Quote of the Week

Many cases of chronic pain syndrome are due to a neurological phenomenon called negative plasticity. Brain plasticity refers to neurons connecting together through repeated activation, and it can be positive or negative. Examples of positive plasticity include adopting a new habit, learning a new language, or learning a new skill.

PTSD is an example of negative plasticity. An adverse event activates the brain’s stress response centers, causing anxiety, nervousness, and palpitations. Over time, repeat activations cause those centers to become highly efficient in producing stress responses to trivial stimuli.

Another example of negative plasticity is phantom pain from an amputated limb. People feel burning or pain from a limb that is no longer there. 

Many chronic pain syndromes stem from negative plasticity in the brain. Even though the injury is no longer activating pain fibers, the brain is still firing and developing these plastic patterns.

Dr Datis Kharrazian

See my Healing Plan and the Central Sensitivity Syndrome factsheet for more on this fascinating subject.

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