Can we change the experience of chronic pain without pain killers?

    Scientists are studying the role of brain mechanisms in the experience of pain – and are finding new ways that could change how people experience chronic pain.

    In their weekly conversation, WHYY Behavioral Health reporter Maiken Scott and Dan Gottlieb discuss if the brain can be trained to feel pain differently.

     

    They discuss the work of Australian researcher Lorimer Moseley, who presented new findings during this year’s American Pain Society‘s Annual Scientific Meeting.

    His topic were so-called brain maps, and how they relate to the experience of pain.

    According to Moseley the brain stores maps of the body that survey, regulate, and protect our body physically and psychologically. They are in charge of movement, sensation and perception, and Moseley says that disruptions of brain maps occur in people with chronic pain.

    So – if the brain “rewires” itself after a traumatic experience to feel persistent pain, for example in the case of phantom pain after amputations, can we change the brain to not feel the pain?

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