Central Sensitization In Chronic Low Back Pain: A Narrative Review

Central Sensitization in Chronic Low Back Pain: A Narrative Review


  • Dibyendunarayan D Bid
  • Neela C Soni
  • Priyanshu V Rathod


Central sensitization, central pain processing, chronic low back pain, hyperalgesia, cortical reorganization, widespread pain, temporal summation


Objective: The aim of this narrative review is to examine the available literature related to central sensitization (CS) and altered central pain processing in chronic low back pain (CLBP) patients. Methodology: Literature was searched using many electronic databases. Additionally, reference list of most prominent articles were searched to increase the search accuracy, as much as possible. Studies which are evaluating the concept of CS in conservatively treated CLBP patients were included. Results: Results of studies evaluating the responsiveness to various types of stimuli in CLBP patients are contradictory. Some studies in CLBP patients have showed increased pain responses after sensory stimulation of body parts outside the painful region, when some other studies report no differences between patients and healthy controls. Studies evaluating the integrity of the endogenous pain inhibitory systems describe unchanged activity of this descending inhibitory system. Conversely, studies examining brain structure and function in connection with experimentally induced pain provide initial proof for changed central pain processing in CLBP patients. Also inappropriate beliefs about pain, depression and/or pain catastrophizing, may lead to the development of CS. Conclusion: Most of the literatures suggest that the CNS becomes centrally sensitized in a subgroup of patients with CLBP. However, the significance of this involvement is just starting to become clearer. This could be an active topic of future research. More studies are necessary for providing definite evidence for the clinical importance of CS. [Bid D NJIRM 2016; 7(3):114 - 123]


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How to Cite

Bid, D. D., Soni, N. C., & Rathod, P. V. (2018). Central Sensitization In Chronic Low Back Pain: A Narrative Review: Central Sensitization in Chronic Low Back Pain: A Narrative Review. National Journal of Integrated Research in Medicine, 7(3), 114–123. Retrieved from https://nicpd.ac.in/ojs-/index.php/njirm/article/view/1092



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