What is the role of neurotransmitters in the pathophysiology of low back pain (LBP)?

Updated: Aug 22, 2018
  • Author: Jasvinder Chawla, MD, MBA; Chief Editor: Stephen A Berman, MD, PhD, MBA  more...
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Answer

Answer

Neurotransmitters and biochemical factors may sensitize neural elements in the motion segment so that the normal biomechanical stresses induced by previously asymptomatic movements or lifting tasks cause pain. Furthermore, injury and the subsequent neurochemical cascade may modify or prolong the pain stimulus and initiate the degenerative and inflammatory changes described above, which mediate additional biochemical and morphologic changes. Whether the biochemical changes that occur with disk degeneration are the consequence or cause of these painful conditions is unclear. However, chemical and inflammatory factors may create the environmental substratum on which biochemical forces cause axial or limb pain with various characteristics and to various degrees.


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