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Psychological stress in early life as a predisposing factor for the development of chronic pain: Clinical and preclinical evidence and neurobiological mechanisms

updated

Tags: chronic pain, mind, anxiety, pain problems

Four articles on PainSci cite Burke 2016: (1) Anxiety & Chronic Pain(2) 34 Surprising Causes of Pain(3) Chronic, Subtle, Systemic Inflammation(4) A Rational Guide to Fibromyalgia

original abstract Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.

A wealth of research over the past 2 decades has expanded our understanding of the impact of early-life adversity on physiological function and, consequently, health and wellbeing in later life. Early-life adversity increases the risk of developing a number of disorders, such as chronic pain, fibromyalgia, and irritable bowel syndrome. Although much of the research has examined the impact of physical maltreatment, an increasing number of studies have been published over the past few years examining the effect of childhood psychological stress and trauma on the development of various types of chronic pain conditions. We review the clinical and preclinical data examining the link among early-life psychological stress, altered nociceptive behavior, and chronic pain in later life. Evidence supporting a role for certain key neurobiological substrates, including the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis; monoaminergic, opioidergic, endocannabinoid and immune systems; and epigenetic mechanisms in the association between early-life psychological stress and chronic pain, is provided. Greater understanding of the impact of early-life stress may inform the development of personalized treatments for chronic pain in later life and strategies to prevent its onset in susceptible individuals.

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