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Pain Anatomy and Physiology 

Pain Anatomy and Physiology
Chapter:
Pain Anatomy and Physiology
Author(s):

Daniel J. Pak

and Neel Mehta

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190217518.003.0001
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date: 23 October 2019

This chapter focuses on pain anatomy and physiology to provide a comprehensive review of the mechanisms of nociception for preparation for the ABA Pain Medicine (PM) Examination. It reviews the anatomy of pain pathways (particularly the spinothalamic sensory tract), and the process of pain conduction from peripheral nociceptors to the cerebral cortex. It also reviews the different mechanisms of sensitization and inhibition at peripheral nociceptors (manifested as primary and secondary hyperalgesia), the spinal cord (wind-up and sensitization of second-order neurons) and supraspinal structures, which all affect the processing of nociceptive signals in the nervous system and ultimately, the perception of pain.

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