Changes in Sensory Perception and Body Schema in Chronic Pain
Dr David Rice*,**, N Magni**
*Waitemata Pain Service, Department of Anaesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, Waitemata DHB
**Health and Rehabilitation Research Institute, Auckland University of Technology
There is growing evidence that chronic pain conditions are associated with impaired sensory perception and altered body schema. Impaired two point discrimination, mislocalisation of sensory inputs, slower and less accurate left right recognition and an increase in neglect like symptoms have now been reported in a variety of different chronic pain conditions. This presentation will provide an overview of findings from several clinical and laboratory studies that have explored these phenomena in people with chronic pain, including CRPS, phantom limb pain, chronic low back pain and arthritis. The functional consequences of these changes will be highlighted and their possible neurophysiological mechanisms discussed. Additionally, we will examine the evidence that changes in sensory perception and body schema may contribute to chronic pain and provide an overview of current treatments that may help to reverse these changes. A greater understanding of pain related changes in sensory perception may be important for the treatment of chronic pain conditions.