This new study really supports the approach I have here at The Pain PT- which is targeting the brain and nervous system for chronic pain relief. One of the biggest things I talk about is getting the limbic system (emotional brain) to settle down. In particular, the biggest thing I see in my patients are worry, concern, anxiety, and fear around their symptoms and condition. What part of the brain controls fear and anxiety and other emotions? The amygdala.
In this study researchers at Duke University were able to turn off pain by basically turning off the amygdala. So this is turning off fear, worry and concern and dealing with other emotions. I have seen this work in my patients as well. As worry, anxiety, and fear subside, so does the pain. These researchers are targeting drugs to do the job, but we can learn to do this ourselves through brain and neural retraining techniques I teach at The Pain PT.
Here’s a quote from the study author:
“Most of the previous studies have focused on which regions are turned ON by pain,” senior author Fan Wang said in a news release. “But there are so many regions processing pain, you’d have to turn them all off to stop pain. Whereas this one center [in the amygdala] can turn off the pain by itself.” Wang is a neurobiology professor at Duke’s School of Medicine and founding director of the Wang Lab.