How is pain defined in the pathophysiology of fibromyalgia?

Updated: Nov 14, 2018
  • Author: Chad S Boomershine, MD, PhD, CPI, CPT; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Answer

The International Association for the Study of Pain defines pain as "an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage.” [19] Implicit here is the threat associated with pain, which can be trivial or profound.

Neurophysiologically, the pain experience derives from a complex sensation-perception interaction involving the simultaneous parallel processing of nociceptive input from the spinal cord to multiple regions of the brain (see the image below).

A neurophysiologist's view of pain. Courtesy of Al A neurophysiologist's view of pain. Courtesy of Alan R. Light, PhD.

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