Pain is a multidimensional sensory and emotional experience that is important for our survival. Acute pain occurs in response to environmental stimuli and warns us of potential or actual tissue damage. In the event of actual tissue damage, pain serves to promote wound healing and repair. However, in some cases the pain outlasts the stimulus and becomes chronic. Once pain becomes chronic, it is no longer beneficial and, instead, becomes a disorder in and of itself.
Although our understanding of pain neurobiology has grown over the last several years, few new therapeutics have been developed. Thus, it is imperative that further research be conducted to better understand chronic pain; its causes, effects, and treatments.
The three main objectives of The Nackley Lab include:
- To determine the factors that put some people, but not others, at risk for maladaptive chronic pain conditions
- To elucidate the mechanism(s) whereby genetic, biological, and environmental factors drive chronic pain
- To improve pharmacologic management of pain