Neuromatrix Pain Gate Theory: A Case Study

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The intricate reaction between the human’s physiological and psychological responses has been long disputed (Rowbotham, 2001) This ever changing discussion may be explained by the neuromatrix pain theory (Melzack, 1999). However, our understanding of the physiological response to a painful experience and its effects on the body has changed over the years. In the mid-17th century the pain theory was over simplified; nerve impulses travelled to the cerebral cortex in the brain, the more damage the body had received the more pain signals and therefore higher pain levels. Conversely, now; the result of a stimulus is now a complex mechanism in the nervous system. In contrast to the neuromatrix pain theory, the pain gate theory offers another explanation …show more content…
The central nervous system consists of the brain and the spinal cord, and controls every emotion and thought within the body. It works alongside the endocrine system to main homeostasis and has a rapid and fast response due to electrical impulses. Whereas, the peripheral nervous system consists of nerves that extend from the spinal cord. The peripheral system is divided into autonomic and somatic responses. The autonomic responses are then divided again into parasympathetic and sympathetic activity. The activity experienced depends on the pain stimulus received(Jones & Jones, 1997). The nerves in the peripheral nervous system connect the central nervous system to sensory organs, other organs of the body, muscles, blood vessels and glands (Brodal, 2004). The peripheral nervous system has an afferent and efferent division. The afferent division is a sensory pathway, nerves send impulses towards the central nervous system from sensory receptors within the body. The efferent division carries on the journey by transmitting nerve impulses from the central nervous system to effector organs to cause muscle contraction or to secrete the necessary hormones. NEED

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