Harish A. Sharma1, Gupta Rajshri2, Emily Wee3, Sarah Marner4, William Olivero5
1Biomedical Imaging Center, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, USA; 2Medical College, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL, USA; 3University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA; 4Carle Clinic; 5Neurosurgery, Carle Foundation Hospital, Urbana, IL, USA
Chronic pain is a common medical problem affecting as much as 15% of the adult population. Although the treatment for acute pain is relatively successful chronic pain remains poorly treated primarily because of a lack of understanding of the primary pathophysiology. We previously presented data demonstrating the use of fMRI in imaging patients with acute low back pain and radiculopathy. Here we present some preliminary data comparing patients with lumbar pain of an acute nature (lasting less than 3 months) and compare them to patients with more chronic pain (lasting at least 1 year) and normal controls. We found more robust activation in the patients with acute pain in the S1, bilateral thalami, contralateral amygdala and cingulate gyrus as compared to patients with chronic pain and controls. Patients with chronic pain seemed to have more diffused brain activations than those with acute pain.