Research Sheds Light on Link Between the Brain and the Role of Emotions for Pain-Relief

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( — June 15, 2017) Orlando, FL — Arthritis is one of the conditions that causes millions of people suffer in the United States alone. There have been a wide variety of research studies conducted to investigate this disease, and some target the techniques that may allow it to be managed effectively or even cured.

A new research study sheds light on the link between the brain and the role of emotions for pain-relieving therapies. Today, many arthritis sufferers turn to the use of pharmaceutical drugs to help achieve pain relief. There are even those who use these medications on a daily basis just to achieve relief. Unfortunately, these medications may also cause side effects.

According to scientists, pain caused by arthritis is often processed in the areas of the brain concerned with fear and emotions. Thus, it could be a potential target for pain-relieving therapies.

Through the technology called neuroimaging, the role of the pain matrix, which is a network of brain structures, is now known. This matrix has two parallel systems, namely the medial and lateral system. The former processes fear, stress, and other emotional aspects of pain. The latter, on the other hand, processes the physical sensations, which include the pain’s intensity, duration, and location.

Arthritis pain, which is often marked by joint aches, morning stiffness, and flare-ups, tends to be recurrent and acute. This is in contrast to a variety of chronic pain conditions. Therefore, arthritis pain may be an ideal model to use in comparing experimental with clinical pain.

Researchers from the University of Manchester Rheumatic Diseases Centre in the United Kingdom conducted the initial study to make a comparison between the brain areas that process pain and experimental pain suffered by individuals with osteoarthritis.

The results of the study, which were published in the Arthritis & Rheumatism, shed a light on the role of emotions in the manner that sufferers feel arthritis pain.

It was found that in all participants with osteoarthritis, the entire pain matrix was activated by both pain conditions. However, it is important to note that during arthritic pain, there was an increase in activity in the brain’s medial pain system, which includes the thalamus, cingulate cortex, and amygdala.

The research suggests that arthritis pain versus experimental pain has more emotional impact. Further studies are still underway to discover more aspects about arthritis pain. However today, sufferers are helping themselves to achieve pain relief by using certain medications and natural alternatives.

One of these natural alternatives is glucosamine, which is widely thought to be effective in reducing arthritis inflammation and easing pain.


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