Opinion
Volume 4 Issue 8 - 2018
Beware of Central Sensitization!
Robert J Gatchel 1 *, Nancy Kishino 2 and Randy Neblett 2
1Department of Psychology, College of Science, The University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, TX, USA
2West Coast Spine Restoration Center, Riverside, CA, USA
3Productive Rehabilitation Institute of Dallas for Ergonomics, Dallas, TX, USA
*Corresponding Author: Robert J Gatchel, Department of Psychology, College of Science, The University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, TX, USA.
Received: March 20, 2018; Published: July 05, 2018
Citation: Robert J Gatchel., et al. “Beware of Central Sensitization!”. EC Anaesthesia 4.8 (2018): 280-282..
We all know that acute pain is an essential physiological defense/warning system of potential danger from the environment or within the body. However, it may subsequently develop into ongoing chronic pain with pain hypersensitivity, including allodynia and hyperalgesia, even after the initial acute pain stimulus has been removed [1]. What causes this? Clifford Woolf [2], who is often considered the “grandfather” of the construct of central sensitization (CS), initially introduced this phenomenon in 1983. He suggested that neuroplasticity in the central nervous system can cause a great enhancement of pain. CS mechanisms have been reported in a variety of studies with both animals and humans [1,3,4]. As further recently highlighted by Woolf [5] “...a prominent feature and sometimes prime driver of the pain is an altered modulation of pain processing within the central nervous system, an amplification consequent and increased excitability and/or reduced inhibition in specific neural networks, which constitute the phenomenon of central sensitization. Recognition of the importance of central sensitization for the maintenance and manifestation of clinical pain states has led to an appreciation that such pain typically is an expression of an altered/disease state of nociception circuits in the central nervous system, one triggered by but not necessarily sustained by peripheral injury, rather than only a symptom of some ongoing peripheral pathology, and treatment needs to be targeted accordingly” (p.1).
Copyright: © 2018 Robert J Gatchel., et al This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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