Can therapy help?
Pain specialist Professor Anthony Jones, of the University of Manchester, thinks so. “There’s good science and evidence behind talking therapies to help to reverse some of the fine tuning problems in the brain that happen in chronic pain. People with osteoarthritis or fibromyalgia anticipate pain differently; they are in a state of permanently expecting bad things to happen to them, including pain.” The brain can distract itself from experiencing pain, and functional MRI imaging has shown which parts of the brain are activated when this distraction is taking place. Jones says that new, simple and safe therapies that use the power of the brain to take more control of how we feel are being developed in the human pain research group at the University of Manchester.