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Curr Rheumatol Rep. 2012 Dec;14(6):576-82. doi: 10.1007/s11926-012-0285-z.

The role of the central nervous system in osteoarthritis pain and implications for rehabilitation.

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  • 1Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA. sumurphy@umich.edu


It has been known for some time that central nervous system (CNS) pain amplification is present in some individuals with osteoarthritis; the implications of this involvement, however, are just starting to be realized. In the past year, several research reviews have focused on evidence supporting shared mechanisms across chronic pain conditions for how pain is generated and maintained in the CNS, irrespective of the underlying structural pathology. This review article focuses on current literature describing CNS amplification in osteoarthritis by discussing peripheral sensitization, central sensitization, and central augmentation, and the clinical manifestation of central augmentation referred to as centralized pain, and offers considerations for rehabilitation treatment and future directions for research.

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