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Evidence for a Mismatch Between the Brain’s Movement Control System and Sensory System As an Explanation for Some Pain-related Disorders

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Journal: Current Pain and Headache Reports. 2007, 11:104-108

Authors and affiliation: McCabe, CS, Blake, DR. Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases and School for Health, University of Bath, Bath, UK [E-mail: candy.mccabe@rnhrd-tr.swest.nhs.uk ]

The motor-control system usually operates below our conscious level, and we only become aware of the complex interaction between desired movements and actual movements when an irregularity in the system occurs.

Recently, it has been proposed that such discordances in sensorimotor function may generate pain and other somaesthetic disturbances [relating to the sensations of pain, touch, pressure, temperature, itch, etc.].

This article describes this model of pain and determines how it may be applied to a range of chronic pain conditions in which there is a lack of obvious causal pathology, including complex regional pain syndrome. In addition, we discuss the clinical implications of such a theory and examine how enhancing sensory feedback may reduce chronic pain.

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