Sensitization

In the context of clinically important pain, it is also important to understand the concept of sensitization. This refers to a phenomemon in which the "gain" of the entire noci-ceptive system is reset upwards by neuronal changes in either the periphery or within the central nervous system (CNS). Some form of sensitization invariably accompanies any kind of chronic pain, such as that seen with persistent inflammation. The net result is that noxious stimuli now elicit a pain response that is much greater when compared with the normal state, a phenomenon termed hyperalgesia.

A further characteristic of the sensitized state is called allo-dynia, a phenomenon in which innocuous or physiological stimuli are perceived as painful. As an example of mechanical allodynia, patients with chronic pancreatitis may experience pain in response to physiological changes in intraductal pressure, which would be insensate in normal subjects. Similarly, subsequent minor flare-ups of inflammation in such patients could also cause the associated pain to be felt as far more severe than if being experienced for the first time (hyperalgesia).

Constipation Prescription

Constipation Prescription

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