Mechanisms Challenges of the Pain Phenomenon

Serge Marchand
2021 Frontiers in Pain Research  
Pain is a complex phenomenon involving interconnected physiological and psychological mechanisms. This complexity is a challenge for scientists and clinicians who have to deal with anatomical, physiological, cognitive, and affective pain components. The nociceptive signal coming from an injury will follow peripheral and central nervous pathways, but will also be modulated by endogenous mechanisms that will increase or reduce the signal and the perceived pain. It is for this reason that we
more » ... eason that we distinguish nociception from pain. Nociception refers to the signal traveling in the nervous system while pain is the perception of the unpleasant experience. Because this signal will be modulated at different levels of the central nervous system, pain is not the mere reflection of nociception. Genetic, environmental, societal, physiological, and psychological factors will influence the perception of pain. Regardless of the evolution of our knowledge, millions of patients are still suffering and are not good responders to available treatments. We need to refine our understanding of pain mechanisms and the interactions of physiological, psychological, and societal factors.
doi:10.3389/fpain.2020.574370 fatcat:cn3hx4tgijhkrhq7qvw6d3dvz4