November 13, 2009Health Psychology Gate control theory nervous system can process only a limited number of sensory signals at one time relative balance of ?pain? and ?non-pain? messages when the system is ?full?, a neural ?gate? in the spinal cord either blocks or allows the passage of additional signals to the brain ?gate? is not a physical structure, but pattern of inhibitory neural activity key point- pain signals to the brain can be blocked practical implication of gate control you can partially shut the gate by creating competing sensation if you fall and hurt your knee, rubbing it hard will send new impulses into the spinal cord- and inhibit other pain signals partly why putting ice on a bruise or scratching the skin near a mosquito bite is helpful for chronic pain, the use of deep massage, electrical stimulation, and acupuncture may work through this same process descending pathways from brain may also influence gate mood, stress, etc. context, belief, expectations Bertrand Russell on pain when asked by his dentist ?where does it hurt?? he replied ?in my mind, of course? Management of chronic pain chronic pain management has some general themes education social skills, medication, psychological consequences of pain, non-pharmacological treatment options, etc. pain reduction attempts moderate exercise, relaxation, stretching, biofeedback, etc. emotional consequences management therapy, support groups, and so faorth, to manage distressing thought patterns, depression, anxiety, et.c catastrophizing Placebo any medical procedure that produces an effect in a patient because of its therapeutic intent and not its specific nature, whether chemical or physical placebo is a true general ingredient in all clinical situations Psychological factors Sex Age Cognitive level Previous pains Family learning Culture Noxious stimulus, tissue damage Pain sensation Situational factorsexpectation Control relevance Emotional factors Fear Anger Frustration
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