Anatomy, physiology and pharmacology of pain


      Pain is a complex perceptual experience. The transmission of pain involves both peripheral and central processes that can be modulated at many levels. Peripheral sensitization causes increased afferent input to the spinal cord. Numerous receptors and ion channels are involved. Physiological and anatomical changes within the nervous system are implicated in the development of neuropathic and visceral pain states. The complexity of pain transmission means there are many pharmacological targets and multimodal therapy is required to optimize pain control.


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        • MacIntyre P.E.
        • Walker S.M.
        • Rowbotham D.J.
        Clinical pain management – chronic pain.
        2nd edn. Arnold, 2008

      Further reading

        • Tracey I.
        Pain 2012: refresher courses, 14th World Congress on Pain.
        IASP Press, 2012