Peripheral and central hyperexcitability: Differential signs and symptoms in persistent pain

Behavioral and Brain Sciences 20 (3):404-419 (1997)
This target article examines the clinical and experimental evidence for a role of peripheral and central hyperexcitability in persistent pain in four key areas: cutaneous hyperalgesia, referred pain, neuropathic pain, and postoperative pain. Each suggests that persistent pain depends not only on central sensitization, but also on inputs from damaged peripheral tissue. It is instructive to think of central sensitization as comprised of both an initial central sensitization and an ongoing central sensitization driven by inputs from peripheral sources. Each of these factors, initial sensitization, ongoing central sensitization, and inputs from peripheral sources, contributes to the net activity in dorsal horn neurons and thus influences the expression of persistent pain or hyperalgesia. Since each factor, peripheral inputs and central sensitization (initial or ongoing), can contribute to both the initiation and maintenance of persistent pain, therapies should target both peripheral and central sources of pathology
Keywords hyperalgesia   neurogenic inflammation   neuropathic pain   nociception   phantom limb pain   plasticity   postoperative pain   pre-emptive analgesia   referred pain   sensitization
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DOI 10.1017/S0140525X97251484
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