(NaturalNews) A team of German researchers has linked chronic back pain to changes in the pain-processing areas of the brain. The research may yield new ways to treat the issue, which, according to the web site WebMD.com, affects 80 percent of Americans during their lifetimes.
• The researchers found that people with chronic back pain have higher stimuli in the microstructure of the pain-processing area of their brains.
• The researchers say their finding may give reasons to consider chronic back pain a treatable condition.
• The research utilized a brain image-mapping technique called Diffusion Tensor Imaging and compared sufferers with healthy volunteers.
• The researchers said more information was needed to tell whether simulation in the microstructure is created by back pain or if the stimulation itself causes the pain.
• The pain-processing area of the brain is located in the somatosensory system, a part of the primary sensory cortex within the parietal lobe of the brain. It also affects feelings of emotion and stress.
• Incidentally, according to the web site Spine-health.com, chronic back pain can be linked to an increased chance of depression among its sufferers.
• "DTI may help explain what's happening for some of these patients, and direct therapeutic attention from the spine to the brain," said study co-author Gustav Schelling of the Department of Anaesthesiology at Munich University.