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Papers of the Week

Papers: 3 Feb 2024 - 9 Feb 2024


Neurobiol Pain



Pain-sensorimotor interactions: New perspectives and a new model.


Murray GM, Sessle BJ


How pain and sensorimotor behavior interact has been the subject of research and debate for many decades. This article reviews theories bearing on pain-sensorimotor interactions and considers their strengths and limitations in the light of findings from experimental and clinical studies of pain-sensorimotor interactions in the spinal and craniofacial sensorimotor systems. A strength of recent theories is that they have incorporated concepts and features missing from earlier theories to account for the role of the sensory-discriminative, motivational-affective, and cognitive-evaluative dimensions of pain in pain-sensorimotor interactions. Findings acquired since the formulation of these recent theories indicate that additional features need to be considered to provide a more comprehensive conceptualization of pain-sensorimotor interactions. These features include biopsychosocial influences that range from biological factors such as genetics and epigenetics to psychological factors and social factors encompassing environmental and cultural influences. Also needing consideration is a mechanistic framework that includes other biological factors reflecting nociceptive processes and glioplastic and neuroplastic changes in sensorimotor and related brain and spinal cord circuits in acute or chronic pain conditions. The literature reviewed and the limitations of previous theories bearing on pain-sensorimotor interactions have led us to provide new perspectives on these interactions, and this has prompted our development of a new concept, the Theory of Pain-Sensorimotor Interactions (TOPSMI) that we suggest gives a more comprehensive framework to consider the interactions and their complexity. This theory states that This more comprehensive theory points towards customized treatment strategies, in line with the management approaches to pain proposed in the biopsychosocial model of pain.