I’ve posted before about how we see stronger one-way brain signals from the amygdala to the pre-frontal cortex in anxiety and how this is one-way signaling can cause the amygdala to hijack someone into more anxiety or panic.
We also see altered connections in the amygdala to pre-frontal cortex pathway in chronic back pain. There seems to be a similar thing happening here where this altered connection skews the information in the brain and doesn’t allow the pre-frontal cortex to do its job in regulating the amygdala and the pain.
One of the goals of brain retraining is to get the pre-frontal cortex to amygdala connection stronger to help regulate emotions and also regulate (inhibit) pain. Otherwise, just like with anxiety, the amygdala (emotional brain) can take over and hijack people with chronic pain.