About this Research Topic
Pain represents a multifaceted and complex phenomenon, encompassing physical and personal elements and affected by gender, hormonal status and cognitive features. Therefore, comprehensive investigation is required to address the variability of pain experience and the underling mechanisms involved in chronic pain in general and pain disorders among women in particular. Experimental-induced pain tests mirrors inhibitory and facilitatory pain modulation pathways, the plasticity of the nociceptive system as well as brain activity involved in pain perception and response. Transformational “lab to clinic” studies, encompassing mechanism-based tests enables an in-depth examination of the interrelations between pain modulation patterns of individuals and their clinical pain behavior. Such advanced psychophysical and neurophysiological approaches enable clinicians and researchers to promote personalized medicine, based on the individual's pathogenesis and needs.
Women's pain disorders, mainly chronic pelvic pain and female sexual pain-syndromes represent the complexity of pain and its negative consequences on quality of life and functioning. More and more evidence emphasize the key role of sex, gender, fluctuation of ovarian hormones and anatomical-physiological alterations on the development and manifestation of women's pain disorders. Yet, the underling mechanisms that are involved in idiopathic pain syndromes such as fibromyalgia or chronic cyclic pelvic pain for example, dysmenorrhea as well as dyspareunia (provoked vestibulodynia) are still obscure. Moreover, the issue of women's susceptibility to experience enhanced pain or present greater incidence of chronic pain disorders necessitate further illumination.
This Research Topic target to pave the way for the publication of creative research through experimental studies and reviews including qualitative articles in order to advance issues of gender differences in pain processing and better address mechanisms that affect women's vulnerability to suffer from particular symptoms or chronic disorder. In this regard, pre-clinical and clinical manuscripts that focus on the complexity of pain disorders among women: alterations in mechanisms of pain modulation processing are welcome.
The following domains will be covered: a) Evaluation of pain modulation profile that shape pain variability and characterize women pain disorders; b) Exploration of women's pain trajectory and response to interventions; c) The role of emotional features, cognitive representation of pain conditions and traumatic life events on pain sensitivity; d) The contribution of dispositional and situational pain related personality variables on pain processing and behavior and e) Addressing the mechanisms in which fluctuation in hormonal status and changes along the life-spam affect the nociceptive system among women.
Keywords: Chronic Pelvic Pain, Endogenous Pain Modulation, Experimental Pain, Vestibulodynia, Dyspareunia
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