Why Head and Face Pain Causes More Suffering


People consistently rate pain of the head,
face, eyeballs, ears and teeth as more disruptive, and more emotionally draining, than pain elsewhere
in the body. Duke University scientists have discovered
how the brain’s wiring makes us suffer more from head and face pain. The team found that sensory neurons that serve
the head and face are wired directly into one of the brain’s principal emotional signaling
hubs. Sensory neurons elsewhere in the body are
also connected to this hub, but only indirectly. The results may pave the way toward more effective
treatments for chronic headaches and neuropathic face pain. Usually doctors focus on treating the sensation
of pain, but this research shows that they really need to treat the emotional aspects
of pain as well.

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