Podcast 794: Brain and Pain - The Emergency Medical Minute

Podcast 794: Brain and Pain

Contributor: Don Stader, MD

Educational Pearls:

  • Pain sensation is generated and modified by the brain
  • Multiple case reports provide evidence that the degree of pain a patient experiences correlates with how severe they perceive their injury/illness to be       
  • Patients who feel safe and reassured about the care they are receiving have less pain    
  • The patient’s narrative about their pain is the strongest factor in determining long-term outcomes of their pain
  • Helping to shape the narrative around the patient’s pain is essential in reducing the incidence of chronic pain and increases the likelihood of pain completely resolving



Bushnell MC, Ceko M, Low LA. Cognitive and emotional control of pain and its disruption in chronic pain. Nat Rev Neurosci. 2013;14(7):502-511.

Dimsdale JE, Dantzer R. A biological substrate for somatoform disorders: importance of pathophysiology. Psychosom Med. 2007;69(9):850-854.

Fenton BW, Shih E, Zolton J. The neurobiology of pain perception in normal and persistent pain. Pain Manag. 2015;5(4):297-317.

Marshall PWM, Schabrun S, Knox MF. Physical activity and the mediating effect of fear, depression, anxiety, and catastrophizing on pain related disability in people with chronic low back pain. PLoS One. 2017;12(7):e0180788.


Summarized by Mark O’Brien, MS4 | Edited by John Spartz, MD & Erik Verzemnieks, MD


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