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.
Chronic low back pain (cLBP) is a prevalent disorder. A growing body of evidence linking the pathology of the reward network to chronic pain suggests that pain sensitization may contribute to cLBP chronification via disruptions of mesocortical and mesolimbic circuits in the reward system. Resting-state (RS) functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data was acquired from 90 patients with cLBP and 74 matched pain-free controls (HCs) at baseline and after a manipulation for back pain intensification. The ventral tegmental area (VTA) was chosen as a seed region to perform RS functional connectivity (FC) analysis. Baseline rsFC of both the mesocortical (between the VTA and bilateral rostral anterior cingulate cortex (rACC)/and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC)) and mesolimbic (between the VTA and bilateral hippocampus/parahippocampus) pathways was reduced in patients with cLBP (vs. HCs). In addition, patients exhibiting higher back pain intensity (compared to the relatively lower back pain intensity condition) also showed increases in both mesocortical and mesolimbic connectivity, implicating these pathways in pain downregulation in cLBP. Mediation analysis further isolated the mesolimbic (VTA-hippocampus/parahippocampus) dysconnectivity as a neural mechanism mediating the association between mechanical pain sensitivity (indexed by P40 pressure) and cLBP severity. In sum, the current study demonstrates deficient mesocorticolimbic connectivity in cLBP, with mesolimbic dysconnectivity potentially mediating the contribution of pain sensitization to pain chronification. These reward network dysfunctions and purportedly, dopaminergic dysregulations, may help us to identify key brain targets of neuromodulation in the treatment of cLBP.
This page is part of the PainScience BIBLIOGRAPHY, which contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers & others sources. It’s like a highly specialized blog. A few highlights:
- Relationships Between Sleep Quality and Pain-Related Factors for People with Chronic Low Back Pain: Tests of Reciprocal and Time of Day Effects. Gerhart 2017 Ann Behav Med.
- Modulation in the elastic properties of gastrocnemius muscle heads in individuals with plantar fasciitis and its relationship with pain. Zhou 2020 Sci Rep.
- Association Between Plantar Fasciitis and Isolated Gastrocnemius Tightness. Nakale 2018 Foot Ankle Int.
- No Added Benefit of Combining Dry Needling With Guideline-Based Physical Therapy When Managing Chronic Neck Pain: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Stieven 2020 J Orthop Sports Phys Ther.
- Effectiveness of customised foot orthoses for Achilles tendinopathy: a randomised controlled trial. Munteanu 2015 Br J Sports Med.