of Pain Management at Stanford University School of Medicine, in Palo Alto, Calif.
Pain teaches all creatures who suffer it not to do things that caused them injury the first time arounda useful evolutionary tool. Wracked by chronic pain, though, the human sufferer may well wonder, What is the point of this? When chronic pain is understood as a disease, rather than a warning sign, it becomes clear that there is no point, only a poorly understood mechanism. But as science better understands that mechanism, new pain strategies are being developed to help bring the pain under control.