Current Understanding of the Peripheral and Central Components Involved in the Pain Pathway and Their Roles in Chronic Pain and Future Therapeutics
Chronic pain is an under-recognized and under-resourced public health problem with devastating impact. The World Health Organization’s ranking of 310 ailments places low back and neck pain as the leading “global burden of disease” worldwide, with painful musculoskeletal conditions (e.g., arthritis) a major threat to mobility that compromises the health of individuals and societies around the world.
The overall prevalence of common, predominantly musculoskeletal pain conditions (e.g., arthritis, rheumatism, chronic back or neck problems, and frequent severe headaches) was estimated at 43 percent among adults in the United States.
As the population ages and the prevalence of chronic musculoskeletal conditions continues to rise and clinicians find themselves struggling to manage pain and restore function associated with these conditions.
Peripheral and central sensitization of nociceptive pathways appear to ultimately drive the perpetuation of pain and play a role in the chronic aspects of the disease. Conventional pain management pharmacotherapy targets systemic inflammation and pain; increasing awareness on future pharmacological targets is warranted in the context of the underlying pathophysiological mechanisms of chronic pain.
- Discuss disease burden of chronic pain, with a focus on musculoskeletal pain.
- Discuss and contrast the most widely used guidelines for the management of chronic pain.
- Increase awareness of the high unmet medical need in this disease area.
- Review the pathophysiology of chronic pain and the role of various mediators including NGF in chronic pain pathophysiology and their role in central and peripheral sensitization.
- Review the rationale behind various treatments for chronic pain that are currently under investigation.
AAPM provided breakfast.
Activity funded by: Pfizer, Inc & Eli Lilly and Company
Patrick W. Mantyh, PhD
Charles E. Argoff, MD