Neurofeedback and Chronic Pain

How is the brain connected to chronic pain?

Acute pain is meant to serve as an alarm system, bringing attention to a potentially threatening situation.  It is the brain’s job it is to sort through the information coming to it and to decide how real the threat is.

With chronic pain, the alarm system has become overly sensitized, and has begun to be activated at a frequency and an intensity that is not really needed.  In other words, the brain has begun to sound the pain alarm even when there is not a physical stimulus causing the pain.

When medical tests do not explain the degree of pain reported by a patient, they are often told, in one way or another, that the pain is in their head.  

This is actually the case, but not in the way they mean it.  Neurological pathways in the brain have become overly active, and are chronically sounding the pain alarm.  The person is indeed feeling pain, even though there is no evidence of sufficient tissue damage to account for the pain experience.

The connection to Neurofeedback:

Furthermore, recent research is indicating that the same neurological pathways that transmit physical pain signals in the brain, also transmit emotional pain signals.

Consequently, things like depression, anxiety, stress, etc., can heighten the pain experience.  All of this points to the notion that:  To treat chronic pain, you must treat the brain.  

This is where neurofeedback or EEG biofeedback comes in.  

This procedure is a way to train the brain to decrease it’s over activity in the regions associated with the pain experience.  With proper EEG biofeedback training, the individual experiences a reduction in their pain experience.

SPS has been using EEG biofeedback and related techniques to address chronic pain for several years.  Angelika and Mitch presented a workshop on the use of qEEG and ERP analysis in the treatment of chronic pain at the Fall, 2013 Conference of the Northeast Regional Biofeedback Society held in Albany, New York.

We are using the most progressive, non-invasive methods to work with you and your medical specialists to help reduce your pain and to help you regain control of your life.