Sistema nervoso de pessoas que têm dor crônica nas costas se comporta diferente

Scientists develop promising new treatment for chronic back pain

Scientists have found that retraining the way the brain and back communicate can control pain in the area. The research, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, sparked new hope for people with chronic back pain.

“What we observed in our study was a clinically significant effect on pain intensity and a clinically significant effect on disability. People were happier, and reported feeling that they had better appearance and better quality of life. The effects persisted over time,” says Professor James McCauley of the College of Health Sciences University of New South Wales (UNSW).

According to the research on which the study was based, the nervous systems of people with chronic back pain behave differently than those who recently had a lower back injury.

“People with back pain are often told that their backs are at risk and need protection. This changes the way we filter and interpret information from our backs and how we move them. Over time, they become less fit and the way they communicate with the brain is interrupted in a way that seems to reinforce the idea that the back is weak. And it needs protection.The treatment we devised aims to break this cycle of self-sufficiency, says the professor.

Conventional treatments often seek to fix something in the back, for example, means to “relax” the joints or strengthen the muscles. The training devised by the researchers takes into account the entire system, from what people think about their back, how the back and brain communicate, the ways the back moves and even the inclinations of the area.

The research included 276 participants with chronic low back pain for more than three months. The volunteers were divided into two groups, one for intervention and one for control.

Initially, the patients took a 12-week course focusing on sensorimotor retraining, which, in short, changed the way they think about their bodies, process sensory information from the part affected by pain, and the way they moved their backs during activities. .

“This therapy, which includes tailored learning units and methods and sensorimotor retraining, aims to correct the dysfunction we now know to be involved in most chronic back pain, a disorder of the nervous system,” explains the professor. South Australia, Lorimer Mosley.

The treatment had three goals: aligning the patient’s understanding with the latest scientific findings about the cause of chronic back pain, normalizing the way the back and brain communicate, and training the body and brain to return to a mutual protective relationship and with the possibility to resume normal activities.

“We think this gives them the confidence to pursue a recovery approach that trains the body and the brain,” says Ben Wand, professor at the University of Notre Dame and clinical director of the study.

The other group also underwent weekly clinical sessions and 12-week internships, but there was no movement or physical activity re-education. The group underwent sessions of laser, back diathermy (a technique that stimulates heat production) and brain stimulation, as well as techniques to control the effects of the placebo.

In all, it took 18 weeks to significantly reduce pain intensity in the patients.

After this period, the group who underwent rehabilitation reported an improvement in quality of life even after one year of the study. Although scientists still consider the improvement in pain intensity to be minimal, the new treatment encourages the creation of new treatments that focus, for example, on the back, such as spinal manipulation.

Scientists report that few treatments for lower back pain show long-term benefits, but the current study made a breakthrough in recovering fully from twice as many other people.

The authors consider that more research is needed to test the treatment in different populations and more specific groups. Additionally, the researchers hope to test this approach on other types of pain.

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