The “Non-pharmacological treatment of pain” section of the Frontiers in Pain Research journal reflects the current appreciation that complementary therapeutic interventions to manage pain play an important role in the therapeutic armamentarium. This emphasis reflects two related driving issues. First, in well-designed clinical trials, a number of nonpharmacological modalities have been shown to have significant and often enduring efficacy in the management of the pain state with minimal adverse events, whether employed alone or in combination with pharmacological interventions. The real or potential benefits arising from interventions involving mind-body therapeutic modalities take on particular importance in light of the world-wide opiate crisis, which has highlighted the need to develop and understand the mechanisms of novel analgesic treatments. Second, in humans, development of sophisticated trialing methodologies, non-invasive imaging/ physiological endpoints and the rigorous adherence to scientific method has yielded strong support for efficacy and repeatability, refining the application of these interventions. Further, preclinical work applying complimentary paradigms to study models has served to provide mechanistic insights into how these interventions engage defined biological systems.
The “Non-pharmacological treatment of pain” section of Frontiers in Pain Research publishes high-quality basic, translational and clinical studies focusing on mechanisms and efficacy of complementary, non-pharmacological treatments for pain. Areas covered by this specialty section include, but are not limited to, mechanistic human and animal studies and controlled clinical trials involving the following topics, as they relate to pain:
· Placebo analgesia
· Respiratory regulation
· Guided imagery
· Osteopathic medicine
· Chiropractic medicine
· Music therapy
· Manual therapies
· Cognitive-behavioral therapy
· Operant and classical conditioning
· Environmental enrichment
· Attentional brain circuits
· Emotional brain circuits
· Neural epigenetic effects of non-pharmacological pain treatments
· Neuro-modulatory techniques (TMS, tVNS) to probe mechanisms of pain modulation
All studies must contribute insights into the efficacy and/or mechanisms of complementary non-pharmacological treatments for pain. Studies published in this section include those that directly address pain modulatory systems in the brain that could be engaged by novel non-drug treatment approaches, without directly testing a treatment. Studies of natural products to treat pain do not fall under the scope of this section and would be better aligned with the section on “Pharmacological Treatment of Pain”. Additionally, studies evaluating the efficacy of devices, including those that directly stimulate the nervous system, are not within the scope of this section, and should be submitted to other sections of the journal. However, the use of stimulation devices or other methodologies to probe brain systems implicated in non-pharmacological pain treatments could be within the scope of this section.
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Non-Pharmacological Treatment of Pain welcomes submissions of the following article types: Brief Research Report, Correction, Data Report, Editorial, Field Grand Challenge, General Commentary, Hypothesis and Theory, Methods, Mini Review, Opinion, Original Research, Perspective, Policy and Practice Reviews, Policy Brief, Review, Specialty Grand Challenge and Systematic Review.
All manuscripts must be submitted directly to the section Non-Pharmacological Treatment of Pain, where they are peer-reviewed by the Associate and Review Editors of the specialty section.
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